Overview of Master's Degree in Computer Systems Security
Most businesses have moved away from storing information on paper files and now store the majority of data on computers. Although this is convenient and makes finding information easier, it creates a need for somebody to make sure those files remain private and secure. A master's degree program in computer systems security teaches students how to assess the computers for security risks and to prevent hackers from stealing private information. In addition to helping the computer systems remain secure, they may also be involved in planning and designing computer systems security programs and policies.
Information and computer technology is constantly changing. What was the professional standard even two years ago, would be considered out-of-date today. People looking to advance in their career often need a computer systems security master's degree because they do not have the most current and relevant information. Other people who pursue this degree have work experience in a different industry, and are looking to transfer into the technology sector.
Applying to a Master's Degree Program in Computer Systems Security
Although all applicants must have a bachelors degree, not all programs require students to have a bachelors degree in computer systems security. It is helpful to have some knowledge about computers prior to entering into the masters degree program, so students who are looking to switch career fields should first take some courses, or complete an internship in the field.
Each master's degree program in computer systems security has a different application procedure. However, there are general requirements that most degree programs follow. Typical graduate school applications include submitting a letter of recommendation, personal statement, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score, and transcripts. Most grad schools require applicants to have earned at least a 3.0 GPA. However, there are some programs that have lower GPA requirements.
How to Choose a Computer Systems Security Master's Degree Program
When choosing your master's degree program in computer systems security, students must first determine what they want to do with their degree. Some programs prepare students to work as the network administrator, while other programs prepare students to design the programs. Most programs prepare students to take on management positions, so if you already have experience in computer networking and wish to advance in your career, consider earning a masters degree in computer systems security. You may also become a computer systems analyst, or open your own business managing the computer systems of multiple companies.
Students who desire or need greater flexibility in their degree program should consider taking courses part-time, on evenings or weekend courses. Not all graduate schools offer these courses, however more are increasingly catering curriculum to the working professional and other non-traditional students. Another great option for those who wish to earn their masters degree is to attend an online masters degree program in computer systems security. Some schools offer the blended option in which students can attend courses on-campus and online. Other programs offer all courses to complete a master's degree program completely online.
What to Expect in a Master's Degree Program in Computer Systems Security
The master's degree program in computer systems security typically takes between two and five years to complete, depending on the type of program chosen and whether or not you will be attending grad school full-time or part-time. It prepares individuals to help keep computer systems secure. Specific courses that someone may take in order to complete their program include, computer engineering, statistics, mathematics, etc.
Most master's degree programs in computer systems security require students to complete a thesis and other schools provide students with the option. A thesis is an in-depth research paper on a specific aspect of computer systems security. Make sure you are passionate about the subject you decide to write your thesis because you will be working on it for the last half of your degree program. In addition, it might help you decide exactly which career path you would like to choose, or research you would like to conduct.
Top 10 Grad Schools for Computer Systems Security
- ITT Technical Institute
- Capella University - Minneapolis
- DePaul University
- Davenport University, Lettinga
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Westwood College
- DeVry University
- American InterContinental University
- Purdue University Global - online
- Strayer University
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