How to Choose a Cyber Security Master’s Program

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The threat of cybercrimes is only part of the reason why cyber security professionals should find themselves in higher demand as 2021 approaches.

The threat of cybercrimes is only part of the reason why cyber security professionals should find themselves in higher demand as 2021 approaches.

The increase in the world’s dependency on the internet, data analytics, and cloud computing are steadily bringing the field of cyber security into the forefront of business priorities. In November 2018, Zion Market Research released a study predicting that the global cyber security market would rise significantly to $181.77 billion by 2021 (up from $105.45 billion in 2015). The reason for this increase is that hacking, software piracy, denial of service attacks and cyber terrorism are expected to become more common as companies all over the world move more and more of their business online.

The threat of cybercrimes is only part of the reason why cyber security professionals should find themselves in higher demand as 2021 approaches. Strict laws concerning the privacy of data, the deidentification of statistical data, and cloud computing protocols require experienced professionals to implement them in a way that preemptively defends against the possibility of cybercrime.

Students and professionals asking themselves, “Is a master’s in cyber security worth it?” can rest assured that the advanced education will be attractive to employers for whom cyber security has become a priority. Conveniently, online cyber security master’s programs are available for those who require flexible graduate school hours while they continue to work their current job.

 

Answering the Call for More Cyber Security Professionals

The field of cyber security has grown so large that no one person could cover every aspect of securing a business network or a cloud database. This complexity should prompt aspiring cyber security professionals to consider all aspects of the various specialties available within the field.

The advent of cloud computing ushered in a new level of potential threats from cyber-criminals. Sensitive data, ranging from Social Security numbers to credit card numbers, passwords and other types of personal information, are now stored on giant servers at remote locations. A hacker who gains access to the server can peer into millions of people’s private, sensitive data. As a result, qualified data security analysts are in high demand.

“Security analysts ensure the information stored on computers or networks is not disclosed to unwanted parties or modified inadvertently and may also create and maintain security systems,” explains Study.com in “Data Security Analyst: Job Description, Duties and Responsibilities.”

“If the data is compromised, security analysts repair the damage and take measures to seal the security hole that enabled the data compromise. Data security analysts typically work under the supervision of an information technology manager.”

The corporate world is also beginning to understand that simple security awareness within organizations isn’t enough if employees’ online behavior isn’t improved. Modern cyber security involves an aspect of human cognitive psychology that professional security specialists need to study and harness if any significant improvements are to be made. The human factor, after all, often proves to be the weakest link in a company’s cyber security.

James Turner, security advisor for consulting firm IBRS, attempts to reformulate his clients’ company culture in such a way that security training not only helps employees to work safer at the office, but at home as well. The result is a corporate training program designed to let employees know that their employer doesn’t just care about their work, but also their lives outside of work, according to author Stilgherrian’s “Security Training Is Useless Unless It Changes Behaviors” on ZDNet.com.

Cyber security is changing at a rapid pace and is very different than it was five or 10 years ago. Successful companies understand the risks of today’s evolving situation and the importance of knowledgeable cyber security professionals.

 

What Can the Right Master’s in Cyber Security Offer?

Not all cyber security graduate programs are the same.

A degree from a well-respected institution can open doors to a lucrative and rewarding career in the field of cyber security. In terms of curriculum, master’s in cyber security requirements generally include cryptography and software engineering, a course in emerging threats, secure communication protocol classes, a course in Internet of Things (IoT), and concentrations ranging from autonomous systems to cyber security behavior.

The benefits of choosing the right cyber security master’s program, according to TripWire.com’s “4 Reasons to Get Your Master’s Degree in Cyber Security,” include higher pay, on average, with entry-level positions starting around $90,000. Six-figure salaries are not uncommon among cyber security professionals.

TripWire.com also points out that job security levels are typically high in the field of cyber security. Obtaining a master’s in cyber security opens up career options in every sector, both private and public, across the country. And although competition is steep for higher positions and education requirements are high, cyber security personnel tend to be happy with their chosen field and their position within the corporate hierarchy.

 

University of North Dakota’s Master of Science in Cyber Security Program

Choosing the right online cyber security master’s program is a decision that should not be taken lightly. The best programs will offer courses that stay current with today’s cyber security issues and concerns and offer concentrations that are attractive to companies interested in hiring recent graduates.

UND’s online cyber security master’s degree program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and ranked in US News & World Report’s Top 25 Most Innovative Schools (2018) alongside such prestigious institutions as Stanford, Harvard and MIT.

UND prepares students for careers in cyber security, with concentrations in Autonomous Systems Cyber Security, Cyber Security and Behavior, Data Security, and General Cyber Security.

For more information on UND’s MSCS online program, visit the program’s website.

 

 

Sources:

Global Size of Cyber Security Market to Surge – GlobeNewsWire.com

Data Security Analyst – Study.com

Security Training Is Useless Unless It Changes Behavior – ZDNet.com

4 Reasons to Get Your Master’s Degree in Cyber Security – TripWire.com