An online MBA in information security is designed to teach students how to maintain their employers’ and other employees’ privacy. By taking courses in network security, disaster recovery and forensics, and IT governance, for example, those who pursue this program will learn how to protect sensitive and personal information from being hacked and getting into the wrong set of hands. This vital skill will allow graduates to work for some of the most prestigious companies in the nation, as well as government agencies at the federal, state and local levels. And because employers seek applicants who have a strong background in technology and Internet systems, earning an online MBA in information security will work to your advantage.
What Does an MBA in Information Security Cover?
An MBA in information security is a graduate program that will help students build on their knowledge of computers and technology and will give them a strong advanced background in computer security. This knowledge will prepare graduates to keep confidential data stored safely from intruders. Although the time it takes to complete an online Information Security MBA will vary depending on a student’s particular pace and enrollment status, typically it will take the same length of time as earning one in a traditional setting. A full-time student should complete the program in two years; a part-time one may take four years. Some online Information Security MBA schools offer accelerated programs that can be finished in 18 months. During the course of their studies, students will take classes that will teach them how to understand and evaluate problems and threats, as well as how to test and grade software. Courses topics may include: wireless network security, risk management, network programming, firewalls and hacking center measures. Students will also learn about the latest developments in software applications, programming and network administration so they remain relevant in the workforce. Near the end of the first year, students will also be able to choose a concentration. Such specializations may include: wireless LAN security; information recovery; network programming; network security consultation; and system administration. Online MBA information security programs will also teach students how to be effective leaders in the workplace. Students will typically end their program with a capstone research project.
Getting Into an Online Information Security MBA Program
Applicants will need to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. This degree does not need to have been earned in the business subject area, but applicants should have basic business and mathematical knowledge and may be required to take foundation courses before they begin their MBA studies. These foundation courses include:
- College Algebra
- Introduction to Accounting
- Foundations of Business Management
- Business Law
A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.5 is typically necessary for entry into online Information Security MBA programs. Some institutions may also require letters of recommendation and GMAT scores.
Why Should I Get an AACSB Accredited Information Security MBA?
It’s best to enroll in a program that is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). If your MBA program is stamped with the approval of this particular accrediting agency it will not only prove that the program has met a particular educational standard, but it will also be viewed in high regard by potential employers. This is because the AASCB is a nonprofit organization that oversees the quality of most undergraduate, master and doctoral business programs.
What Jobs Can an Online Information Security MBA Get Me?
- Computer Security Specialists: These professionals are responsible for planning, coordinating and maintaining an organization’s information security. They install software, supervise other related departments and make recommendations to improve security of company data. As cyber attacks continue to grow and evolve in a more sophisticated manner, information security specialists have been assuming more significant responsibilities to help prevent them. In some cases, they collect and present data instrumental to prosecuting cybercrime. Their role is crucial to information security because they help businesses better react to crises.
- Homeland Security Officer: A homeland security officer is primarily tasked with making sure that valuable U.S. data and resources are secure in the event of a disaster. These security officers are trained to anticipate and react to hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and terrorism. They are responsible for minimizing the nation’s vulnerabilities in the event of a catastrophic occurrence. They spend much time researching, analyzing and developing innovative security technology that would help them perform their job well if faced with a national pandemic. Homeland security officers are trained to analyze intelligence reports to help deter and detect threats.
- Information Technology Project Administrator: These professionals are responsible for maintaining information system security and efficiency within a given organization. These IT experts help ensure that the design of an organization’s computer system fosters efficiency in all components. These may include computers, the network and the software, all of which must function properly. Should any technical issues arise, it is the responsibility of the administrators to troubleshoot the problems and make recommendations to the company’s chief technology officer. In some organizations, administrators are also responsible for maintaining system security.
Top Earning Industries for Jobs
- Security Architect, IT: $99,979
- Security Director, Computing/Networking/Information Technology: $111,799
- National Defense: $91,966
- Information Technology Services: $80,350
- IT Consulting: $74,694-$108,176
- Financial Services: $73,915-$103,238
How Do I Find Online Information Security MBA Programs?
Look at authoritative sites to help find a program that will meet your educational and personal goals. A good place to start would be:
- AACSB’s website. Here you will be able to locate accredited schools by name, county/region or state. The website does not directly state which schools offer online programs, but with some additional research and clicking on the direct link to the schools’ websites, you should be able to find which ones offer distance programs.
- The Economist
- U.S. News & World Report
The Online Education Database uses an intricate ranking system to compile a list of the best online schools. You can research schools on this site to find ones that offer online Information Security MBA programs.