Masters in Information Security: Program Overviews

Essential Information

Students pursuing a master's degree in information security receive technical education in designing and managing security systems for computers, as well as networks and software applications. Students are trained to combat hackers who try to break into computer systems and networks, as well as deal with viruses, espionage and system failures caused by natural disasters. These programs normally take two years to complete. Entrance into a master's degree program requires a bachelor's degree, often in computer science or a related field.

Master of Information Security Degree

Master's degree programs in information security are offered by campus-based 4-year colleges and universities, as well as by many distance-learning schools.

Courses in a master's degree program in information security combine training in the principles of security with experiential learning in the practices employed to keep systems secure. Common courses include the following:

  • Information security theory and systems management
  • Database security
  • Secure software design
  • Intrusion detection and response
  • Encryption principles and computer forensics
  • Advanced programming

Popular Career Options

Graduates of master's degree programs in information security are qualified for a multitude of computer-based administrative, analytical and managerial positions, including:

  • Database administrator
  • Network systems intrusion forensic analyst
  • Information technology security manager
  • Network systems data analyst
  • Access control manager

Continuing Education Information

A variety of certification possibilities exist for individuals working in information security. Among the most notable is the Certified Information Systems Security Professional offered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium. Some master's programs are specifically designed to prepare graduates for certification. Additionally, information security Ph.D. programs are available for students interested in training beyond the master's level. These research-based programs are intended primarily for individuals looking to become highly specialized in a particular facet of information security, as well as those interested in teaching.

Students in information security master's degree programs receive hands-on instruction in software, information systems and other security technology. After graduating, they can earn a variety of certifications, which can help candidates qualify for advanced positions and promotions in information technology, database administration and security management.

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