Many careers in information technology and computer science now require some level of knowledge in information security. With growing threat of cyber-attacks and other security issues, a master's degree in information security can prove highly valuable and beneficial for these careers. We discuss a few of these information security career options below.
Careers for a Master's Degree in Information Security
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2014-2024)*|
|Information Security Analysts||$92,600||18%|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$135,800||15%|
|Computer Network Architects||$101,210||9%|
|Computer Systems Analysts||$87,220||21%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Information Security Career Descriptions
Information Security Analysts
A master's degree may help information security analysts advance in their careers, and some employers may prefer to hire information security analysts that have master's degrees. The primary responsibilities of these analysts are to plan and implement appropriate security programs, software and other measures to protect an organization's valuable digital information. They must closely monitor, report and evaluate any security breach that occurs and figure out ways to try and prevent further breaches from occurring. They also learn about new security options, make suggestions to management concerning security and may be asked to help develop security procedures and policies.
Computer and Information Systems Managers
A lot of computer and information systems managers have a graduate degree and years of work experience before overseeing the computer-related activities in their organization. Much of their work involves making sure that the organization's network and information is kept secure. They also examine other computer needs and upgrades. These managers must compare the costs and benefits of potential projects and research new technology and upgrade options. They oversee the work of various IT professionals to ensure that all systems and networks are running smoothly.
Some employers may desire database administrators to have a master's degree, especially those administrators responsible for overseeing large databases. These administrators must organize data and ensure its security against unauthorized access. They typically use specialized software in their work and back up databases so that no information is lost. They also monitor the efficiency of database operations, merge old and new databases as needed and change the databases' structure when required.
Computer Network Architects
Those with a master's degree may be preferred over those with only a bachelor's degree for positions as computer network architects. These professionals design and create communication networks and must carefully consider information security issues when planning a network. They may plan small or large connections that include local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs) and more. These architects are usually researching new technologies and planning for the future needs of the organization as well as upgrading and supporting current networks.
Computer Systems Analysts
A master's degree may be preferred or required for some computer systems analyst positions as these professionals evaluate computer systems to find ways to make an organization run more efficiently. This may include looking at a system's security measures and other functions to make sure it is working properly and effectively. These analysts may evaluate new technologies and analyze the costs and benefits before making suggestions to management on what is best for the organization. They also repurpose or improve existing computer systems and train users on current systems.
Many careers in information technology would directly benefit from a master's degree in information security. As the number of cyberattacks increase, the need for these positions grows, which is reflected in job growth rates that are faster than average.