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Information Systems Security Master's Degree

For those of you who enjoy the prospect of hacking prevention and IT policy, a master's degree in information systems security can be the start of a great career. This article looks at the typical makeup of a master's program, including common courses.

What Might I Learn in an Information Systems Security Master's Degree Program?

Some specific degrees available in this field include a Master of Science in Computer and Information Systems Security and a Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance. You may also be able to enroll in a school that offers a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in security.

These graduate programs can take about two years to complete, and many colleges give you the opportunity to take some or all of your courses online. As part of the degree program, you will likely gain an in-depth understanding of computer network systems and how to ensure that a company's information technology remains safe and secure. You'll learn to understand concepts like cryptography and the common security protocols used to prevent hackers from accessing sensitive information.

Program LengthTwo to three years
Course FormatIn person or online
Common CoursesNetwork security, ethical and legal issues, cryptography, database design
Median Salary (2020)*  $151,150 (for all computer & information systems managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

What Are Some Common Courses I May Take?

Your courses are likely to build on your previous experience with computers and teach you ways to promote information security within a business or government organization. Your classes will generally cover database administration, information technology, business leadership and software applications. Some of your courses may cover:

  • Database design and management
  • Information technology security policies
  • Cryptography and stopping hackers
  • Network security
  • Ethical and legal issues in computer security

What Careers Are Available Once I Graduate?

Once you graduate with your master's degree, you may be able to find employment as a computer and information systems manager. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the employment of these types of managers is expected to grow at a much faster than average rate. Employment is projected to grow 10% between 2019 and 2029 as companies continue to install and upgrade technology in the workplace. At the same time, companies will also be looking for skilled employees who can set up and manage sophisticated information systems.