Individuals who work in the field of network security generally have at least bachelor’s degrees. Although some are hired with only a certificate or an associate degree or some have advanced graduate degrees, the most common requirement is a bachelor degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Continue reading and learn about bachelor’s degrees in network security and what this career all entails.
Network security programs may also be listed as cybersecurity programs. Although there may be some slight differences in the two, they both focus on teaching the student how to protect a computer and network system from cyber attacks and keeping it secure. Each year more and more schools are offering online programs so students can earn degrees while they continue to work and meet other obligations.
Online Network Security Degrees
Online programs often have much of the same content as on-campus programs with the only difference being that online students work at their own pace. They log onto the school’s website and submit assignments through email or discussion boards. Other learning aids include live lectures, media and online document sharing. Some universities offer a bachelor degree in information technology and security through distance learning or an information technology program with a cybersecurity track.
Bachelor degree programs generally take four years to complete. If the student has not already completed prerequisite and general education courses, this has to be done during the first and second year. The last two years of the program is when the curriculum focuses on the major, which in this case would be computer and network security. Courses may include database security, wireless networking, network defense, Linux, advanced computer network and security, operating systems and electronic commerce. Completing all the coursework in the program prepares the student to take industry certification exams. While they may not be required, certifications can improve the graduate’s chances of finding employment.
Typical Coursework for Network Security
Depending on the program, the student may also take courses in network diagnostics and troubleshooting, network administration, and information systems security. Internships or other senior projects are often a large part of the final year. Students complete approved internships to obtain hands-on training in a work environment that allows them to put their new knowledge to work. The school may provide online students with assistance in finding approved internships. More often than not, network security is used as a concentration in another computer-related program.
Potential Degree Names
The actual name of a Bachelor’s degree in network security can vary. Here are a few names to keep an eye open for that we have found to be consistent: Bachelor of Science in Computer Network and Security Analyst, Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems with concentration in Cybersecurity, Bachelor of Science in Networking Engineering & Security with a concentration in Network Security, and Bachelor of Science in Computer & Digital Forensics with a concentration in Cybersecurity Investigation or Cybersecurity: threats and mitigation or Digital Forensic Science.
Career Outlook for Network Security
Once the student graduates, he or she may find employment in several professions such as network and computer systems administrator, computer and information systems manager, information security analyst or computer network architect to name just a few. All of these careers are predicted by the BLS to have excellent employment growth from 2012-2022. Factors that can affect employment and wages are years of experience, level of training, geographic location and number of certifications earned.
According to a May 2014 BLS wage report, information security analysts earned an average wage of more than $88,000 while network and computer systems administrators earned more than $75,000. Computer network architects earned an average wage of $98,000 and computer and information systems managers earned more than $127,000.