Online Ph.D. in Information Security and Assurance

Information security and assurance is the process of protecting sensitive information from unauthorized users. Organizations of all sizes employ the help of information security professionals to safeguard data against cyber threats, theft, computer malfunctions and other critical issues. The online doctorate is the field's highest attainable degree. It is designed for students and professionals who possess advanced knowledge of information security concepts and applications. Doctoral students will take upper-level courses and spend years conducting rigorous research in the hopes of making a lasting difference in the field.

Why a Ph.D. Degree?

A PhD is the pinnacle of academic achievement in information security and assurance. It attracts students and professionals who want to become experts and make important contributions to the field. Graduates will have the technical knowledge and skills needed to excel at a variety of jobs, including information security manager, information technology consultant and college professor.

Inside an Information Security and Assurance Doctorate Degree Program

Doctoral programs vary in length, coursework and residency requirements, but the information security and assurance PhD usually take four to five years to complete. Students enrolled in this program may take classes in information technology research and practice, advancing research in information technology management, quantitative research techniques, survey research methodology, design science research methods and more. In addition to the core courses, students may also be required to take specialization courses, electives and complete a comprehension exam and dissertation coursework.

Most online PhD programs also have in-person residency requirements, in which students and faculty can interact and share information about their field of study. Residency sessions are usually a few days long and are held a few times a year. These sessions are also a good time to network and meet professionals who work in your area of interest.

What’s Next for Information Security and Assurance Doctorate Degree Holders?

Graduates of the online PhD in information security are qualified to handle many different jobs in academia and industry. Many PhDs go on to become college professors who teach undergraduate and occasionally graduate courses in their relevant field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, postsecondary teaching positions are expected to grow by 13% by 2024 because of the increase in college enrollment. The average annual salary for postsecondary teachers was $74,040 in May 2014. Those who choose the industry route might work as computer and information systems managers. According to the BLS, computer and information systems managers are projected to grow by 15% by 2024 because more organizations are updating their IT systems and increasing their security measures. In addition to having excellent job prospects, computer and information systems managers also have favorable earnings. In 2014, these professionals made an average annual salary of $136,280.