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Best Online Digital Forensics Master’s Degree Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Jose Salgado - May 28, 2022


The best online digital forensics master’s degrees can land you a high-paying job in the growing field of cyber security. There is a shortage of digital security experts to prevent cyber security threats in the US. With an online master’s degree in digital forensics, you can identify cyber security breaches and gather evidence for forensic investigations.

In this article, we present a detailed list of the best online digital forensics master’s degrees from universities in the US. Most programs are flexible and allow you to earn a master’s degree in under two years. With so many areas of specialization, you can find digital forensics master’s degree jobs that suit your skills and interests.

Where Can I Get a Digital Forensics Master’s Degree Online?

Some of the best schools to get an online digital forensics master’s degree include Pennsylvania State University’s World Campus, the University of Central Florida, and the University of New Haven. Their websites feature information on courses, tuition, and requirements. You can also request that schools send you brochures with detailed information.

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What Schools Offer the Best Online Digital Forensics Master’s Degrees?

  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Stevenson University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Maryland
  • University of New Haven

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Digital Forensics Master’s Degree?

The admission requirements for an online digital forensics master’s degree are a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. Most schools require a minimum GPA of 3.0 or equivalent GRE or GMAT scores.

Schools will give preference to applicants with work experience in the field. Schools also expect you to have some background in computing and programming. You can complete your application online and send the documentation by mail or electronically. Admission offices will only accept official transcripts from your bachelor’s degree.

Online Digital Forensics Master’s Degree Admission Requirements

  • Official transcripts issued by your undergraduate institution
  • Letters of recommendation from previous instructors
  • A GPA of at least 3.0 or equivalent GRE or GMAT scores
  • Personal statement
  • Resume

How to Get a Digital Forensics Master’s Degree Online

You can get a digital forensics master’s degree online by fulfilling all the graduation requirements. While requirements can vary from school to school, the ones listed below are the most common. The best way to fulfill all the requirements is to have them clear from the getgo and make sure you fulfill them gradually throughout your degree.

Digital Forensics Degree Requirements

  • Complete the required number of credits in core courses
  • Complete the required number credits in electives
  • Maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 while working toward the degree
  • Participate in virtual lab sessions
  • Complete a capstone project in digital forensics

Best Online Digital Forensics Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Champlain College Digital Forensic Science Online Master’s Degree New England Commission of Higher Education
DeSales University Online Master of Criminal Justice: Digital Forensics Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Pennsylvania State University World Campus Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security – Information Security and Forensics Option Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Sam Houston State University Master of Science in Digital Forensics Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Stevenson University Online Master’s in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics Middle States Commission on Higher Education
University of Central Florida Online MS in Digital Forensics Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
University of the Cumberlands Online Master of Science in Digital Forensics Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
University of Maryland Global Campus Online Master’s Degree Digital Forensics & Cyber Investigation Middle States Commission on Higher Education
University of New Haven Online Master’s in Digital Forensic Investigation New England Commission of Higher Education
Utica University MS in Cybersecurity: Computer Forensics Specialization Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Best Schools for Digital Forensics: Top Online Digital Forensics Master’s Degree Programs

We present a detailed list of the top online digital forensics master’s degree programs. We include their requirements, curricula, and other useful information. There are programs for different budgets and even for students with busy work schedules.

1

Champlain College

Burlington, VT

Champlain College is a private, non-profit college established in 1878. It offers over 60 online degrees through Champlain College Online and has 3,000 students across all US states. Champlain College was one of the first colleges to introduce online academic degrees in the country.

Digital Forensic Science Online Master’s Degree

The Digital Forensic Science Online Master’s Degree program requires 36 credits. It includes core courses like mobile device analysis and optional courses like malware analysis. Graduates from this program work in private companies and government organizations.

AT&T and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are two employers of graduates of this program. The US National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security designated Champlain College a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.

Digital Forensic Science Online Master’s Degree Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $795/credit
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: Twelve months if enrolled in two three-credit courses each eight-week term
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 66%

Digital Forensic Science Online Master’s Degree Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.5
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Other Requirements: Resume, college transcript, and related work experience

Applying to Champlain College Online

  1. Fill out the online application.
  2. Answer the essay questions.
  3. Prepare your resume.
  4. Submit your transcripts and application materials by mail or electronically.
2

DeSales University

Center Valley, PA

DeSales University is a Catholic institution that has been in operation since 1964. It has 3,101 students and offers one-year certificate programs and bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. It is one of the schools with the best value and a top performer in social mobility.

Online Master of Criminal Justice: Digital Forensics

The online Master of Criminal Justice in Digital Forensics program requires 30 credits. All the courses are online with full-time and part-time schedules available. Some core courses include ethics in criminal justice and policing in America. One of its concentration options is network and cloud forensics. The program features hands-on learning using evidence and scenarios from real-world investigations.

Online Master of Criminal Justice: Digital Forensics Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $795/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 semesters at 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 65%

Online Master of Criminal Justice: Digital Forensics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts

Applying to DeSales University

  1. Write a personal statement about your interest in the program.
  2. Obtain three letters of recommendation.
  3. Request your college transcripts.
  4. Pay the $50 application fee.
  5. Fill out the application form.
3

Pennsylvania State University World Campus

University Park, PA

The Penn State World Campus started operations in 1998. It offers over 175 degrees and certificate programs. It has 14,458 students and the world’s largest alumni network. The Department of Homeland Security designated Penn State as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.

Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security – Information Security and Forensics Option

The Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security – Information Security and Forensics Option is an online program that requires 33 credits. Among the core courses are network management and cyber forensics. The elective courses include disaster communication and web security and privacy.

Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security – Information Security and Forensics Option Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $950/credit
  • Required Credits: 33 credits
  • Program Length: 4 semesters at 8 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 71%

Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security – Information Security and Forensics Option Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited US institution or a postsecondary degree comparable to a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts from each institution attended, resume, and three references from academic or professional sources

Applying to Pennsylvania State University

  1. Check the fall and spring deadlines.
  2. Prepare your official transcripts.
  3. Upload your resume to the online application.
  4. Notify your academic or professional sources about the recommendation letter requests sent to them by the school.
  5. Follow the instructions in the online application management system.
4

Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, TX

Founded in 1879, Sam Houston State University has multiple campuses and over 20,000 students. SHSU Online offers over 40 undergraduate and graduate online degrees. The master’s degrees from its College of Criminal Justice rank second among the best online criminal justice programs by US News & World Report.

Master of Science in Digital Forensics

The Master of Science in Digital Forensics program is 100% online and requires 36 credits. Among the core courses are cyber law and digital security. Elective courses include courses from other programs in the College of Criminal Justice.

On-campus students can make use of the state-of-the-art Center of Excellence in Digital Forensics. This program was the first Master of Science in Digital Forensics in the US. With this degree, you can work in law enforcement or as a network security manager.

Master of Science in Digital Forensics Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $320/credit
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 3 semesters at 12 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 58%

Master of Science in Digital Forensics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: Undergraduate education with majors or minors in computer science or criminal justice
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts, resume, two letters of recommendation, and official GRE scores or a GRE waiver

Applying to Sam Houston State University

  1. Check the application deadlines.
  2. Fill out the graduate application.
  3. Update your resume and request your official transcripts and GRE scores.
  4. Obtain two letters of recommendation.
  5. Pay the application fee through the ApplyTexas system.
5

Stevenson University

Stevenson, MD

Established in 1947, Stevenson University has 1,355 students. 587 of them are graduate students. Classes are small and have dedicated one-on-one advising. Students can access job postings from many employers with the help of the Stevenson Career Connections online system.

Online Master’s in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics

The online Master's in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics program requires 18 credits. Some of the core courses include Windows forensic examinations and network penetration testing. This program opens doors to career paths such as security engineer and network architect. Students have access to real-world training in the virtual lab environment.

Online Master’s in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $695/credit
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 6 semesters at 6 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 62%

Online Master’s in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree in a technical or quantitative field of study or professional work experience.
  • Other Requirements: Personal statement and official college transcripts

Applying to Stevenson University

  1. Request your college transcripts.
  2. Review the graduate credit policy to see if you can transfer credits from a previously attended regionally accredited program.
  3. Write your personal statement emphasizing your interest in digital forensics.
  4. Check the application deadlines for the current semester.
  5. Complete the online application.
6

University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL

The University of Central Florida was founded in 1963 in Orlando, Florida. It has 70,406 students and 230 degree programs. The University has more interns than any other university at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

Online MS in Digital Forensics

The online MS in Digital Forensics program requires 30 hours. Among its 12 core courses are wireless security and forensics and practice of digital forensics. You can choose elective credits from the National Center for Forensic Science. With this program, you can get a position as an emergency management director or an information security analyst.

Online MS in Digital Forensics Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $327/credit (in state); $1,152/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 semesters at 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 47%

Online MS in Digital Forensics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT
  • Application Fee: $30
  • Minimum Education: Baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited US institution recognized by the university
  • Other Requirements: Resume or CV, writing sample, personal statement, and letters of recommendation

Applying to University of Central Florida

  1. Connect with a success coach from UCF Online.
  2. Request official transcripts.
  3. Fill out the Residency Classification Form.
  4. Pay the $30 nonrefundable application fee.
  5. Send all required documents to UCF Online.
7

University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, KY

A group of Baptist ministers founded the University of the Cumberlands in 1888. Today, the university has 19,312 students in undergraduate and graduate degree programs. It is one of the most affordable accredited private universities in Kentucky.

Online Master of Science in Digital Forensics

The online Master of Science in Digital Forensics degree program requires 31 credits. It includes core courses like triage web browser forensics and web browser forensics. It offers specializations in cyber security and criminal justice.

Graduates work as information security analysts or forensic computer examiners. The Department of Homeland Security recognizes the university as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.

Online Master of Science in Digital Forensics Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $315/credit
  • Required Credits: 31 credits
  • Program Length: 2 semesters at 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 40%

Online Master of Science in Digital Forensics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.5
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $30
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts from previous undergraduate and graduate programs sent directly from the issuing college

Applying to University of the Cumberlands

  1. Check the application deadlines for the next semester.
  2. Request that your previous institutions forward your official transcripts.
  3. Pay the $30 application fee.
  4. Send documents to the University of the Cumberlands Graduate and Online Admissions office.
8

University of Maryland Global Campus

Adelphi, MD

The University of Maryland Global Campus has served working adults for 70 years. It offers over 90 programs and specializations. It has over 20,000 students and is the largest public university in the US.

Online Master’s Degree in Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation

The online Master’s Degree in Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation program prepares you to mitigate cyber crime. It requires 36 credits with core courses like cyber space and cyber security foundations. As a graduate, you can work in the private sector or for law enforcement agencies. You have up to five consecutive years to complete the degree.

Online Master’s Degree in Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $694/credit
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 6 semesters at 6 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 55%

Online Master’s Degree in Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts demonstrating completion of a bachelor’s degree, some background in computing and programming

Applying to University of Maryland Global Campus

  1. Check when the next session starts.
  2. Review the University of Maryland Global Campus website to get detailed information about the application and enrollment process.
  3. Request official transcripts.
  4. Pay the $50 nonrefundable application fee.
  5. Complete the UMGC online application for admission.
9

University of New Haven

West Haven, CT

Founded in 1920, the University of New Haven has 5,023 undergraduate students and 2,490 graduate students. It offers over 100 academic programs. The Princeton Review and US News & World Report recognize its academic excellence.

Online Master’s in Digital Forensic Investigation

The online MS in Digital Forensics Investigation requires 30 credits in 10 courses. You can complete the program in as little as one year. Core courses include computer device investigation and digital forensics and prosecution. You can choose two elective courses from other programs in the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences.

After graduation, you can work as a US postal inspector or a digital investigator in the DHS or the US Secret Service.

Online Master’s in Digital Forensic Investigation Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $990/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 semesters at 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 65%

Online Master’s in Digital Forensic Investigation Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT optional for graduates of regionally accredited colleges and universities
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Two letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources, statement of purpose, resume, and official university transcripts

Applying to University of New Haven

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Have your signed letters of recommendation sent to the university.
  3. Write a statement of purpose that discusses your background and goals.
  4. Pay the $50 online application fee.
  5. Send the required documents by mail to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
10

Utica University

Utica, NY

Utica University was founded in 1946 by Syracuse University. It has over 25,000 students and 20 fully online programs. The courses have a hands-on approach and offer opportunities for personal attention and mentorship. The curricula are flexible for students with busy work schedules.

Master of Science in Cybersecurity: Computer Forensics Specialization

Core courses for the Master of Science in Cybersecurity online program include cyber intelligence and principles of cyber security. The program has seven specializations, including cyber policy, electronic crime, and malware analysis. Students also take part in a two-day online virtual residency. With this degree, you can work as an IT risk manager or a cyber operations analyst.

Master of Science in Cybersecurity: Computer Forensics Specialization Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $895/credit hour
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 4 semesters at 6 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 54%

Master of Science in Cybersecurity: Computer Forensics Specialization Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and resume

Applying to Utica University

  1. Fill out the online application form.
  2. Detail your personal and professional goals in your personal statement.
  3. Ask two references to fill out the letter of recommendation form.
  4. Request official transcripts.
  5. Upload the required documents via the General Admissions Document.

What Is an Online Digital Forensics Master’s Degree?

An online digital forensics master’s degree is a graduate degree that shows you have the competencies for a job in digital forensics. It demonstrates that you can use digital forensics techniques to solve forensic problems.

An online digital forensics master’s degree program covers subjects like cyber security and network penetration prevention. It differs from an in-person program because you only need a computer and an Internet connection to complete your studies. Even so, an online digital forensics master’s degree is just as respectable as its on-campus equivalent.

Online vs In-Person Digital Forensics Degrees

You can complete an online digital forensics degree from the comfort of your home. All you need is a computer and an Internet connection. An advantage of online degrees is that you don’t have to commute to the campus or the library. The online learning platform allows you to set your own pace for readings and forum participation.

In-person digital forensic degrees require commuting and class attendance. These degrees are more expensive because they include campus costs. The advantage of an in-person digital forensics degree is access to on-campus forensics laboratories.

Top 5 Benefits of an Online Master’s Degree in Digital Forensics

  • No need to commute. You don’t have to spend time and money on transportation, and you can complete your program from the comfort of your home or at your workplace.
  • Always open. You have full access to the online learning platform and digital library at any time of day.
  • Flexible schedule. Online master’s degree programs accommodate students with busy work schedules.
  • Lower tuition and fees. Tuition and other fees tend to be lower because there is no cost associated with campus maintenance.
  • Formally recognized. Agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have formally recognized some online master’s degrees in forensics for their excellence.

Top 5 Benefits of an In-Person Master’s Degree in Digital Forensics

  • Physical forensic laboratories. The digital forensics laboratories offer a better learning experience when working with electronic devices.
  • Socialization opportunities. Studying on campus allows you to socialize with like-minded people and develop friendships and professional relationships.
  • Sports facilities. Tuition and fees for an in-person master’s degree in digital forensics programs often include access to the athletic facilities of the school.
  • Conferences and events. Some on-campus events are not available online.
  • Human interaction. Some students need social learning environments to stay motivated and engaged.

What Types of Online Master’s Degrees Can You Get in Digital Forensics?

The types of online master’s degrees you can get in digital forensics are a Master of Science (MS) and a Master of Arts (MA). The Master of Science includes the MS in Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation. The Master of Arts includes the MA in Intelligence and Security Studies.

A Master of Science is oriented toward the technical aspects of digital forensics. A Master of Arts degree is geared toward social and political concepts, like policymaking and compliance.

Is It Better to Get a Master of Science or a Master of Arts in Digital Forensics?

It is better to get a Master of Science in Digital Forensics because employability after graduation is higher. A Master of Arts is a good idea if you plan to work in policymaking in justice or law enforcement institutions. A Master of Science prepares you for employment in both the private and the public sectors.

How Much Does a Digital Forensics Master’s Degree Cost?

A digital forensics master’s degree costs $12,171 on average. Tuition for state residents is significantly lower than for out-of-state students. Many schools offer discounts for justice and law enforcement employees. There are also scholarships that cover tuition and book costs.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Digital Forensics Master’s Degree Online?

It takes one to two years to get a digital forensics master’s degree online. Typically, you will need between 24 and 30 credits to graduate. If the program requires 30 credits and you decide to take 15 credits per semester, you will graduate within a year. If you have a tight work schedule, you can take between six and nine credits per semester and graduate in two years.

Are Online Digital Forensics Degrees Respected?

Yes, online digital forensics degrees are respected. Graduate students with online digital forensics degrees are in high demand by companies like AT&T and GE. The Department of Homeland Security has formally recognized online programs as National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.

Is Digital Forensics Hard to Learn Online?

No, digital forensics is not hard to learn online. But you should already have some background in computing and programming. You’re already familiar with college-level work if you have a bachelor’s degree. In a digital forensics bootcamp, you can expect to build up your knowledge and skills right from the beginning.

Digital Forensics Bootcamp vs Online Digital Forensics Master’s Degree: Which Is Better?

An online digital forensics master’s degree is better than a digital forensics bootcamp. Assuming that you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can complete a master’s degree program in two years or less. You can also transfer credits from other graduate and undergraduate courses.

A digital forensics bootcamp is an intensive learning experience that can land you a job in digital forensics in less than a year. You don’t need an undergraduate education or previous work experience.

Top 5 Benefits of an Online Digital Forensics Master’s Degree

  • Graduate fast. You can complete many online digital forensics master’s degree programs in less than a year. If you have a full-time job, you can reduce the number of credits that you take per semester and graduate in two years.
  • Transfer credits. Schools allow you to transfer credits from other graduate programs. Some schools will give you credits for undergraduate courses related to computer science.
  • Fully online. You can complete the entire program remotely. You don’t need to commute or pay fees for the use of facilities.
  • Virtual digital forensics labs. Graduate students have access to virtual labs to work on real-world scenarios.
  • Access to doctoral degrees. You can enroll in a doctoral degree program and apply for a research scholarship as soon as you graduate.

Top 5 Benefits of a Digital Forensics Bootcamp

  • No need for undergraduate education. A digital forensic bootcamp will help you build up your skills starting with the basics. You don’t need previous formal education or an undergraduate degree.
  • Multiple certifications. Toward the end of their programs, digital forensic bootcamps offer several certification options. These certifications include the EC-Council Certified Network Defender certification and the CompTIA Security+ certification.
  • Ready for the job market. Digital forensics bootcamps prepare you to get a job as soon as you complete the program. They often have connections with companies that are continually hiring digital forensics specialists.
  • University-backed programs. The best digital forensics bootcamps are backed by institutions like San Diego State University or California State University.
  • Easy admission. You only need to take an introductory course and an admissions exam. There is no need for transcripts, letters of recommendation, or previous work experience.

Why You Should Get a Digital Forensics Master’s Degree Online

You should get a digital forensics master’s degree online because it’s a great way to land a job in the field of forensics just after graduation. There is a growing demand for digital forensics experts in both the public and private sectors.

The schools have online learning platforms, digital libraries, and virtual forensics labs to offer an integrated educational experience. You can complete a digital forensics master’s degree from the comfort of your home in less than a year.

What Courses Do You Take in an Online Master’s Degree Program in Digital Forensics?

The courses you take in an online master’s degree program in digital forensics include cyber policy, computer forensics, and electronic crime. The courses offer an integrated understanding of the common problems in digital forensics. You can choose elective courses according to your specialization interests by the end of the program.

Computer Forensics

In computer forensics, students learn to find and retrieve data from devices like mobile phones and computers. They learn to trace how and when the devices were used and determine what they were used for. This information is used as evidence in criminal investigations.

Cyber Policy

In cyber policy, students learn about the laws and regulations regarding the use of digital information. This includes access policies for users within a corporate network and policies to protect privacy. Students learn the purpose of those policies and how to enforce them.

Data Analytics

In data analytics, students learn to work with large data sets and identify network activity patterns. They learn how to detect anomalies and profile behaviors. This allows them to identify data breaches and vulnerabilities.

Electronic Crime

In electronic crime, students learn how cyber criminals use information technology for illegal purposes. Electronic crimes include fraud, identity theft, and illegal trade of assets. In this course, students learn strategies for prevention and mitigation.

Malware Analysis

Cyber criminals use spyware and ransomware to identify targets and steal information. In malware analysis, students learn how to protect networks and servers from malware.

Continuing Education Paths for Online Digital Forensics Master’s Degree Graduates

Graduates of an online master’s degree program in digital forensics are qualified to pursue a doctoral degree to enhance their knowledge and build expertise in an area of specialization.

After getting their master’s degree, they can also get industry-standard certifications, like the CompTIA Security+ certification or the EC-Council Certified Network Defender certification. These certifications will give them further credibility and boost their employability.

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What to Look For in the Best Digital Forensics Master’s Degree Programs

The things to look for in the best digital forensics master’s degree programs are regional accreditation, national recognition, and connections with employers. You should also look for programs with good value and flexible schedules.

Regional Accreditation

The best digital forensics master’s degree programs are accredited by a formally recognized accrediting body like the New England Commission of Higher Education, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, or the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

National Recognition

Digital forensics master’s degree programs with a national reputation offer high-quality courses and virtual labs. Students can capitalize on that reputation while on the job market. You can learn about a program’s recognitions and awards on its website.

Connection with Employers

The best digital forensics master’s degree programs have strong connections with employers in the public and private sectors. You can expect to have options for employment in your area of specialization shortly after graduation.

Good Value

There is a wide range of prices for digital forensics master’s degree programs, as well as a variety of funding options. Look for programs that offer reasonable tuition fees for courses that develop skills in high demand.

Flexible Schedule

Look for digital forensics master’s degree programs with flexible schedules if you have a full-time job. You can even consider programs with accelerated options if you want to earn your degree as soon as possible.

What Is the Most Affordable Online Digital Forensics Master’s Degree?

The most affordable online digital forensics master’s degree is the online Master of Science in Digital Forensics from the University of the Cumberlands. The tuition is $4,282 per year and requires 31 credits. Assuming you take the full academic load of 15 credits per semester, you can earn your degree for $8,564 in less than a year.

Can I Get a Digital Forensics Master’s Degree Online for Free?

No, you cannot get a digital forensics master’s degree online for free. But there are free ways to advance your knowledge in the field. The Rochester Institute of Technology offers a free computer forensics online course . It takes eight weeks to complete, and you have full access to all materials.

There are also different types of financial aid from the federal or state government, including grants and loans. Based on academic merit, you can get a scholarship to pay your tuition costs and a stipend to help you cover basic living costs.

Salary and Job Outlook for Online Digital Forensics Master’s Degree Graduates

Using location services on a phone
Location records analysis is a common technique used in digital forensics.

There is a deficit of cyber security specialists, making the job salaries for digital forensics master’s degree graduates very competitive. You can expect annual salaries above $70,000. With some work experience, you can earn up to $166,069 as a chief information security officer.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Digital Forensics Master’s Degree?

It isn’t hard to get a job with a digital forensics master’s degree. According to the (ISC) 2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study 2021 , there is a cyber security workforce gap of 377,000 positions in the US. The annual growth of the cyber security workforce is 33 percent. It needs to increase to 65 percent to defend the current information assets.

With a digital forensics master’s degree, you can land a job in the cyber security industry right after graduation. You can also get hired by justice and law enforcement agencies. Online master’s degrees in digital forensics are respected in the private and public sectors.

What’s the Average Online Digital Forensics Master’s Degree Salary?

The average salary for someone with a digital forensics master’s degree is $65,000 a year. Salaries will vary according to position, location, experience when you apply, and your negotiation skills.

What Jobs Can You Get With an Online Digital Forensics Master’s Degree?

The jobs you can do with an online digital forensics master’s degree are information security analyst, forensic computer analyst, and cyber investigator. You can also become a cyber security analyst and work for a public or private organization.

Digital Forensics Degree Jobs

  • Information security analyst
  • Penetration tester
  • Cyber security analyst
  • Digital forensics analyst
  • Forensic computer examiner

Potential Careers With an Online Digital Forensics Degree

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How Much Money Can You Make With an Online Digital Forensics Master’s Degree?

You can make between $65,352 and $166,069 per year with an online digital forensics master’s degree. Your salary will depend on your expertise, your work experience, and the job responsibilities assigned to you.

Highest-Paying Online Digital Forensics Master’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Digital Forensics Master’s Degree Jobs Average Salary
Chief Information Security Officer $166,069
Cyber Security Analyst $77,236
Forensic Computer Analyst $74,798
Information Security Analyst $73,485
Digital Forensic Investigator $65,352

Best Jobs for Online Digital Forensics Master’s Degree Grads

The best online digital forensics master’s degree jobs include forensic computer examiner, digital forensics analyst, and information security analyst. They are well paid, and you can apply for these jobs as soon as you graduate from your program. There are other great jobs in the digital forensics field, like penetration tester and cyber security analyst.

1

Information Security Analyst

Average Salary: $102,600

Information security analysts monitor an organization’s networks to identify security breaches. They look for vulnerabilities that could jeopardize data integrity or unauthorized system access. Information security analysts also focus on improving risk management and protecting confidentiality.

2

Penetration Tester

Average Salary: $87,860

Penetration testers perform simulated hacking to identify vulnerabilities in the systems they protect. They try to be one step ahead of criminal hackers by finding security breaches before they do.

3

Cyber Security Analyst

Average Salary: $77,236

Cyber security analysts protect the information infrastructure of an organization. They monitor activity to detect exploits. They keep IT systems safe by using their skillset and expertise in the field.

4

Digital Forensics Analyst

Average Salary: $65,498

Digital forensic analysts examine the data in storage devices like hard drives handed over by law enforcement officers. They recover, analyze, and classify the information. Then they present it in a way that makes sense to other people working on the case.

5

Forensic Computer Examiner

Average Salary: $61,930

Forensic computer examiners are forensic science technicians specialized in computer-based crimes. They retrieve and analyze data to help prosecute electronic crimes like fraud and identity theft.

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Is an Online Digital Forensics Master’s Degree Worth It?

Yes, an online digital forensics master’s degree is worth it. Cyber security specialists are in high demand across all industries. There is a gap in the cyber security workforce of 377,000 positions.

Digital forensics specialists have the responsibility to retrieve critical data for investigations. With a digital forensics master’s degree, you can be part of a team of professionals that prevents criminal activity. You can also design policies for data access and privacy protection.

You can complete a digital forensics master’s degree program in less than a year. By the time you graduate, you will have a wide range of options for employment in both private companies and the public sector. Graduates from online digital forensics master’s degrees land jobs in the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and even the US Secret Service.

There are grants, loans, and scholarships available for you to finance an online digital forensics master’s degree program. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, you can kickstart your cyber security career with a bootcamp . This is a golden time to launch a career in digital forensics.

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Online Digital Forensics Master’s Degree FAQ

Is cyber security the same as digital forensics?

No, cyber security is not the same as digital forensics. Cyber security is about prevention, risk management, and data access and integrity. Computer forensics is about cyber security breaches that have already happened. It is about identifying and examining hacks and presenting them as digital evidence.

Can you do computer forensics without a cyber security degree?

Yes, you can become a forensic analyst without a cyber security degree. You can pursue a computer forensics graduate degree with a bachelor’s degree from different academic areas. You need to have some background in computing and programming.

What skills are needed for computer forensics?

The skills that you need for computer forensics are technical aptitude, analytical skills, and an understanding of criminal investigations. You also need communication skills and fundamental cyber security knowledge. You develop these skills in a computer forensics degree program or bootcamp.

How does digital forensics differ from traditional forensics?

Digital forensics differs from traditional forensics insofar as forensic scientists use traditional forensics to collect evidence of crimes that happened in the physical world. By contrast, they use digital forensics to collect evidence from computer devices that were used to commit crimes.

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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Jose Salgado

About the author: Jose is an experienced content writer and online tutor. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Oceanography and a Master’s Degree in Technology Applied to Education, both from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Mexico. As well, he holds many certificates and certifications, such as the Content Marketing Certification from Hubspot Academy.

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