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An online Master of Science - Information Assurance is a relevant discipline. This degree is known for preparing graduate students for high-ranking research-focused positions in regard to protecting electronic information integrity, confidentiality, and availability.
With over 12,000 data breaches reported in the US between 2005 and June 2020, it's no wonder why a 32% rise in the demand for Information Assurance-related jobs in the coming decade is expected!
Whether you graduated with a bachelor's degree in Cybersecurity, Computer Science, Information Science, or any other IT-related program, one concrete master's degree choice is an online MS in Information Assurance.
Online MS of Information Assurance degree holders will have the opportunity to broaden their career options and earn more money. Additional career paths include advanced cybersecurity positions, corporate career advancement, and possibly teaching, research, and consulting positions.
Certifications consistently refresh and upgrade your skills and knowledge, but in obtaining upward progress in your career path, a graduate degree gives you an advantage in government agencies.
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Academic excellence should be the hallmark of an online MS of Information Assurance degree. We created our list of the best graduate schools in the US that deliver the most impressive online master's degree programs to assist you in making a choice.
Here are the salient features of the online Master of Science in Information Assurance on our list:
- Offers fully or partially online classes to accommodate professionals who cannot commit to campus-based master's online programs,
- Provides rigorous curricula that feature advanced courses in Information Assurance Education, Cybersecurity Management, Software Engineering, and more Information Systems core courses to equip students with advanced knowledge in detecting and protecting system vulnerabilities and implementing security measures,
- Offers concentrations for specialized Information Assurance expertise,
- Facilitated through a top-rated Learning Management System featuring easy-to-access coursework and study tools,
- Taught by professors who are experts in Information Assurance or hold terminal degrees in the field,
- Offers assistance programs to students, with an academic advisor guiding them as they navigate graduate study and career possibilities,
- Offers federal financial aid and reduced tuition programs to online students pursuing master's degrees,
- Compliant with regional accreditation requirements,
- Affiliated with industry associations that promote graduate programs focusing on Information Assurance.
Please read our Methodology to learn about the process involved in our graduate school rankings.
The 10 Best Online MS in Information Assurance Programs
University of Maryland Global Campus
College Park, Maryland
Information Assurance is a specialization of the online Master's in Information Technology offered by the University of Maryland. It features coursework that promotes a practical understanding of data security, cyber security, and computer forensics.
- This program teaches core IT knowledge and skills, as well as the processes of intrusion detection and prevention, cryptology, and network and internet security.
- This program is an ideal choice for mid-career professionals or career shifters.
- The program's total required credits are 36.
Through this program, you'll learn to analyze the damage, conduct data forensic analysis, and trace cyber attacks. You'll be familiar with relevant laws, regulations, policies, and ethics. Some other technical knowledge you'll learn is about wireless network security, VPNs, and firewalls.
Did You Know?
More than 294,000 undergraduate and graduate students were enrolled in online courses worldwide at the University of Maryland Global Campus in 2019.
Strayer University's MS in Information Assurance curriculum comes with ten core courses based on the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) framework:
- Students can assess and recommend measures for safeguarding an organization's information assets using leading-edge techniques and defending them against cyberattacks.
- It presents proven strategies for real-world investigations of cybersecurity events and crimes using leading-edge technology to minimize their impact on IT systems.
- The program is 11 weeks long.
This online MS in Information Assurance program emphasizes cybersecurity education and training. Expect to develop a conceptual understanding of secure IT systems and IT network policies. Students are also trained to support, administer, and maintain information technology systems to ensure their effectiveness and efficiency.
Did You Know?
Several respected organizations have certified or accredited Strayer University. Their programs meet industry-recognized standards, allowing you to earn a graduate degree you can be proud of.
To address today's rapidly growing need for experts in the field of Cybersecurity, Liberty University offers an online MS in Information Assurance.
- This online master's in information assurance is available 100% online, and classes are available anytime.
- The core coursework covers IT legal issues, leadership, system analysis, and IT infrastructure.
- Taught by professors at Strayer demonstrates expertise in Information Security or Assurance, it features the strategies for identifying and responding to hacker and cybercriminal threats and protecting valuable information and data.
Throughout the online graduate program, students discover emerging technologies, understand how humans interact with computers, manage effective information systems, and address challenges.
Did You Know?
Liberty University offers more than just degree programs; biblical principles are integrated into the curriculum.
Northeastern University's Online MS in Information Assurance, offered 100% online through the College of Computer and Information Science, offers two track options:
- Contextual Track that focuses on gaining a broad, contextual understanding of the field and the role of information assurance professionals,
- Technical Track develops specific technical skills, focusing on fundamental aspects of information security.
The duration of the program is two to three years. Capstone projects and co-ops offer real-world experience for online students.
This online Information Assurance, with courses that are closely linked with the principles of cybersecurity, combines knowledge of IT with social sciences, law, and criminology. Students learn to solve information security issues such as identity theft, computer viruses, hacking attacks, and cyber warfare.
Did You Know?
Northeastern University has a unique school event called "The Underwear Run, which has become a college tradition every Parent's Weekend, originally organized by cross-country teams.
Iowa State University
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, collaborating with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, offers Iowa State University's interdisciplinary program that features in-depth coursework and hands-on research projects.
The Online or on-campus graduate courses cover the topics of:
- Digital Forensics,
- Information Warfare, and
- Computer Security policy, strategies, and strategy implementation.
Online MS in Information Assurance students must complete a thesis or capstone project.
Also equipping students with basic soft skills like leadership, teamwork, and work ethics, the program prepares students for various careers, including chief technology officer, network security analyst, and information assurance manager.
Did You Know?
Iowa State University has offered Information Assurance, one of the country's most extensive programs in the field, since 1995.
Sam Houston State University
Sam Houston State University's online Master's in Information Assurance program is designed for students from various educational and professional backgrounds seeking graduate-level education and training.
- Database security, business continuity management, and organization systems security are topics in this online graduate program.
- The Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges accredits Sam Houston State University.
- The program requires 30 credit hours for completion.
The online MS in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity program is open to holders of undergraduate degrees in Computer Science, Management Information Systems, and other related technical fields. A GRE waiver may be available to students with significant work experience or a master's in a similar field.
Did You Know?
The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education recognized SHSU as a Doctoral University of High Research Activity in 2022. Only two Texas State University System (TSUS) universities currently hold this research status.
Western Governors University
An online MS in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance degree program is offered at WGU through the College of Information Technology.
- The coursework offers a comprehensive overview of cyber law and regulations, network forensics, ethical hacking, and security networking.
- Students and graduates can earn certifications like the EC–Council Certified Ethical Hacker and EC–Council Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator.
- Cybersecurity analysts, systems administrators, and cybersecurity consultants are among the careers students can pursue after completing the program.
- Most students finish the program in 22 months.
MS in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance graduates at WGU land jobs protecting valuable data in top organizations, giving them opportunities for advancement and leadership in their careers.
Did You Know?
Almost half of WGU's college students are first-generation college students.
Norwich University offers concentrations for its online MS in Information Security and Assurance, including Project Management, Vulnerability Management, and Cybercrime.
Program Management is accredited by Project Management Institute and is recognized by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.
- The number of students per class is 15.
- Eighteen months is the average time for completing this master's program.
- An on-campus residency in Vermont is required at the end of the online MS in Information Security program.
Norwich University's graduate program meets the standards set by the National Information Assurance Training and Education Center (NIATEC).
Did You Know?
No other private institution taught engineering before Norwich University.
West Lafayette, Indiana
Purdue University welcomes professionals taking on and seeking to advance their technical cybersecurity and privacy roles in industry or government to its online MS in Information Security program.
- Graduate students acquire in-depth knowledge of relevant systems and earn proficiency using cutting-edge software tools, qualifying them for top-level information security researchers and specialists.
- The program is best suited for professionals who have acquired Programming or Computer Science experience in their careers or earned a Bachelor of Science in Computing.
- Thirty total credits are required upon completion.
Students in this online Master's Degree program gain professional skills and competencies by completing course lab assignments and projects, wherein they obtain training in security systems and appropriate defense strategies.
Did You Know?
Purdue University Airport is the country's first university-owned airport—and Indiana's second-largest!
Grand Rapids, Michigan
The online MS in Information Assurance & Cybersecurity program at Davenport University develops students' risk management and analysis skills. It extensively discusses the legal and ethical issues related to cybersecurity, such as data protection, on a national and international scale.
- The degree program can be completed online through their Global Campus.
- Davenport also maintains its Detroit Campus and WA Lettinga Campus in Grand Rapids.
- The program requires 34 credits for completion.
Students and graduates can obtain Advanced Cybersecurity certifications, such as the CISSP, one of the most valuable certifications in information technology.
Did You Know?
Henry Ford enrolled at Davenport University in December 1884 to take a three-month bookkeeping course.
Skills Needed for Information Assurance Specialists
As an information assurance professional, you might be responsible for troubleshooting, maintaining, and updating information security systems. You will need the technical aptitude to perform network monitoring and provide solutions for information security.
In your role as an information assurance analyst, you'll work closely with other departments, and it's imperative that you communicate your findings and solutions effectively. To communicate technical information to individuals with different levels of technical understanding, you must speak clearly and concisely about cybersecurity strategy and policy.
An Information Security professional does not necessarily need coding skills, but they gain an excellent advantage for career promotions. Coding skills help students gain an in-depth understanding of the many aspects of Information Technology.
Understanding how network infrastructure works is essential to learning how to secure it. A solid understanding of networking and system architecture is helpful for cybersecurity professionals.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does an online Master's in Information Assurance cost?
According to EducationData.org, the average cost of a master's degree was $65,134 in 2022, but it varies widely depending on the university, the learners' residency status, and the length of the program.
Depending on the university or college, it can go as low as nearly $9,000 and as high as $80,000.
Typically, master's degrees finish in two years. Students can graduate sooner with accelerated programs offered by some schools.
What are the salaries for online Master of Science graduates in Information Assurance?
Job titles, employers, and geographical locations affect an Information Assurance professional's salary. According to Payscale, a graduate of MS in Information Assurance earns an average of $103,000 yearly.
What can be learned in an online MS in Information Assurance degree program?
Information Assurance online master's degrees emphasize technical and conceptual coursework featuring:
- Information Security
- Risk Management and Compliance
- Information Warfare
- Computer Security Ethical and Legal Issues
Also, there may be opportunities for internships and practical experience.
How long does Online MS in Information Assurance take?
Traditionally, master's degrees in Information Assurance require two years of coursework. Part-time students earn their master's in information assurance over three to five years, whereas full-time students complete it over four semesters.
Usually, master's students in this field are expected to have had foundational knowledge of Information Security, Computer Science, and Cybersecurity. Some online IA master's programs offer accelerated completion, typically in 12 to 18 months on eight-week terms.
How do you become an Information Assurance Analyst?
Bachelor's degrees are required for aspiring information security analysts. A bachelor's degree in information assurance and security is usually required for enrollment in a graduate program.
Students conduct industry research as part of their program requirements. By completing a capstone project, they demonstrate their understanding of security threats.
To gain experience in more advanced positions, recent graduates often begin as network and computer system administrators. In this field, certification is required for most leadership roles.
- Whether you earned a bachelor's degree in IT-related programs or have a knack for tech, proceeding to an online MS in information assurance is your springboard for higher pay and better job opportunities.
- Organizations value IA because it protects user data before, during, and after data storage.
- With business transactions and processes increasingly relying on digital handling practices, IA has become an essential component of data security.
- In addition to protecting user data during transit, IA is crucial to organizations that seek to ensure the security of their assets.