The information assurance and cybersecurity master’s degree program at Florida Tech equips students with the advanced skills needed to stop a growing list of security risks facing corporate, government, and military institutions. This includes identity and intellectual property theft, threats to infrastructure security, and unlawful access to personal information.
Course components cover a range of topics from high-level company policy security issues to technical aspects, such as verifying the contents of memory. Students may pursue the Information assurance and cybersecurity degree on campus or through interactive online learning.
Many of Florida Tech’s programs are interdisciplinary and the information assurance and cybersecurity degree is no different, giving students an opportunity to work with faculty and students from a variety of disciplines.
Many graduate students are already industry professionals, so the learning environment is mature, cooperative, and designed for collaborative study. The program is closely associated with the Harris Institute for Assured Information—an interdisciplinary center that brings together computer science, psychology, business, and biology to provide the most up-to-date information and research in computer security. See below for more information.
Designated by the Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Research, Florida Tech’s information assurance and cybersecurity degree curriculum focuses on fundamental skills for addressing the various threats cybersecurity professionals not only face today, but will also confront in the future. This includes:
Students in this master’s level information assurance program learn from a community of cybersecurity thought-leaders and benefit from modern facilities fitted with the latest technology. Florida Tech’s location on the Space Coast’s high-tech corridor also positions students to interact with some of the most respected names in technology, such as NASA, Harris Corp., and Leonardo DRS.
There are several options for someone with a graduate degree in information assurance and cybersecurity, depending on their interests and background. For example, someone entering this information assurance program with a BS degree in a field such as computer science or computer engineering could use the specialized information assurance program to become a software engineer or architect with a focus on security.
With a culture consisting of students who may already be working professionals, professors who infuse real-world experience to the curriculum, and an international student base with diverse science, engineering, and technology backgrounds, graduates develop a unique blend of technology, engineering, and business expertise that sets them up for success. This information assurance program touches on all the important topics in the field of cybersecurity, including attack models, security architectures, protection strategies, legal issues, and security mechanisms.
Because of the small student-to-teacher ratio, there is a close and more professional connection between students and teachers at Florida Tech. The faculty brings years of experience to the classroom, both in academia and industry. Many of the professors maintain active research programs in the field and provide students seeking an information assurance and cybersecurity degree a real-world understanding of the career and the issues experts face dealing with the actions of cyber-criminals.
Florida Tech’s research university status ensures that students have the tools and facilities they need to conduct research in their preferred area of study. Florida Tech’s advanced research centers and laboratories are home to essential engineering equipment and software for such projects as behavioral virus detection, spyware resistance, virtual keyboards, and more.
Graduates of an information assurance program like the MS in Information assurance and cybersecurity at Florida Tech are ready to immediately step into leading work teams in high-tech firms, or advance in their current position. Threat intelligence analyst, computer network defense engineer, or cybercrime technology director—these are the types of careers graduates can look forward to with a master’s in information assurance and cybersecurity.
Florida Tech makes sure that graduates are better prepared for their career by incorporating hands-on experience into each degree program. Mentorship from professors (who are themselves experienced scientists, engineers, and technology leaders), insight from business leaders in the area, participation in research projects, and even an information assurance and cybersecurity internship, makes graduates more valuable prospects to hire who are also more prepared to lead.
Students tackle problems and challenges that are not merely theoretical in nature, but that are practical issues regularly encountered in the industry. Through the Harris Institute for Assured Information (and led by an expert team of faculty members), students find beneficial research opportunities that reinforce and test the skills they learn in the program.
The mission of the Institute includes education, research, and training, striving to enrich the lives of the students at Florida Tech; achieve excellence in teaching to prepare students to have successful careers; and create hands-on research that has the potential for real-world impact. Through their active research projects (often involving graduate students), professors publish journal articles and conference papers on topics such as Elsevier Computers and Security, ACSAC, the Virus Bulletin Conference, Security and Privacy, and the New Security Paradigms Workshop.
The Harris Institute for Assured Information adds a new dimension to academic research, creating high-risk, high-reward research projects that are academically rigorous, innovative, and directly applicable in the marketplace. Founded in 2009, the Institute brings together computer science, psychology, business, and biology disciplines in cutting-edge computer security research aimed at finding and solving problems.
Each member of the Institute is not only an expert in their own field, but is also aware of the interdependencies among the disciplines. The Institute provides the perfect environment to help cut across different subjects, allowing students to seek pragmatic solutions in research and work outside of the laboratory through an information assurance and cybersecurity internship.
Research at the Institute happens in one of two ways:
A small team of professors leads both undergraduates and graduates in research or information assurance and cybersecurity internship projects. In addition to Florida Tech’s resources, the university actively collaborates with the Institute for Human Machine Cognition in Pensacola and Ocala, Florida.
Previous research projects include:
Advanced expertise in information assurance and cybersecurity is in demand. Information assurance and cybersecurity covers a broad spectrum in private companies, government entities, and military institutions around the world. Individuals who choose this career will find their knowledge and job duties frequently changing in order to keep up with constant changes in security and cyber-attack tactics in order to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems.
Students who graduate with a master’s degree in information assurance and cybersecurity from Florida Tech are likely to use their expertise in information assurance jobs to:
Cybersecurity and information assurance jobs are projected to grow 37% from 2012–2022—much faster than most occupations. This demand is driven by the frequency and sophistication of cyber attackers who continue to develop and adapt ways to steal personal information, infiltrate corporate networks, divert financial transactions and corrupt the equipment of anyone using a computer network. In addition, an increase in cloud computing and mobile platforms demands companies consult with or employ computer security experts. Experts in cybersecurity will also find information assurance jobs in areas where privacy is critical such as healthcare, government, and the military.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), provides detailed information about hundreds of occupations, including, desired education, overall working environment, and employment prospects. Check the handbook about information assurance and cybersecurity jobs.
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