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Best Information Assurance Master’s Degree Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Norma Ceferina Camba-Sasaki - May 29, 2022


Information is the primary driver of today’s business environment. Emerging information quality and cyber threats make it challenging to secure a company’s profits, performance, and reputation. The best information assurance master’s degrees balance technical skills with practical skills in business management to aid cyber security professionals who aspire to leadership positions.

Most companies in the private sector and government sectors need critical infrastructure protection. You can add massive value with a comprehensive education in network security strategies. An assurance analyst with an information assurance master’s degree can be in high demand to protect company information.

This article outlines the top ten schools that offer a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance. We also list the best information assurance master’s degree jobs and salaries. Read on if your career goals include an information assurance master’s degree.

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Where Can I Get a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance?

You can get an information assurance master’s degree at Davenport University, Florida Institute of Technology, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Nova Southeastern University, and Wilmington University. These schools offer a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance in-person and online.

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security have designated these schools’ information assurance master’s degree programs as National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE).

What Schools Offer the Best Information Assurance Master’s Degrees?

  • Wilmington University
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Roosevelt University
  • Davenport University

What Are the Admission Requirements for a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance?

The admission requirements for an information assurance master’s degree are a bachelor’s degree, resume, letter of recommendation, essay, and transcripts. The primary admission requirement for graduate students aspiring to pursue an information assurance master’s degree is a bachelor’s degree in computer, networking, statistical analysis, security foundations, or other related fields.

Other application requirements are a written essay or a statement of purpose, school seal-bearing transcripts, and a letter of recommendation from your undergraduate dean or immediate work supervisor. The admission department uses these documents to learn more about a prospective student. The registrar’s office expects to receive these documents following the submission of your application.

Information Assurance Master’s Degree Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer, networking, statistical analysis, security foundations, or other related fields
  • Transcripts
  • Updated CV
  • Statement of purpose
  • Letter of recommendation

How to Get an Information Assurance Master’s Degree

You get a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance by fulfilling all graduation requirements. Depending on the school, you’ll need to complete a required number of credits or prerequisite courses to earn your degree. Other information assurance master’s degree requirements are a thesis project, capstone project, and internship.

How Many Credits Do You Need for a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance?

You need 30 to 40 credits for a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance, depending on the school you’ll be attending. Most courses are two to three credits, while core subjects are at three to five credit units. Thesis projects and capstone projects range from five to nine credit units.

Information Assurance Degree Requirements

  • Core Courses
  • Tech-related Courses
  • Business-related Courses
  • Elective Courses
  • Thesis
  • Capstone Project

Best Information Assurance Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Bowie State University Master of Science in Management Information Systems with Concentration on Information Assurance Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Davenport University Master of Science Information Assurance – Cybersecurity Higher Learning Commission
Florida Institute of Technology Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Gannon University Master of Science Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Middle States Commission on Higher Education
George Mason University Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Nova Southeastern University Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Roosevelt University Master’s in Cyber Security and Information Assurance Higher Learning Commission
St. Cloud State University Master of Science in information security Higher Learning Commission
University of Central Missouri Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance Higher Learning Commission
Wilmington University Master of Science in Information Systems Technology, Information Assurance Concentration Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Best Schools for Information Assurance: Top Information Assurance Master’s Degree Programs

This section provides details on the schools that offer the best information assurance master’s degrees. Read on to learn about each program’s tuition, admission requirements, and application process.

1

Bowie State University

Bowie, MD

Historically, Bowie State University is the oldest black university in Maryland. The students from this public university represent diversity with many cultural backgrounds. The school offers an affordable tuition rate with a high-quality education that encourages inclusivity and critical thinking.

Master of Science in Management Information Systems with Concentration on Information Assurance

Students are primarily prepared to become security analysts, designers, and auditors who are able to diagnose information systems and quickly implement security measures. They are able to research and apply their knowledge to provide solutions to security breaches.

The course consists of 18 credit hours of core courses, six credit hours of research or practicum courses, and 12 hours of elective courses.

Master of Science in Management Information Systems with Concentration on Information Assurance Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and Fees: $431/credit (in-state); $716/credit (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 43%

Master of Science in Management Information Systems with Concentration on Information Assurance Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.5
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: $40
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Resume, a summary of interest

Applying to Bowie State University

  1. Fill out the online application form
  2. Submit transcripts from each university and college attended
  3. Submit program documentation
2

Davenport University

Grand Rapids, MI

Davenport University is a private university in Michigan founded in 1866 by Conrad Swensburg. It offers over 60 associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees, and professional certification programs in business, technology, health professions, and graduate studies. Davenport is Michigan's first college to have online degree programs, starting more than 20 years ago.

Master of Science Information Assurance - Cybersecurity

Davenport's Master's Degree in Information Assurance - Cybersecurity Concentration (MSIA) aligns with industry certification exams and tests. It prepares its students to succeed in a wide variety of careers in the science field of cyber security.

The in-depth coursework comprises 34 credits consisting of nine core courses and two industry-specific elective courses. Students choose the specialization options from the electives list. They also need to undertake an information assurance thesis as a capstone project.

Master of Science Information Assurance - Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $959/credit hour
  • Required Credits: 34 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person, online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 52%

Master of Science Information Assurance - Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: $25
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor in computer, networking, statistical analysis, security foundations, or related fields
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts, statement of purpose, updated resume, letters of professional recommendation from undergraduate dean/adviser and/or immediate work supervisor

Applying to Davenport University

  1. Fill out and submit the online application form
  2. Forward your GED transcripts to the registrar's office
  3. Send a statement of purpose, current resume, and two letters of professional recommendation through mail or email
  4. Wait for your acceptance letter with details on enrollment procedures
3

Florida Institute of Technology

Melbourne, FL

In 1958, Dr. Jerome P. Keuper founded the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) research facility, previously known as Brevard Engineering College. The institute aims to provide innovative advanced education for professionals. Its wide variety of asynchronous programs for undergraduate and graduate degrees allows students to work on their coursework on a schedule that suits them.

Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity

FIT's Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity program is offered online and in person. It provides students with hands-on experience and the technical skills to ensure information security and minimize cyber security threats to network systems analysis while learning about cyber forensics, biometric technology, and data mining.

Some of the required courses are cryptography and information hiding, biometric authentication technologies, and secure data communications and networks. As a final requirement, students need to undertake a capstone project researching and presenting a specific topic in the cyber security field.

MS in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $777/credit hour
  • Required Credits: 33 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person, online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 60%

MS in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s Degree in a related field
  • Other Requirements: Official Transcripts, updated CV, 2 letters of recommendation, statement of purpose

Applying to Florida Institute of Technology

  1. Complete and submit the online application form
  2. Complete and submit a transcript request release form authorizing FIT to collect your transcripts
  3. Submit all supporting documents
  4. Wait for a decision within one to two weeks of fulfilling all of the requirements
4

Gannon University

Erie, PA

Gannon University is a Catholic university that provides value-centered, high-quality teaching. It highlights faith, leadership, inclusivity, and social responsibility as part of its teaching methods. The university has locations in Erie and in Ruskin.

Master of Science Information Assurance and Cybersecurity

The curriculum focuses on cyber security and information assurance core coursework including networking fundamentals, security leadership, asset security and risk management, and security assessment and access control. Electives include digital forensics, network management, and security implementation.

Master of Science Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,110/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person, online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 68%

Master of Science Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.5
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: Not stated
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Official academic transcripts

Applying to Gannon University

  1. Check the master’s degree information page
  2. Fill out and submit your graduate application
  3. Submit resume and three letters of recommendation
  4. Submit official academic transcripts
  5. Submit TOEFL if English is not your native language
5

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA

GMU is Virginia's most prominent and diverse research university. The University of Virginia founded GMU in 1949 as its northern branch and later renamed it after George Mason in 1959. Having grown significantly by 1972, it became an independent university. Approximately 26,000 full-time students study at this institution every year, with many more attending part-time.

Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance

The Master's Degree in Information Security and Assurance program trains students as future information security and assurance professionals with a wide range of capacities in information systems protection and information infrastructure support.

The program combines the theoretical understanding of data security management and integrity methodologies with the technical skills and knowledge of information security to advance information systems technology. It highlights information security's technical and management aspects and probes methods in providing secured information processing systems.

Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and Fees: $813.25/credit (in state); $1,581.25/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 72%

Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree with coursework or equivalent knowledge in the following five foundation areas: Introductory programming in any programming language, advanced knowledge of an object oriented programming language like Java, C++, or C#, data structures and algorithms, machine organization such as computer system architecture and network infrastructure, discrete mathematics
  • Other Requirements: 2 letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, updated resume

Applying to George Mason University

  1. Confirm your eligibility by checking the criteria for your desired program of interest
  2. Check program application requirements and deadlines
  3. Compile supporting documents
  4. Complete and submit the online application form, supporting documents, and non-refundable application fee
6

Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a private research university located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is a dynamic research institution that offers high-quality educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate , and first-professional degree levels.

NSU has 18 centers, colleges, and schools offering more than 150 programs of study. It operates additional campuses in Tampa, Florida, Dania Beach, North Miami Beach, and other centers throughout Florida. Professional degrees include allied health, osteopathic medicine, social sciences, education, nursing, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.

Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity

The Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity degree program concentrates on risk management procedures and policies associated with organizational cyber security. Field experts instruct the classes and include hands-on learning experiences.

Classes also consist of case study analyses that help reinforce key concepts. Students have a choice to take the courses online or as an on-campus program. Applicants who do not have adequate academic backgrounds must take one or more 500-level graduate courses for the first two terms of the program.

Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $905.00/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 1 year
  • Learning Format: In person, online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 62%

Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.5
  • Standardized Tests: GRE (optional)
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a relevant major
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts, resume, 1-3 letters of recommendation from a teacher

Applying to Nova Southeastern University

  1. Submit an application for admission through the NSU Shark Select Application or the Common App
  2. Submit a letter of recommendation online using the Common App Teacher Evaluation form, or you can submit the Letter in the NSU Shark Select Application
  3. Request submission of official transcripts
  4. Submit test score
  5. Wait for your admission letter
7

Roosevelt University

Chicago, IL

Roosevelt University prides itself on offering a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees. These include master’s programs in biotechnology management, business administration, clinical mental health, computer science, creative writing, and theater directing.

Master's in Cyber Security and Information Assurance

This master's degree program in information assurance gives students a deep technical understanding of cyber security and cyber defense activities. Students collaborate on all levels with corporate and government decision-makers.

Master's in Cyber Security and Information Assurance Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and Fees: $842/credit hour
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 42%

Master's in Cyber Security and Information Assurance Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: Not stated
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Bridging courses for students with non-computing majors

Applying to Roosevelt University

  1. Create an online account
  2. Complete the fee-waiver request form (if applicable)
  3. Contact admissions for steps to apply
8

Saint Cloud State University

Saint Cloud, MN

Saint Cloud boasts an inclusive and diverse campus community. It helps students thrive in professional environments while teaching them to become responsible global citizens. It strives to inspire students to reach their full potential through engaged faculty, high-quality programs, and various forms of assistance throughout their university experiences.

Master of Science in Information Security

Each faculty member holds a PhD in the master’s program at Saint Cloud State University. The program is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cybersecurity by the NSA and the Department of Homeland Security.

Master of Science in Information Security Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and Fees: $4,596/semester (in-state); $6,688/semester (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 1-1.5 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 45%

Master of Science in Information Security Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.75
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: $40
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Computer Networking, or a related field
  • Other Requirements: One year of programming experience, prerequisite courses (if applicable)

Applying to Saint Cloud State University

  1. Submit unofficial transcripts
  2. Request official transcripts to be delivered
  3. Submit required documents
  4. Pay application fee
  5. Monitor the acceptance process through a personal URL and email
9

University of Central Missouri

Warrensburg, MO

The University of Central Missouri (UCMO) boasts more than 150 academic programs and a student-to-faculty ratio of 17 to one. The school has a great support network, with 95 percent of students beginning their careers within six months of graduating.

Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance

This information assurance master’s degree program meets the highest standards in cyber defense. The school offers a flexible online option as well as in-person. Security students will study cyber security policies and risk management, advanced computer networking and security, and threat intelligence and incident response.

Master’s students must complete 15 hours of required courses, and 15 semester hours of electives. UCMOs cyber security department is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense. This has been sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and the NSA.

Master of Science Cybersecurity and Information Assurance Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and Fees: $326.50/credit (in-state); $653/credit (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person, online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 51%

Master of Science Cybersecurity and Information Assurance Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.8
  • Standardized Tests: GRE minimum score of 291
  • Application Fee: $30
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field
  • Other Requirements: TOEFL if English is not your native language

Applying to University of Central Missouri

  1. Fill out the application online
  2. Pay the application fee
  3. Arrange for official transcripts from previous institutions
  4. Observe application deadlines
10

Wilmington University

New Castle, DE

With a total undergraduate enrollment of almost 10,000, Wilmington University is a private institution founded in 1968 and uses a trimester-based academic calendar. Known as one of the least selective national universities, it has an acceptance rate of 99 percent. The university offers over 200 degree and certificate programs for undergraduate and graduate levels.

Master of Science in Information Systems Technology (MS-IST), Information Assurance Concentration

This MS-IST degree program meshes with the business curriculum to combine IT advanced study with managerial concepts and skills. Four information systems technologies graduate degree concentrations are available. These include subjects in the information assurance field, management information systems, web design, and technology project management.

This program gives students fundamental concepts of current informational practices applicable in business, education, or government organizations of all sizes. Students can complete the MS-IST program with a minimum of 36 credits, including 15 core credits, three capstone credits, 15 concentration credits, and three internship or field experience credits.

Master of Science in Information Systems Technology, Information Assurance Concentration Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and Fees: $500/credit
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 1-5 years
  • Learning Format: In person, online, and hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 21%

Master of Science in Information Systems Technology, Information Assurance Concentration Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: $35
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree in related field
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts, immunization record

Applying to Wilmington University

  1. Fill out a graduate application form online and pay the application fee
  2. Send official transcripts
  3. Submit a completed Wilmington University code of conduct policy form
  4. Schedule program planning conference
  5. Register for IST 7000

What Is an Information Assurance Master’s Degree?

An information assurance master’s degree provides expertise in protecting sensitive data. The program gives a core foundation of knowledge and applied expertise in information security controls, the regulatory environment, and information risk management and incident response.

Depending on the university, it can take one to five years with two years of preparation classes. The best information assurance master’s degrees cover a wide range of areas in computer science, computer security, Internet security, and cyber security.

A master’s degree allows students to hone skills beyond what a bachelor’s degree can with a specialization to become a subject expert. It can lead to an exciting and lucrative career at the forefront of technology. Master’s programs help students transition to leadership positions, move into in-depth cyber security, and strengthen skill sets.

How Important Is a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance?

A Master’s Degree in Information Assurance is very important as it offers many benefits, including networking with established professionals, peers, and possible employers. Some programs also help with job placement.

There is also an opportunity for accelerated or intensive courses that allow you to finish the degree sooner. A Master’s Degree in Information Assurance is good preparation for a variety of careers, including network security analysis, computer network architecture, computer and information systems management, and computer and information research science.

What Types of Master’s Degree Can You Get in Information Assurance?

There is only one type of Master’s Degree in Information Assurance. It is a Master of Science degree. Most information assurance master’s degree programs are in the computer science department or the college of engineering.

Is It Better to Get a Master’s Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Assurance?

Getting a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance is better than a bachelor’s degree because master’s degree graduates can enjoy increased salaries and advanced positions that undergraduate degree holders can’t. While a bachelor’s degree is a good credential to have for this field, employers will almost always prefer the candidate with the higher educational achievement.

What Is the Difference Between an Information Assurance Master’s Degree and an Information Assurance Graduate Certificate?

An information assurance master’s degree differs from an information assurance graduate certificate in the number of years for completion, the amount spent, courseload, and educational level. Graduate certificates take less time and money to complete since they only require 12 to 15 credits. Master’s degrees cost more due to the high academic rigor involved.

A graduate certificate allows you to gain knowledge about a single subject of study, while a master’s degree provides advanced study of an entire discipline. Additionally, although they’re both graduate programs, a master’s degree is a higher credential than a graduate certificate.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance?

A Master’s Degree in Information Assurance costs an average of $19,314. Some universities offer it for as low as $8,000. The cost depends on the number of credits needed to complete the degree, the institution, and the state.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Information Assurance Master’s Degree?

It usually takes two to three years to get a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance. Students can explore ways to shorten the duration of finishing the degree. Accelerated or intensive programs allow a full-time student to pack more courses into a shorter time frame. These accelerated programs are more work and more stressful but allow students to finish quicker.

How Hard Is It to Get a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance?

It is not hard to get a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance. Having technical knowledge and skills lessens the stress of learning. The challenging part is that many graduate students work full-time while studying.

Why Should You Get an Information Assurance Master’s Degree?

You should get an information assurance master’s degree because it is a critical component of data security management in business and government. Business transactions and processes depend heavily on digital handling practices.

Having a higher degree strengthens your ability to stay employed during economic downturns. Graduates with a master’s degree earn more than the average bachelor’s degree holder. Unlike most certifications, a master’s degree does not expire.

What Courses Do You Need to Take in a Master’s Degree Program in Information Assurance?

Courses you need to take in a master’s degree program in information assurance include fundamental aspects of network forensics and cyber security programs. The curriculum varies depending on the school, but many courses are standard in several schools’ curricula. Below is the list of courses you’ll likely find in most information assurance master’s degree programs.

Network Security

In network security, students learn about network access control, virus and antivirus software, application security, network analytics, different types of network-related security management, firewalls, and VPN encryption. This subject teaches students to protect computer operating systems, networks, and data from various cyber security threats and exploitation. They’ll learn how to monitor computer systems, create a secure network design to reduce the risk of data theft and sabotage, and mitigate threats when they happen.

Project Management

The project management course teaches students about planning, practical budgeting, effective management strategies, effective time management, and managing stakeholders concerning information assurance. Students learn tech-suitable project planning to foresee challenges, identify and manage risks, prioritize accordingly, and run their projects to their end. Knowing how to manage a project from start to finish successfully is an increasingly in-demand skill that can boost a variety of careers into leadership positions.

Secure Software Design

Students learn the foundation of protected software and network systems in secure software design. They acquire skills in bug testing, debugging, restructuring, and changing the functionality in the software application to come up with a secured software design. They learn software system security analysis on flaws and vulnerabilities to discover data breaches and establish security policies to safeguard computer networks, software systems, and databases.

Database Management

The database management course introduces students to languages, applications, and programming to design and maintain business database security. Students learn to write programs, debug a system, check system performance, conduct reliability testing, and protect database structures and integrity. They acquire database management skills such as data and object modeling, relational algebra, relational data models, and application programming.

Cryptography

In cryptography, students study how to secure all transmitted information, develop authentication processes for people and devices, and receive the information to access and process it. Future information assurance professionals need to learn cryptology to mitigate data loss, theft, and exploitation.

Continuing Education Paths for Information Assurance Master’s Degree Graduates

Continuing education paths for information assurance master’s degree graduates include pursuing a PhD or enrolling in certificate courses to hone skills and gain more valuable knowledge. Learning a foreign language is also a good option, especially for those who plan to work abroad.

It would also be best to get at least one information security certification. The best ones to tackle are Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), CompTIA Security+, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA).

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What to Look For in the Best Information Assurance Master’s Degree Programs

Things to look for in the best information assurance master’s degree programs are accreditation, learning format, cost, employment outcomes, and accelerated degree options. Read below to learn why you should consider these factors when choosing a degree program.

Accreditation

You must ensure that the higher education institution you plan on attending meets the educational standards set in place by accrediting bodies. An accreditation guarantees that the school provides its students with skills and knowledge that translate easily into a work setting. Also, students from an accredited school can apply and receive federal student aid from the US Department of Education for their post-secondary programs.

Learning Format

It is essential to learn about the school’s learning format to see if it fits your needs and schedule. Some schools offer in-person classes only, while others have transitioned into fully-online institutions. Other schools have opted to merge traditional and non-traditional study settings into a hybrid learning format. Regardless of the format you choose, ensure the universities you’re considering offer the learning format that works best for you.

Cost

Cost should be one of a student’s priorities when planning on pursuing higher education. You have to learn the total cost so you can budget your finances. Knowing how much you’ll need can help you realize if you’ll need to apply for financial aid or look into scholarship options to finish your degree.

Employment Outcomes

Netting gainful employment is one of the main reasons people choose to undertake higher education. Having an advanced degree guarantees a significant pay bump. You must ensure that your chosen school has career services that help students with positive employment outcomes.

Accelerated Degree Options

Check if the school has an accelerated degree option. An accelerated degree allows students to take double coursework and graduate earlier. This would suit full-time students who want to get into the job market quicker.

What Is the Most Affordable Information Assurance Master’s Degree?

The most affordable information assurance master’s degree is offered by Bowie State University, with a tuition rate of $8,558. Following Bowie State is University of Central Missouri with a tuition rate of $9,071, and Saint Cloud State University comes in third with a $9,170 tuition rate.

Salary and Job Outlook for Information Assurance Master’s Degree Graduates

A woman working on her laptop in front of data servers
An information assurance professional ensures data protection during transmittal and storage.

Technology drives human interaction today. More and more people are choosing to go online for chores and daily activities, from bank transactions to food deliveries. Due to the increasing online activities, cyber attacks are becoming more prevalent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects a 13 percent growth rate from 2020 to 2030 in employment opportunities in various computer and information technology industries.

With the projected 667,600 new entry-level positions to mid-level jobs, higher managerial positions are also opening. A master’s degree combined with technical knowledge and relevant work experience is an easy way for an information technology professional to advance in their career to higher managerial and business leadership positions.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job With an Information Assurance Master’s Degree?

It is not hard to get a job with an information assurance master’s degree. Information assurance is one of the most in-demand computer specialties with diverse job opportunities. Information assurance jobs in big global companies are rarely entry-level positions. Employers prefer security students with an in-depth science background who have completed a graduate program concentrating on information assurance.

What’s the Average Information Assurance Master’s Degree Salary?

The average annual salary for someone with an information assurance master’s degree is $97,000. Aside from a master’s degree, the pay range is also affected by professional experience, location, and company.

What Types of Jobs Can You Get With an Information Assurance Master’s Degree?

The types of jobs you can get with an information assurance master’s degree include database manager, assurance manager, information security officer, cyber security analyst, network security manager, or cyber security consultant. A Master’s Degree in Information Assurance will prepare you for various information and computer security job titles, including higher-paying managerial positions like a chief technology officer.

Information Assurance Degree Jobs

  • Database managers
  • Information security officers
  • Cyber security analysts
  • Network security managers
  • Cyber security consultants

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How Much Money Can You Make With a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance?

You can make between $58,000 and $309,000 per year with a master’s degree in information assurance. Most higher-paying managerial and business leadership positions require an advanced degree. An information assurance master’s degree combined with technical knowledge and relevant work experience is a marketable combination that can help bump up your pay range and position.

Highest-Paying Information Assurance Master’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Information Assurance Master’s Degree Jobs Average Salary
Chief Information Officer (CIO) $168,620
Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) $168,534
Chief Technology Officer (CTO) $166,018
Information Security Manager $119,305
Information Security Officer $94,389

Best Jobs for Information Assurance Master’s Degree Grads

Some of the best information assurance master’s degree jobs comprise chief information officer (CIO), chief information security officer (CISO), chief technology officer (CTO), information security manager, information security officer and a systems manager.

A Master’s Degree in Information Assurance provides an easy way for someone already working in the information technology field to advance to these higher managerial and business leadership positions. Learn more about these careers below.

1

Chief Information Officer

Average Salary: $168,620

As a high-level executive officer who manages the overall information systems operations, the chief information officer makes big decisions on the organization's information framework. They supervise different teams of skilled tech professionals who construct, maintain, and upgrade the information technology framework. A competent chief information officer integrates management and tech skills with their work experience.

2

Chief Information Security Officer

Average Salary: $168,534

The chief information security officer oversees the organization's information systems and company security. A chief security officer evaluates, reports on, and suggests new security-related ideas and strategies to mitigate cyber threats. A CISO advises on existing administrative security policies, audits the current systems, and directs and implements new standards.

3

Chief Technology Officer

Average Salary: $166,018

A chief technology officer needs exemplary leadership skills as one of the highest technology-related professionals in an executive team. They lead diverse teams in technology development efforts within the company and provide decision-making inputs. CTOs generate an IT plan by staying updated with the best technology developments and keeping tabs on the competition.

4

Information Security Manager

Average Salary: $119,305

The information security manager manages security protocols throughout the organization while creating security strategies to increase network and Internet protection for different projects. They supervise a team of IT professionals to provide easy access to data while maintaining high confidentiality and general data security standards. They also reevaluate current security policies, update sensitive data requirements, implement checks to avoid data corruption, and deploy operating system updates.

5

Information Security Officer

Average Salary: $94,389

An information security officer is responsible for providing data security in the organization. They develop and implement effective technology solutions to prevent data integrity loss. The information security officer ensures data protection by installing credential-protected hardware devices and training other system users in proper network use to avoid data corruption.

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Is a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance Worth It?

Yes, a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance is worth it. Cyber security and information assurance professionals remain in very high demand in a world of growing cyber crime and cyber warfare, where data is a valuable commodity. Not only do jobs in cyber security and information security tend to be more stable than others, but they also pay higher than most jobs.

Information assurance and cyber security is a field that is in demand in nearly any industry. Cyber crime impacts finances, brand reputation and trust, and everyone’s daily lives. Small and large corporations, governments, and academic institutions look for cyber security experts to keep up with the rapid change and sophistication of cyber crime.

Additional Reading About Information Assurance

This article covers the best information security master's degrees. It also explores the best career options as well as the job outlook and salaries.

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This guide will tell you the best colleges to pursue an information security bachelor's degree. It also includes career options and salaries available to you.

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This guide will tell you the best colleges to pursue an information security bachelor's degree. It also includes career options and salaries available to you.

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Information Assurance Master’s Degree FAQ

Can I qualify for a master’s degree in information assurance if my bachelor’s degree is from an unrelated field?

Yes, you can apply for a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance program even if your bachelor’s degree is from an unrelated field. Schools will check your transcripts for any required courses you might have taken and the admissions team will use discretion when admitting students. Most schools offer bridging classes for any lacking core courses you must complete before the end of the first semester.

Is an IT background needed for an information assurance master’s degree?

No, a background in IT is not needed for an information assurance master’s degree, however, it is preferable to have one. There are technical skills and key aspects of programming languages needed to follow and understand the advanced courses in an information assurance master’s degree program.

Is there any financial aid offered for a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance?

Yes, there is financial aid offered for a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance. Schools provide different types of financial aid, discounts, and scholarship options. The most common is FAFSA, which is government aid that will partially or fully cover your degree program. There are also discounts for active, honorably discharged, and retired service and military personnel and their spouses.

Does an information assurance master’s degree require coding?

Yes, an information assurance master’s degree program requires coding and knowledge of programming languages. You need these foundational courses and skills to develop and test security programs, secure software, and network design. Most mid-level and upper-level information assurance jobs need coding skills.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Norma Ceferina Camba-Sasaki

About the author: Norma is an SEO writer and analyst who holds tech certificates from Udemy, Analytics University, and WFM Academy. She uses her analytical background to inform the Career Karma blog and help readers learn more about tech. a content writer from the Philippines. She holds a BFA in Advertising from Philippine Women's University and enjoys reading, writing, and painting, and she also plays multiple musical instruments.

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