The Top 10 Best Programs for a Master's in IT and Computer Security

ms information security online A Master’s in Information Security is one of the most popular graduate degrees one can obtain in the field of Information Technology. With hacking and other forms of cyber attacks on the rise, formal training and education in information, computer, and cyber security is critically important to furthering your career as an IT professional.

Ranking The Top 10 Online Master’s in Information Security and Computer Security Programs

Summary Ranking

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1. Capella University: M.S. – Information Assurance and Security
2. Colorado Technical University: Master of Science in Information Technology – Security Management
3. Colorado Technical University: Master of Science in Management – Information Systems Security
4. Northcentral University: Master of Business Administration – Computer and Information Security
5. Colorado Technical University: Master of Science in Computer Science – Computer Systems Security
6. Western Governors University: M.S. Information Security and Assurance
7. Utica College: Master of Science in Cybersecurity – Intelligence
8. Utica College: Master of Science in Cybersecurity – Computer Forensics
9. Strayer University: Master of Science in Information Systems – Computer Security Management
10. Walden University: Master of Science (M.S.) in Information Technology – Information Security

The field of information technology security  is one of the fastest growing job markets in the country. This growth is due to an increase in high profile security breaches and the security field is becoming one of the most important fields in the industry. There are many graduate programs to choose from, all with different specializations. The goal of this article is to list the top ten online graduate degree programs for Information Security Master’s. The programs are ranked with the primary consideration given to accreditation. All schools are accredited though some more thoroughly than others. Awards, designations and accolades where present also influenced the rankings along with the overall reputation of the institution offering the program.

1. Capella University: MS – Information Assurance and Security

This program from Capella University is a well rounded program that covers both the technical and policy sides of security. The program covers enterprise security, security risk management, wireless security and computer forensics. This is a very strong degree covering a broad range of topics and a strong choice for those looking to specialize in information security management or consulting in a broad range of fields including health care, government and the military. Capella has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the NSA and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Capella is also accredited by ABET, making it the top choice among online programs in the IT security field. More free info about this program…

2. Colorado Technical University: Master of Science in Information Technology – Security Management

One of the hallmarks of this program is versatility. This program allows students to specialize in any number of areas from digital forensics to data and application security. The course offers further customization by allowing students to select four credit hours from advanced business, computer science or information technology courses. Anybody with a strong idea of what they want to focus on in their study of the field and is interested in management should consider this program which will allows students to tailor their education while still providing them with all of the essential knowledge necessary for work in the field. Colorado Tech is accredited by the HLC, a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Colorado Department of Higher Education, the Missouri Department of Higher Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. More free info about this program…

3. Colorado Technical University: Master of Science in Management – Information Systems Security

This program is a comprehensive study of the management of information systems security with a specific emphasis on project management. This is one of the top online degrees available in this aspect of the field. The program covers all of the necessary management but also allows further concentration in network security, security management and software information assurance, giving the student a wide range of possible study within this single degree program. The versatility of the program combined with the quality of the institution is why this program is ranked at number three. Colorado Tech is accredited by the HLC, a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Colorado Department of Higher Education, the Missouri Department of Higher Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. More free info on this program…

4. Northcentral University: Master of Business Administration – Computer and Information Security

This program is a different take on the problem of information assurance and security; it approaches the problem from the business side of the equation. The program has a strong emphasis on security theory while still providing some of the technical training available in other degrees, but the technical side is not as in depth. The courses also cover the management of appropriate security programs from a law enforcement, government, private and management perspective. This program is perfect for somebody looking for a strong understanding of the security field from a business process perspective. The more elaborate the security field becomes, the more necessary it will be to have professionals that can mediate between the business and technical staff. A person with this degree will understand the balance necessary between security and efficiency. The broad applicability of this degree combined with strong accreditation make this a quality choice for those interested in the business side of the IT security field. Northcentral is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. More free info on this program…

5. Colorado Technical University: Master of Science in Computer Science – Computer Systems Security

Geared toward approaching security from a computer science perspective, this program is perfect for a computer science professional seeking to specialize in computer security. Particularly those that wish to design security systems. Many degrees in the field concentrate on management and big picture thinking, this program focuses instead on design and implementation. The program offers insights into everything from operating systems and networking to computer system architecture and the process of software engineering. This program offers not only an overview of computer systems security,  security implementation and policy but also offers training in the design and implementation of various security measure themselves. This is the best online program available for a computer science professional wanting to be involved with the IT security field. Colorado Tech is accredited by the HLC, a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Colorado Department of Higher Education, the Missouri Department of Higher Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. More free info on this program…

6. Western Governors University: M.S. Information Security and Assurance

This program is designed for both experienced IT professionals and people with other experience looking for an in depth understanding of information security and assurance. This is a strong option for those seeking to enter the field of information security, particularly for those that may not have a strong background in IT. In addition to the degree itself, you will earn the CCENT, EC0-350, EC0-349 and GIAC G2700 certificates. A strong program from a reputable institution. The program is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities Distance Education and Training Council. More free info on this program…

7. Utica College: Master of Science in Cybersecurity – Intelligence

This program approaches IT security from a pro-active standpoint. The emphasis here is on cyber warfare. This is particularly for students looking to work within the government maintaining national security. Areas of study include cyber intelligence and counterintelligence, cyber counterterrorism and cyber countersabatoge. This program presents the security specialist as an essential component in the future of national security. For people interested in working on the cutting edge of security in high pressure situations with much at stake, this program is very promising. This program is notable for its unique applications in the field.  Utica is accredited by The Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. More free info on this program…

8. Utica College: Master of Science in Cybersecurity – Computer Forensics

The forensics specialization at Utica is focused on understanding what happened after an unauthorized intrusion has taken place; it is important for security professionals to be able to investigate and analyze the data to determine what information has been compromised. This program also focuses on tracking criminals and recovering compromised data. Another focus is the preservation of digital evidence. This program has wide applications from private consulting to law enforcement and corporate security. Utica is accredited by The Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. More free info on this program…

9. Strayer University: Master of Science in Information Systems – Computer Security Management

The programs offered by Strayer all fall under the Master of Science in Information Systems program and are divided by concentrations.  The computer security management concentration is focused on providing the skills to manage the security of enterprise level networks. The focus of the program is on policies, procedures, plans and controls. There is also emphasis on risk assessment, business impact analysis, security auditing. In short the program is focused on the management end of the spectrum while still providing a strong education in information systems and their inner workings. Strayer is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. More free info on this program…

10. Walden University: Master of Science (M.S.) in Information Technology – Information Security

This program is focused on preparing students for careers in IT security analysis, IT business analysis and technology risk management. The program offers not only techniques to protect against, detect and respond to breaches, but also offers study into information ethics which is essential to educating a staff of professionals in the proper handling of sensitive data. Walden is accredited by the HLC and a member of the North Central Association. More free info about this program…

More About Master’s in IT Security Programs

It is important to find the IT security degree program that’s right for you. In some cases this may mean seeking out a program with established credentials. Some programs meet certain standards and guidelines.  Among the agencies to look for are the following.

  • National Security Agency (NSA)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE/IAE)
  • Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

 

Who Master’s in Information Security Programs Are For

  • Individuals who have real world experience and need to supplement it with formal education
  • Experienced information technology professionals who want to move into information assurance management positions.

Individuals wishing to specialize in the security of data and information often pursue a Masters in Information Assurance, a degree that’s particularly important for those seeking a management position in this field.

Top Brick and Mortar Schools offering Masters in IT Security

  • SANS Technology Institute – Masters in IT Security
  • Johns Hopkins University – MS Security Informatics
  • Walden University – MS in Information Technology
  • American Intercontinental University – Masters in Information Assurance and Security
  • Kaplan University – MS in Information Technology – Information Security and Assurance
  • Virginia College – Master of Science – Cybersecurity
  • Lewis University – Master of Science in Information Security – Managerial and Technical
  • Northcentral University – MBA – Computer Information Security
  • Western Governors University – MS in Information Security and Assurance
  • Strayer University – Master of Science in Information Systems – Computer Security Management
  • Southern New Hampshire University – Master of Science – Information Security – Internet Security Concentration
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