As organizations continue to struggle with maintaining and tracking their internet footprint, the need for well-trained cybersecurity leaders is expected to increase. An Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Management helps students prepare for leadership roles protecting and directing critical information infrastructures. Graduate students interested in a degree like this understand how this degree has been designed to advance their skills in a thriving industry. It is common knowledge that as we become a more technologically based society every day, that employment of information and computer systems managers is projected to increase throughout the nation and world.
Schools currently offering this degree will often provide tangible leadership experience through teaching labs that simulate real-world, on-the-job scenarios. A 100% online format means that a program candidate will never have to visit a university or college campus from the application process through to the graduation ceremony. Online students have the chance to meet the ongoing demands of their careers and apply concepts learned in the virtual classroom to their professional environments.
Students enrolled in an Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Management program study effective ways to develop, execute, evaluate, and refresh the security practices and policies that help organizations recognize and overcome cyberattacks. Working professionals with an undergraduate degree from an accredited university or college who possess an in-depth understanding of the internet and wireless applications, computer-based systems, and networking technology, and have excellent mathematical and communication skills, are well on their way to pursuing a degree in cybersecurity management.
Some positions currently needing to be filled in this sector of business management include Computer and Information Systems Managers, Information Security Analysts, and Database Administrators. Computer and Information Systems Managers plan and coordinate actions in electronic data processing, computer programming, information systems and systems analysis, and computer programming. Information Security Analysts implement and upgrade security measures for the protection of computer information and networks. They also ensure appropriate security measures are in place. Database Administrators implement computer databases and apply knowledge of database management systems.
Now is a great time to consider pursuing a degree like the Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Management. To make your research a little easier, we have compiled the best 25 programs across the nation in this exciting field.
To find the best Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Management programs, colleges offering distance-based master’s degrees in cybersecurity, information security, computing security, and IT security were examined. These programs were ranked upon their reputation, convenience, and affordability.
To calculate each program’s reputation, data was combined from US News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and each school’s College Consensus Score. The information on each school was averaged and placed on a 100-point scale. The Reputation Score is 33% of the final ranking score.
To calculate the convenience of each master’s program, two criteria were examined: whether the degree can be completed in a 100% online format, and whether the GMAT/GRE test score requirement is waived or omitted in application. This Convenience Score is 33% of the final ranking score.
To compare the affordability of each degree, the base tuition was calculated. All tuition information was taken directly from each college’s website. The tuition is inverted and placed on a 100-point scale. The Affordability Score is 33% of the final ranking score.
Indiana UniversityLuddy School, the IU Kelley School of Business, and the IU Maurer School of LawBloomington, IN
The Luddy, the IU Kelley School of Business, and the IU Maurer School of Law at Indiana University offer an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity Risk Management. Information technology infrastructure in city governments, hospitals, voter registration systems, libraries, and other types of organizations is continuously under attack. Basic cybersecurity literacy is at an all-time high in vitality for business leaders. Over 50% of employers admit they don’t have a large enough cybersecurity staff. At Indiana University, a distance learner can train to become part of cybersecurity professionals’ next generation. The University’s innovative Master of Science in Cybersecurity Risk Management degree is the first in the United States to bring together three top-ranked academic schools to offer law, technology, and business viewpoints on cybersecurity. Graduate students can earn their degrees entirely online or choose to take some courses at the Indiana University Bloomington campus. The tuition rate for this stellar 30-credit hour degree sits at just over $20,000.
James Madison UniversityCollege of Integrated Science and EngineeringHarrisonburg, VA
James Madison University offers an online Master of Science in Information Security at the College of Integrated Science and Engineering. The 33-credit hour program provides distance learners excellent features for continued education in business and technology. The knowledgeable faculty at the College of Integrated Science and Engineering is stocked with experts in the field of cybersecurity. This program’s curriculum is known as being rigorous and applicable to modern-day technical business leadership. The 100% Internet-based format makes the program a perfect fit for working professionals. Graduate students will have the flexibility to learn from and interact with expert instructors. All distance learners also enjoy the chance to complete assignments and interact with the faculty from the convenience of their homes or offices. Information Security is presented in every course as it relates to the program’s subject matter. Core courses within the cohort-led program include Advanced Network Security, Secure Operations, Ethics, Law, and Policy in Cyberspace, and Operating Systems.
Champlain CollegeOnline DivisionBurlington, VT
The Online Division at Champlain College provides an online Master of Science in Information Security. Champlain’s instructors are committed to helping students take their cybersecurity expertise to the next level with an advanced online information security program designed for professionals within day-to-day network and system operations at medium-to-large sized organizations. This unique 30-credit hour degree focuses on hands-on application and real-world education. The program’s curriculum was developed in response to the demand for a new kind of cybersecurity expert, one who is adept in both the tactical and strategic aspects of information security. Champlain’s 100% online Master of Science in Information Security goes beyond the traditional cybersecurity program to help students foster strategic thinking in the prevention of and response to cyber-attacks. Distance learners can also expect to examine incidents and responses systematically and contextually. A tuition rate of well below $30,000 accompanies this program. Graduate students looking for a flexible degree in cybersecurity will not want to skip this program.
University of North DakotaSchool of Electrical Engineering and Computer ScienceGrand Forks, ND
An online Master of Science in Cyber Security is available at the University of North Dakota’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. UND allows incoming students to transfer qualifying credits from other universities. Distance learners working at an accelerated pace through courses can expect to complete all program requirements in as few as 20 months. The School features three start dates each year, so students have convenient access times. Program candidates are not required to submit GMAT or GRE scores during the application process and are not required to have previous work experience. The four specialization options that go along with this 100% online degree include Autonomous Systems Cyber Security, General Cyber Security, Cyber Security and Behavior, and Data Security. Required courses within the program include Advanced Software Engineering, Applied Cryptography, Foundations of Cyber Security, Emerging Threats and Defenses, and Communication Protocols: OSI model and TCP/IP Protocol Stack.
Quinnipiac UniversitySchool of EngineeringHamden, CT
The School of Engineering at Quinnipiac University provides an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity. University leaders understand that cybercrime is one of the most significant issues faced by individuals and businesses in the modern era. The 100% online MS in Cybersecurity program from the Quinnipiac School of Engineering will train distance learners to defend against such threats. This stellar distance degree from Quinnipiac features the professional skills vital to securing a prestigious position in the cybersecurity field, safeguarding our personal, corporate, and financial data against these attacks. The 30-credit hour program was developed in alignment with the critical knowledge units of the NSA and Department of Homeland Security to establish a more cyber-secure reality and is continuously updated to stay current with developing threats. Graduate students can expect to be equipped with hands-on training and develop the technical skills needed to detect, prevent, and counter sophisticated cyber-attacks. The tuition rate for the program sits below $30,000 and offers a lot of bang for the academic buck.
University of DallasSatish & Yasmin Gupta College of BusinessIrving, TX
An online Master of Science in Cybersecurity is currently available at the Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Program architects have designed this remarkable 10-course program to give graduate students a real-world cybersecurity education delivered by experienced industry professionals. The 100% online cybersecurity master’s program deals with the critical issues facing organizations today. Topics explored throughout the program include data protection, legal and compliance, digital forensics, operational and strategic cybersecurity management, and penetration testing. Most students of the program complete all requirements within one to two years. Students have the convenience of choosing in-class coursework or can take all classes through online distance learning. The tuition rate advertised by the University of Dallas is well below $40,000. Courses within the program include Data Analysis for Decision Making, The Effective Leader, Network Security, Operational Cybersecurity Management, Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessment, Compliance and Legal Issues, and Data Protection.
Brandeis UniversityRabb School of Continuing StudiesWaltham, MA
An online Master of Science in Information Security Leadership is provided by the Rabb School of Continuing Studies at Brandeis University. The Rabb School realizes that the information security business is high stakes and continually evolving. There is an incredible responsibility to protect information within the ever-changing landscape of cybersecurity risk. Leaders know that an event could be catastrophic to careers, companies, and customers. The 100% online Brandeis MS in Information Security Leadership equips distance learners with the confidence of a top-tier master’s program to lead the way through any cybersecurity challenge while influencing decisions for risk prevention. Graduate students enrolled in the program can expect to arm their leadership savvy and skill by leveraging technical know-how as they learn alongside cybersecurity managers from many industries. With small seminar-style classes housing no more than 12 students, a distance learner’s exposure to cybersecurity threats of all types will be significantly enlarged.
Rochester Institute of TechnologyGolisano College of Computing and Information SciencesRochester, NY
An online Master of Science in Computing Security is offered at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. Program designers have constructed a degree that builds knowledge into the many aspects of computing security concepts and practices from the unique perspective of systems administration, software engineering, policy and risk management, computer science, mobile computing, and computer networking. This innovative 30-credit hour degree is designed to equip students to understand the theoretical concepts of computing security. They will be encouraged to join a team of professionals that solves the challenges of protecting secure computing environments while becoming leaders within their organizations who can implement computing security and information assurance practices and policies. As the program requires no GMAT score to qualify for admission, it also prepares students for additional academic study and fruitful careers in either research or academia. The National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security have designated Rochester Institute of Technology as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Education and Research.
University of San DiegoSchool of Professional and Continuing EducationSan Diego, CA
The School of Professional and Continuing Education at the University of San Diego provides an online Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership. This amazing program allows graduate students interested in a technical career in business leadership the chance to mitigate cybersecurity threats while becoming a leader in an organization. The 100% online MS-CSOL degree is the perfect fit for undergraduate-prepared students who are currently holding positions in a wide range of cybersecurity roles, as well as those wanting to pursue a career in cybersecurity. Technical professionals with experience in computer science, information technology, and information systems will also thrive in this 30-credit hour program. Distance learners with cybersecurity or technology industry experience, as well as those who work in law enforcement, private business sectors, military, and the government will also want to look into this exemplary degree that features no GMAT requirement during the application process. At attractive tuition rate of less than $40,000 is linked to the program.
University of Maryland, College ParkA. James Clark School of EngineeringCollege Park, MD
The University of Maryland, College Park, provides an online Master of Engineering in Cybersecurity at the A. James Clark School of Engineering. School leadership understands that industry, government, and consumers depend daily on secure networks and information systems for transactions, communications, and more. High vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks lead to critical disruptions in telecommunications, transportation, banking, utilities, and data storage. Addressing today’s growing cybersecurity threats requires well-educated and trained engineers who can lead strategies to protect critical infrastructure. The University of Maryland, College Park’s 100% online program is designed to advance a graduate student’s career or transition her into this high-demand field. Maryland’s exemplary distance degree is the brainchild of the Maryland Cybersecurity Center, Department of Computer Science, and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The 30-credit hour program merges computer science principles with engineering applications. A tuition rate of between $35,000 and $40,000 is associated with this degree.
New Jersey Institute of TechnologyYing Wu College of ComputingNewark, NJ
The Ying Wu College of Computing at New Jersey Institute of Technology provides an online Master of Science in IT Administration and Security. Consisting of 30-33 credit hours, this exemplary degree takes a balanced approach to hardware and software applications and their coinciding conceptual underpinnings. Distance learners can expect an excellent choice of specializations that prepare them to assume leadership roles as IT administration managers, web services administrators, enterprise application administrators, and database administrators. Graduates of the online MS IT Administration & Security program will have a grasp on a wide range of management and leadership skills including network systems design, network services administration, wireless networks security and administration, database management and administration and management, auditing for computer security and information systems, and internet and higher-layer protocols. The advertised tuition rate for this program is less than $40,000. There is no GMAT required during the acceptance process to the Ying Wu College of Computing.
Villanova UniversityCollege of EngineeringVillanova, PA
The College of Engineering at Villanova University currently features an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity. Graduate students with interests in systems, operations, and policy will find a concentration they can be challenged by. The 30-credit hour MS in Cybersecurity is 100% online and will prepare distance learners for success in the rapidly growing and ever-evolving field. Students who pursue an online engineering master’s degree at Villanova become part of a close-knit academic community. Professors and instructors make it a priority to remain available and engaged in their students’ academic success. The tuition rate of the degree is less than $45,000. The majority of students enrolled in the program are male, while nearly 75% of learners take courses as part-time students. The average age of students enrolled in the online Master of Science in Cybersecurity is 32, while the total number of students pursuing the degree is 42.
DePaul UniversityCollege of Computing and Digital MediaChicago, IL
The College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University provides an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity. DePaul instructors have designed this program for graduate students who wish to gain expertise in the security aspects within the Information Technology field. The 52-credit hour degree educates professionals for the wide-ranging and fast-growing cybersecurity and information security markets by offering foundations in information security theory with the knowledge needed to assess, implement, and evaluate secured IT infrastructure accurately. The tuition of this stellar degree from DePaul is between $40,000 and $45,000. Students enrolled in the program will never have to visit the school’s campus in Chicago as all courses are offered through distance learning. Three concentration options are available to students, including Networking and Infrastructure, Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance, and Computer Security. Foundation courses within the program include Computer Networks and Data Systems, Network Security, Governance Policies in Information Assurance, and Information Security Management.
Johns Hopkins UniversityWhiting School of EngineeringBaltimore, MD
An online Master of Science in Cybersecurity is currently available at the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Graduate students enrolled in the 100% online Cybersecurity program at Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals can expect to become proficient in developing risk management skills, ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability and integrity of data, and preserving and restoring systems. The Whiting School of Engineering features state-of-the-art facilities and tools that are accessible both on-site or online. Knowledgeable instructors working to fight cybersecurity issues on the front lines equip students with the skills they need for success. The continually evolving curriculum sets students up for lasting careers in the critical field of technology. Graduates of the 10-course program will be proficient in assessing enterprise security risk and forming technical recommendations in the sectors of both software and hardware. The tuition rate for the program is just over $55,000. Johns Hopkins does not require incoming students to report GMAT or GRE scores during the application process.
University of Massachusetts LowellGraduate, Online & Professional StudiesLowell, MA
The University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Graduate, Online & Professional Studies provides an online Master of Science in Security Studies, Cyber Security Concentration. Distance learners enrolled in this degree are sure to develop the abilities and knowledge they need to successfully identify and address the human, technology, and security weaknesses that make organizations of all types vulnerable to cyberattacks and data breaches. The Graduate, Online & Professional Studies 10-course master’s program offers a unique mix of graduate-level courses in two distinct disciplines: information technology and criminal justice. Through the core criminal justice curriculum, graduate students will study contemporary issues in security management, cyber-crime trends, intelligence policy and practice, and national security. The information technology electives encourage students to explore a broad array of network and computer security subjects like virtual systems management, digital forensics, secure mobile networks, and cloud computing. Cybersecurity continues to be a critical concern for many types of organizations, and this 30-credit hour program is a real asset for graduate students seeking a high quality and competitively priced degree.
University of Detroit MercyCollege of Liberal Arts and EducationDetroit, MI
The College of Liberal Arts and Education at the University of Detroit Mercy provides an online Master of Science in Information Assurance with a Major in Cybersecurity. The world of Cybersecurity ensures total protection against many forms of digital threat. Professionals working in cybersecurity management identify vulnerabilities and potential weaknesses in the organization’s operation before designing and deploying effective security responses to all threats. Cybersecurity professionals also design and maintain the necessary organizational oversight and accountability structure to ensure that cyber-technology components remain secure, and that data that is processed and transmitted remains available, confidential, and trustworthy. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency have recognized the University of Detroit Mercy as a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD) from 2016-2021. The University’s exemplary 30-credit hour program is priced at between $25,000 and $30,000 and features a 100% online format. The University of Detroit Mercy maintains a student body of just over 5,000 learners.
Florida Institute of TechnologyNathan M. Bisk College of BusinessMelbourne, FL
The Nathan M. Bisk College of Business at Florida Institute of Technology provides an online Master of Science in Information Technology with a Specialization in Cybersecurity. FIT also features a Master’s in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity in the College of Engineering and Science. These degrees provide distance learners with foundational business applications that today’s leaders need to know. The curriculum also includes specialized training in information security management, communications, project management for IT, secure networks, and host-based security. Graduate students will explore complex security subjects like security models, access control, systems security, risk management, incident response, virtualization, and intellectual property. The 100% online MSIT in Cybersecurity program teaches critical-thinking strategies that help professionals make informed decisions relating to attacks on computer infrastructures and networks. Graduate students will gain practical experience by employing tools and techniques, secure procedures, and development methodologies when identifying mitigation strategies and cybersecurity attacks. The degree features an attractive tuition rate of less than $20,000.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University WorldwideCollege of Arts & Sciences and College of BusinessDaytona Beach, FL
An online Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management and Policy is available at the College of Arts & Sciences and an online Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance is offered in the College of Business, all through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide. The 30-credit online degree is the perfect fit for professionals already working who need additional education to hone their skill set in this ever-expanding area of practice. Embry-Riddle’s Worldwide Campus has been designed to aid graduates in their quest to use the MS in Cybersecurity Management & Policy program to grasp Cybersecurity and its many ramifications across the organization. Both schools offering these degrees are focused on helping students improve their critical thinking, management, and leadership skills. The Embry-Riddle Cybersecurity Management & Policy curriculum is perpetually updated to reflect a rapidly evolving industry. The tuition rate of this degree from Embry-Riddle is just over $20,000.
Drexel UniversityCollege of Computing and Informatics and College of EngineeringPhiladelphia, PA
Drexel University’s College of Computing and Informatics and College of Engineering provides an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity. Cybersecurity concerns continue to develop for government organizations and private firms. Demand for versatile and competent cybersecurity professionals across industries continues to grow exponentially. Drexel’s online Master’s in Cybersecurity equips graduates with robust technical training to understand, configure, and develop new techniques that confront and solve emerging threats in Cybersecurity. The 45-credit hour program was formed by the University’s prestigious College of Computing and Informatics and College of Engineering for graduate students with backgrounds in telecommunications engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, and other closely related technical fields. Drexel University makes the list of nationally designated universities recognized for academic excellence by the National Security Agency (NSA). This program is structured into four 10-week quarters per year instead of the traditional two-semester system. The format means distance learners can take more courses in a shorter period.
Maryville UniversityJohn E. Simon School of BusinessSaint Louis, MO
The John E. Simon School of Business at Maryville University offers an online Master of Science in Cyber Security. Business school leaders at Maryville understand that expert-level cybersecurity professionals are needed now more than ever as private, and public sector budgets soar to keep cybercrimes controlled. As always, top dollar investment requires top talent, and now is an excellent time to capitalize on the global need for cybersecurity experts. The 100% online cybersecurity master’s will help graduate students reach areas of the industry an undergraduate degree typically can’t, such as the C-suite and management status. Distance learners will develop their technical abilities in burgeoning regions like mobile forensics and cloud security. Graduates of the degree can expect to round out their repertoire with business concepts that are vital to leadership roles. An accelerated course structure means that students can satisfy all course requirements and graduate with this 100% online MS in Cyber Security in just 12 months.
Nova Southeastern UniversityCollege of Computing and EngineeringFort Lauderdale, FL
Nova Southeastern University provides an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management at the College of Computing and Engineering. Program designers have constructed this degree as a 30 credit-hour program that is featured online and on-campus in South Florida. The online MS in Cybersecurity Management degree is the perfect fit for professionals interested in focusing on Security Policy Development and Compliance by attaining the necessary skills and abilities for developing organizational policies in information assurance and cyber defense. Degree components also include the analysis of operational systems that comply with applicable IA/CD-related laws and policies. Students interested in emphasizing Network Security Engineering to bolster the security of organizational assets from the technical perspective will also be interested in Nova Southeastern University’s MS in Information Assurance & Cybersecurity. The Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency has certified that this online 30-credit hour degree in information security meets or exceeds the standards and requirements expected of a leader in cybersecurity research and education.
Webster UniversityWalker School of Business and TechnologySaint Louis, MO
An online Master of Science in Cybersecurity is provided at Webster University’s Walker School of Business and Technology. As many would agree, a graduate-level education encourages the fostering of critical thinking skills, advanced knowledge, and theoretical understanding to demonstrate the art and science of cybersecurity management. Business school candidates entering the cybersecurity program should begin with a working knowledge of computer systems, digital networks, internet, and wireless applications. They must also possess sound mathematical skills, equivalent to high school algebra with some exposure to trigonometry, and written/oral communication skills. The 100% online Master of Science in Cybersecurity prepares students for demanding roles in public and private sectors operating, overseeing, and protecting critical computer systems, networks, information, infrastructures, and communications networks. Distance learners will be well-versed in applying their knowledge and critical thinking skills to domestic and international legal systems, ethics, and private and public policies. General studies within the program also include information protection from acts of terrorism, fraud, theft, intelligence/counterintelligence, strategic and pre-emptive force operation application scenarios.
Eastern Illinois UniversityLumpkin College of Business and TechnologyCharleston, IL
The Lumpkin College of Business and Technology at Eastern Illinois University provides an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity. Program designers have created a distance degree that equips the highly marketable graduate with the professional and technical skills they need to take leadership roles in applications of information security. Lumpkin’s hybrid online graduate program caters to working professionals. The majority of coursework is delivered online through distance learning. Two brief residencies are included in the program. They ensure that graduates develop the needed hands-on skills and develop a robust network of other future influencers in the field. The program’s curriculum includes 32-credit hours of coursework. Graduates of the degree can expect to become well-balanced leaders with a keen knowledge of design, technical, and administrative applications in Cybersecurity. A culminating residential capstone element was infused into the program as the degree focuses on practitioners. The tuition rate for the degree is less than $10,000, making this degree the most affordable within this ranking.
Lewis UniversityCollege of Aviation, Science, and TechnologyRomeoville, IL
The College of Aviation, Science, and Technology at Lewis University provides an online Master of Science in Information Security. Lewis University leadership understands that Information Security professionals are currently in high demand and that demand shows no signs of slowing. Professionals who are qualified to analyze, plan, and execute computer security strategies to safeguard data are an excellent asset to any organization. In recent years, cyber-attacks have become a security issue on the national level. The problems of securing the ever-growing value and quantity of online information continue to increase. The stakes for protecting such information have never been higher. The United States needs people who are skilled in data security. A vital component of a robust cyber defense is the skill to identify the sources of breaches after they occur to prevent a similar attack in the future. Systems of all types need educated leaders at the helm who understand current and future threats to their computer security and have the skills to counteract them. This 35-credit hour degree is priced at less than $30,000 in tuition.
Missouri State UniversityCollege of BusinessSpringfield, MO
An online Master of Science in Cybersecurity is available at the College of Business at Missouri State University. The business school’s stellar 30-hour degree gives distance learners the chance to experience a graduate-level education in the field of Cybersecurity. Program architects provide students with hands-on labs and activities that teach aspiring Cybersecurity professionals the art of securing and defending Information Systems from malicious attackers. Many graduates of this degree will go on to serve in senior management roles referred to as Chief Security Officer (CSO) or Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). Program requirements feature at least 30-credit hours divided between eight required courses and two electives from a pool of four courses, including Cloud Computing, Independent Study – Information Technology and Cybersecurity, Management Information Systems, and Internship: Information Technology and Cybersecurity. A GMAT score is included in the application process; however, the admissions office does offer a waiver for qualifying students with the proper academic credentials.
There are so many reasons why an Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Management is worth the investment. You could say there are over 3.5 million reasons, as that’s the approximate number of empty cybersecurity jobs worldwide projected through 2021, according to Cybercrime Magazine. Want to continue playing the numbers game? There are also 420,000 reasons why pursuing a cybersecurity master’s degree through distance learning is well worth the investment as $420,000 is the high end of the salary range for a Chief Information Security Officer, according to Forbes. And yes, a candidate for that position will be required to have a master’s degree on their resume to qualify for its requirements.
Why are so many cybersecurity positions available? Why is this fast-growing market paying top dollar for top talent? You could say there are six trillion reasons. Experts in the field agree that the cost of cyber-attacks worldwide will rise to $6 trillion a year in less than a year, with hackers working 24/7 to hit such high-profile targets as the FBI, Target, Equifax, Uber and many, many more. The bottom line is that the threat is urgent, and the stakes are unprecedentedly high. Currently, there aren’t nearly enough well-trained and qualified cybersecurity experts to meet the demand. It is no wonder that organizations are paying high salaries to educated cybersecurity professionals.
The Value of an Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Management
With increasing concern and awareness over the growing cyber threats facing consumers, organizations, and governments alike, many colleges and universities have created new online graduate degree programs in cybersecurity. Some of these degrees are still in their infancy. Yet, others have been thoughtfully constructed with input from field practitioners, industry thought leaders, and local and national stakeholders to equip cybersecurity professionals with lifelong skills and the knowledge to defeat adversaries from theoretical and tactical perspectives.
Currently, most employers seek a combination of both education and experience and, while a graduate degree is not necessary for all jobs, the benefits of pursuing a graduate degree in cybersecurity include better career opportunities, higher pay, and job security. Not all cybersecurity training is created equal. It is critical to be especially discerning when choosing an online graduate program. Here are some of the best reasons to pursue this essential degree.
An Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Management Means Job Security
If there was ever a time in history that one should consider a graduate program within the cybersecurity field, it is now. Cyber-attacks and threats are increasing in both numbers and sophistication. The demand for trained cybersecurity professionals is far outrunning the supply. Job security is practically guaranteed for qualified cybersecurity specialists. CSOonline.com recently reported that a critical shortage of skilled cybersecurity leaders means that nearly 20% of the six million information security available positions will not be filled.
Pursuing an Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Management Pays for Itself
Graduate degree tuition varies from school to school, but the total price tag of a degree in cybersecurity will usually run anywhere from $20,000-$75,000. That amount is a significant investment. The payoff will prove to be worth it. Senior Advisor for Innovation at the State Department, Alec Ross, recently told the Washington Post that if a college student were to ask him to name the most-secure and best-paying profession for the next thirty years, the one answer he would give would be “cybersecurity.”
Cybersecurity Careers Are Growing Faster Than Any Other Sector
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report stating that the market for information security analyst positions is increasing at a rate of 32%. The BLS characterizes this gain as much faster than the average compared to other lines of work. Just as job openings and opportunities in the cybersecurity field are many, the education level required to land those jobs are equally high. Cyberseek.org reports that nearly 30% of employers hiring for a cybersecurity architect position need or prefer a graduate degree. Other statistics include a rate of 23% for a cybersecurity engineer and 22% for penetration testers. However, the opportunities are numerous for those with the right experience and education. There are job openings in nearly every state and across each sector, in both public and private.
Flexible and Convenient Online Cybersecurity Programs Are Available
Flexibility is crucial for many working adults considering higher business education. The chance to pursue a degree online while balancing coursework with a full-time position and family obligations has proven to be a game-changer for many cybersecurity professionals furthering their careers. Many universities provide online options, both in the form of hybrid programs and 100% online degrees. Online learning features critical benefits for students, including the opportunity to access the top cybersecurity programs, instructors, and universities no matter where they live. Many online students pay less for program materials, as expensive textbooks are usually replaced with digital content that can be accessed online or in print form. Distance learners get the chance to interact with students from across the nation and around the world.
There Are Many Networking Opportunities Within Online Cybersecurity Programs
Anyone looking to make the most out of their online graduate program understands that networking is essential. As graduate schools attract groups of like-minded learners with similar interests in specific genres, it can be the perfect place to connect with fellow cybersecurity students, faculty, and alumni. Many graduates had reported that connections made in business school helped them while they were completing their program and was a vital asset after graduation when they went to work launching or advancing their careers.
Organizations in all industries depend on robust cybersecurity defenses to defend against inevitable attacks from hackers that end up costing companies millions, and sometimes, billions of dollars. The stakes are even higher when considering America’s future security, which will increasingly lean on our ability to fight high-tech warfare utilizing advanced computer technology. Today, many cybersecurity professionals, including military veterans, are responding to the call. The Department of Homeland Security’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies provides support and free training to those interested in cybersecurity. Free resources in this field are a welcome relief to help the good of network and information databases.
Properly trained graduate students who can help organizations with cybersecurity will be the ones to stand in the gap for organizations of all kinds. The best way to become adequately equipped for this type of warfare is to pursue an Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Management.