What is the Difference Between a Masters in Information Technology Network Management and Masters in IT Security & Assurance?

The information technology field is continuously growing and advancing and IT professionals are in high demand in an array of fields. Individuals who are interested in pursuing a degree program in information technology commonly inquire about different degree options. One question may be what is the difference between a Masters in Information Technology Network Management and Masters in IT Security & Assurance?

Overview of Masters in Information Technology Network Management

A master’s degree in information technology network management typically helps students develop management and leadership abilities as well as a technical know-how to pursue management positions of sophisticated information technology networks. Students learn about basic technical requirements of current and new IT networks and focus on performance, reliability, and security of networks and contents. Course topics commonly include risk management, information technology management, current and up-and-coming technology, rules and regulations in information technology, cyberlaw, advanced network technology, challenges network security, disaster recover planning, prevention, and reaction, and globalization of information technology.

Overview of Masters in IT Security & Assurance

A master’s degree in IT security and assurance provides students with the essential abilities to effectively protect information, communication, and networks within information technology. Students also gain a solid understanding needed for the planning, employment, and management of security tactics to ensure all types of systems are protected and maintained. The program builds on current knowledge of the protection of networks and communication and provides students with competencies in both technology and business as they are related with IT security. Common program topics include basics of interconnecting network devices, cryptography, cyberlaw, security policy and standards, risk management, forensics and intrusion of networks, reaction to hacking and other security breaches, ethical hacking, and assessment of vulnerability. This degree is intended for students with a bachelor’s degree in information technology or related area. Many programs prepare students to take professional certification examinations, such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional.

Similarities Between the Two Degrees

In general, most master’s degree programs in both concentrations prefer students who have previous information technology experience and individuals who are seeking management positions in the field. Students need real-world experience in the information technology field. Both degree programs provide students with in-depth knowledge and abilities to progress into advanced positions in information technology. Many programs focus on effective communication in all levels of management. Additionally, technical competence is necessary to manage information technology aspects. The required amount of credits varies by school and program, but majority involve at least 30 credits at the graduate level. Some programs require a capstone project and others a master’s thesis.

Both the masters degree in information technology network management and masters degree in IT security and assurance provide students with the know-how and abilities to remain competitive in today’s constantly changing and very demanding IT field. In both degree programs students gain a high level of competence across a wide range of IT subject matter areas to effective manage and lead IT aspects of various types of entities from small business to large corporations. Before deciding on which type of degree to pursue, students should thoroughly assess both their personal and professional goals as well as their specific interests. Also, it is essential to only consider programs that are accredited to ensure the school offers high quality education. Either degree is a great starting point to an advanced career in IT.