Given how important technology is today in communicating in the business and retail worlds, ensuring that all of our information is secure is very important. A career field that is growing in popularity is information security, and a good way to get a jump start in the field is to earn an information security MBA.
By taking courses in advanced network security, forensics, IT governance and disaster recovery, you will develop important skills that will put you in line for good paying jobs in the IT field and in the IT department of any large company.
What Is an Information Security MBA?
An MBA in information security is a graduate program that will help you to increase your knowledge on technology and computers, and especially on computer security. This knowledge prepares you to keep a company’s confidential information completely secure from hackers and intruders.
During an information security MBA program, which is typically at least two years and can be done entirely online, you will take classes that will help you to understand how to evaluate and understand computer security problems and threats. You also will learn how to test and grade software to reduce the risk of threats.
A typical information security MBA will covers these types of topics:
- Wireless network security
- Risk management
- Network programming
- Advanced firewalls
- Hacking center policies and measures
Students also learn about the newest developments in software applications, network administration and programming.
At the end of the first year, it is common for information security MBA students to select a particular concentration, which may include:
- Network programming
- Network security consultation
- Systems administration
You will usually need to have a bachelor’s degree either in business or a technical field to be admitted into this type of program. It also will help if you have a background in computer science or information technology. Applicants also should have good business and mathematical knowledge.
Some of the courses that you should in your previous education, or take at your graduate university before you start your MBA program, include:
- Business management
- Business law
- Computer programming
Most MBA programs in information security will want you to have a strong GPA of 2.75 or higher, and also GRE and/or GMAT scores. Further, you should be able to show on your resume that you have experience in business and/or computer technology for at least two or three years.
Types of Courses to Expect
All MBA programs will require that you take core classes in business management. However, you also will take several classes that will teach you to fully assess, understand, implement and lead information security management efforts.
One online program that you should consider is University of Texas at Tyler, which offers an MBA cyber security. This is a good choice for the manager who needs to develop skills to lead, oversee and conduct risk assessments on information security operations.
Courses that are required in this two year program include the following:
- Strategic Leadership Processes
- Accounting for Management Control
- Advanced Financial Management
- Decision Making in Operations Management
- Organizational Behavior
- Strategic HR Management
- Advanced Marketing Fundamentals
- Global Business Perspectives
You also will develop a strong background in key business courses; you will learn about core business management functions, and how to work effectively in teams on projects.
Career Path and Salary
Some of the jobs that you can enjoy with your information security MBA with a high level of demand and salary include the ones listed below.
Overall, it is expected that all computer and IT-related positions will see an impressive 12% increase in demand by 2024. This is faster than average. It is thought that at least 488,000 new jobs will be created. This will occur because there is more focus today on cloud computing. With such massive amounts of data being stored in the cloud, there is no question that demand for all computer and IT professionals will rise markedly.
Further, information security professionals will definitely be needed in greater numbers to ensure that all of that data is going to be kept safe from hackers all over the world. No matter which industry is involved, there is little question that companies will need to tightly control access to their data in these large databases.
Also note that the overall median salary in this field is $81,400.
Information Security Analyst
An information security analyst plans, designs and implements security measures that will protect an organization’s systems and networks. Most often they will do the following:
- Monitor the network for the organization and check for security breaches and investigate any violation that occurs.
- Use and install software, which can include firewalls and data encryption programs that will protect the most sensitive data.
- Do regular penetration testing which is what is done when analysts want to simulate computer security attacks.
- Research new IT security trends and make recommendations to upper level managers
The job outlook in this profession is excellent: There will be an 18% increase in jobs by 2024, which is much faster than average when compared to other jobs. It is expected that demand for information security analysts will continue to be strong, as cyberattacks are continuing to grow in frequency. Analysts are needed more than ever to come up with new and cutting edge solutions so that cyber hackers do not steal vital information from a company.
The median salary in this field is $90,100.
Computer Security Specialist
This computer professional handles planning, coordinating and maintaining the information security for an organization. They most often will handle the installation of software, supervise the computer security needs of all departments, and make recommendations to upper level managers regarding keeping data secure.
Computer security specialists also will collect data that is critical to prosecuting potential cyber crimes.
It is anticipated that the job demand in this field will also be 18%, with a median salary of $90,000.
Homeland Security Officer
This type of information security professional is responsible for ensuring that important US data and resources are completely secure in case of any potential disaster. These types of officers are trained to react and to anticipate any major disaster, which can include hurricanes, earthquakes tornadoes, floods, and also terrorism. They will spend most of their time conducting research, analyzing potential risk scenarios, and to develop secure hardware and software systems.
The pay for this field should be in the range of $80,000 per year for the most experienced professionals at the federal government level.
Information Technology Project Manager
Responsible for making sure that IT system security and efficiency is as good as possible in an organization. These highly paid IT professionals are there to ensure that the design of a computer system at a company is as efficient and secure as possible. The systems that the professional is usually in charge of will include the network, computers and software.
The job outlook in this field is outstanding: There will be a 15% increase in job demand by 2024. It is believed that there will be much higher demand for computer and information technology managers as companies are expanding their operations to entirely digital platforms. To make this transformation, it is always necessary to have tight cyber security on all new computer systems.
The median salary in this field is $131,000 per year.