Cybersecurity has been a job seekers’ market for several years due to a persistent skills gap in the field. In 2012, cybersecurity was the top priority for business IT investments, yet 2018 research shows that more than half of organizations are still struggling to find qualified talent.

The difficulty finding qualified cybersecurity professionals is two-fold:

  • Cybersecurity is a multidisciplinary field, often requiring business and leadership expertise in addition to IT knowledge.
  • Cyber threats constantly evolve, making it challenging for organizations to keep pace with new risks.

Just as there are numerous jobs in the cybersecurity field, there are many different options for gaining education and advanced expertise, including graduate certificates and degree programs. Pace University’s Master of Science in Information Technology with Cybersecurity Concentration is a unique option that balances broad IT knowledge with key focus areas for building high-demand expertise for the cybersecurity job market.

Careers with an MS in Information Technology – Cybersecurity Concentration

The cybersecurity field is deeply connected to other areas of IT as well to the rest of the business. In addition to core knowledge like network and IT infrastructure, successful cybersecurity professionals need to have well-rounded expertise covering topics like IT operations, software applications, cloud architecture as well as business operations and end-user support. In fact, in a 2017 ESG Research survey, cybersecurity professionals identified gaining knowledge of many different technologies in the top three skills relevant to their roles.

Due to its comprehensive coverage of IT and deeper exploration of cybersecurity, an MS in Information Technology with a Cybersecurity Concentration prepares graduates for roles in security analysis, computer forensics, network security and countless other areas of information technology. It is ideal for business professionals who want to gain a deeper understanding of IT and how technology impacts risk within their organization. It is also an excellent option for IT professionals who want to gain broader knowledge of technology to pursue senior-level security analyst and leadership roles.

Cybersecurity Careers – Select Salaries

Job Title Median Salary
Director, Computing/Networking/Information Technology (IT) Security $134,573
Security Architect, IT $120,355
Information Security Manager $108,499
Information Security Officer $89,835
Cybersecurity Analyst $74,926

High-Demand Cybersecurity Skills

Because it is such an expansive field, the skillsets cybersecurity professionals need most will depend on their area(s) of specialization, as well as the industries they’re involved in. As shown in the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, every industry faces different types and volumes of cyber threats. For example, most cyberattacks targeting the financial services industry result from either hacking or physical security threats like payment card skimmers installed on ATMs. By contrast, education organizations are more often targeted by social engineering, in which a cyber attacker tricks someone into providing their personal information.

While there is considerable variance in attacks, some cybersecurity skills have emerged as the most in-demand from an employer perspective. According to Robert Half Technology’s survey of chief information officers, a growing percentage of IT executives plan to add to their technology teams; and, maintaining secure systems is the top priority for 2018. The most in-demand technology skills include:

  • Database management
  • Desktop support
  • Telecommunications support
  • Wireless network management
  • Business intelligence/reporting services

What will help cybersecurity professionals more than any individual technology or business skill, though, is understanding the way different areas of technology and business interact; for instance, desktop support typically involves hardware-centric tasks like installing and configuring users’ devices. However, in environments where malware is a major concern, providing regular advice to employees throughout the organization on how to best avoid infection may be a key part of the role.

About Pace’s Online MSIT

Pace’s online MSIT program is designed for working professionals and for the cybersecurity industry. It covers the broad knowledge that business and IT professionals need to understand and effectively plan for myriad cyber risks.

Because cybersecurity is an ever-evolving field with countless moving parts and area of expertise, Pace’s program is highly customizable, and students develop close personal relationships with their academic advisors. In addition to an expansive set of electives—which cover web development, cloud computing, mobile forensics, data mining and more—students complete a capstone project, in which they design and develop a real-world computer information system. With guidance from expert faculty and collaboration with business, the capstone project offers direct, practical experience that empowers students to apply everything they’ve learned to their passion.

The MSIT with Cybersecurity Concentration is offered through the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University.

The Seidenberg School is a nationally recognized school and one of the nation’s first schools dedicated to computer science and information systems. It is a leader in cybersecurity education, designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE). Furthermore, it delivers results, with 94% of Seidenberg graduates gaining full-time jobs within one year of graduation.

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