What Is a Master’s in Cybersecurity Degree?
Cybersecurity is a growing concern in the increasingly interconnected digital landscape. Breaches in cybersecurity can lead to serious consequences for consumers, patients and companies. These breaches can also impact municipal, state and federal government agencies. There is a high demand for fully trained cybersecurity specialists in all areas of the country and global community. To meet this rising demand, Grand Canyon University has developed a Master of Science in Cybersecurity program. This is offered by the College of Science, Engineering and Technology.
Students in the online master's in cybersecurity program develop a keen understanding of the many factors that influence and jeopardize cybersecurity. This comprehensive program trains candidates to safeguard systems, data, processes and people through the use of white hat practices. Digital forensics, penetration testing, vulnerability assessment and exploitation techniques are examined. The modern curriculum includes the exploration of cyber-warfare and cyber-defense issues.
As a modern university, GCU understands the need for flexible learning paths. You can earn your MS in Cybersecurity while continuing to meet your current obligations. Our dynamic online learning platform enables you to collaborate with and learn from your peers. The online Master’s in Cybersecurity requires a total of 34 credits for completion. Most of the online courses take eight weeks to complete.
What You Will Learn
During this program, candidates develop core competencies that enable them to serve as industry leaders. Students learn the advanced technical skills necessary to defend organizations from cyber-attacks. At the same time, they enhance their communication skills, critical thinking abilities and leadership qualities.
There is an emphasis on the Christian worldview and ethical decision-making in the digital sphere. This online master's in cybersecurity gives students a firm grasp on the Hackers with Halos™ methodology. Hackers with Halos™ is an approach that embraces Christian ethics and principles and applies them to white hat computer applications.
Career Opportunities with a Master of Science in Cybersecurity
The number of cybersecurity job postings has grown 94% since 2013 compared to only 30% for IT positions overall.* GCU’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity offers students intensive, hands-on learning experiences to thoroughly prepare them to pursue challenging, high-tech careers. The following learning objectives and core competencies are included:
- Risk assessment, countermeasures, security policies and frameworks
- Ideologies of cyber-crime, identification of attack vectors and impact analysis of failed security measures
- Policy perspectives on security design
- Protection of intellectual property through encryption, hardware security and layered security defense strategies
The degree culminates with a capstone course: Cybersecurity Program Development. Students are required to develop a full cybersecurity program, taking any ethical or legal challenges into consideration.
Some of the job opportunities with a Master’s in Cybersecurity may include:
- Corporate information security officer (CISO)
- Corporate security officer (CSO)
- Director of security
- Senior security engineer/architect
- Senior security application developer
- Information security analyst
If you are interested in pursuing the MS in Cybersecurity but have an undergraduate degree in an unrelated field, you may consider applying for a certificate in cybersecurity before applying for the MS in Cybersecurity degree. Students interested in changing careers can use the certificate program to acquire the necessary foundational knowledge, and to prepare for success in the MS program.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to get a master’s in cybersecurity?
If completed without interruption, GCU’s Master’s in Cybersecurity takes 76 weeks to finish. With up to 12 transfer credits, it is possible to complete the program in less time.
Is a master's degree in cybersecurity worth it?
If you have the drive to further your education and strengthen your career potential, a master’s degree in cybersecurity is absolutely worth it. Aside from the potential for higher pay and increased job security, a master’s degree not only teaches advanced cybersecurity knowledge, but also leadership skills that will become necessary for a professional leadership role.
*Retrieved from “Recruiting Watchers for the Virtual Walls: The State of Cybersecurity Hiring,” Burning Glass Technologies, in December 2020
COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by Burning Glass Technologies as well. Accordingly, data shown is based on 2013-2019, which can be found here.
* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.