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Learn more about the M.S. Cybersecurity and Information Assurance degree and see why it could be the right fit for your future.Learn More
Technology is advancing, and cyber attacks are advancing right along with it. In a world where so much of our lives are on phones and computers, security for these devices is key. Organizations and individuals alike need cybersecurity professionals to help safeguard privacy and information. A master's degree in cybersecurity can be crucial in helping you advance your knowledge of computer security, and be prepared for important roles in the future of tech.
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Cyber Security Analyst
A cybersecurity analyst’s job is to watch out for cyberthreats coming to an organization, and implement changes to increase security. They manage and configure tools to monitor network activity, analyze reports to check for unusual behavior, identify network vulnerabilities through pen testing and vulnerability scans, and apply security patches to increase protection. Many organizations have cybersecurity analysts to help keep their company and its data safe.
The average annual salary for cyber security analysts is $99,000. This is well above the national average salary in the U.S. which is $56,000, making it a great career choice. Entry-level salaries are around $42,000 per year, with the top 10% earning more than $152,000 per year. A master's degree can greatly impact your salary level, propeling your forward in position and pay. Salaries for this kind of position will also greatly vary based on the location, the organization where you are working, and the specific kind of work you are doing.
While you can become a cybersecurity analyst with a bachelor's degree, a master's degree will make you even more competitive for this role. A master's degree will give you added knowledge and management skills that can help you excel in this role. Most cybersecurity professionals will have experience in other areas of IT before moving into cybersecurity, and a master's degree can help prove you have the necessary background and experience for this role.
Cyber security analysts are expected to grow 32% by the year 2028, over 5 times faster than the national average for job growth. This is because as technology advances, the need for professionals who know how to secure data and increase privacy are increasingly vital.
job growth by 2028
A cybersecurity risk manager will identify the industry standards and regulations in order to minimize the risk of losing sensitive information to hackers. Business systems need risk managers to help develop, maintain, and evaluate their security policies and procedures. They work with engineering and operations teams to ensure regulations are met, and do audits of systems to evaluate for potential risks or problems. They regularly research and learn about new regulations and security tactics, document and maintain all of the security policies, monitor the effectivness, and explain risks and security options to stakeholders.
Risk managers earn an average annual salary of $117,000 per year, with the bottom 10% earning about $100,000 per year, and the top 10% earning more than $137,000 per year. Risk managers can earn more if they work for larger organizations with complex systems and policies that need addressing. The more high-level information a company has, the more they need proper risk management, so the more they are willing to pay. Your level of education is also crucial to getting this role, and making more money.
A degree in cybersecurity is key to landing a role as a risk manager. Management level positions are generally reserved for those who have a master's degree, so getting a risk manager job will likely require that higher education. A master's degree in cybersecurity will give you additional knowledge in cybersecurity management, how to work with stakeholders and other organizational leaders to implement changes, and how to understand regulations. Risk managers can greatly benefit from a cybersecurity master's degree.
Employment for risk managers is expected to rise 15% in the next few years, much faster than the national average of 6% job growth. This is because as more companies understand their need for privacy and security, more risk managers will be hired to help implement the best policies and analyze future problems. Risk managers are key members of IT and security teams to help make sure a company is following the rules, and keeping information as safe as possible.
job growth by 2028
Computer hackers are constantly looking for new ways to break into an organization's systems and steal data. So it's important that cybersecurity experts can stay one step ahead of them. That's where ethical hackers or white hat hackers come in. Ethical hackers are well versed in current ways to hack, information security, and social engineering, and they stay on top of how cyber criminals or black hat hackers are breaking into networks. Ethical hackers are legally allowed to hack, and they use their knowledge to hack into an organization’s network and learn about the vulnerabilities. They help explain to clients where their vulnerabilities are, and give options for the best ways to strengthen the security of their system.
Ethical hackers earn an average annual salary of around $72,000 per year. The bottom 10% earn about $50,000 with the top 10% earning more than $132,000 per year. The amount of money you can earn will be directly impacted by your education level, and where you work. Ethical hackers are usually employed by software companies who are hired out by organizations to analyze their system and security. They then work with that organization to understand the vulnerabilities and create software options to help.
A cybersecurity master's degree can be a great asset to an ethical hacker. Many master's degree programs give specific training in ethical hacking and can help you get set in motion for certification and additional courses. A master's degree in cybersecurity goes beyond the basics and can help you prepare to work with individuals who don't know cybersecurity to explain their vulnerabilities, as well as lead software teams to help develop solutions to problems.
The BLS says that information security analysts which includes ethical hackers are expected to grow 28% by 2028, much faster than the national average. This is largely because more organizations are seeing cyber breaches, data theft, and are wanting to make their systems more secure to protect themselves and their customers. As more organizations see a need for securing systems, the need for ethical hackers will continue to grow.
job growth by 2028
A Chief Information Security Officer or CISO is a senior executive and their direct job is to oversee the entire security department of an organization. They regularly report to the rest of the company’s executive suite about security and technology. They direct and oversee the security systems, approve new policies, oversee security testing and software implementation, maintain a current understanding of the IT industry and security options, manage the entire security team including hiring and budgets, schedule and oversee security audits, and work with other executives and stakeholders to explain security systems and plans. Many organizations have a CISO who works with third party companies or the IT department to run security systems in the organization.
Chief information security officer is one of the highest paid positions in IT, with the average yearly salary sitting at $227,000. The bottom 10% earn $198,000 per year, and the top 10% earn more than $262,000 per year. The company that you work for, what they do, and where they are located are key factors in determining your salary level.
If you want to become a CISO, a master's degree is a requirement. A master's degree in cybersecurity is an ideal choice for this position, as it will prepare you to manage teams and work with stakeholders, give you advanced understanding of security systems and cyber issues, and will help you prepare to work with a variety of systems and programs to help safeguard your organization.
Job growth for CISOs is higher than the national average, expected to grow 11% by 2028. This is largely because more organizations are seeing a need to add this executive level position to their organization. Cyber hackers are getting more sophisticated, so having someone to regulate their security systems and protocols is key to data privacy.
job growth by 2028