This is a different world than has ever existed before. Unlike 50 years ago, a social security number doesn’t gather dust sitting on a card in a safe deposit box and almost nobody uses cash to pay important bills. Instead, personal information is sitting in computers across the country, and accessing this information is all it takes to rob someone blind. Safeguarding personal information is vital to today’s economy, which is why an information security master’s degree can be a helpful step to a well-paying, secure career.
Information security is one of the fastest growing as well as one of today’s most dynamic fields. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the information security field is expected to grow 22 percent between 2010 and 2020, which is faster than average for most other occupations. Unlike many other computer-related occupations (such as web programming and phone-based technical support) the sensitive nature of this position makes it unlikely to be outsourced.
Benefits of an Information Security Master’s Degree
Though most positions in computer information security require only a bachelor’s degree in a related field of study, a Master’s can open many doors for the network professional. It is a good way to remain sharp and invest in personal professional development after a few years of industry experience. It can also help lower-level workers who desire to seek management positions. Finally, for those who are transitioning to information security from other fields, a master’s degree provides the necessary information without having to go through four years of school.
Other Significant Developments
Another good reason for computer professionals to consider an information security masters degree is the significant rise in security-related government positions. In the past few years, the United States government has invested significant resources — and money — to protect the nations’ computer infrastructure, a trend which is expected to continue. A master’s degree could be a step toward a well-paying, high-benefits government job. Or it could be the road to a career in health record security, another important field as Baby Boomers age and more physicians switch to paperless record systems.
Though the most common position for those who hold an information security masters degree is “computer information security analyst,” there are many other positions that this type of degree can be appropriate preparation for. These positions include Computer and Information Systems Managers (positions that almost always require a graduate degree) as well as Computer Information Research Scientists. The latter positions often require a Ph.D. which makes a master’s degree is an important (but not the final) step toward that level of training.
With the advent of widespread cloud computing and the continued development of mobile computing via smartphones and tablet computers, individuals will be doing more shopping, health care tasks, and banking online. Protecting the personal and financial information of these users is going to become a vital task for the economy of the 21st century. An information security masters degree can set the computer professional apart and give him or her access to more and higher-paying positions than an undergraduate degree alone will.