Best Information Assurance Graduate Programs – Before We Get Into The Topic , Let’s Learn Some Basic Of This Topic
A master’s degree in information assurance (IA) earned online develops leadership and management abilities. Learners with an online master’s degree in information assurance gain the knowledge and abilities to safeguard the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of electronic data. They also teach students how to protect themselves from cyber-attacks and dangers, as well as how to construct secure environments for electronic data.
In the ever-changing world of information technology and information science, information assurance and data security remain critical. Online master’s degrees evolve to meet the increasing demands of the profession, as shown in the rankings below.
What Is a Master’s in Information Assurance Degree?
What Is Information Assurance?
Information assurance encompasses all aspects of data security, including data threat prevention, protection, and response. Information security analysts keep an eye out for security flaws, investigate occurrences, and compile reports on outages and damage. By controlling the risks associated with the use, processing, storage, and transmission of digital content, IA experts ensure the security of electronic information and data. Protecting the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of user data is also part of information assurance.
Because they are expected to exchange technical facts in both verbal and written form, information assurance professionals are expected to have good communication and critical-thinking abilities. They address security issues and problems as needed, often in collaboration with a broader team, researching potential causes and recommending appropriate solutions.
To maintain safety and security, information assurance personnel require prior knowledge of computer systems and architecture, as well as a thorough understanding of software programs and operations. These experts also devise strategies for recovering and restoring information function and availability.
Information security analysts will see a 32 percent increase in employment between 2018 and 2028, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The computer systems design and finance industries are among the top employers, with pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing businesses paying the highest incomes in the field. In 2018, the average yearly compensation for information security analysts was more than $101,000.
What Will You Learn in an Information Assurance Master’s Program?
The departments and institutions that offer online master’s degrees in information assurance differ. The technical and philosophical components of the subject are emphasized in IA master’s degrees.
Coursework for each program ranges from 30-45 credit hours. Information security, risk management, and compliance are just a few of the topics covered in online information assurance programs. Information warfare, ethical and legal challenges in computer security, and cybersecurity theory and practice are some of the topics covered in core classes.
Students can concentrate their studies on aspects of the field that relate to their personal interests and professional goals through elective courses and degree concentrations. Classes in management and organizational behavior are included in leadership programs, while specific curriculum in policy and compliance prepares students for careers in homeland security and government service.
Internships and practical experience opportunities may be required as part of the program. While pursuing their degrees, students work alongside data security professionals, sometimes at their place of employment.
Does an Information Assurance Degree Program Include Training in Cybersecurity?
Because cybersecurity is part of the information assurance operations spectrum, students can expect to take courses in related subjects (e.g. network security, ethical hacking, digital forensics, etc.).
The National Security Administration (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have vetted and endorsed many of the online information assurance programs on our list, and they have been designated as Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) in cyber defense and/or cyber operations. Although students are not required to attend NSA CAE schools to earn valuable degrees, the designation serves as a quality indicator. In our profile of the best cybersecurity schools, we go over the NSA CAE benefits in greater detail.
How Long Does It Take To Complete a Master’s in Information Assurance Degree Program?
Information assurance in the traditional sense Two years of coursework are required for master’s degrees. Full-time students complete their master’s in information assurance in four semesters, whereas part-time students take 3-5 years to complete their degrees. Prerequisites are required for entrance to many master’s programs. Information security, computer science, and cybersecurity should all be a part of a student’s education. Preparatory courses in these areas may be available through programs.
Online master’s degrees in information assurance may allow you to complete your degree faster. Students who attend schools with eight-week sessions can complete their degrees in 12 to 18 months. Learners with sufficient experience may be able to get credit for past work, allowing them to complete their degrees more quickly.
Why Earn a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance?
Students can hone their abilities and gain field knowledge by earning a master’s degree in information security. They also prepare students for cybersecurity, policy management, and digital forensics leadership jobs. Information assurance professionals can increase their earning potential by earning a master’s degree. In 2018, the median annual income for entry-level information security analysts was more than $98,000, while their managerial counterparts earned more than $142,000.
Who Should Earn a Master’s in Information Assurance Degree?
Master’s degrees in information assurance benefit those working in computer systems and information technology by broadening their knowledge and skills in an ever-changing sector. While developing advanced technical skills, entry-level analysts get insight into conceptual aspects of information security.
Specializations in specific areas may be available through information assurance programs. Medical and healthcare executives may choose to concentrate on certain requirements and trends in the business. Similarly, government employees can focus their degrees on information assurance policy, compliance, and regulation.
Students who earn a master’s degree in information assurance are better prepared for additional industry certifications. The International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2 manages the certified information systems security professional (CISSP) program, which covers topics like asset security and security operations. (ISC)2 also provides significant training and professional development possibilities in addition to the CISSP.
What Can You Do If You Have a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance?
Entry-level information assurance analysts make over $60,000 a year, according to PayScale. Information assurance specialists with master’s degrees can rise to information assurance manager roles, earning approximately $92,000 per year on average. Information assurance master’s degrees also qualify people for positions as senior executives. Chief information officers are paid approximately $160,000 per year on average to develop, coordinate, and evaluate information technology strategy.
What Can You Do With an Information Assurance Master’s Degree?
Experience is extremely valuable to information assurance specialists. Learners increase their earning potential by using their IA master’s degree skills in managerial and executive positions. Median yearly pay of approximately $100,000 is paid to information assurance managers with at least 20 years of experience. Chief information officers with similar expertise make more than $176,000 per year on average.
The Best Schools With Online Master’s in Information Assurance Programs for 2021
1.Stevens Institute of Technology
Stevens Institute of Technology is a private university located in Hoboken, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. Students can enroll from anywhere in the world because the school offers online degrees and in-person programs.
Stevens’ business school offers an online master’s in information systems program that teaches students about data and information technology in organizational management. The degree is 36 credits long and includes core business and information systems classes. Business intelligence and analytics, business process management and service risk management, cybersecurity risk management, project management, and software engineering are all possible concentrations for students.
The cybersecurity risk management concentration is a good fit for distance learners who want to focus on information assurance. Managerial information assurance principles, financial cybersecurity, and web-based risk management are among the topics covered.
This master’s in information assurance program is available full-time or part-time to students. Full-time students can complete their degrees in as little as 18 months, while others will take longer. Asynchronous and synchronous course components may be included in online courses. Each course’s number of real-time web-conferencing events is determined by the professors. Live lectures, class discussions, and presentations are examples of synchronous elements.
GRE or GMAT scores are required for Stevens applicants. In addition, prospective students must submit undergraduate transcripts with a minimum 3.0 GPA as well as two letters of recommendation.
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) has accredited the business school. Furthermore, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education has given Stevens regional accreditation.
2.University of Dallas
The University of Dallas was founded in 1956 by the Sisters of Saint Mary of Namur, and it now has approximately 1,300 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled on its Texas campus and via distance learning.
Students can earn their master’s degree in cybersecurity by completing 30 credits of online coursework. Distance learners also take data analysis for decision-making, pen testing and vulnerability, and digital forensics courses in addition to foundational courses. To be eligible for graduation, all students must complete a strategic cybersecurity practicum. The majority of master’s students finish in 1-2 years.
Graduate students in this program will study for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional exam. The focus of this credential is on information assurance leadership and management. Microcredentials, which show potential employers which skills learners have mastered before they graduate, are also available to UD’s cybersecurity master’s students. Alumni go on to work as security analysts, cybersecurity consultants, and cryptographers, among other things, once they’ve graduated.
A minimum 2.0 GPA in undergraduate courses is required, as well as a minimum 3.0 GPA in graduate courses. GRE or GMAT scores are not required. Before beginning the program, incoming students who do not have a background in management, marketing, or cybersecurity must complete additional foundational courses.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has recognized UD as a regionally accredited institution. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business has granted UD’s cybersecurity master’s program accreditation.
Drexel University, situated in Philadelphia, has roughly 15,000 students, making it one of the country’s largest private institutions. The college first opened its doors in 1891, and it took another 20 years for it to start awarding bachelor’s degrees. Today, the school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees to students who study on campus and online.
For those interested in a profession in information assurance, Drexel University offers an online master’s degree in cybersecurity. The degree emphasizes online data and system security while also teaching computer networking theory and technical skills. The program has been named a National Security Agency academic excellence center.
Rather than the standard semester calendar, Drexel uses a quarter system. During the school year, pupils will complete four 10-week terms. The master’s degree in cybersecurity consists of 45 quarter credits, with four core courses. Students can enroll for one of three track options (computer science, electronic and computer engineering, or information science), or they can pick and choose their electives without adhering to a concentration.
Drexel recommends but does not require, applicants to submit GRE scores. Students should also include their undergraduate transcripts, a personal essay, a CV, and two letters of recommendation with their application.
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has granted Drexel regional accreditation. The Computer Science Accreditation Commission and the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board have granted the university’s engineering and computing and informatics colleges accreditation.
Lewis University, located in Romeoville, Illinois, just south of Chicago, has roughly 6,400 students enrolled. Although the school is affiliated with the Catholic Church, it mostly offers non-sectarian degrees, such as an MS in information security that graduate students can pursue online.
Depending on whether students complete fundamental courses, the program requires 35-41 credits. Those who do not have a background in computer science must attend two basic courses on computer organization and programming foundations. Learners will be prepared to take the certified information systems security professional certification exam after completing the curriculum.
Learners might specialize in either technical or managerial fields. The technical concentration emphasizes practical IT security capabilities, such as safeguarding operating systems and applications. The management track prepares students to work as information security managers who plan, recommend, and maintain IT systems.
All students are required to attend two seminars aimed at preparing them for the professional certification exam. A capstone course is required for distance learners. Real-world simulations in which students must mitigate dangers and discover remedies to cybersecurity breaches are part of this cumulative learning.
Lewis created its online program with individuals who are already working full or part-time in mind. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate studies. They should also provide a resume and two recommendations with their application.
The university has been granted regional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have recognized the information security program as a center of academic excellence in information assurance education.
5.George Washington University
George Washington University, which is located in the nation’s capital, was founded in 1821 after Congress approved a charter. The school began with three professors and one tutor and grew into a significant research institution during the next two centuries. GW now has almost 26,000 students enrolled.
Students can earn their master of engineering in cybersecurity policy and compliance from GW entirely online. The course covers topics such as cryptography, security systems, algorithms, and software paradigms, with an emphasis on engineering management. A total of 30 credits are required for the degree. Students who work full-time take one course per semester and graduate in 2.5 to 3 years.
Learners can enroll in a variety of courses, including mobile computing security, safe cloud computing, and government information security. Web conferencing software is used by GW to deliver online courses, allowing students to attend lectures, present work, and engage in real-time chats with their classmates. This means that GW’s distant learning is synchronous, requiring students to join on for class at certain times. Each week, distance learners may anticipate spending roughly six hours on coursework each course.
In addition, GW provides various web-based resources to its online students. Master’s applicants, for example, can use career services such as online resume and interview criticism programs. Students can also take advantage of online tutoring sessions.
Applicants must have a minimum 2.7 GPA on their undergraduate degree. Those who do not have a bachelor’s degree in information technology (IT) must also have IT work experience. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has granted GW regional accreditation. Federal agencies have designated the cybersecurity program as a national center of academic excellence in cyber defense education.
6.University of Denver
The University of Denver, a private university established in 1864, began as a seminary years before Colorado became a state. Because of its many online programs, the university now offers over 200 degrees and enrolls students from all over the United States and more than 80 countries.
The master of information security systems is one of these distance learning degrees that prepare students for certification as certified information systems security professionals. The 48-credit program can be completed in 18 months, however most master’s applicants require 2-3 years to complete it.
Core, focus, and optional courses are taken by distance learners. Except for the zero-credit student success course, each course is ten weeks long. Distance learners will be introduced to online learning through this experience. Web-enabled information systems, principles of information security, computer and physical security, and network security are among the higher-level concentration courses. Students do not need to log on at specific times because online courses are asynchronous.
Students must complete either a capstone project or a seminar at the end of this program. The capstone allows students to work on a thesis, whereas the seminar requires students to write a 7,000- to 8,000-word research paper.
Applicants should submit their undergraduate transcripts, as well as a personal statement, resume, and two recommendation letters, demonstrating a minimum 2.5 GPA. The University of Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and its information security systems degree meets the Committee on National Security Systems’ standards. The university is a center of academic excellence in the fields of information assurance and cyber defense.
7.University of Delaware
The University of Delaware began as a private academy in Newark approximately 300 years ago. Over 24,000 students attend the public university, which now operates as a research institute. UD provides a variety of online, on-campus, and hybrid degrees, including a cybersecurity master’s degree that may be completed entirely online.
The degree is made up of 30 credits (10 courses). The program provides pupils with technology abilities as well as problem-solving training. System hardening and protection, digital forensics, safe software design, encryption, search and data mining, and smart grid technologies are among the topics covered in the courses. Courses are seven weeks long, and distance learners typically complete them in two years.
At UD, online learning comes in a variety of forms. Students usually take asynchronous courses, which means they can watch video lectures whenever they choose instead of logging on at certain times. Through discussion forums, distance learners can participate in interactive assignments and learning communities. Additionally, through the university’s web-based system, UD provides various support services for online students.
Applicants with programming expertise and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, math, or physics are eligible for enrollment. They should also have a least 3.0 GPA. In addition, applicants must submit their GRE results as well as three letters of recommendation.
The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have designated the cybersecurity program as a national center of academic excellence in cyber defense education. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has granted university accreditation.
8.University of Detroit Mercy
The University of Detroit Mercy, a Jesuit university, offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in engineering and science, liberal arts, and nursing, among other disciplines. A master’s degree in information assurance is available from the college of liberal arts and education, and students can complete it totally online.
This master’s degree in information assurance focuses on safeguarding data and property against various digital dangers and threats. The program consists of 30 credits, with eight core courses and two electives. Cyberdefense operations and risk management processes are among the topics covered in the core studies.
Students can take electives in forensic investigations and auditing, ethical hacking, or software assurance to further their personal interests. Because course offerings change each semester, students should plan before beginning their degree.
An ethical hacking certification can be used to augment a learner’s degree. In collaboration with the International Council for Electronic Commerce Consultants, the University of Detroit Mercy provides this certified ethical hacker curriculum. Students can earn their master’s degrees in as little as a year, but certification may take longer.
Applicants must only submit their undergraduate transcripts to the university. Additional resources, such as recommendation letters or a personal statement, might help prospective students improve their chances of admission.
The Higher Learning Commission has granted UDM regional accreditation. This degree has also been designated as a national center of academic excellence in cyber defense education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
9.University of Tulsa
In 1882, the Presbyterian School for Indian Girls became the University of Tulsa, which became a college a decade later. The university eventually evolved into its current form: a private, nondenominational university with around 4,380 undergraduate and graduate students.
TU’s online cybersecurity master’s degree was created with working professionals in mind. Students complete this 30-credit program in two years, using web-based technology to complete their education. During the summer term, online students can participate in an immersive week on campus. This week is normally in the middle of the semester, and students spend it studying through hands-on experience.
Learners must complete 12 credits of core courses, nine cybersecurity electives, and nine other electives to graduate. Secure electronic commerce, software reverse engineering, security economics, and enterprise security management are just a few of the topics covered in the cybersecurity electives. Students can prepare a thesis or a report for their remaining nine electives. They can also enroll in non-computer science courses.
TU also has a cybercops program that teaches students about cyberwarfare. The National Security Agency has designated this program as a cyber operations center of excellence. Students’ degrees will be strengthened by enrolling in this program, but they will be required to attend on-campus classes.
Students who have a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, have completed at least nine credits of calculus-level math, and have taken the GRE are eligible to apply. TU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.