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For ambitious future internet and cybersecurity experts, an online master’s degree in internet security may be just what you need to thrive in this field. The demand for skilled professionals in this industry is up 32%, making it one of the fastest-growing industries in the country. With a master’s degree, graduates qualify for management roles, earning an average salary increase of $52,070 annually compared to those with a bachelor’s degree. Even better, the average cost of these programs was $19,749 for the 2020-2021 academic year, and they offer a completion time of 18 months to two years for full-time students, making this degree an intelligent investment.

How to Choose an Online Master’s in Internet Security Degree Program

Choose your area of study

While pursuing a graduate degree in internet security is already specific, you can refine your focus by selecting a specialty aligned with your career goals. For example, digital forensics is ideal for those passionate about investigating cybercrimes, while network security is ideal for students interested in securing communication systems. Some schools may offer concentration options in security policy and governance designed for individuals eager to shape organizational security strategies.

Choosing a specialty can be especially helpful for streamlining school research, helping you identify programs aligned with your interests.

Research schools and programs

After choosing your specialty, thorough research is essential to finding the right program. Start by verifying accreditation to ensure the degree’s quality and employer recognition. Then, consider the following questions to guide your research:

  • Does the program offer specialized courses in my chosen field?
  • What resources or labs are available for hands-on experiences?
  • Are there opportunities for internships or industry partnerships?

You can find most of this information on school websites. Don’t hesitate to attend an open house or speak with an admissions counselor for further insights into faculty credentials and program details.

Prepare for tests and applications

With your shortlist of schools, it’s time to begin preparing for tests and applications. While criteria can vary by institution, many schools share the same standard requirements:

  • Up-to-date transcripts that reflect your academic achievements
  • Letters of recommendation from professors or professionals who know your capabilities
  • A personal statement illustrating your motivations and qualifications

Although some graduate schools have moved to test-optional policies, many still require GRE scores. Consider enrolling in a test prep program to boost your scores for these schools.

Select your program

After receiving acceptance letters, you can make a well-informed decision about your future program by revisiting the most important factors from your research. Double-check your chosen specialty’s availability, ensuring the program offers relevant coursework to meet your educational needs. Review faculty profiles and each program’s student support services to determine which school delivers the best learning environment. Lastly, evaluate the total cost of attendance, factoring in available financial aid.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Financing a graduate degree often involves seeking financial aid, and various resources are available to help you pursue your education without incurring significant debt.

Prioritize scholarships and grants, as they don’t require repayment. Explore federal loans cautiously, considering interest rates and repayment terms. If you’re interested in part-time employment while studying, consider participating in a work-study program that offers job experience and financial support. If you’re employed in internet security or an adjacent field, check with your employer about tuition reimbursement programs. These programs often cover a portion or all of your tuition if you meet specific requirements — like maintaining a minimum GPA or agreeing to work for the company post-graduation.

Best 50 Accredited Online Master’s in Internet Security Programs


Capitol Technology University

Norwich University

Utica University

University of Idaho

Nova Southeastern University

Our Lady of the Lake University

Dakota State University

Champlain College

University of the Cumberlands

National University

Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals

NYU Center for Cyber Security

Southern Arkansas University

University of Arizona

Iowa State University

Florida Institute of Technology

University of South Florida

University of California, Berkeley

Syracuse University

Davenport University

DePaul University

University Detroit Mercy

Georgetown University

Western Governors University

Bellevue University

University of Maryland Global Campus

Drexel University

University of Southern California

University of Rhode Island

Regis University

Wilmington University

Excelsior College

Penn State World Campus

Mercy University

Oklahoma State University

University of Delaware

University of Dallas

Northeastern University

Marshall University

Bay Path University

University of North Dakota

Southern New Hampshire University

New Jersey Institute of Technology

Quinnipiac University

California State University San Marcos

Valparaiso University

Norfolk State University

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Sam Houston State University

Georgia Institute of Technology

Discover More Options

How We Rank Schools

For this list, we concentrated on master’s degrees in internet security, also called cybersecurity. Most graduate degrees in this field are Master of Science (MS), although some schools offer a Master of Professional Studies (MPS).

To guarantee flexibility for students, we focused on programs that are delivered online. Some programs are also offered on-campus, allowing students to complete their degree through in-person and online classes.

We only included programs offered by schools with regional accreditation to confirm that they meet the highest standards of quality postsecondary education. Credits and degrees from regionally accredited institutions are the most widely recognized by other schools and employers.

We reviewed each program based on outcomes, cost, flexibility, faculty, and reputation. Then, we calculated an Intelligent Score for each degree on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out our ranking methodology.

What Can You Expect From an Online Master’s in Internet Security Degree Program

By earning an online master’s in internet security, you’ll be prepared for some of the most in-demand careers in the country with advanced skills in protecting digital systems. Curriculums often mirror cybersecurity studies, covering topics like encryption, network security, and threat detection. Graduates are well-prepared for careers as information security analysts, cybersecurity consultants, and security architects.

This degree typically takes 18 months to two years to complete, and many programs are designed for online flexibility, catering to working professionals or individuals with other commitments. They often incorporate real-world simulations, providing hands-on experience to improve comprehension.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online master’s in internet security Degree program

  • Advanced Cryptography: In this course, students will investigate complex cryptographic techniques, learning to design secure algorithms and systems. This course covers public-key cryptography, digital signatures, and cryptographic protocols, boosting their ability to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access.
  • Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing: Focusing on offensive security, this course teaches students how to identify vulnerabilities in systems and networks. Participants gain hands-on experience in ethical hacking, penetration testing methodologies, and vulnerability assessment, essential for anticipating and mitigating potential cyber threats.
  • Cybersecurity Risk Management: Students explore the principles of assessing and managing cybersecurity risks within an organizational context. This course covers risk analysis, mitigation strategies, and compliance frameworks, enabling students to make informed decisions to protect information assets.
  • Incident Response and Digital Forensics: This course prepares students with digital forensics and incident response skills. They learn to analyze and recover from cyberattacks, trace digital evidence, and implement strategies to prevent future incidents.

What Can You Do With an Online Master’s in Internet Security Degree?

Career outlook

The career outlook for individuals with an online master’s in internet security is exceptionally promising. As cybersecurity concerns increase globally, organizations increasingly seek professionals with advanced knowledge and skills. Graduates can pursue roles such as information security analysts, cybersecurity consultants, and chief information security officers.

Demand for educated professionals in this field is high, with salaries that are commensurate with the skill level required. For example, the need for information security analysts is expected to increase by 32 percent over the coming decade, and individuals in this position earn a median salary of $112,000 a year.

Career paths

Possible career paths for internet security professionals span various industries, including finance, healthcare, and technology. With a comprehensive understanding of threat detection, risk management, and secure network architecture, individuals holding this degree are well-positioned to navigate evolving cybersecurity challenges. The constant evolution of technology ensures a continuous demand for skilled professionals, ensuring that the career paths available for online master’s in internet security graduates are robust and enduring.

The following roles showcase the diverse opportunities available for individuals with this credential, reflecting the critical need for cybersecurity expertise across various industries:

  • Network security engineer: designs, implements, and manages secure network solutions, safeguarding data transmission and preventing unauthorized access.
  • Security software developer: creates and updates security software to protect systems from evolving cyber threats, focusing on encryption, authentication, and intrusion detection.
  • Penetration tester (ethical hacker): evaluates the security of computer systems by simulating cyber-attacks, identifying vulnerabilities, and providing recommendations for improvement.
  • Security operations center (SOC) analyst: monitors and responds to security incidents, analyzing threats in real-time and implementing measures to protect against cyber threats.
  • Incident responder: investigates and mitigates security incidents, coordinating responses to breaches and developing strategies to prevent future occurrences.

Information Security Analyst

Earning Potential: $64,787-$78,062 annually
Education Required: Master’s degree in internet security, cybersecurity, or a related field

An information security analyst is critical in safeguarding an organization’s digital assets. They assess and monitor security infrastructure, identifying vulnerabilities and implementing measures to protect against cyber threats. This includes analyzing data breaches, conducting risk assessments, and developing strategies for incident response. Information security analysts stay abreast of evolving cyber threats, ensuring that security measures are updated to counteract emerging risks. They also educate staff on best practices for cybersecurity, contributing to a proactive security culture. The goal is to maintain data integrity, prevent unauthorized access, and fortify systems against potential cyberattacks, ultimately safeguarding the organization’s information and reputation.

Cybersecurity Consultant

Earning Potential: $85,346-$108,326 annually
Education Required: Master’s degree in internet security, cybersecurity, or a related field

A cybersecurity consultant guides organizations in developing and implementing robust cybersecurity strategies. They assess existing security measures, conduct risk assessments, and identify system vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity consultants advise on deploying effective safeguards, encryption methods, and authentication protocols to mitigate potential threats. They offer tailored solutions to address specific cybersecurity challenges. By staying informed about the latest cyber threats and industry best practices, these consultants play a pivotal role in enhancing an organization’s resilience against cyberattacks and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards.

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

Earning Potential: $215,849-$274,488 annually
Education Required: Master’s degree in cybersecurity, internet security, information assurance, or a related field

A chief information security officer (CISO) is a top-level executive responsible for overseeing an organization’s entire cybersecurity strategy. They lead efforts to safeguard digital assets, manage security policies, and ensure compliance with industry regulations. CISOs assess and mitigate cyber threats, develop incident response plans, and collaborate with other executives to align cybersecurity initiatives with business goals. They must stay abreast of evolving security risks, implement security awareness programs, and foster a robust security culture within the organization. As key decision-makers, CISOs are crucial in fortifying digital defenses and establishing a resilient cybersecurity framework.

Online Master’s in Internet Security Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online master’s in internet security degree program?

To apply for an online master’s in internet security program, ensure you have a relevant bachelor’s degree. Most programs list the undergraduate degrees they consider acceptable on their official websites. Additional admissions requirements commonly include:

  • Transcripts reflecting prerequisite coursework completion and a minimum GPA
  • Letters of recommendation from relevant professionals and mentors who can speak to your potential for graduate coursework
  • A personal statement outlining your motivations and qualifications

Some programs may request GRE scores, making test prep courses beneficial. Be sure to check specific program details by speaking with an admissions counselor from the institutions you’re interested in attending, as requirements may vary.

How much does an online master’s in internet security degree cost?

For the 2020-2021 academic year, public university graduate tuition averaged $12,394, whereas private colleges were significantly more expensive at $26,621.

It’s important to note that online programs often come with their own set of additional costs, such as:

  • Distance learning and student support fees
  • Textbooks and course materials
  • Technology and software capable of handling advanced computer-based coursework

While these costs can add up, online students often save money compared to on-campus counterparts by avoiding commuting, room and board, and other on-campus expenses, making it a cost-effective choice for those seeking a flexible and affordable learning environment.

How long does it take to earn an online master’s in internet security degree?

Earning this degree typically takes 18 months to two years, although your enrollment status will significantly affect your completion time. Online degrees offer flexibility, allowing students to balance academic pursuits with other responsibilities, potentially extending the program’s duration. Part-time enrollment, favored by many online students, can lengthen program duration, as it often involves a reduced credit load per semester.

Is an online master's in internet security degree program worth it?

Pursuing an online master’s in internet security is often worth the investment. This program equips individuals with advanced knowledge and skills crucial for addressing the evolving landscape of cyber threats. As the demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to rise, holding a master’s degree enhances career prospects, qualifying individuals for leadership roles such as chief information security officer (CISO) or cybersecurity consultant.

The positions available for those with a master’s degree are often highly compensated. Penetration testers, for example, make an average salary of $88,574, according to, while a security software developer earns an average salary of $76,142.

The flexibility of online learning allows professionals to enhance their expertise while balancing work and personal commitments. The curriculum, designed to cover cutting-edge topics, ensures graduates are well-prepared to tackle real-world cybersecurity challenges. Networking opportunities in online programs facilitate connections with peers and experts globally.

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