Students interested in pursuing masters of information assurance degrees likely have undergraduate degrees in an information technology or a related management field. Information assurance is a specialized field of IT that requires more in-depth knowledge of data and network security, computer forensics, and information protection. Professional experience in a related field is also highly regarded when applying for this type of graduate degree program.
Information assurance would appeal to IT professionals who wish to be more involved in keeping all types of sensitive information secure. On the technical side, these professionals would be involved in building and maintaining security systems and monitoring for vulnerability within the network systems that are placed in their care. On the policy-making side, they would be more involved in creating procedures for keeping data safe and establishing the necessary guidelines to be followed throughout the company. As information security remains vital to our national economy and security, an advanced degree in this field can offer valuable skills when looking for job security and longevity.
How to Find the Best Masters in Information Assurance Degrees
Within this growing field, the best information assurance degrees can be obtained both on campus and online. Some of the top accredited on-campus programs include John Hopkins University and Nova Southeastern University. John Hopkins enjoys a ranking of 13th in U.S. News and World Report’s overall listing of best universities in the nation and offers both undergraduate prerequisite coursework and a comprehensive Master of Science in Security Informatics degree program. Nova Southeastern offers a Master of Science in Information Security degree program that includes, along with the more standard curricular items related to information assurance, coursework in artificial intelligence.
Not surprisingly in this highly technical field, many good online options also exist. Some of the best online information assurance degree programs are offered at Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College and Boston University’s distance education, both of which offer general IT graduate programs but include specific degrees in information security. Carnegie Mellon’s program has been recognized for academic excellence in information assurance by the National Security Agency, making their graduate degrees in this field much sought after. Boston University was also ranked by U.S. World and News Report as 51st on their list of best colleges and national universities, with their online graduate IT program offering a concentration in information security.
Careers And Salaries For Individuals With Masters in Information Assurance Degrees
An advanced degree in information assurance could take you into a variety of careers both within the private and the public sector. Any company that does any business online today has need of some form of information security personnel to protect confidential information, both the company’s and their client’s. In addition, professionals in this field could find themselves in information assurance careers within the National Security Agency as either civilian or military personnel, contributing to national security by protecting and defending the country’s national security networks and information.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, information assurance salaries within this field average about $81,000 annually. Job growth within this field and specifically for those with masters in information assurance degrees is expected to continue at a faster than average rate when compared to all U.S. industries through the next decade.