As technology continues to develop and more and more sensitive information is being stored online, skills in cyber security are becoming vital assets. Online graduate degrees in cyber security are available at the graduate certificate and master's degree level and can prepare graduates for a number of exciting and interested careers in the cyber security field. We will look a bit more closely at these degree programs below.
General Information About Online Graduate Degrees in Cyber Security
Online graduate degree programs in cyber security are generally quite flexible, allowing part-time students to continue working while taking courses or full-time students to complete the degree more quickly. The courses required to complete a graduate certificate and master's degree program in the field of cyber security overlap. Below we discuss a few of the common courses in greater detail.
Cyber Security Foundations
Many programs require some sort of foundational level course to provide students with a baseline understanding of the cyber security field and landscape. Students will learn about various methodologies in creating cyber security architectures, protocols, and algorithms. They will also learn about how businesses and companies are implementing cyber security and staying updated, as well as the impact that cyber terrorism has had on a national security level.
Students generally must take a course in cryptology in order to learn about classic cryptologic techniques and methods in history, as well as more modern approaches like digital signatures, authentication protocols, computational number theory, and Advanced Encryption Standard. Students will gain understanding in data protection and security by applying cryptographic principles.
Students are usually required to take a course in digital forensics, which is essentially the process of collecting and gathering evidence in a digital landscape. Students will examine policy issues using data analysis and applied technology to investigate a variety of digital activities. This course focuses on explaining how computers and different forms of technology can be used for criminal activity and different techniques that cyber security professionals use to interpret digital evidence in order to bring criminals to justice.
In this course, students will gain insight into the world of computer hacking and learn how to use these insights to create better digital means of defense for computer systems that would otherwise be vulnerable to criminal hackers. Courses typically have real-world scenarios or simulations in which students test system vulnerabilities using a variety of computer hacking methods and techniques.
This course is designed to equip students with the necessary skills to recognize and detect possible cyber security incidents or attacks and then respond accordingly. Students will study current standard processes and procedures used by various businesses in order to learn best-practices. Students may also be required to design their own incident response plan during the course of study.
Online Graduate Degree Programs in Cyber Security Admission Requirements
Most online graduate programs in cyber security generally do not require that applicants hold a bachelor's degree in any specific field, though they often do require or suggest that an applicant completes various courses in mathematics and computer programming before beginning the graduate program. Beyond having a bachelor's degree, students are also expected to have a minimum GPA of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale to be considered for admission. Applicants also usually need to submit transcripts from any post-secondary institution they have attended and their resume when applying.
For students who are interested in security and enjoy working with computers and technology, an online graduate certificate or master's degree program in cyber security may facilitate a career change or further hone their existing skills.