What Can I Do With a Master of Cyber Security?

Posted: April 29, 2020 | Author: Southern Utah University | Read Time: 5 minutes

Careers in CybersecurityThere are many reasons that earning a master’s degree is a good idea. A master’s degree typically makes graduates more competitive in the field and equips them with a deeper knowledge and more complex skillset than those without a master’s degree. All of these facts can help make the decision to get the degree, but what can you really do with a Master’s Degree in Cyber Security and Information Assurance (MS-CSIA)? Here are a few cybersecurity positions occupied by CSIA graduates, what they require, and the average first-year salary.

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

The chief information security officer can be thought of as the architect of the information security systems at the company they work for. Much like an architect that works in designing buildings needs to predict possible threats to the safety of a building and account for them in design and structure, so too does a chief information security officer need to foresee possible threats to the security of the information systems they protect.

A chief information security officer is a senior-level position that almost always requires a master’s degree. According to Glassdoor, an average chief information security officer makes about $180,870 annually.

Business Process and Security Analyst

Business process and security analysts do a certain amount of risk analysis but they do it more in the context of the business practices. They are likely to work more closely with non-IT staff on ensuring that business procedures are securable by the cybersecurity staff. This job is well-suited for those who are well-trained in cybersecurity and linked global laws. They will need to be detail-oriented in examining both business practices, security strategies, and compliance policies.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median yearly salary for a business process and security analyst is around $98,350.

Risk Management Analyst

Cybersecurity and information assurance is all about protecting potentially sensitive information from being accessed by predatory eyes. An important step in ensuring that a security system works is hiring a risk management analyst to provide data on potential risks to the safety of information. They do this by guiding organizations in managing and reducing their cybersecurity risks in a way that complements an organization’s existing cybersecurity and risk management processes. These assessment and evaluation frameworks will need to be conducted in a timely manner and be followed up with recommendations to minimize, manage and mitigate risks, vulnerabilities, and threats associated with cyber breaches. The risk management analyst is an essential part of any cybersecurity and information assurance team.

According to Glassdoor, an average annual salary for a risk management analyst falls around $67,021.

Contractor Program Security Officer

A contractor program security officer is usually in charge of specific programs for security at a company. This can be just one program or multiple programs depending on how that company organizes its security needs. They will usually be in charge of maintaining security records for the programs they oversee as well as handle classified visit certifications and sort out the proper security classifications for the materials being secured.

The salary for a contractor program security officer can vary greatly, but the average annual income according to glassdoor is $80,784

Director of Information Security

A director of information security oversees the procedural aspects of information assurance. They will need to be able to work with the CISO in order to ensure the developed plans for information security systems can be executed efficiently. A director of information security will be highly involved in information security policy, strategy, and logistics. The director of information security is responsible for the implementation of new systems and changes to old systems on a managerial level. They will establish systems for collecting metrics on the efficacy of the systems they supervise. In some cases, they will be handling company-wide corporate IT security, customer-wide client security, or a combination of the two.

According to Glassdoor, the director of information security makes about $145,642 per year

Security Administrator

A security administrator has more to do with policy than the execution of strategies. The policies that security administrators create and oversee are responsible for protecting a company’s information from hackers, extortionists, and on a governmental level, terrorists, and foreign governments. A security administrator should be familiar with the laws and public policies surrounding cybersecurity and information assurance, this makes programs with tracks designed for working in government and with policy (like SUU’s track in government, regulation, and compliance and IS controls) particularly useful to people interested in pursuing a career as a security administrator.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a security administrator in the U.S. is $98,350.


This list should give you an idea of the kinds of careers you can choose when you have a Master’s Degree in Cyber Security and Information Assurance, but one of the great things about obtaining a high-level degree is the ability to use it to create a cross-discipline. In whatever career in the financial field you pursue, it is quite likely that the skills you learn in a CSIA program will help you further your goals. Cyber Security Ventures predicts an opening of 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. by 2021 with $6 million dollars of damages from cybercrime predicted to be accrued by the same year. There is a great need for people to work in the field of cybersecurity and great opportunities for those who choose to fill that need.

Learn more about the Master of Cyber Security and Information Assurance program available at SUU.

Tags: College of Engineering and Computational Sciences Cyber Security Graduate Programs

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