MS in Cybersecurity Online Program Overview

In today’s digital age, cybersecurity is one of the most critical IT functions. As cyberattacks become increasingly sophisticated, the demand for well-educated and experienced specialists accelerates. The Online Master of Science (MS) in Cybersecurity Defense program at New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) prepares you to safeguard digital assets, prevent attacks, maintain privacy, embrace challenges, and advance your career.

The master’s in cybersecurity program blends essential cybersecurity skills with business management and enterprise leadership principles that drive today’s organizations. The program examines technical topics like penetration testing, digital forensics, project management, leadership, and risk assessment.

If you’re a technology professional with experience in network security, information security, cybersecurity, or software engineering, our online cybersecurity degree program is ideal for you. You leverage your knowledge and experience with networks, security, and engineering to advance your leadership in a managerial role.

Program Highlights

  • Graduate in as little as 18 months
  • Entirely online to fit classes into your schedule
  • NEIT is a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense

NEIT Prepares You to Advance in Your Career Through:

Real-World Training

A state-of-the-art virtual simulation tool, the Cyberbit Range provides the critical hands-on training and confidence cybersecurity master’s students need to contribute meaningfully to a real-world cybersecurity team beyond graduation. Through a partnership between New England Tech and Cyberbit, the simulation platform trains students and IT professionals through exercises virtually identical to the technically complex and high-pressure situations they will face in the real world.

A Competitive Edge

Cybersecurity defense is an integral piece of any organization’s strategy, from multinational corporations to local small businesses. Why? Because today’s technical environment has advanced computing requirements. Universities, colleges, tech giants, manufacturing industries, agriculture — these industries and more require effective database management systems, and a cybersecurity defense master’s degree from NEIT equips students to stand out in the job market and lead in these professional settings.

Preparation for Certification

While not directly designed to prepare graduates for certification, our master’s in cybersecurity program offers courses with objectives closely aligned with the CISSP and CAE CD knowledge areas, as well as the requirements of the NSA Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (NSA CAE CD). The program blends a unique combination of advanced technical courses and an integrated management core, emphasizing the relevance of continuous learning to help students enhance their personal and professional growth.

NEIT Faculty

Our faculty remain committed to providing students with cutting-edge insights and practical skills to safeguard organizations against cyberattacks. They prioritize hands-on learning and real-world application, ensuring that students gain practical experience and can effectively leverage industry tools and techniques to protect digital assets and mitigate cyber risks.

Careers in Cybersecurity Defense

NEIT graduates enter the workforce as prepared cybersecurity leaders who blend operational and technical expertise and leadership and management skills to efficiently and effectively manage projects and teams. They utilize their solid foundation in cybersecurity principles and in-depth knowledge of computer systems to analyze business scenarios, assess risk, anticipate and respond to changing environments, address business impacts, and assign resources.

Upon graduation, those with a master’s degree in cybersecurity defense can pursue roles as information analysts, cybersecurity specialists, and cybersecurity analysts. Other positions include database management systems security professional, information security analyst, director of software security engineering, chief information officer (CIO), and chief technical officer (CTO).

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the employment of information technology experts to grow by 31 percent in the future — much faster than average. Our graduates often achieve the following advanced roles:


Business Analyst

Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

Chief Technical Officer (CTO)

Director of Software Security Engineering

Incidence Response or Forensics Team Lead

Information Security Analyst

Information Technology Expert

Project Manager

Network Manager

Network Manager

Business Analyst

Systems Integrator

Information Security Analyst

Information Technology Expert

Admissions

We believe in evaluating applicants holistically, considering both academic achievements and professional experiences. Whether you’re early into your career or a seasoned professional seeking to enhance your skills, we welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds and experiences.

 

Learn more about the admissions process at NEIT.

 

Financial Aid

 

New England Tech can help you realize your educational goals, in part by understanding the significant investment of graduate education. That’s why we’re here to support you every step of the financial aid process. We offer scholarships, traditional student loans, and more. 

 

Learn more about funding your graduate education at NEIT.

 

Propel Your Career — Apply to NEIT’s Online Cybersecurity Master’s Degree Program

 

Ready to advance your career in cybersecurity? In our Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity Defense program, you experience invaluable guidance and mentorship from expert faculty as you hone your skills in our state-of-the-art labs. Apply now and get one step closer to your goals!

FAQs

  • What kind of employment assistance does NEIT offer?

    Our Career Services Office assists aspirants and graduates in all aspects of the job search, including:

    • resume writing
    • interviewing skills
    • developing a job search strategy

    After completing their degrees, graduates may submit their resume to the Career Services Office. The resume would then be sent to employers for employment opportunities in their fields.

    Employers regularly contact us about our graduates. Our Career Services Office also contacts employers to develop job leads. No school (including us) can guarantee employment or a specific starting salary to its graduates.

  • For whom is this program designed?

    The MSCD program prepares information technology professionals for advancement into management and senior management roles. The program builds essential knowledge of enterprise IT technical themes and provides the core business administration and management skills essential for information technology managers.

  • What makes New England Tech’s MS in Cybersecurity Defense program different from others?

    New England Tech’s MS in Cybersecurity Defense degree is a careful blend of advanced technical education and leadership and management skills. Here a few highlights of our MSCD:

    • Our unique curriculum prepares you to be a cybersecurity professional in an organization.
    • Taught by professional practitioners and leaders who bring real-life examples into the classroom.
    • Graduates are prepared for roles like Project Manager, Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Technical Officer (CTO), etc.
    • Courses focus on practical, real-world scenarios to convey the skills and concepts.
    • Our curriculum is based on the CISSP certification (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) and NSA Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Defense.
    • Ten-week long courses are easier to digest and enable graduates to finish the master’s degree in as little as 18 months.
    • Ability to take the courses in the classroom or online (most cybersecurity programs are online only).
    • A rich virtual environment (SkyTap) for simulations and practical exercises.
    • Graduates receive tools to make decisions that support the strategic goals of the organization.
    • 24×7 technical support by email, chat, or phone helps professionals develop their schedules.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a much faster career growth for cybersecurity professionals with a jaw-dropping 33 percent rate. Enroll in New England Tech’s online MSCD and get information about the program, tuition rate, and much more.

  • How long is each academic term?

    At New England Tech, the courses are 10 weeks long, with four terms offered each year. They commence in January, April, July, and October.

  • How many credits do I need to acquire my Financial Aid?

    Students entering the program will be eligible for numerous types of financial aid, including loans, as long as they take four credits per term.

Related Programs

Program Mission, Goals, and Outcomes

Program Goals

The NEIT master’s in Cybersecurity Defense seeks to prepare information technology professionals to:

  1. work as workplace and community leaders in cybersecurity
  2. be able to identify and assess cybersecurity vulnerabilities under their responsibility
  3. develop viable, actionable plans to address those vulnerabilities
  4. implement, monitor, and respond per the proposed plans

Program Outcomes

Graduates of this advanced degree program will be able to demonstrate each of the following learning outcomes:

  1. Proficiency in identifying vulnerabilities, anticipating attacks, using monitoring tools, and developing defensive strategies.
  2. Expertise in understanding cyber threats to computer systems.
  3. Understand and analyze the technological, human, and policy challenges in this field through hands-on experience of cyber vulnerabilities, attacks, and defenses.
  4. Create a moral, forward-looking framework to protect organizations against cyber threats and design organizational resilience, crisis management, and response capabilities.
  5. Understand cybersecurity and privacy through careful consideration of technology and policy, including economic, human, legal, organizational, and socio-political factors.
  6. Understand the security and privacy implications of emerging technologies, such as big data, cloud computing, mobile computing, social networks, the internet of things, and Web 2.0 applications.
  7. Understand the role of communication in leading teams and organizations, and develop the communication skills necessary to influence and motivate teams.

In the Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity Defense program, students take 10-week-long courses, enabling them to earn their degree in just 18 months. Students can take classes in the classroom or entirely online (most cybersecurity classes are online only). SkyTap, our virtual learning environment, is where students participate in simulations and practical exercises.

 

Cybersecurity master’s courses include:

  • Advanced Project Management
  • Cloud Computing
  • Digital Forensics & Breach Investigations 
  • Ethical Hacking in Defense of the Enterprise 
  • Information Systems Security
  • Master’s Project
  • Network and System Information Assurance
  • Robust Incident Response Planning 
  • Secure Software Development 
  • Security Auditing and Risk Management 
  • Workplace Practicum

 

For the latest listing of courses offered, please review the catalog.

Q&A and Technical Standards

Questions & Answers

  1. When and where do my classes meet?
    If you choose the on-campus course option, your course will meet in the evening, once a week from 6:30-10 p.m. Classes will usually take place at the main campus in East Greenwich, RI.At the beginning of each term you will receive a detailed schedule giving the exact time and location of all your classes. The university requires that all students be prepared to take classes and receive services at any of NEIT’s locations where the appropriate classes and services are offered.
  2. How large will my classes be?
    The average size for a class is about 15 to 20 students; however, larger and smaller classes occur from time to time.
  3. How long should it take me to complete my program?
    To complete your degree requirements in the shortest possible time, you should take the courses outlined in the prescribed curriculum. For a typical six-term curriculum, a student may complete the requirements in as little as 18 months.
  4. How long is each academic term?
    Courses at New England Tech are 10 weeks long, with four terms offered per year, starting in January, April, July, and October.
  5. Is NEIT accredited?
    NEIT is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Accreditation by NECHE is recognized by the federal government and entitles NEIT to participate in federal financial aid programs. Some academic departments have specialized professional accreditations in addition to accreditation by NECHE. For more information on accreditation, see NEIT’s catalog.
  6. Can I transfer the credits that I earn at NEIT to another college?
    The transferability of a course is always up to the institution to which the student is transferring. Students interested in the transferability of their credits should contact the Office of Teaching and Learning for further information.
  7. Can I transfer credits earned at another college to NEIT?
    Transfer credit for appropriate courses taken at accredited institutions will be considered for courses in which the student has earned a “B” or above. An official transcript from the other institution must be received before the end of the first week of the term for transfer credit to be granted for courses to be taken during that term. Students may transfer no more than 4 credits (one course).
  8. How many credits do I need to acquire my Financial Aid?
    Students entering the program will be eligible for various forms of financial aid, including loans, if they take at least 4 credits per term.
  9. What does my program cost?
    The cost of your program will be as outlined in your enrollment agreement, along with your cost for books and other course materials.
  10. What kind of employment assistance does NEIT offer?
    The Career Services Office assists NEIT students and graduates in all aspects of the job search, including resume writing, interviewing skills, and developing of a job search strategy. Upon completion of their program, graduates may submit a resume to the Career Services Office to be circulated to employers for employment opportunities in their fields. Employers regularly contact us about our graduates. In addition, our Career Services Office contacts employers to develop job leads. A strong relationship with employers exists as a result of our training students to meet the needs of industry for over fifty years. No school can, and NEIT does not, guarantee to its graduates employment or a specific starting salary.
  11. Where will job opportunities exist?
    Graduates have obtained employment in the local area. However, one of the exciting aspects of NEIT’s programs is the ability to look nationally for employment opportunities. Graduates will have the depth of confidence and the technical and managerial education to successfully lead in the IT industry, both now and well into the future. Successful graduates may be able to advance their careers by qualifying for positions such as Project Manager, Network Manager, Chief Information officer (CIO), Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Business Analyst or Systems integrator.
  12. Do I need a cybersecurity, computer science or information technology degree to enter the program?
    Yes. A B.S. degree in computer science, information technology or a related field from an accredited institution is required for before beginning this degree program. You may enroll in this program pending the completion of your current B.S. degree. Significant professional experience may be considered in lieu of an appropriate degree. A transcript and/or a resume should be supplied to satisfy either of these requirements.
  13. Do I need a certain grade point average to enter the program?
    Yes, you will need a 2.5 grade point average to enter the program.
  14. Are there any other special entrance requirements?
    Yes. You will need to write a personal statement as part of your admission process that details your interest in the program and how it will enable you to accomplish your professional goals.
  15. Do I need to maintain a certain grade point average?
    Yes. You are required to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 throughout the program. The minimum passing grade for a course in the MSCD program is a C (73%).
  16. What happens if I earn less than a C in a course?
    Students who earn less than a C in any course will be required to re-take the course the next time it is offered. If the student does not earn a C or better in a course after the second attempt, he/she will be dismissed from the MSCD program. Students will only be allowed to re-take two courses.
  17. For whom is this program designed?
    The New England Tech Master of Science in Cybersecurity Defense is designed to prepare IT professionals for advancement into management and senior management roles. The program builds essential knowledge of technical themes in enterprise IT, while also providing the core business administration, management and leadership skills that IT managers need.
  18. Will all or some of my classes be online?
    You will have the opportunity to choose courses that are online or on-campus. You can mix them up any way you like to create a schedule that works for you and fits into your personal and professional life. The entire program can be completed completely online, though on-campus options exist for most courses as well.
  19. How do online courses work?
    Online courses at New England Tech are crafted by a faculty-led team of learning and technology design experts to be interesting, relevant and engaging, and to have real impact on students in their lives and on their careers. They are not self-paced courses – you will have coursework to do every week and it is important to keep up.You can do your coursework at any time of day. At times, there may be synchronous online meetings, but these will not happen often. You will be learning as part of a connected community that provides support, challenges your thinking, and reminds you that you are not alone. Instructors are present in the course and work with students to help them be successful. See Online Learning at NEIT for more information about online courses in the MSIT program.
  20. What are the hardware and software requirements for the program?

    Recommended Minimum
    Operating System: Windows 10 or Macintosh OS X (10.14)
    Processor: 2+ GHz
    Memory: 4GB
    Plug-ins: Adobe PDF Reader, Flash Adobe PDF Reader, Flash and others as required by specific courses
    Players: QuickTime, Java Player, Java
    Browser: Chrome, IE, Safari, Edge, Firefox (all latest versions)
    Display: 1024×768
    Software: Office 365 (2016)
    Internet Connection: FiOS/DSL/CABLE DSL/CABLE
    Email Account: New England Tech student email account
    Sound Card: Required
    Other (some programs): • A webcam (the one built into your laptop or iPad should be fine)

    • A microphone (built into the computer or headset is handy).

    • A digital camera (the one on a smart phone is fine).

    Online students must be capable of installing and maintaining their own computer’s hardware and software. New England Tech does not assist students with the setup of their computers.

    Information about obtaining the software (if any) will be made available to you at the start of each course.

    Note: Tablets and smartphones can be convenient for reading course materials and email but will not be sufficient for doing all of your course work.

  21. What makes New England Tech’s MS Cybersecurity Defense program different from others?
    • The program has a carefully crafted blend of advanced technical education with leadership and management skills. The curriculum balances crucial enterprise cybersecurity knowledge with mastery of business and management skills preparing you to be a cybersecurity leader in your organization.
    • Courses are taught by professional practitioners and leaders in the field with advanced certifications (PMP, CISSP, etc.) who bring real life examples into the classroom.
    • The program builds on technical knowledge students already possess so that graduates are comfortable in many of an organization’s technical leadership roles. Graduates are ready for roles as Project Manager, Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Technical Officer (CTO) or Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).
    • Courses are focused on practical, real-world scenarios to convey the skills and concepts.
    • Our curriculum builds a long-term, adaptable base of leadership skills to fuel your career advancement.
    • A curriculum based on the CISSP certification (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)
    • Program moving towards NSA Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Defense.
    • Ten-week long courses keep you focused and are easier to digest, and enable you to finish your Master’s degree in as little as 18 months.
    • Ability to take the courses in the classroom or online (most cybersecurity programs are online only)
    • A rich virtual environment (SkyTap) for simulations and practical exercises.
    • Graduates are given the tools to make decisions that support the strategic goals of the organization.
    • 24×7 technical support by email, chat or phone helps you work on your schedule.
  22. What are the admissions requirements to the Master’s program?
    A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, with a minimum GPA of 2.5, is required for admission to this degree program. You may enroll in this program pending the completion of your current bachelor’s degree. Successful applicants will typically have a B.S. degree in computer science, information technology or a related field, or have considerable professional experience in IT. A transcript and/or a resume should be supplied to satisfy either of these requirements.You’ll also provide a Personal Statement as part of your admission process – a brief essay that details your qualifications and interest in the program and how it will enable you to accomplish your professional goals.

Technical Standards

These technical standards set forth by the IT department establish the essential qualifications considered necessary for students admitted to the program. The successful student must possess the following skills and abilities or be able to demonstrate they can complete the requirements of the program with or without reasonable accommodation, using some other combination of skills and abilities.

Cognitive Ability

  • Good reasoning and critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to learn, remember and recall detailed information and to use it for problem solving.
  • Ability to deal with materials and problems such as organizing or reorganizing information.
  • Ability to use abstractions in specific concrete situations.
  • Ability to separate complex information into its component parts.
  • Ability to perform tasks by observing demonstrations.
  • Ability to perform tasks by following written instructions.
  • Ability to perform tasks following verbal instructions.
  • Possession of basic keyboarding skills and knowledge of computer programs.

Communications Skills

  • Ability to speak in understandable English in a classroom situation on a one-on-one basis as well as before a group.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with faculty and other students.
  • Ability to demonstrate and use the knowledge acquired during the classroom training process.
  • Ability to verbally express technical concepts clearly and distinctly.
  • Ability to express thoughts clearly.

Adaptive Ability

  • Ability to remain calm in the face of computer lab equipment and/or software failure.
  • Ability to maintain emotional stability and the maturity necessary to interact with members of the faculty and students in a responsible manner.
  • Ability to tolerate the differences in all students, faculty, and administration.
  • Ability to follow instructions and complete tasks under stressful and demanding conditions. Ability to adapt in a positive manner to new and changing situations with an open mind and flexibility.
  • Ability to think clearly and act quickly and appropriately in stressful situations.

Physical Ability

  • Ability to sit continuously at a personal computer for long periods of time in order to learn and become proficient in computer programming and networking.
  • Ability to perform learned skills independently, with accuracy and completeness within reasonable time frames in accordance with classroom and business procedures.

Manual Ability

  • Sufficient motor function and sensory abilities to participate effectively in the classroom laboratory.
  • Sufficient manual dexterity and motor coordination to coordinate hands, eyes and fingers in the operation of computers and business equipment.

Sensory Ability

  • Visual
    • Acute enough to see clearly and interpret the contents

Crafted for ambitious professionals seeking to advance in a leadership position, NEIT’s graduate programs offer a fast track to specialized expertise, priming students for their next strategic career leap. Anchored in an advanced technical curriculum and augmented by our esteemed integrated management core, our online graduate programs elevate students’ leadership prowess and empower them to catalyze change within their industry.

 

Unlike conventional online learning paradigms, our approach is distinctly hands-on. More than just theoretical, our online curriculum builds roots in practical application. Students tackle real-time, real-life case studies, collaborating actively with peers and faculty to devise solutions and strategies collectively.

Throughout their academic journey, our online graduate students cultivate meaningful relationships with peers and faculty who are luminaries in their respective fields. With unparalleled networking opportunities facilitated by our industry-expert faculty and curriculum developers, our graduates emerge with a competitive edge, poised to make waves in their chosen industries.