Why is an online Master of Science in Cyber Security important?

View all blog posts under Articles | View all blog posts under MSCS

Team of cyber security experts securing software in data center.

Team of cyber security experts securing software in data center.

Society relies on the internet for a wide range of things, such as work, entertainment, financial management and personal data storage. Because of this, we also rely on cyber security experts to protect our privacy while we send and receive data. They have the advanced skills needed to anticipate security threats and safeguard confidential information from unauthorized users.

However, there aren’t enough experts to go around. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, there will be nearly 3.5 million unfilled jobs in the cyber security arena by 2021. That means an online Master of Science in Cyber Security can put you in high demand.

Connectivity can lead to vulnerability.

Technology is advancing more quickly than the development of qualified talent. In fact, some experts predict that more than 200 billion things will be connected by 2020 — powered by embedded sensors, image recognition and near-field communication. This will turn the cloud into an ideal playground for hackers. And hackers don’t discriminate — they focus on weaknesses and target the most valuable data to exploit.

Cybint News reported that a cyber attack occurs every 39 seconds, impacting one in three Americans each year. And while the internet of things offers convenience, it also invites sophisticated hackers to take advantage of vulnerabilities.

Here’s what to expect from hackers in the next three years:

  • Cyber crime damage worldwide is expected to exceed $6 trillion annually by 2021 — Cybersecurity Ventures
  • Nearly half of all cyber attacks are targeted against small businessesInc.
  • Ransomware attacks on health care organizations are projected to quadruple by 2020 — CSO

A single vulnerability can launch a widespread security threat and harm the integrity of an organization’s data. An online MS in Cyber Security can prepare you to do more than detect threats — it can empower you to defend against them.

Data threats are present in every industry.

Every industry — from retail and finance to manufacturing and health care — needs trained professionals with the expertise to identify risks and then enforce a mitigation plan. A recent survey of more than 4,100 organizations found that seven out of 10 were not prepared to defend against a cyber attack.

What’s even more concerning is that the cyber security labor crisis is expected to extend into the next decade. The University of North Dakota (UND) recognizes this need and is dedicated to helping you transition into or advance your career in the growing field of cyber security.

An online master’s in cyber security can prepare you to:

  • Gain the analytical skills to examine digital forensics
  • Protect data transferred between different systems
  • Be a leader on the front lines in the fight against cyber crime

Cyber security experts are in high demand everywhere, which means that a degree in cyber security can position you as a valuable asset to any company or organization.

A career in cyber security is worth the investment.

“If any college student asked me what career would most assure 30 years of steady, well-paying employment, I would respond, ‘cybersecurity.’” — Alec Ross, senior adviser for innovation at the State Department, as quoted in The Washington Post

The benefits of defending against cyber crime go beyond a paycheck, but it’s helpful to understand the level of financial stability a career in cyber security can provide. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports cyber security professionals can earn an average salary of $116,000. That’s nearly three times the national median income for full-time, salaried workers.

What positions can you qualify for with your master’s in cyber security?

Your degree can qualify you for the following positions and average salaries:

  • Penetration Tester: $126,895
  • Data Scientist: $125,280
  • Security Software Developer: $104,655
  • Security Analyst: $98,756

An online master’s in cyber security can provide job security, higher salaries and stronger leadership opportunities.

Privacy matters. So does your education.

Hackers are becoming more creative, which means your skills need to be more diverse. The high-quality technical knowledge that you gain by earning your master’s can set you apart as a leader in the industry. UND offers an online MS in Cyber Security through its College of Engineering and Mines. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and ranked among the top 25 Most Innovative Schools by U.S. News & World Report.

Specialize your cyber security expertise.

A career in cyber security isn’t one-size-fits-all. Some experts focus on managing the core elements of computers, while others specialize in overseeing day-to-day operations. The more specialized you are, the more desirable your skills become.

UND’s online cyber security master’s program is designed to help you decide which area of the business you’d like to focus on before you enter the cyber security field. That way, you won’t just know what to expect — you’ll have the knowledge to excel.

Choose from four different tracks:

  • Autonomous systems cyber security: Learn to keep hands-free systems safe and protect the information they transmit.
  • Cyber security and behavior: Safeguard sophisticated networks and systems by understanding the people attempting to penetrate them.
  • Data security: Protect information from unauthorized users with intrusion detection algorithms and cloud computing.
  • General cyber security: Diversify your expertise by focusing on autonomous systems, data security and behavior.

Declare your niche with one of UND’s Master of Science in Cyber Security tracks and get ready to enter or advance in the cyber security field fully prepared to safeguard businesses big and small from cyber threats. We can make sure that confidential information stays that way — together.


Cybint Solutions

CSO from IDG: Cybersecurity Labor Crunch

Cybersecurity Ventures: Cybersecurity Jobs Report 2018-2021




Hiscox Inc.



U.S. News & World Report