Individuals who are interested in learning how to prevent and manage economic crime can enroll in a fully online master's degree program. Because specific Master of Science (M.S.) in Economic Crime Management programs are rare, individuals will mainly find online graduate programs in fraud, cybersecurity or digital forensics. Programs typically consist of 30-42 credits and can be completed in approximately two years.
These programs focus on the legal aspects of criminal fraud, fraud detection and fraud prevention. They teach advanced skills in technology, management and analytics. Successful completion of the program should prepare graduates to sit for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) certification exam. Candidates for these programs must have a bachelor's degree in any discipline. Schools often require a specific grade point average (GPA) for admission.
Coursework covers crime management and detection in both the Internet and the global environment. Students are often required to develop a thesis and participate in a capstone experience. Topics covered may include:
- Communication and information security
- Fraud analysis
- Legal aspects of criminal fraud
- Financial investigations
- Internet and network security
- Forensic research
- Financial statement examination
- Fraud examiners tools
- White collar crime
- Fraud prevention in organization
Graduates of an M.S. degree program are prepared for leadership roles in business and industry. They may find work in both the private and public sectors working in retail, corporate business, telecommunications and government. Some job titles may include forensic accountant, investigator, internal auditor, law enforcement agent and government accountant.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for accountants and auditors, including forensic accountants and internal auditors, are expected to increase by 11% from 2014 to 2024. In May 2015, the BLS reported that these workers earned a median annual salary of $67,190. Detectives and criminal investigators were expected to see a 1% decline in employment opportunities from 2014 to 2024, according to the BLS. Detectives and criminal investigators earned a median annual salary of $77,210 as of May 2015.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of these programs who wish to conduct research or teach at the college level may choose to enroll in a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program. Doctoral programs provide specialized training in areas such as information security and assurance. Graduate certificates provide training is specialized areas, including forensics, cybersecurity, cybersecurity strategy, and cybersecurity policy.
In MS programs in economic crime and related subjects, students learn about financial fraud, the modern technologies used to perpetrate it, prevention strategies, and legal consequences. When they finish, they are qualified for upper-level investigative jobs or enrollment in doctoral or graduate certificate programs.