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Is a Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity Management & Policy Worth It?

Theresa Schempp
By Theresa Schempp

Cybersecurity is expanding and evolving at a rapid pace, and the demand for experts in the field continues to expand with it. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analyst employment is expected to grow 35 percent from 2021 to 2031.1 Because cybersecurity is such a broad field that covers a range of industries, it can be helpful to earn a degree in a specialized area. If you are interested in gaining the expertise to be successful in the management track of cybersecurity, a master’s degree in cybersecurity management and policy may be worth it for your career goals.

“There is an increasing national need for high-level leadership skills that strengthen the defense of public and private entities,” says Helen Barker, department chair of cybersecurity at University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC). “A master’s degree cultivates strategic thinking, policy development, and risk management skills necessary for leadership in the field.”

With a master’s in cybersecurity management and policy, you can learn both the technical side of cybersecurity and gain the knowledge to lead a team in identifying and resolving cyber threats. The ability to do both can give you an advantage in your career and prepare you for a leadership role. The median annual salary for computer and information systems managers was $159,001 in 2021.2

“UMGC’s cybersecurity management and policy program allows students to capture skills intersecting technology, policy, and business,” says Barker. “Students are trained to solve complex problems in the field. These skills result in a highly valued organizational leader.”

Some careers that are possible with a master’s degree in cybersecurity management and policy include Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Cybersecurity Analyst, Information Technology Specialist, and others as the field grows. The D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area is a cyber hub. Maryland's cybersecurity network includes 12 major military installations; 400 Federal, academic, and private research centers; and 50 Federal agencies. In addition, the Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber Command is in Maryland and the Dulles Technology Corridor is in Virginia.

UMGC’s master’s degree in cybersecurity management and policy is designed to teach students how to establish, implement, and oversee a cybersecurity structure for an organization, and create a security approach that combines technology, governance, and compliance perspectives.

“UMGC’s master’s in cybersecurity management and policy differs from similar programs in other institutions because of its technical component,” says Barker. “While many of our students have experience either in IT or the intelligence field and use this degree to advance in their field it is a degree appropriate for those new to the field.”

The program is continually updated and designed with input from industry leaders and cybersecurity experts. UMGC’s cyber programs also incorporate Multi-Dimensional Applied Relevant System (MARS), which helps cyber students build essential career skills by giving them access to a simulated, AI-driven world to apply what they learn in the classroom. Since April 2002, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency have consistently designated the UMGC as a leader in cybersecurity education. UMGC’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management and Policy is a recognized program of study with the NSA and Department of Homeland Security.

“Cybersecurity is an exciting and dynamic field,” says Barker. “UMGC’s cybersecurity degree programs support career changers and those looking to increase their skills in the field through innovative curriculum delivery.”

In addition to the cybersecurity management and policy program, UMGC also offers other master’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and certificates in a variety of fields in cybersecurity. Investing in your education is a great step in advancing your career and succeeding in the field of cybersecurity.

1Information Security Analysts: Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 8, 2022.
 2Computer and Information Systems Managers: Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 8, 2022.
3 Source: Lightcast ™

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