Cybersecurity specialists use complex systems to discover technical security concerns. Individual security on a personal device or national security on big, mission-critical networks may be among their responsibilities.
With the current surge in demand for competent cybersecurity professionals, a master’s degree in cybersecurity has become more valuable.
Jobs in information security analysts are expected to expand rapidly and significantly in the future years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) and the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) identified a persistent and increasing cybersecurity skills shortage in their 2020 project.
Because the business needs trained and competent individuals, now is a perfect moment to pursue a cybersecurity master’s degree.
People enroll in an online master’s in cybersecurity for a variety of reasons, including career development, higher income, more alternatives, specialized research, and changing professions.
A master’s degree is a terrific way to stay competitive in this fast-paced sector, learn the newest technologies and techniques, and develop a good professional network.
The good news is that students seeking flexibility while studying can choose from various online cybersecurity degree programs.
In the end, students who complete online cybersecurity programs get the same degree as their colleagues on campus. And cybersecurity online master’s degree holders are expected to remain in high demand for the foreseeable future.
One thing is certain: with the variety of graduate education options in cybersecurity, there is bound to be a program that is a suitable fit for your career objectives, professional and academic background, and degree of dedication.
Would you please continue reading to find out how to get an online master’s in cybersecurity and see our list of affordable, recognized names? If “yes,” then let’s dive deeper, shall we?
But before that, we need to know-
What is Master’s in Cybersecurity?
Master’s degrees in cybersecurity focus on the systems and technologies utilized in cyber defense and operations.
This is distinct from information security and information technology (IT), which both focus on techniques for safeguarding computers, networks, and other technology against attack or misuse.
However, because these disciplines overlap in many ways, several cybersecurity schools offer specializations in IT and other closely related professions.
Cybersecurity master’s programs provide coursework on specific subjects like applied cryptology to equip students for more advanced employment in the industry.
The length of these programs varies based on the credit requirements. In most cases, students may complete a master’s degree in cybersecurity in 1-3 years.
Course and credit requirements vary widely across master’s in cybersecurity programs, but most need 30-45 credits. Students must fulfill core prerequisites before enrolling in courses related to their specialization or concentration.
Many schools provide discounted or flat-rate tuition to online students, and some students may be able to save money by finishing their degrees faster.
Why get an online Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity? Is it worth it?
Students are increasingly turning to online choices to complete their degrees. Earning a degree online gives students a lot of flexibility, especially if they have personal or professional obligations that make attending traditional on-campus programs difficult.
Online programs often allow students the option to complete all work asynchronously and move through course requirements at their own pace.
Getting a master’s degree in cybersecurity online comes with additional benefits which are unique and deep technological expertise required to cater to this industry.
Students, for example, can practice cybersecurity skills on their own computers and gadgets.
Students who are currently working in the industry may discover that taking an online master’s in cybersecurity can help them advance and prepare to take on greater responsibilities.
An online master’s degree in cybersecurity is intended to give the same curriculum as a traditional master’s degree in cybersecurity. The primary distinction is that instead of in-person classes, the course information is delivered online.
A cybersecurity master’s online degree offers greater freedom than a traditional master’s degree.
Students can choose to attend courses full-time or part-time and synchronous or asynchronous sessions, allowing them to fit them into their schedules. Furthermore, online education allows students to learn from any location.
A master’s degree in cybersecurity may be required for advancement and comes with a considerable income increase.
According to PayScale, an MS in cybersecurity pays $87,282 on average, compared to $71,039 for a BS in cybersecurity. In less than a year, the $16,269 difference in average earnings can cover the cost of the cheapest online master’s degrees.
Prospective when considering if online learning is right for them, online learners should think about their lifestyle.
Distance learners must have excellent time management and organizational abilities. In addition to their other responsibilities, they must devote a specific number of hours each week to coursework and studying.
The average income for a master’s degree in cybersecurity is more than $16,050 more than the average for a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity.
This is higher than the cost of several of the cheapest online master’s degrees in cybersecurity. A graduate degree might also open up new job avenues and prospects.
An online master’s degree in cybersecurity, like any other degree program, has specific admittance criteria. The following are some of the most frequent requirements:
Bachelor’s degree: A bachelor’s degree is required to enter many online cybersecurity master’s degree programs. In rare circumstances, a candidate may be able to meet these criteria by demonstrating years of relevant job experience.
Prerequisites: Coursework or job experience in specific disciplines is sometimes required as a requirement for cybersecurity master’s degree programmes. Computer systems, networking, and programming are examples of frequent requirements.
Recommendations: As part of the admissions process, many master’s degree programs require two or three letters of recommendation. Professors or colleagues who are familiar with the applicant’s work can provide these.
Different institutions may have additional criteria for admission to an online master’s degree program in addition to these fundamental requirements.
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test are required for some programs (GMAT).
As part of the admissions process, applicants may be asked to submit a résumé or CV, write an essay, or participate in interviews.
Examine the admissions procedure of possible online master’s programs while making your decision.
The admissions standards and acceptance rate might provide information about the master’s program’s quality and how well the online degree will be regarded.
Online Master’s in Cybersecurity: Coursework (The Learning Curve)
Online master’s degrees are meant to replicate the experience of traditional master’s degrees. As a result, these programs are likely to cover the same basic ideas, such as:
- An overview of cybersecurity
- Network safety
- Security on the computer
- The law and ethics of cybersecurity
Students will have the option of taking electives or pursuing a specialty in addition to the main program. The following are a few examples:
- Forensics of digital data
- Cybercrime is on the rise- a deeper dive
- Critical infrastructure overview
- Analysis of Malware
- Response to an incident
- Testing for penetration
A cybersecurity master’s program should also include laboratories, internships, and capstone projects that allow students to acquire hands-on experience working in the field.
Students can meet professionals in the sector and explore prospective possibilities and employment prospects after graduation through these and other career-building and networking activities.
Curriculum for Online Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity
Wireless security, forensic computing, cryptography, virus and software security, cloud computing, blockchain technology, penetration testing, cybersecurity policy and ethics, and security engineering may all be covered in an online master’s degree in cybersecurity program.
We’ll look at some of these issues and how they could be covered in your online master’s degree in cybersecurity degree courses in the sections below-
Cryptography: Authentication protocols, hash functions, cryptanalysis, random numbers, steganography, and digital signatures are all examples of cryptography.
Cloud Computing: Learn about popular cloud computing models, cloud platform features, typical development methodologies, and more while learning about the technologies that allow cloud computing.
Algorithm Design & Analysis: Develop and nurture skills for splitting and conquering algorithms in Algorithm Design and Analysis. Create social network and optimization algorithms that can be used in the actual world.
NP-completeness, greedy and graph algorithms and sophisticated data structures are all options.
Information Ethics and Policy: Learn about data and computer policies and ethics. This section of an online master’s in cybersecurity program can focus on information policies for different businesses and what sort of social responsibility corporations have when it comes to cyber security.
Security Engineering: Examine the fundamentals of security engineering, such as security protocols, access control, and interface issues.
What can you do with an online Master’s degree in Cybersecurity?
An online master’s degree in cybersecurity provides a solid foundation in the field as well as electives that allow students to explore numerous cybersecurity specialties.
Through lab exercises, internships, and capstone projects, also give hands-on experience. An MS in cybersecurity provides students with the knowledge and certifications they need to pursue a range of cybersecurity careers.
Online Master’s in Cybersecurity: Cost Considerations
The cost of an online degree may differ from the cost of an on-campus degree. The cost of the degree program and the availability of scholarships and other forms of financial help are two significant factors to consider.
For a variety of reasons, online degrees are typically less expensive than on-campus degrees:
Courses in an online degree might contain pre-recorded lectures mixed with virtual Q&A sessions and office hours, unlike on-campus programs. Because courses can be larger or more numerous, this can lower the cost per credit.
Infrastructure: Compared to in-person courses, online courses require less infrastructure (classrooms, dormitories, etc.). This means that a college’s overhead for online courses is lower, lowering the cost.
Housing: When enrolling in an on-campus degree program, it is required to reside near the institution that is delivering the degree. This necessitates either paying on-campus housing and board or renting close.
There is no need to relocate or pay rent to be closer to a certain school if you have an online degree.
Students can also take advantage of regional arbitrage, which allows them to reside in one place while attending a more competitive or less costly institution in another.
The majority of online graduate programs need 27 to 45 credit hours. This is equivalent to one to two years of full-time education.
However, because online degrees are frequently meant to be completed part-time, the length of time it takes to complete one is determined by the student’s course load.
While online Master’s degrees are frequently less expensive than on-campus programs, they are nonetheless costly. However, there are a few solutions available to aid with tuition costs.
Government organizations provide various cybersecurity master’s scholarships, demonstrating the demand for well-qualified workers in both the public and commercial sectors.
Below given are a few examples of cybersecurity master’s scholarship opportunities:
Graduate Research Fellowship Program of the National Science Foundation. This is a fantastic financing opportunity as well as a fantastic resume-building opportunity. Both master’s and doctorate students are eligible for the scholarship.
The Navy’s Information Assurance Scholarship is accessible to both military members and civilians pursuing bachelor’s through doctorate degrees (although civilians are required to work for the Navy in a non-uniformed role upon graduation).
The Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program is offered by the Department of Defense.
This program is available to students from bachelor’s to doctorate level, and cybersecurity is a key component.
The government isn’t the only place where you may get money for graduate education. Additional sources of possible tuition help include the following:
Corporate sponsorship: Many businesses are concerned about the cybersecurity skills gap. As a result, a company may be prepared to offer tuition help or complete reimbursement to employees seeking a cybersecurity degree.
Private scholarships: In addition to federal scholarships, private scholarships are available. Scholarships are available from several corporations and professional organizations for students seeking degrees in specific disciplines.
Research realm possibilities: Research assistantships are a frequent source of financing for on-campus Master’s degree programs, and they may be available to online students as well.
Graduate research in cybersecurity can be done off-site without the need for a dedicated lab.
Prize money: Every year, a variety of cybersecurity capture the flag (CTF) tournaments take place. Some of them include scholarships or other financial awards that may be used to assist pay for an online cybersecurity Master’s degree.
Is an Online Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity worth it?
The average income for a master’s degree in cybersecurity is more than $16,000 more than the average for a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity.
This is higher than the cost of several of the most affordable online master’s degrees in cybersecurity. A graduate degree might also open up new job avenues and prospects.
Career paths available to you with a online Master’s degree in Cybersecurity
With an estimated 3.12 million vacant positions worldwide, the cybersecurity sector is suffering a major skills shortage. The need for cybersecurity specialists is projected to continue to rise, opening up a plethora of possibilities for skilled individuals.
A cybersecurity online master’s degree’s main curriculum is meant to provide students a thorough understanding of cybersecurity.
This prepares a student for a career as a security operations center (SOC) analyst, which is a job that involves identifying and resolving risks to a company.
Cybersecurity master’s degrees, on the other hand, include electives and specialty options. By taking advantage of these possibilities, a student can build the basis for more specialized positions like cloud security architect, forensic analyst, and so on.
While Cybersecurity experts are in high demand in general, these specific skills maybe even more so. During a master’s degree, you can study specialties and earn these abilities, which opens up a range of job opportunities.
Do you end up with too much Maths with an Online Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity?
Well, truth be told- “No”.
Cybersecurity isn’t often a math-heavy subject, and master’s in cybersecurity programs reflect this.
A student pursuing an MS in cybersecurity should be able to program (which necessitates some mathematical understanding), but advanced mathematics is not necessary.
Job Availability for Online Master’s Degree holders
Fortunately, the field of cybersecurity is rapidly expanding. According to some estimates, the number of cybersecurity job vacancies far outnumbers the number of competent experts, resulting in a serious labor shortage.
In a poll of cybersecurity experts conducted by ESG and ISSA for a 2020 report, 48 percent said the cybersecurity skills gap had not improved in recent years, while 45 percent thought it had worsened.
In their job hunt, prospective cybersecurity experts may take advantage of the skills shortage.
Cybersecurity jobs can offer extremely competitive pay. As of May 2019, the typical salary for information security analysts was $99,730.
Earning advanced degrees and certifications may increase earning potential. Growth projections for most cybersecurity careers remain positive.
Choosing the Right Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Program: A Comprehensive Guide!
An online master’s degree in cyber security can help you obtain the skills and information you need to work in the industry.
Depending on the curriculum, you can expect to complete your degree in two years.
There are a variety of cyber security graduate programs available, with part-time or full-time options, in-person or online sessions, and live or self-paced classes that you may attend whenever it is convenient for you.
Review some typical procedures that may help you pick the best school for you before committing to a specific program-
Consider your long-term professional objectives. Some master’s degree programs may concentrate on tactical aspects of cyber security, such as security threat assessment and incident response, as well as cyber policy and law courses.
If you’re especially interested in cyber law, look for a school that offers a variety of courses in this field. Think about where you want to go and whether the program will help you reach your future professional goals.
Know the difference between a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in cyber security. A bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity provides students with a solid foundation in the industry.
Students with a master’s degree may be able to specialize in order to obtain more in-depth information and practical skills. It may also count toward resume experience, improving one’s chances of landing a job.
Compare and contrast curriculums. The curriculum of online master’s in cyber security programs varies.
Some programs, for example, may include several study tracks in areas such as information security, information systems, and physical systems. You can select a specific education path based on your professional objectives.
An essential component of a program’s curriculum to examine is the presence of experienced faculty members. Examine several program curricula to determine which ones match your interests.
Inquire about student assistance. Check to see if your online master’s in cyber security program provides student support in the form of professional development and job placement assistance, networking opportunities, or financial aid to help pay for your education.
You might also want to inquire about how you might get support outside of class. Asynchronous (on your own time) and synchronous (real-time) applications may differ in this regard.
Keep certification in mind. Accreditation guarantees that a program meets the requirements set out by accrediting organizations. Accredited programs are also eligible for federal grants and loans.
There are two kinds of accreditation: regional and national. Credits earned in a regionally approved program may usually be transferred to a nationally accredited school, but not the other way around.
Check to see what kind of accreditation each online master’s in cybersecurity program provides.
Students who have other time obligations, such as work or a family, might benefit from a cyber security master’s degree online. An online master’s in cyber security may be a suitable option for you if you want this type of freedom.
Online programs may have the same advantages as their on-campus equivalents, such as being taught by on-campus instructors, having the same curriculum, and allowing you to complete cyber security projects (possibly group projects).
List of Colleges Which Offer Online Masters in cybersecurity
Some cyber security online courses provide pre-recorded lessons, while others include live seminars or group assignments. Hands-on learning projects may be available as part of some programs.
Admissions requirements for cyber security online programs vary per institution and may include a minimum GPA and work experience requirement.
Learn more about what to anticipate from an online master’s in cyber security program’s curriculum, faculty, and admissions criteria in the sections below.
With concerns like data breaches and dangerous malware, cyber security is a worry for both organizations and consumers.
Cybersecurity is a talent in high demand: the employment sector of information security analysts is expected to expand by 31% by 2029, which is significantly faster than the national average, according to the BLS.
Cybersecurity experts safeguard customer information while ensuring business continuity for organizations that may face setbacks as a result of security risks.
Consider your personal goals, the duration of the program, the timetable (part-time or full-time), and whether sessions can be attended in person or remotely while looking for the finest online master’s cyber security program for you.
You should also evaluate if a self-paced format or live lectures will best fit your learning style. You may also look at colleges that offer an online masters in cyber security with no GRE required.