If you can’t get to campus, an online Masters in Cybersecurity program could bring the classroom to you. Online Cyber Security Masters programs tend to be designed for current information technology professionals and busy adults. Some programs may provide the same coursework as their on-ground counterparts and could be taught by the same faculty members. If you need the flexibility to take classes on your own time-table, this might be the perfect format for you. Pursue graduate study that focuses on the security of information while you maintain your current career and other duties.
written by Rana Waxman
Online Masters in Cybersecurity programs explore different aspects of cybercrime, cyberattacks and information assurance. From businesses to banks, healthcare to governments, we rely more and more on cyber networks to house our critical information. With this comes the very real need to protect data and prevent and detect threats. But this takes a village of professionals in both the computer and administrative spheres.i
If you hope to build the knowledge potentially needed in this multi-dimensional field, there are a variety of Online Masters in Cybersecurity programs to choose from. Some of these options will place cybersecurity and information assurance as the central theme that runs through core courses, research and capstone projects. In other programs, cyber security is a concentration area. Be attentive to each university’s curriculum and match it with your needs.
DID YOU KNOW?
Key skills that are required by Information Technology Security Analysts are the ability to think critically, read, and solve complex problems. ii
For some of the more technical online Masters in Cybersecurity programs applicants
may need a bachelor’s degree in a scientific discipline. These might be applied mathematics, computer information systems, computer science, information sciences, cyber security engineering, statistics, or a related field. In other online cyber security masters programs, applicants are presumed to have a bachelors degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Foundational computer software, and networking pre-requisites and work experience may be needed. Since each university sets its own policies, contact individual schools for their admissions requirements.
A typical online Masters in Cybersecurity program could mix graduate-level courses in intelligence, forensics and cyber operations. Students in some programs may be required to complete 30 credit hours. Those who take courses on a full-time basis may be able to finish their program in one to two years.
Core Courses: Some of the core courses in an online Master of Science (MSc) in Cyber Security could review the impact of cybersecurity on various enterprises. For instance, they might provide an overview of cyber intelligence measures, principles, and ethics. Other courses could delve into issues such as mitigation, response and recovery. Students are also likely to examine some of the technical aspects of computer cybercrime investigations. Some possible courses are listed below. Refer to each university for a course syllabus that reflects their program.
Research: In addition to required courses, some online Masters in Cyber Security programs could entail independent research and a capstone. Programs vary.
Concentrations: Aside from the basic online masters degree in Cyber Security curriculum, students may be encouraged to choose an area of emphasis. A concentration could expand the breadth of one’s studies. There are usually extra courses which help tailor the program to suit individual needs. These areas of study could vary between schools. Below are some possible choices.
Students who pursue an online Master of Science in Cyber Security and Intelligence generally seek an in-depth study of counterintelligence, cyber counterterrorism and cyber counter sabotage. The course of study could include an analysis of global and national cybersecurity policies, the study and protection of critical infrastructures, as well as an examination of operations involving cyber threats and defense.
The online Master of Science in Cyber Security in Computer Forensics explores the collection and preparation of evidence of computer crimes such as fraud, child pornography and cyber espionage. The course of study could provide students with a solid grasp of the forensic tools and techniques used to investigate and analyze network-related incidents. Also, courses might cover methods used to preserve digital evidence.
An online Master of Science in Cyber Security and Cyber Operations might appeal to students who wish to protect and defend organizations from cyberattacks. Through a lab-oriented course of study, students might acquire key hands-on skills and critical knowledge. For instance, they are likely to examine closely things such as cyber tactics, techniques, procedures and more.
The online Master of Science in Cyber Security with a focus on electronic crime might appeal to students who want to explore the technical, legal, and ethical aspects of electronic crime, white collar crime and fraud investigation. Coursework for this emphasis could highlight risk and compliance, legal issues, fraud management and advanced methods of fraud analysis.
An online Master of Science in Cyber Security and Malware Analysis could provide a basis in some of the major concepts, as well as the technical aspects, of malware analysis. Coursework for this area of emphasis might narrow in on the basics of malware, identification of malware, and mitigation of the effects of malware. Other courses could cover cybercrime investigation and computer forensics.
There may be a range of other options for students who want to pursue an online masters degree in Cyber Security. Some programs view information assurance from the lens of computer science and technology. These programs could examine network infrastructure or digital forensics. If you hope to study how to design secure software, networks and systems, this might be an appropriate direction for you.
Other Masters in Cyber Security online programs might explore information assurance within the context of business systems, operations, policy and strategy. If you have a background in administration, or, are less technically-focused, this might be a path to look at.
Whatever your personal and professional goals, use them to help inform your choice of a great online masters degree in Cyber Security for you.
The online Master of Science in Information Assurance (MSIA) degree may provide an overview of information technology concepts, enterprise architecture and IT research methods. Students might also study methods used to design and manage a secure enterprise and to assess risks. Within their program, some students might choose an area of emphasis such as IA policy or Cyber Security.
For the emphasis in cyber security, students could take courses in offensive tactics and computer forensics. Electives could add breadth to these studies. Choices could include malware analysis, network forensics and legal issues. By comparison, students who focus on IA policy management could take classes that examine laws, regulations, legal trends and issues. Also, they are likely to explore ways to develop security policy in line with compliance standards. Their electives might focus on topics such as auditing, best practices and offensive tactics.
Students who pursue an online Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) degree may be able to choose a focus in Information Assurance and Security. This type of program could blend elements of digital security, information collection and preservation, and security system creation. Through their coursework, students may develop the ability to conduct information systems audits and put into effect various technical and administrative control measures.
An online Master of Science in Technology Innovation Management (MSTIM) program may prepare students to assess and design technology-based solutions to practical problems. In some schools, the MSTIM is a 30-credit program that is comprised of core courses, a capstone, and concentration courses.
Online MSTIM required courses could discuss computer networks, mobile computing and business intelligence. These courses could help students learn how to manage risk and make strategic decisions. Other courses are likely to revolve around the emphasis in cyber security. In these courses, students could learn the basic concepts and tools used to secure computer networks and data systems. They might also explore other topics, such as cyber forensics, secure software design and disaster recovery.
Online Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs may help students learn how to apply business theory, in a practical way, to solve current problems. In some schools, students are required to complete 36 credits which consist of core business courses, concentration courses and a capstone. The management-focused courses are typically designed to foster students’ ability to lead, plan and make decisions. These often highlight human resources, strategy, finances and managerial accounting.
For the MBA in Cyber Security, students may take a series of courses that explore ways to assess and manage risk. For instance, they might learn how to identify security threats and weak links. Also, they might study how to design and implement the best safety measures for the situation.
The online Master of Science in Information Assurance and Security, Health Care Security explores the protection of vital healthcare data. Some programs may help students prepare to sit for the HealthCare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner (HCISPP®) and Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security (CHPS®) exams. For instance, courses could cover some of the ethical, legal and regulatory issues related to health care security, privacy and compliance.
Students in an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management program could study how to develop, implement, assess, and update the security policies and practices that help organizations respond effectively to cyberattacks. Coursework is likely to cover data analytics, risk analysis, computer networks, legal issues and ethical hacking. Students could also take a variety of management courses geared to security for different types of networks and devices. Wireless, mobile, and cloud security are some examples.
Some online Master of Science in Computer Science programs could offer a concentration in computer systems security. This type of program could provide technical depth in computer science through core courses. These topics could cover computer networking, database systems and system engineering. Other courses, such as digital forensics, security management and software information assurance explore the focus in computer systems security. Through them, students might acquire the skills to develop a security policy, implement a plan, and design preventive security measures.
What it means to work towards your Master in Cyber Security online could vary between universities. Most, if not all, the courses could be offered through a web-based format, determined by each school. In other universities, there could be both online faculty-directed study and a brief campus residency. The residency might take place early on to give students a chance to interact and collaborate with faculty and peers. For instance, you might take part in hands on team or individual lab work. In other programs, student might develop some technical skills through a virtual laboratory environment. Contact programs directly to learn more about their online resources and requirements.
Many regionally or nationally accredited traditional and online universities offer online Masters in Cybersecurity programs. Some of these schools may also be designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense (CAE IA/CD). If you hope to pursue industry-specific certifications post-degree, you might wish to inform yourself more about program accreditation.
Each university has unique courses, faculty, and online Masters in Cybersecurity program emphases. Whatever you choose to study, the potential to work from anywhere might connect you to schools close or far. Easily compare the programs in this directory and follow the links to learn more. We provide an on-page form so you can conveniently take the next step and contact schools directly.
[i] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm | [ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1122.00