However, cybersecurity salaries are not the same across the board. To land the best jobs with the best companies, you need a degree in cybersecurity. The higher the degree, the better. So, if you are interested in a master’s in cyber security, and wondering how much your earnings could increase, this is the article for you.

Let’s delve in and explore.

Who Should Pursue a Master's in Cyber Security?

People choose to pursue master’s degrees in cybersecurity for various reasons. You should pursue one too if you:

  • Are stuck at the mid-level of your cybersecurity career, and looking for a way to expand your job prospects

  • Are a cybersecurity enthusiast and want to dive into more detailed research

  • Are a cybersecurity professional in an organization and wish to climb the career ladder and command better-paying positions

  • Want to join the cybersecurity field, but you do not have an Information Technology background.

What Salary Can I Expect With a Master's in Cybersecurity?

Having a master’s in cybersecurity equips you with a variety of technical skills that can affect what cybersecurity job you end up getting, and it can make a huge difference to your salary. An MS in. Cyber security salary is dependent on various factors such as:

  • Industry

  • Location

  • Work experience

  • Type of career

According to a recent Burning Glass survey, unfilled cybersecurity jobs increased to over 300,000 in 2018, with an average salary of about $100,000 per annum for key positions. Considering the high employer demand, a cybersecurity master's salary in 2020 would likely be higher than this, and it is set to grow.

Some of the highest paying cybersecurity niches include:

  • Information security

  • Network security

  • Application security

  • Operational security

  • Disaster recovery

  • End-user education

Are Cyber Security Salaries Competitive in the U.S.?

Yes, depending on your cyber security career, and the size and geographical location of an organization.

According to CSO, Research firms in the US project a shortage of about 3 million qualified cybersecurity experts over the next few years. That said, for cybersecurity professionals looking for new career opportunities have an abundance to choose from.

In high demand locations, such as New York, LA, and the Bay Area, an MS cybersecurity salary ranges from $160,000 to $198,000. Despite lucrative salaries, companies are struggling to find the right Information Security talent to fill these roles.

Here is the average Cyber Security Salary by State.

Master’s in Cybersecurity vs. Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity Salary

A 2015 study done by Georgetown University discovered that someone with a master’s degree earned $78,000 per year, while those with a bachelor's degree earned $61,000 per year. This is a difference of $17,000 per annum.

Similar differences can be found in the cybersecurity space. A bachelor’s degree in computer science or other cybersecurity-related fields can earn you a salary of up to $62,000. On the other hand, a master’s degree can net you a salary of about $80,000. The difference between these figures is $18,000.

While a bachelor's qualification can get your foot in the door, a master's degree can allow you to stroll through and climb the stairs by providing opportunities for promotion and higher earnings.

Let's compare several cybersecurity professionals by examining their educational levels and expected salaries:

Master-level Cybersecurity Career Salary Estimates

Cyber Security Job

Salary Estimate

Cybersecurity lead


Lead security engineer


Application security manager


Cybersecurity architect


Cybersecurity engineer


Cybersecurity consultant


Cybersecurity analyst


Cybersecurity specialist


Bachelor-Level Cyber Security Career Salary Estimates

Cyber Security Job

Salary Estimate

Penetration and vulnerability tester


Cybercrime analyst


Incident analyst


Information Technology auditor


One thing to note is that the average annual salary for your potential cyber security career mainly depends on three factors; the physical location of your organization, your experience in the cybersecurity field, and the size of your potential organization

What Can You Do With a Master's in Cybersecurity?

Acquiring a postgraduate degree offers several cybersecurity career paths you can pursue. Each cybersecurity career has unique demands, responsibilities, and salaries.

Here are some of the jobs you can land with a Master's in Cybersecurity:

In this position, you will be required to provide security solutions for your organization. Your primary duties will include:

  • Monitoring computer networks for security issues,

  • Investigating security breaches,

  • Performing penetration testing,

  • Working with cybersecurity teams to uncover network vulnerabilities,

  • Implementing software to protect systems and information structure,

  • Fix detected vulnerabilities and other cybersecurity incidents, and

  • Developing the best company practices for information security.

You will also be required to stay up-to-date on information technology trends, research security enhancement, and make appropriate cybersecurity recommendations to company management.

As an information security engineer, you need to maintain the integrity of data and information that is communicated and stored in an organization. Your specific duties will include:

  • Implementing security measures for the protection of company data,

  • Troubleshooting network problems,

  • Attending to all network security breaches,

  • Testing and identifying system vulnerabilities,

  • Reporting and communicating with relevant company departments, and

  • Participating actively in the organizational change management process.

With this in mind, information security engineers must possess exceptional skills around technology infrastructures. They should be knowledgeable when it comes to firewalls, data loss prevention, VPN, IPS, web proxy, and security audits.

Your work in this position would be to preserve the existing security protocols in your organization. You will also be responsible for the development of strategies to increase the internet and network security related to your organization's projects.

Specific responsibilities of information security officers include:

  • Formulating and implementing plans to secure the system network,

  • Conducting penetration tests to find network vulnerabilities,

  • Monitoring the network to ensure compliance with security policies,

  • Documenting security breaches and assessing their damage, and

  • Educating company employees about security software and best cybersecurity practices.

As an information security manager, besides having expert analytical skills, you must keep informed about the latest technology trends and be prepared to employ the most viable technology to protect company data and networks.

If you are fortunate enough to land this position, you will be required to oversee the security of all the available information systems. You will be expected to evaluate, report, and suggest new strategies related to security threats facing your company.

Your day-to-day duties will include:

  • Creating and implementing a cybersecurity strategy,

  • Conducting regular security audits and risk assessments,

  • Staying on top of the latest cybersecurity trends,

  • Delivering innovative security technology approaches,

  • Communicating with key stakeholders about cyber security threats

  • Being an active member of the senior management team,

  • Overseeing the management of the information security department

  • Developing staff,

  • Educating other people and teams in the company about best practices in cybersecurity, and

  • Making sure all the above initiatives run smoothly.

It’s also important to note that operational compliance to all information security officers as well as other standards and regulations is the responsibility of the chief information security officer (CISO).

Beyond programming and system administration skills, as CISO you should have extensive experience with security-centric technology such as DNS, VPN, proxy services, routing, authentication, and DDOS mitigation technologies.

How Do I Calculate My Master's in Cybersecurity Return On Investment (ROI)?

The cybersecurity field is one of the fastest-growing fields that can generate a solid ROI for you, and it doesn’t seem like the need for more security experts is going anywhere in the near future. Therefore, a cybersecurity career is likely for you!

As organizations pursue digitalization to drive efficiency, cyber attacks are not only becoming more frequent, but also more harmful. Currently, governments, cooperations, NGOs, and other high profile entities are in dire need of talented cybersecurity experts.

With so many jobs available due to a cybersecurity skills shortage, pursuing a master’s in cybersecurity can open many doors for you.

But how do you calculate your Master's in Cybersecurity ROI? Here are a few tips:

  • Consider if your cybersecurity specialist salary will be able to compensate the amount you spent on training after a certain period. For instance, if your graduate school debt is higher than your first-year salary once you graduate, then the cost of your education is too high.

  • Consider your highest level of education, its expected salary, and what you are going to earn to establish if you will get a return on investment. You can figure out how much you’ll earn in your first year by checking out sites such as,, and

  • Determine your professional experience, the expected remuneration, what your peers are earning, and what you are going to earn.

  • Consider the amount you are going to make against what you spent in training and setting up your center. If you are in the private sector, for instance, a consultant.

  • Consider your expected salary against what you spent on training, in case you receive an employment offer in the public sector.

What is the Career Earnings Trajectory for Someone in Cybersecurity?

According to Cyber Seek, the cybersecurity field provides numerous cybersecurity career pathways you can follow when advancing your career, and they all come with different earnings.

Here are examples of cybersecurity career paths and their earning trajectory:

  1. With a Cybersecurity bachelor's graduate, you start working as a cybersecurity technician earning around $92,000, then move up the ladder to a cybersecurity analyst earning $95,000. Finally, you can become a cybersecurity administrator or manager and earn up to $105,000.

  2. You begin your career as a cybercrime investigator/ analyst earning about $94,000; you then move to a cybersecurity consultant position earning you around $91,000. Lastly, you can end up as a cybersecurity engineer and earn a median salary of $106,000.

  3. You start as an incident analyst/responder earning around $89,000 then move up to become a penetration and vulnerability tester earning $103,000. You can finally make your way to a cybersecurity architect and earn $133,000.

  4. You start your career as an IT auditor earning $98,000, then move up to cybersecurity consultant, and finally, a cybersecurity architect where you can earn a median salary of $133,000.

  5. You can also start as a security analyst position then work your way up to a security engineer position to earn a median salary of $94,000. You can then proceed to a security manager position and earn over $112,000. Finally, you can end up as a chief information security officer and earn $160,000 and above.

The financial figures and number of available jobs in the cyber seek and pay scale's data shows how a cybersecurity career can reward you handsomely over the years.

Closing thoughts about MS in Cybersecurity Salaries

Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand and are well-compensated. However, yourMaster's in Cybersecurity salary depends on several factors. They include location, experience level, role, and size of your prospective organization. Therefore, to increase the chances of landing a lucrative cyber security career, you need to consider the above factors carefully. If you want to learn more about the salary range for your favorite role, feel free to contact us today.

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