The 4 Best Online Master's in Information Security Programs

All of the best online master’s in information security programs help you develop skills that are valuable in today’s technologically advanced society. Many universities offer programs that teach similar concepts, but the approach to these concepts can vary between schools. Certain programs give you a lot of flexibility when it comes to designing a schedule that suits your goals and interests. Some programs give you multiple opportunities to gain hands-on lab experience, a characteristic that can help you when it comes time to find a job. The right program for you is going to be highly dependent on what you value in an online program and what sort of career you are looking to pursue.

The University of Southern California’s online master’s in cybersecurity program gives students a lot of hands-on practice through lab work that emulates real-world situations. This should give you a lot of practical skills that will translate well into the workplace. You’ll learn about all aspects of information security throughout the program, including cryptography, computer networking, and security policies. This program isn’t as flexible as some of the other programs on this list in terms of what courses you can take, but it will still provide you with a solid understanding of how to develop secure systems and how to maintain them. The named University of Southern California as the best online graduate computer information technology program for 2013, so if you choose their cybersecurity program, you can be confident that you’re getting a top-quality education.

Sam Houston State University also earns a spot among the best online master’s in information security programs. Its information assurance and security degree program can be started in the fall, spring, or summer, so you don’t have to wait around for September to start taking classes. As a student in this program, you’ll learn about risk assessments, database security, and computer network security, among other concepts as you work towards completing the 36 total credit hours needed to graduate. Sam Houston State University’s program also gives you the opportunity to replace one of your elective classes with an internship. This gives you the chance to get some real hands-on experience in the field while still working towards your degree. Another characteristic that helps the program stand out among the best are relatively low tuition rates, which come in at just over $500 per credit. Considering that other top programs charge more than $1,300 per credit, Sam Houston State University is a great value.

Johns Hopkins University offers an online master’s program in cybersecurity that can be tailored to suit your goals and interests. There are three different options to choose from: networks, systems, and analysis. Each one has a slightly different focus, but all cover the basics of how to secure computers and information systems from cyber attack. When you’re enrolled in this program, you’ll also have access to Johns Hopkins University’s computing facilities to assist you in your studies. Another nice thing about this information security program is that you can also take classes as a non-degree-seeking student as long as you meet the prerequisites. This is a great option if you want to expand your knowledge on the subject but aren’t interested in pursuing an online master’s degree. Whatever you choose, you can be confident that information security classes at Johns Hopkins University will teach you the professional skills you need to succeed in today’s workforce.

Columbia University’s online master’s in computer security program gives you a wide variety of electives to choose from, enabling you to tailor your education to suit your interests as well as your professional goals. All students in this program will be required to take courses on security architecture and network security, along with the other general computer science requirements. Columbia University gives you a wide variety of electives to choose from as well, so you can focus your studies on the areas of information security that you find most interesting. Some possible options include cryptography, network theory, cloud computing, and privacy and anonymity. One thing to be aware of before choosing Columbia University, though, is that its tuition rates are among the highest in the industry. Columbia University is one of the best universities in the world, but if price is a big concern for you, there are probably other schools on this list that would better suit you.