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Is a Master's Degree in Cyber Security Worth It?

Feb 01, 2018

If you have been wondering whether or not a master's in cyber security is worth it, keep reading. Find out how the jobs listed below are benefited by this degree as well as what the potential salary and job outlook is.

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Getting a master's degree in cyber security can be worth it because of the growing need for professionals who can combat threats to information security in the modern world. Below you will find a list of jobs in this field as well as how a master's degree might be used for each.

Career Information for a Master's Degree in Cyber Security

Job Title Median Salary Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Security Software Developer $102,280 (2016, for all software developers)* 24% (for all software developers)
Security Architect $120,586 (2018, for all security architects, IT)** 6% (for all computer network architects)
Digital Forensic Investigator $68,878 (2018)** 28% (for all information security analysts)
Information Security Analyst $92,600 (2016)* 28%
Chief Information Security Officer $156,041 (2018)** 12% (for all computer and information systems managers)
Security Engineer $88,053 (2018)** 6% (for all computer network architects)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com

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Career Paths for a Master's Degree in Cyber Security

Security Software Developer

Security software developers help create security applications and other software to solve specific issues. These programs can range from anti-virus software to traffic analysis. These developers may help work security features into applications and may work with teams of other programmers. Someone with a master's in cyber security can use aspects of their degree in this job such as cloud or mobile security, depending on individual program offerings.

Security Architect

Security architects may be in charge of designing and implementing security systems for IT. They may also analyze threats to security. Those in this position may be at the head of a team of staff designing a new system. Holders of a master's in cyber security might use aspects of their program such as computer or secure systems architecture.

Digital Forensic Investigator

Digital forensic investigators mainly track down information related to cyber crime and analyze it. As well as looking for evidence leading to cyber criminals, they may examine the security of computer systems to find weaknesses or breaches. A master's in cyber security would furnish someone in this position with knowledge about digital forensics as well as network or cyber security.

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts spend their time making sure that the computer networks of their employers stay secure. To accomplish this, they may perform tasks such as locating vulnerable parts of a computer system, installing protective software, and staying abreast of advancements in computer security. Aspects of a master's degree in cyber security that could be useful in this position might include digital forensics or network security.

Chief Information Security Officer

Chief information security officers work at high levels within companies to make sure that information security remains intact. This position may mean the officer oversees all activities regarding cyber security for a company or organization, although it can require officers to perform technical activities themselves. A master's can help prepare graduates for this upper-level position through study of cyber security management or managing protection of information, depending on the course offerings of the university.

Security Engineer

Security engineers monitor the security of information technology (IT) systems. Part of their job may require analysis of data, including forensic analysis. They may also actively investigate technology that will boost security. Those who hold a master's in cyber security may be able to utilize knowledge gained during their programs of study, such as digital forensics.

Many jobs related to cyber security can benefit from a master's degree because of the training and experience such degrees can afford students. A master's in cyber security can be helpful whether you are applying as a security software developer or going for the position of chief information security officer because of the many different aspects of cyber security covered in most programs, from systems architecture to forensics.

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