M.S. in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
Hardly a day goes by without some news on cyberattacks. As the number of cyberattacks keeps increasing every day, clearly more cybersecurity professionals will be needed to plan, implement, upgrade, maintain, and monitor security measures to protect the information infrastructure, computer networks and systems, and digital data of business organizations and local, state and federal agencies.
Students in the program will learn the fundamentals of operating systems, computer networks, cybersecurity, applied cryptography, and penetration testing and vulnerability analysis. With the foundational courses as stepping blocks, they move on to take advanced courses in one of the two key areas of CSIA: network security administration and secure software development, satisfying the requirements of CAE-CDE knowledge units of those focus areas as recognized by NSA and DHS. In particular, they will learn to establish information security protocols, build firewalls and defend against security intrusions, use encryption and protect information, regulate access to data, establish virus protection systems, implement business continuity and disaster recovery plans, conduct penetration tests and analyze system vulnerabilities, develop secure software, and help resolve information technology (IT) issues related to security. As a culmination of their studies, they are encouraged to work on a project under the supervision of a faculty adviser or to undertake internship to obtain practical work experience.
Students work on state-of-the art labs, which include the Computer Networking and System Administration Lab and the iLab. A Cyber Defense and Digital Forensics Lab is being built, which is expected to be completed by Summer 2017. Students will be able to intern or find employment with business and IT organizations, and computer and engineering companies within the state and in nearby states, as well with local, state, and federal agencies.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections Program, projected the employment number of information security analysts to increase nationwide from 75,100 in 2012 to 102,500 in 2022 for an increase of 37% (27,400), which is much higher than 11%, the average projected increase for all occupations. High job growth was also projected for other IT-related occupations. The median annual salary for information security analysts with less than 5 years of experience in a related occupation was $86,170 in May 2012. Also, the average annual salary of the information security analysts with less than two years of experience was estimated at $70,500 by Modis, a global provider of IT personnel. The nearby metropolitan areas that pay the most include New York City, New York, and Norwich, Connecticut.
The MSCSIA program is offered under the auspices of the Lee Gildart and Oswald Haase School of Computer Sciences and Engineering, University College: Arts • Sciences • Professional Studies, at the Metropolitan Campus in Teaneck, New Jersey.
Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) is officially designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) institution by National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). FDU’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance (MSCSIA) degree program is created in response to meet the challenges in the field of CSIA. The program prepares its graduates for employment or further advanced study, including doctorates, in this field and other related areas.
U.S. News and World Report has recently ranked information security analyst at #3 among the Best Technology Jobs; #8, the 100 Best Jobs; and #15, the Best Paying Jobs. Related occupations such as IT manager, software developer, and computer systems analyst are ranked at #4, #11, and #18 among the Best Paying Jobs. Thus, the MSCSIA program will be very attractive to prospective students because of its excellent career opportunities, outstanding average starting salary, excellent median long-term salary, good job growth projected from 2012 to 2022, and great career fulfillment that includes protecting the nation’s information infrastructure.