PhD Programs in Information Security

Explore the curriculum in information security Ph.D. programs, which are heavy on research. Get info on what you'll study as a doctoral student in this field, and review the career opportunities you'd have after completing the degree. Schools offering Computer Forensics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is Involved in a Ph.D. in Information Security Degree Program?

Information security programs at the doctoral level are usually offered to students who've already earned master's degrees in the field, have considerable work experience and who strive for professional development or better-paying positions. Research is a major component of this Ph.D. program, encouraging its students to develop original ideas and to contribute to the body of knowledge regarding the ever-changing face of information security. While there are likey to be dissertation and residency requirements in many programs, online learning is also an option for this field.

Program FormatOn campus or online
Common CoursesIntrusion detection, distributed systems security, secure e-commerce, secure telecommunications
Career PathsMarketing firms, business management organizations, manufacturers, government agencies
Median Salary (2018) $142,530 (for all computer and information systems managers
Job Outlook (2016-2026)12% growth (for all computer and information systems managers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

What Types of Courses Will I Take?

A Ph.D. in Information Security will equip you with methods of advanced research and a deeper understanding of information assurance and security. All information security Ph.D. programs require you to write an original research dissertation and defend it. You may be expected to submit your dissertation for publication. Some of the advanced course topics you may cover include:

  • Secure telecommunications
  • Network security
  • Detecting intrusions
  • Distributed systems security
  • Secure e-commerce
  • Secure software design and programming
  • Computer security

What Can I Do With It?

With a doctorate in information security, you may find work as a university professor. You might also consider pursuing an advanced position within a variety of companies. Government agencies, sales companies, manufacturers, marketing firms, human resources departments, business management organizations and financial firms all hire information security experts.

Upon completing your doctoral education in information security, you may wish to become an independent contractor and charge for your services by the hour. You'll also be qualified to apply for such positions as information technology manager or supervisor, database administrator, computer systems analyst, computer research scientist, chief technology officer and chief information officer. The 2016 reports by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) state that the employment rate for computer and information systems managers is projected to grow by 12%, faster than the average for all U.S. jobs (

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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