The SANS institute has been granted approval by the state of Maryland to create a college and plans to begin accepting candidates for its master of science program in information security.
SANS will offer master of science degrees in two subjects: information security engineering and information security management. Students will have to prove technical mastery of technologies and processes used by security experts, as well as management skills such as communications and project management, SANS officials said.
The new college will be based in Maryland but serve students around the country and the world through online courses.
SANS hopes to train the next generation of IT security managers, who will be needed to oversee information workers at companies and government agencies, according to Alan Paller, director of research at SANS, in Bethesda, Md.
The master of science degree in information security engineering is intended for those who will oversee security and network specialists as technical directors or networking and systems specialists. The degree in information security management is designed for those who wish to become chief information security officers, SANS officials said.
The new college will be no degree mill, SANS officials said. Students will have to have strong grade point averages from accredited colleges and strong recommendations from employers.
Students will have to attend three weeklong sessions at SANS Residential Institutes in addition to online course work to complete the degree, SANS officials said.
SANS staff, including IT security experts from the private sector and the government, will teach the classes.
Unlike other IT security course work, the new SANS degree program will combine technical study with "real world" problem solving. Upon graduating, students will be expected to be able to manage security and network specialists and teach IT security concepts to others, SANS officials said.