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Career Advice

How Employers Can Benefit from Hiring Employees with IS Degrees

How Employers Can Benefit from Hiring Employees with IS Degrees

When it comes to advanced degrees, many students focus on how programs will benefit them. Will I be able to get a better job? Make more money? Learn more about my field? Explore my passion? And while these are all important considerations, they do leave out one important group that can make or break their efforts: employers. When you take the time to earn an advanced degree, you add a lot of value to your current and future employers. Career advisors and experts recommend that jobseekers focus on what they can offer employers, and how they can fulfill their needs, so understanding how your information security master’s degree can benefit them actually gives you an advantage over other applicants.

A Willingness to Learn

The field of information security is perpetually in flex: the information and best practices of even a few years (or months) ago are obsolete today; the latest and greatest of today will be obsolete tomorrow. By earning an IS master’s degree, though, you are showing potential employers that you are willing to learn everything you can about your field. Employers want to hire the most knowledgeable experts, and those who are willing – and able – to stay on top of the developments in the field can use an advanced degree as tangible evidence of commitment to continuous improvement.

Certification

Earning an Internet Security master’s degree doesn’t guarantee that you’ll achieve IS certification, which is an important requirement of many employers, but it certainly gets you on the right track to certification.

Beyond Basic Knowledge

While you can get a job in IS with a related undergraduate degree, when you have an advanced degree, you show employers that you are committed to learning everything in the field – and that you have more than just some basic knowledge. Highlight your in-depth knowledge gained in your graduate courses when you are interviewing with employers, showing that you know exactly what you need to do and how to do it.
Another benefit of holding an advanced degree in IS security? You have the opportunity to focus your studies on one particular area, such as IS forensics, application security or network defense. Not only can you offer employers an understanding of the overall internet security landscape and how all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together, but exhaustive knowledge in a particular area in which they may be lacking.

An Eye Toward the Future

One of the major benefits to students in any graduate program is the opportunity to participate in high-level research and development projects that lay the groundwork for the future of the industry. This advanced knowledge that you gain is of great value to employers, as you have an understanding of what is coming up in the industry – and can offer ideas on how to meet the challenges the future holds. Earning a degree also shows employers that you have research skills and can help them stay ahead of the curve.

Communication Skills

If there is one thing that any graduate level program – from IS security to online leadership degrees – focuses on, it’s communication. Having advanced knowledge and insight means nothing if you can’t communicate it effectively; when you have a master’s degree, you’re showing employers that you know how to communicate about what you studied. In a field as complex and diverse as IS, it’s important to be able to connect with others, who aren’t likely to have the same background and understanding as you, about what you are doing, what they need to do and the reasons why. Highlight the courses and training you’ve had in this area and your strategies for communication. That way, you’ll provide your potential employers with an important service.
As you start considering IS security master’s programs, look at some job listings in the field and choose a program that meets the needs of employers and your career goals. And when you earn your IS master’s degree and start applying for jobs, be sure to take the approach of “What can I do for you?” Tailor your applications, showing how the work you’ve done in grad school meets the needs of the employer – and why you are, in fact, the best choice – and you’ll be on the path to a satisfying and well-paying career.

About the Author:  Christine Silver is just about to graduate with a master’s in IS and works for a large organization managing cloud security. She blogs about IS for several outlets.

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