M.S. programs in information assurance give students a solid foundation in computer security, confidentiality, data storage and data distribution. Specialization options include cyber security and policy management. Most programs can be completed in two years, and some are offered entirely online for those interested in distance learning.
A bachelor's degree from an accredited college is required for admission. International students must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. Letters of recommendation from supervisors or professors with knowledge of an applicant's capabilities and knowledge are sometimes required.
Master of Science in Information Assurance
A typical M.S. degree program requires completion of 32-36 semester or credit hours. Coursework is designed to teach students the key concepts of information assurance and includes the following topics:
- Software and systems security
- Digital rights, ethics, privacy and secure enterprise management
- Information systems forensics
- Enterprise architecture
- Risk management
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
An M.S. in Information Assurance prepares a graduate for a variety of IT leadership roles. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that information security analysts were projected to see 18% job growth from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than average. The demand for information security analysts is projected to be very high due to the growing frequency of cyber attacks. The mean annual wage for information security analysts was $93,250 in May 2015.
Continuing Education Information
Doctoral degree programs are available for graduates who wish to go into research or teach at the university level. Certificate programs are available that allow information assurance professionals to keep abreast of new technology and advancements. Some of these programs can be found in an online format.
Students who want to pursue graduate studies in information technology may enroll in a MS program in information assurance, which prepares graduates for high-level IT position or further education in computer-related subjects.