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What is Information Assurance?

Master of Science in Information Systems and Assurance

Information Systems (IS) is an interdisciplinary field combining aspects of management, information technology, and computer science. IS professionals contribute to organizations in many ways including:

  • Planning an organization's technology-related strategy and infrastructure
  • Acquiring, developing, and managing computer hardware, networks, software, and related services
  • Developing and managing an organization's databases
  • Analyzing data to improve an organization's marketing, operations, and strategic planning

Information assurance (IA) is an interdisciplinary field combining specialized aspects of computer science, computer engineering, information systems and accounting. IA professionals contribute to organizations in many ways including:

  • Securing networks, systems, and information services against threats
  • Ensuring privacy and confidentiality of an organization's data
  • Investigating fraud including both technical and financial aspects
  • Educating and training users and technical staff about security
  • Managing risks and ensuring compliance with security and privacy-related laws and regulations

Why should you Study Information Systems or Assurance at the Masters Level?

  • Knowledge and skill requirements for higher-paying upper-level jobs exceed the content of most undergraduate degree programs.
  • Graduates are in short supply - you can choose from many jobs with excellent pay and benefits.
  • Graduates have diverse educational backgrounds including accounting, computer science, engineering, and information technology.
  • IS and IA are rapidly-changing fields - you'll constantly update your skills and you'll never be bored.
  • IS and IA graduates make a difference - you'll manage and protect computer systems, data, networks, people, and the nation.

Demand for IS and IA skills is strong due organizations' dependence on information technology and the need to secure information systems and data. Types of firms and organizations that hire MS-ISA graduates include law enforcement, national labs, financial services, Fortune 500 companies, educational and healthcare organizations, and Federal, state, local, and tribal governments. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and related accounting and auditing standards have also created many IA employment opportunities in the audit staffs of public accounting firms and private organizations.