Master’s in Internet Security Career Guide
What Can I Expect from an Online Master’s in Internet Security Program?
Choosing to enroll for an online master’s in internet security
program doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the quality of your
education. Online programs will leave you with the same level of
knowledge that you would find in a traditional, on-campus program but
with more flexible scheduling and attendance policies. This lets you
pursue your education even if you need to work a full-time job or have
other daily or weekly obligations. Before deciding on an online program
for your master’s in internet security, take the time to look at several
schools to ensure you choose the program that best helps you meet your
Concentrations Offered for an Online Master’s in Internet Security
|CONCENTRATION||DESCRIPTION||POSSIBLE CAREERS THIS CONCENTRATION PREPARES FOR|
|Network Security||Provides students with the training to identify and resolve vulnerabilities in a network.||Network security engineer or network security administrator in an corporate environment|
|Systems||Examine security design and protecting operating systems.||Security engineer or cryptographer in an office setting|
|Analysis||Learn how to identify hacking, digital forensics techniques and cryptology.||Intelligence analyst for private corporations or government agencies|
How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Master’s Degree in Internet Security?
Most online internet security graduate programs are designed to be
completed in 2 years with a standard full-time course load. Those who
choose complete the required 30-36 credit hours on a part-time basis
will take longer and may be subject to a time limit, often 5 years, to
maintain eligibility for their degree. Accelerated programs are offered
by some schools, giving students the opportunity to cut their completion
time down to 12-18 months.
To further influence the amount of time it takes to complete an
online master’s in internet security program, find out if the schools
you are considering offer an individually paced structure or a cohort
structure. An individually paced learning program allows the student to
move through courses at a speed that matches their comprehension and
efforts, but a cohort structure requires classes to advance together,
encouraging cooperation and fostering networking opportunities.
Certifications and Licenses an Online Master’s in Internet Security Prepares For
|CompTIA Security+ Certification||Completing an online master’s in internet security program prepares students to pass the CompTIA Security+ Certification exam. This global certification signifies competence in identifying and finding solutions for network security breaches. Those who are certified are educated on the latest relevant security techniques and skills, such as risk management, risk mitigation and intrusion detection.|
|Certified Ethical Hacker||An internet security graduate degree lays the foundation needed to obtain the CEH certification. This is given to individuals who demonstrate the ability to meet or exceed the ethical standards, set by the EC-Council, to use their hacking skills to identify potential weaknesses that can be exploited in their clients’ systems.|
|Analysis||A master’s in internet security includes the training needed to pass the Microsoft MCSE certification exam, showcasing your ability to reduce data loss, increase the flexibility and productivity of users and improve an organization’s data security.|
Accreditation for Online Master’s in Internet Security Degrees
Accreditation from a respected organization is an important factor to
consider when choosing a distance learning school for your master’s in
internet security degree. To receive accreditation, a program must meet
or exceed the educational standards and high-quality curriculum
necessary to promote success within the industry. Should you choose a
school without accreditation, you risk earning credits that are
unrecognized by other educational institutions if you wish to further
your education or being disqualified from some licenses and
If you find a program that is accredited, the agency the accreditation comes from is also important. The U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation
recognize programs that meet general national and regional standards.
If you wish to pursue a post-graduate education, regional accreditation
like the Higher Learning Commission, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
for example, may be more beneficial to increase the likelihood that
your graduate degree is recognized by other regional schools.
Employment Outlook for Master’s in Internet Security Graduates
Job Placement: Master’s v. Bachelor’s
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, projected job growth for
IT security analysts is estimated to be 28 percent by the year 2026.
This is four times the average projected growth for all careers and
shows that qualified professionals in this industry are in high demand.
It would be easy to think completing a bachelor’s degree would be enough
to be successful, but the industry considers this the bare minimum to
just get your foot in the door.
In truth, most employers strongly prefer, if not require, job-seeking
candidates to have a graduate degree. Because the field is so
technical, obtaining your master’s degree gives you an additional few
years of training in more specialized classes. When it comes to security
matters, additional experience is always beneficial, so spending the
time and money to complete an online master’s in internet security
program opens doors to jobs that require it and makes you stand out for
jobs that don’t.
Salary potential is also strongly impacted by the completion of an
online master’s in internet security program. Most jobs in IT pay well,
but cybersecurity is especially critical due to the increase in security
breaches around the world. This means the value of a skilled and
knowledgeable IT security analyst is relatively high to businesses and
government agencies. The chart below gives you an idea of the salary
range you can expect working in internet security.
|Job Title||Salary Range|
|Information Security Analyst||$50,192-$104,309|
|Information Security Manager||$75,456-$145,713|
|Information Security Engineer||$63,195-$128,434|
|Security Consultant, IT||$54,433-$132,493|
|Information Assurance Engineer||$60,285-$124-617|
|Security Architect, IT||$82,577-$154,559|
Security positions often depend on the analyst’s experience to determine effectiveness. More experience allows analysts to identify potential security concerns faster and lets them draw on their additional knowledge to come up with better solutions. Completing a master’s program in internet security gives you an extra two years of experience and more specialized training that will improve your skills as an analyst. This additional knowledge will also reflect in your salary potential, which is directly related to years of experience in the industry. The chart below shows how the salaries for internet security positions grow over time.
Depending on the concentration you choose for your online master’s in
internet security program, there are a number of career paths you could
take. The advanced skills that come with completing your graduate
degree open the door to lucrative positions that offer better benefits
and more job security.
|JOB TITLE||JOB DESCRIPTION||MEDIAN SALARY||PROJECTED GROWTH RATE|
|Information Security Analysts||Information security analysts design and implement security measures to protect the networks and systems of a business or organization. This includes identifying security breaches and assessing any damage caused, testing the system for potential weakness to attack and developing company-wide security protocol.||$95,510 per year||28%|
|Network Security Architects||Network security architects are responsible for designing and building an organization’s network so that it meets the company’s needs with possible security risks in mind. This process includes testing the network for potential weaknesses throughout its development and after it is complete and addressing new weaknesses as they are found.||$104,650 per year||6%|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrators||A network and computer systems administrator is responsible for the daily operations of a network. This can include the implementation of new software, training users in the use of network hardware and software, monitoring the efficiency and performance of the network and working to maintain and improve network security.||$81,100 per year||6%|
|Database Administrator||Database administrators are responsible for the data collected and stored for businesses and organizations. Their function is to use specialized software that organizes and stores the data collected and then allow authorized users access to it while maintaining the integrity of database security.||$87,020 per year||11%|
|Security Software Developer||As a security software developer, responsibilities include conceptualizing, designing and developing desktop, mobile and network security software so programmers can write the code. They then test the software for issues and develop solutions to those problems so it is ready for consumers.||$103,560 per year||24%|
The world of IT evolves rapidly, especially when it comes to internet
security, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in
the industry. Professional organizations are a great way to do this and
can also encourage collaboration between colleagues and offer additional
education opportunities. Here are a few organizations that can benefit
anyone with a graduate degree in internet security.
This organization was created for IT professionals and dedicates itself
to advocating for causes that impact the IT world. Members have access
to a wealth of resources and educational opportunities along with career
tools to help professionals grow.
International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2:
The (ISC)2 offers a range of certification options to its members and
maintains an events calendar that provides in-person networking
opportunities across the globe. The organization provides members access
to multiple industry publications and offers training opportunities and
professional development tools.
The SANS Institute:
The SANS Institute is considered one of the largest and most trusted
organizations in the world for security training and certification. Home
to the Internet Storm Center, the early warning system for the
internet, the organization provides professionals access to a massive
database of publications, research and programs related to internet
Financing Your Online Master’s in Internet Security
Online master’s degree programs are often less costly than on-campus
classes, but you may still find yourself in need of some financial help.
After filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
to find out if you qualify for federally funded grants and loans,
private loans and scholarships are also an option to help you cover the
tuition for your online master’s in internet security program. The
resources below can help you get started if you need to seek out
|Financial Aid for Graduate Students|
|Knowing Your Options|
|Financial Aid Options for Theology Degrees|
|Cybersecurity Scholarship Information|
Deadline: June 15
Eligibility: Full-time graduate students pursuing an information assurance or cybersecurity degree at an accredited U.S. institution with at least a 3.0 GPA and three letters of recommendation.
Deadline: October 31
Eligibility: Students pursuing a graduate degree in cybersecurity or related majors with no restrictions, who have at least a 3.0 GPA and have completed 2 years of courses.
Deadline: April 3
Eligibility: Enrolled in a graduate cybersecurity degree program or something similar and have a high school diploma or equivalent.
Deadline: July 31 and November 30
Eligibility: Full-time female undergraduate or graduate student pursuing a cybersecurity degree at a U.S. institution with at least a 3.0 GPA.