Considering the increasing number of cyber attacks and security breaches, the fields of cybersecurity and computer science provide numerous opportunities for graduates who earn online network security degrees.
Information security analyst positions are expected to grow by 28 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), while computer and information research scientists positions are expected to grow by 19 percent, with a median annual salary of $118,370. Online network security degrees can also lead to positions as cybersecurity analysts, systems administrators, and cybersecurity consultants, among other positions. In cybersecurity, networking, and computer science, a master’s degree in a computer-related field is often required for many of the highest–paying positions available.
An online master’s degree in network security is ideal for working professionals who want to advance their knowledge of computer science and network security while still in their current position. Students will learn how to protect an organization’s computer information system and data, as well as digital forensics and local network architecture design, during their time in this program. Students often complete a capstone course at the end of the program to integrate their skills and knowledge into a final project, or they participate in an internship to gain valuable on–the–job experience before graduating. Some of the questions you might have about earning an online master’s degree in network security are answered in the section below.
Featured Network Security Programs
The Best Online Master’s in Network Security Degree Programs
We chose the following programs based on their quality and the range of courses they offer, as well as their awards, rankings, and reputations in the field of information technology.
Methodology for determining rankings
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Our Research Methodology
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Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm examines key data indicators — such as those collected by the federal government — for each school or program to determine its ranking. It is dependent on the focus of each specific ranking as to which data we will use; however, our ranking methodology is always objective: TBS does not allow schools to pay for higher rankings.
While the specific criteria taken into consideration can differ from ranking to ranking, there are a few data points that we consider to be the most important. They are affordability, academic quality, and the ability to enroll via the internet. We’ve broken down our algorithm to make it easier for you to understand what you’ll be getting when you use one of our rankings, so read on.
The Academic-cap icon is one of the metrics that we use to evaluate students. Icon of the currency dollar for academics Icon of a desktop computer representing affordability Sources of Information on Online Enrollment
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15 percent of academics use the currency-dollar icon.
The affordability desktop-computer icon represents 10% of the total.
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Collapse Affordability – 15 percent of the total Academics – 75 percent of the total All
10 percent off for those who enroll online.
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Why Should You Pursue a Master’s in Network Security?
Companies in the fields of computer science and security typically base their pay rates on the level of education a candidate has received. Online network security degrees provide lucrative employment opportunities for bachelor’s degree holders. Graduates can find work as computer programmers, network and computer systems administrators, and other positions in the field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these professionals earn median salaries of $82,050 and $84,280, respectively.
Advanced degrees are advantageous for working professionals who want to advance to higher-paying managerial positions such as computer and information systems managers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information systems managers must have master’s degrees and earn a median annual salary of $142,530 per year. A master’s degree provides these graduates with the opportunity to publish their research in peer-reviewed journals or to present their findings at conferences.
Individuals who wish to work as university professors must hold a Ph.D. in their field. Continue reading to learn more about potential salaries and career opportunities for graduates with online network security degrees.
Network Security Concentrations are defined as follows:
Specialization in a particular field of studies, such as homeland security, emergency management, or information assurance, allows students to hone specific career skills. Continue reading to find out more about the most common concentration options for an online network security degree program.
Protection of the Homeland
- A homeland security concentration prepares students for a career in homeland security by teaching them how to apply computer systems security practices. Terrorism response, weapons of mass destruction, and homeland security are among the topics covered in classes.
- This concentration prepares students for careers in computer systems security at the Department of Homeland Security. Careers prepared by this concentration include:
- Digital Forensics is the study of digital evidence.
- A concentration in digital forensics equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to detect security breaches and prevent cyber attacks from occurring. Students learn how to recover data as part of their coursework.
- Students with a digital forensics concentration are well prepared for careers as information security analysts, computer and information research scientists, and other related fields. Careers prepared for by this concentration:
- Information Security and Assurance
The information assurance concentration teaches students how to manage computer systems and store data securely. Students take classes to learn how to program in Python, UNIX, and C++, among other languages.
Students who complete an information assurance concentration will be well prepared for careers such as computer network architects and software developers, thanks to the programming skills they learn.
Programming with Confidence
Secure programming concentration courses are designed to teach students about cybersecurity protocols and techniques. Students gain knowledge of how to assess networks and systems, as well as how to conduct audits and assessments. A common security breach is also taught to them, and they learn how to avoid them.
Careers that this concentration prepares students for: Students who complete a secure programming concentration will be prepared to work as information security analysts.
Students enrolled in an analysis concentration take courses in hacking and digital forensics, among other things. These courses provide students with an introduction to data-driven analysis and computation.
Employment opportunities after completing this concentration: Students who complete this concentration can work in government and business organizations as intelligence analysts and computer systems analysts.