Job Opportunities for Masters in Network Security Degree

I’m planning to take M.S. in network and security and am going to apply this fall, but I heard people face problems in getting a job after taking M.S. in that field. This is what I heard

though network and security is a really good field for research and job prospects, the only concern is that as an International student, you will need an H1B to work in the USA. And if you look for a job in network and security, you might need a security clearance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which you won’t get as a fresh international student. So, many companies won’t like to hire you. There are companies who sponsor for H1B as well as security clearance but the chances for that is very very low.

Are these all true? Did something like this happen to anybody? I’m halfway through deciding on which universities to apply at when I heard this…please help.

Well, there are lots of questions within one question that needs to be answered. But I’m amazed to see how people relate so many simple things together and complicate things. I’m going to split them into separate questions and answer them.

Network and Security: I heard people face problems in getting a job after doing M.S. in that field?

No, people do get jobs in the network and security field. There are so many companies that offer jobs in the network and security sector.

All major networking-based companies have jobs openings. When you say “network,” by default “security” comes with that. It may refer to a company’s internal network or maybe the Internet. You name it, network and security goes hand in hand.

As an international student, will you need an H1B to work in the USA?

Yes, you need to have an H1B visa to work in the U.S.

After you graduate with a master’s degree, you will undergo an Optional Practical Training course, which will allow you to work for 1 year from your graduation date (plus get 17 months of STEM extension). After these, you need to get an H1B visa.

For a network security job, you might need a security clearance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

At this point, I can’t understand how you came to associate network and security jobs with the U.S. Homeland Security.

Maybe because security comes in both places?

As an international student, you are not eligible to be given a security clearance.

Generally, you would need to have at least a permanent resident status to get a security clearance.

I’m not so sure about that process. To be employed in jobs that involve security like working in U.S. Defense organizations and government security sensitive areas, the minimum requirement is a U.S. Citizenship. Period.

So I hope it is now clear that network and security as a course is not in any way related to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. And unless you are U.S. Citizen, you cannot plan to work for any national security-sensitive jobs. I would rather suggest that you get a decent job in networking area and forget about stuffs like security clearance.

There are companies who sponsor H1B visas and even give security clearance, but the chances for getting those are at a minimum.

It’s not that the chances are very low — it is simply highly impossible.

Major computer networking companies like Cisco, Nortel Networks, Network Appliance, EMC, among others, will likely have some nice jobs waiting for you once you have completed your master’s.

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  1. Dear HSB

    Got admit for MS in UTD and George Mason and want to pursue Network security. Which one is better. Please advice.

  2. Hi HSB,
    I’d like to know d employment oppurtunities for various streams in MS computer Science… Can you please help me with that, I am planning on applying for fall 2012 and I am yet to decide on which stream to work on…

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