Internet Security Degree Programs

The internet is an ever-expanding market that requires more and more employees that are learned in careers related to this field. As the popularity of the internet continues to expand, so does the need for internet and cyber security as a means of keeping professional and personal data safe and secure. In order to start a career dealing with any aspect of cyber security, an internet security degree must first be earned. The following will provide an in-depth look at what this degree entails, as well as the possible careers for graduates with a cyber security degree.

 

Internet Security Degree Overview

Internet security at its most basic form is the protection of a wide range of digital information. Whether businesses, governments or regular consumers, cyber security is important to everyone. An internet security degree will help to prepare you for an eventual career related to cyber security, as well as provide a boost to your resume. According to a 2013 congressional report, issues with cyber security in federal agencies has skyrocketed by nearly 800 percent in the years from 2006 to 2012, which is part of why careers in this field are highly sought after. There are three basic degree types for internet security, Associate of Cyber Security, Bachelor of Cyber Security and Master of Cyber Security. There are a few Doctor of Science in Cyber Security degrees available as well, though these are not yet nearly as prevalent as the other three degree types.

The below video is an actual lecture from Harvard University professors Dan Armendariz and David J. Malan on security, including internet, web, and information security (view only if you have time as it is an hour and a half long, yet very interesting!). This is a great video to view to see if you might be interested in getting into cyber security or internet security.

Cyber Crime and Internet Forensics Degrees

Each of these degrees will focus on a number of core areas of study, such as cyber crime investigation and forensics, discrete mathematics, C++ programming and threat of terrorism and crime, among many more. Students will also learn about networks and network security. When it comes to cyber and internet security, potential employers will think much better of a resume that has received either a Bachelor or Master in Cyber Security. An Associate’s degree is applicable in situations wherein you have already spent a number of years working in a professional environment and are looking to have a career change, as well as simply building towards a Bachelor’s degree. A Doctor in Internet Security will allow students that graduate with this degree to focus on more managerial positions. Like most other degree types, Associate degrees for internet security require around 60-68 credits or two years of coursework. A Bachelor’s degree adds another two years, while a Master’s will add two additional years to that.

Online Internet Security Degrees

There are also many online learning opportunities for students looking to enroll in distance education. It’s possible to find colleges and universities that offer online Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees in cyber security, such as the ITT Tech Information Systems and Cyber Security Bachelor of Science. Most Master’s programs in cyber security can be taken online. In fact, each of the top universities mentioned previously include the ability to take all classes for those Master degrees online from the comfort of your own home.

Spotlight: Universities with Internet Security Degrees

There are a wealth of universities that offer internet and cyber security degrees. When considering the very best of the institutions that offer these degrees, University of Southern California is often considered to be close to the very top. Their Information Technology Program includes a Master of Information Technology with a specialization in Cyber Security.

Carnegie Mellon University is a school solely dedicated towards computer science and offers a Master of Science in Information Security for those that already have a Bachelor’s degree in computer science or electrical engineering. The course takes approximately 16 months to fully complete.

For anyone that is looking for a more hands-on experience that involves developing and testing new security methods, the University of Maryland offers a Master of Engineering in Cybersecurity. This degree has six core courses and four technical electives, all focused on different aspects of cyber security.

When participating in any type of degree for internet security at any University that you choose to attend, there are certain classes that you should expect to take. Though the types of courses you take depend primarily on which University you attend, there are some basic cyber security classes that practically everyone enrolled in one of these programs will take during their time at college. Those that enroll in an Associate’s degree in Network Security will be tasked with taking classes about a lot of the basics, such as operating systems, databases, programming and standard loss prevention.

Bachelor’s in Internet Security Degrees

Students enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree for cyber security will take classes and be presented with a curriculum that centers around such topics as risk management, wireless technology, system administration and computer networks. A Masters degree with a concentration in cyber security will include courses devoted to security procedures and situations, database security, how to properly conduct digital investigations and forensics, cryptography and analyzing behaviors of hackers. Intrusion detection will also be covered in practically all cyber security degrees, as will basic information about VPN’s and firewalls.

There are times when degrees will be focused on two different, though related, areas of interest. For instance, a degree at a business school could be described as Business Administration with a concentration in International Business. When it comes to degrees for internet or cyber security, the cyber security aspect of the degree is commonly referred to as the concentration for a major in Computer Science or Information Technology, though there are times when it is the other way around. This is standard in many universities and colleges with technology degrees. Though your degree might be in cyber security, the concentration basically refers to a second set of core classes revolving around either computer science or information technology.

Computer Science and IT Related Coursework

If the major you’re enrolled in is internet security with a concentration in computer science or information technology, your primary courses will revolve around internet security, while a number of your other core courses will focus on the subject of the concentration. The primary differences between information technology and computer science is that computer science focuses on the study of computers, which includes everything from their basic design to their many different uses, while information technology commonly involves the usage and maintenance of these computers. It’s a small difference, but one that drastically changes the type of classes you take.

Internet Security Careers

Students that graduate with a degree in cyber or internet security have a wide range of possible careers to choose from, all depending on the type of degree that is chosen. Students with an Associate’s degree can become a security technician, security specialist or security administrator. This can pay exceedingly well, with security specialists earning median annual wages of just under $90,000. Students that decide to further their education and earn a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in cyber security will be able to seek a career as a security analyst, network engineer or information security manager. Network engineers earn a median annual wage of just over $95,000.