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Doctorate in Computer Security

In recent years, the demand for computer security professionals who have knowledge and expertise in areas such as cyber-terrorism, computer security and computer forensics has increased significantly. After completing a PhD in Computer Security, graduates will have the competency to find employment in technology companies and research labs. As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, highly skilled professionals who are able to design innovative ways to prevent and track hackers are in demand.

Employment Prospects

Completing a doctoral program can greatly enhance your career prospects. In most fields, earning potential rises with the level of qualification. After completing a PhD in Computer Security, you will be better equipped for advanced level positions in the computing security industry, federal departments, educational institutes and other organizations. Graduates can possibly be hired as faculty members, consultants and researchers. Some non-academic positions such as that of the computer forensics specialist, chief intelligence analyst and computer and information research scientist also require applicants to hold an advanced degree. Professionals associated with this field can possibly earn decent salaries. For instance, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information research scientists earned a median annual wage of $102,190 in May 2012.

Program Objectives

The general completion time for this degree program is around 4 to 6 years. However students pursuing an online or part-time program can possibly take longer to complete the academic requirements. This program equips students with skills required for conducting in-depth research in this area of specialization. They will learn about evidence handling techniques and forensic investigations, and state and federal privacy measures. PhD students will need to undertake a research project in a topic related to computer security. Courses are designed to familiarize students with industry practices, foster critical thinking and hone problem solving skills that are a pre requisite for this field. 

Admission Process

Students with background in computer and information sciences, criminal justice, information systems, forensic accounting and information technology are accepted into this program. You must have at least a bachelor’s degree to qualify for this program. The admission process is highly competitive and the final decision is made after considering performance in previous degree programs and standardized tests.

Program Structure

Students will be analyzing and exploring different aspects of computer and network security. These include cryptographic primitives and protocols, browsers’ protection from online threats, management of sensitive information and secure voting. Following courses enable students to gain technical proficiency in this field:-

  • Web Programming and Security
  • Computer Security and Privacy
  • Computer and Network Security
  • Security Analysis of Network Protocols
  • Cryptography
  • Wireless Securities
  • Information Policies

PhD programs are research intensive. They equip students with the required technologies and skills through different courses and then require them to carry out advanced research work that substantially contributes to their present knowledge. Students will need to complete specific coursework in computer security subject matter in around two to three years.  Depending upon their individual abilities, course completion can take different amounts of time. They will be assigned a research supervisor who will guide them in their research work.


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