Cybersecurity is an increasingly critical career field in today’s internet and tech-focused world. As cyberattacks increase, organizations of all shapes and sizes need professionals that can ensure systems and data are protected.
Enrolling in a program like a master’s degree in information systems or information technology can help give professionals the skills they need to work in a myriad of Information Technology (IT) roles including:
- Computer Programmer
- Network Engineer
- Systems Analyst
- Web Developer
The University of Phoenix offers flexible programs that are designed by practitioner faculty, helping students learn some of the latest trends and approaches in ever-evolving technical fields.
Here’s a closer look at the master’s degrees specific to IT that are offered at the University of Phoenix.
Information Technology at the University of Phoenix
While information technology falls under the information systems umbrella, it’s a much more hands-on, specific degree. It focuses on the technical content, allowing students to learn about the hardware and software used and understand the user side of technology.
This competency-based master’s program lets students bring their existing knowledge and experience of the content to their studies.
This program helps prepare students for careers in an information technology setting, whether at a small IT company, a large corporation, or other business.
No matter which master’s degree in IT a student pursues, they will get an in-depth look at the vast puzzle that is information systems, how those pieces interconnect, and how cybersecurity plays an increasingly crucial role in protecting vital information.
At the University of Phoenix, students learn how to design, test, and implement their own information systems within the context of critical factors surrounding privacy, regulation, and security.
Both programs help students develop skills to address all of these demands and keep the systems and data they will become responsible for safe.
The Increasing Need for Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity has become more crucial as companies, agencies and organizations begin to realize the need to protect systems from hackers.
Information security – the discipline that covers threat analysis and protection that secures computer networks and systems – is increasingly in demand.
Those threats include outside actors: hackers who can prey on vulnerabilities such as stolen devices, too-easy passwords, or fake file attachments.
It also includes protecting computer networks from internal actors who, knowingly or unknowingly, expose information.
With a master’s degree in cybersecurity from the University of Phoenix, students can learn the latest needed skills in this emerging area of information systems including:
- How to better identify security vulnerabilities hackers might exploit
- How to develop an incident response plan that can be activated in the event of a cyberattack
- How to assess pre-existing security policies and know which need to be created or updated
- How to implement new security policies including testing and education
Educational Pathways to IT Careers
In response to the increasing demand for cybersecurity professionals, some organizations offer certifications in IT. Professionals must then choose whether an IT certification, certificate, or a master’s degree is right for their needs.
Certifications are issued by independent organizations and do not require particular classes or training. They are usually issued after passing one or more exams and may require continuing education to maintain an active status.
They are often issued for specific software or hardware and demonstrate expertise in a specific skill set.
Certificates, by contrast, are educational programs and can be achieved at the undergraduate or graduate level. They can be completed anywhere from several weeks up to several years. Certificates are typically more in-depth and broader in scope than certifications.
In addition to its career programs, the University of Phoenix offers a graduate cybersecurity certificate program, helping students develop skills needed to protect data and assess and manage risk along with ways to mitigate damage from cyberattacks
A degree program is a more time-intensive, detailed foundational education on which to base a career in IT. The vast majority of cybersecurity and other IT jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree.
University of Phoenix students learn real-world corporate scenarios including learning leadership skills necessary to solve problems related to technology and people.
Students learn about emerging technologies and technical debt, key components of developing and leading solutions-driven IT shops.
Career Options Abound with an IT Degree
When it comes to career options, a master’s degree in an IT field can open more or expand the range of their responsibilities. Here are just a few relevant options:
- IT Director: These leaders oversee an organization’s IT needs and strategy, a critical need for any business today.
- IT Manager or IT Project Manager: These professionals focus on information security, protect users from threats and help resolve technical issues.
- Information Systems Managers: These specialists plan and coordinate computer-based activities in an organization.
Information technology is no longer a siloed part of organizations. Today, IT plays an integral role in every aspect of business.
Earning a degree in IT from the University of Phoenix can help prepare students for critical jobs using the latest technologies.