Best Online Master’s in Cybercrime 2021
Updated July 14, 2021
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Cybercrime master's degrees train candidates in math concepts, classroom technologies, research skills, cultural considerations, and the history of cybercrime.
Freshman applicants must submit high school transcripts or GED scores. Some online universities require high school prerequisites, FAFSA results, and standardized test scores. Applicants with college experience should also provide official undergraduate transcripts to receive transfer credit, lower their overall tuition bill, and reduce the time needed to graduate.
The Best Online Master's in Cybercrime Programs
Online Master's in Cybercrime Programs Ranking Guidelines
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Featured Online Master's in Cybercrime Programs
What Is an Online Master's in Cybercrime?
An online master's in cybersecurity equips graduates with the skills to detect and protect against cyberattacks. They learn to analyze systems for vulnerabilities and investigate any suspicious or malicious activity. These programs typically take two years to complete, though some schools offer accelerated programs online.
Completing a master's in cybersecurity most often leads to information technology occupations, including advanced positions as computer scientists and management-level professionals. Master's degrees help learners develop expertise in different operating systems, industries, and emerging technologies. Students can specialize their degrees to focus on niche areas like digital forensics, cybersecurity law, or incident management.
Choosing an Online Master's in Cybercrime Program
When choosing an online master's in cybersecurity, students should consider several factors that can impact experience and outcomes. For online programs, learners should pay close attention to program length, tuition costs for in-state and out-of-state students, and residency requirements.
Cybersecurity degree-seekers should also consider each program's curriculum, offered specializations, and practical training opportunities. It's best to choose a program that aligns with your career goals and interests. Try making a priority list and creating your own rankings to help narrow your options.
What's the Difference Between Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, and Computer Forensics?
An online master's in cybersecurity typically provides similar core training and requires the same amount of time as degrees in cybercrime and computer forensics. However, cybersecurity focuses more on establishing protections and thwarting criminal activity, while cybercrime programs focus on analyzing criminal behavior. Computer forensics emphasizes investigative analysis.
These programs can lead to many of the same cybersecurity careers, such as information security analyst and computer and information systems manager. While each specialization offers unique strengths, online master's in cybersecurity degrees are the most common, so more employers recognize the training.
Accreditation for Online Master's in Cybercrime Programs
Before deciding on a school, students should always check for accreditation. Required by most employers and financial aid organizations, regional accreditation ensures that the program meets necessary educational quality standards.
Though not always required, cybersecurity programs can also receive programmatic accreditation from ABET. Like regional accreditation, this recognition assures students and employers that the program provides training that meets or exceeds industry standards.
What Can I Expect When Pursuing a Master's in Cybercrime Online?
Each master's in cybersecurity offers a unique curriculum, but there are a few core topics that most programs include. The following section explores the most popular courses in cybersecurity.
Common Courses in Cybercrime Online Programs
- Information Assurance: This course covers basic concepts for protecting networks, communication, and data, including how to plan, implement, and manage security and system integrity. Students examine the most contemporary approaches to preventing, detecting, and recovering from information loss; fundamentals and applications of cryptography; and security in networks and distributed environments.
- Digital Forensics Investigation: Enrollees explore investigation practices for uncovering digital crime in computers, networks, operating systems, mobile devices, and other areas of digital forensics. Coursework covers the identification, collection, authentication, preservation, and presentation of digital forensic evidence.
- Security Risk Analysis and Planning: Degree-seekers receive training in risk analysis, disaster recovery, incident response, security controls, and business continuity. Students examine internal and external partnerships, governance, emerging threats and vulnerabilities, and security capabilities. The course also addresses risks in financial regulations and privacy.
- Network Security: Students learn to apply defensive measures to secure networks, identify the overall network security posture, and implement basic practices in vulnerability assessment. Topics include data and host security; protocols and analysis; threats and vulnerabilities; and application, access control, and identity management.
- Legal and Ethical Issues in Information Security: Cybersecurity professionals must understand the legal and ethical issues related to the rise of global connectivity and information sharing. Students examine confidentiality, privacy, and local, federal, and international laws. The course emphasizes government regulation, e-commerce, and e-business.
Cybercrime Professional Organizations
Professional organizations provide students and professionals with access to supportive career resources. In the cybersecurity industry, these organizations help members find employment and advance their careers. Some of the most significant professional organizations in the industry are listed below.
Earning a master's in cybersecurity opens many professional doors. The specialized training equips them for various leadership and computer information technology careers.
While graduates usually qualify for the positions listed below, some employers may require additional training or certifications. When considering jobs in cybersecurity, it's best to check with local employers and ask about their employment requirements.
Forensic Science Technicians
|Median BLS Salary (2020)||$59,150|
|Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029)||14%|
Forensic science technicians collect and analyze evidence for various crimes. They follow proper legal procedures when gathering evidence and then analyze that evidence and information, often in a laboratory. Cybersecurity professionals often work in digital forensics, investigating cybercriminals and cybercrimes, like fraud and identity theft.
Employers typically require a bachelor's degree and specialized investigative training. Technicians pursuing work for police departments may need to become police officers, which requires police academy training. Candidates need strong communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
Private Detectives and Investigators
|Median BLS Salary (2020)||$50,510|
|Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029)||8%|
Private detectives and investigators seek out information on people, activities, and crimes. They research legal matters and personal backgrounds for organizations, lawyers, and individuals, collecting evidence for their clients.
For employment, investigators usually need a relevant degree and industry experience. To gain experience, many private detectives first work in a legal profession. Most states require licensure for private investigators, and industry certification may help candidates find employment.
Computer and Information Research Scientists
|Median BLS Salary (2020)||$122,840|
|Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029)||15%|
Computer information research scientists develop new technologies and advancements for existing technologies. They often begin with a problem or inefficiency and then research or develop solutions. They design new computing methods, test their inventions, analyze results, and publish their findings.
These scientists usually need a master's degree in a computer-related field for employment, though some employers accept applicants with bachelor's degrees. Industry certifications can improve a candidate's employability, but employers typically place more value on experience. These professionals need strong analytical, mathematics, and communication skills.
Information Security Analysts
|Median BLS Salary (2020)||$99,730|
|Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029)||31%|
Information security analysts protect organizations' computer systems from internal and external threats. They establish protections, create backups, test for vulnerabilities, and investigate suspicious activities. If a cyberattack occurs, analysts collect evidence and provide reports to management and the authorities.
While some employers prefer to hire professionals with master's degrees, many bachelor's-level candidates can also find employment. Though not required, information security professionals often pursue industry certifications to add more credentials to their resumes. Employers commonly seek out candidates with experience in leadership or network administration.
Computer and Information Systems Managers
|Median BLS Salary (2020)||$146,360|
|Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029)||10%|
Computer and information systems managers oversee computer-related activities and personnel within an organization. They ensure that all equipment receives proper maintenance, upgrades, and security. They also assess companies' technological needs and suggest improvements.
Computer systems managers typically need at least a bachelor's degree, though many employers prefer master's degrees. Management roles usually require substantial experience, and industry certifications also help bolster a candidate's credentials.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Get a Master's in Cybercrime?
Many schools offer a master's in cybersecurity or a related discipline, such as cybercrime or computer forensics. Some programs offer cybersecurity and cybercrime as specializations within a master's in computer science.
What Can You Do With a Master's in Cybercrime?
With a master's in cybersecurity, graduates can pursue computer and information technology occupations. BLS data projects an 11% job growth rate in the sector from 2019-2029.
What Are the Top Five Math Careers?
Is It Worth It to Get a Master's Degree in Cybercrime?
BLS projections indicate a 31% job growth rate for information security analysts from 2019-2029, with a $99,730 median annual salary in 2019 -- more than double the median annual salary for all occupations.
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