Associate’s in Internet Security Degrees
Internet security is a subcategory of computer security in that it deals almost strictly with the Internet. The term Internet security is also often used interchangeably with cybersecurity or network security. This is because all three are very similar in that they deal with protecting a computer against viruses, hackers, Internet fraud, malware, spyware and other intrusions that can be found on the Internet and can harm a network.
Multiple types of cybersecurity programs at the Associates level
An associates degree with an emphasis in cybersecurity can be found in disciplines such as computer science, computer forensics, or as its own specific designation. Salaries for careers after receiving an associates degree will be around the $50,000 to $80,000 mark depending on specialization chosen and location. These degrees can often be transferred toward a Bachelor's program or sit for a certification exam.
Internet security is a steadily growing field. Learn how you can be part of this career by earning an associate degree in Internet security.
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Length of Internet Security programs at the associate level
Internet security associate degree programs typically take about two years to complete. The student is generally required to complete at least 60 credits. Of these 60 credits, some are general education courses and others are coursed related to the major.
Associate degree programs are usually offered at technical and community colleges rather than universities. There are several colleges throughout the U.S. that offer Internet security programs. While they may not have the words "Internet security" in their title, the curriculum deals with and covers Internet security.
Finding Associate level programs focused on Internet Security
Florida State College at Jacksonville has an AS in IT Security
An Associate in Science in IT Security can be obtained at the minimum of 20 months through the accelerated program at FSC. General education courses are offered at various locations and online, but the degree-specific curriculum is available at the Downtown, Kent, and South campuses only. Students have the ability to gain certification with a variety of vendors, such as CompTIA, Cisco, and Microsoft.
What courses you might take
60 total credit hours are needed through the two-year program. 45 discipline credit hours will consist of various courses in intrusion detection, network fundamentals, and hardware and software configuration. General education is divided up into mathematics, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and communication; students will choose between two different levels of English Composition.
In order to receive the degree, students will need to complete the degree with a 2.0 cumulative GPA, which includes transferred credit. All courses must have been graded with a C or better. At least 25 percent of the total credit hours is required to completed at the FSC campus.
Graduates from the associate program have an ability to transfer over to a Bachelor's degree in a related discipline. Simply holding an associate degree does open the door to a potential career as web developers, computer network support specialists, and information security analysts. Another associate program to consider at the school is for Computer Information Technology.
Typical Curriculum for Associate’s in Internet Security Programs
A student in this program may take courses like fundamentals of network security, Internet forensics, CCNA routing protocols and concepts, intro to Linux and security. This program prepares students to obtain several industry certifications. Internet security is often part of information technology programs because the two are so closely related. Whereas information technology is the process of editing, storing and retrieving information and data, Internet security is the process of protecting that information when it’s accessible on the Internet.
Although some community colleges offer an associate degree in cybersecurity and networking with a concentration in database development, Internet security programs at the associate degree level don’t typically offer concentrations or tracks. However, cybersecurity, network security or Internet security may be used as a concentration in other computer-related programs.
Online Associate’s in Internet Security Degrees
Associate degree Internet security programs can also be found through distance learning. There are several schools that offer this program online. Online learning allows the student to work from home. Rather than attending classes at a college, the student can retrieve the assignments through email, online lectures, discussion boards and videos. Online programs may still require completed internships or externships as capstone courses; schools may assist the student in finding approved internships.
Schools with Associate’s in Internet Security Programs
Forsyth Technical Community College offers an Associate in Applied Science in Cyber Crime Technology. Some courses in this program include cyber crime, networking concepts, network vulnerabilities, security concepts and computer crime investigations – all courses based on Internet security. This program, like many Internet security associate degree programs, also requires the student to complete a capstone course. This course may be similar to an internship. The student must demonstrate his or her knowledge and skill to analyze and determine the security needs of a company and implement adequate security into the network and network infrastructure.
The St. Petersburg College, which offers an associate degree program in computing and information technology with a concentration in network security and an associate degree in information technology security. CSN’s program teaches the student about information technology but allows him or her to focus on network security.
University of the Potomac has an online security management associate degree program that focuses on network and IT security.
An online information technology program is offered at Vista College. This program is basically about information technology but also offers Internet or network security courses. Vista’s program can be completed in as little as 18 months.
A combination of an associates degrees with certification is a common path toward a career in cybersecurity. Having the associate degree will prepare individuals for certification examination. A Certified Ethical Hacker shows employers that the candidate has passed testing on skills needed in detecting malicious hacking attempts and understanding the rules and regulations in all hacking activity.
Vendor-specific certification through Microsoft or CompTIA will emphasize the knowledge potential work candidates have in working with security tasks in information technology. The CompTIA Security+ certification is popular in the cybersecurity field with cryptography, risk management, and detecting vulnerability being some of the skills gained.
Some entry-level positions within cybersecurity include traditional web development. When they create websites and applications for an organization, they also implement security measures that will protect these services from malicious intrusions.
Security auditors will routinely review an organization’s network to determine the effectiveness of its security measures. This includes detecting any strange activity currently on the network and determining if all access points are protected. They conclude if the current implementations are satisfactory and would recommend any changes to eliminate potential vulnerabilities.
A computer network support specialist is as an expert in the measures taken to secure an organization’s network. They understand the architecture of the network and how information moves across the organization itself. This includes understanding the legal and ethical issues that can be at play when detecting intrusions and will aid in eliminating potential attacks.
Pay in the cybersecurity field with an associates degree education varies based on the specialization being pursued by the individual. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, web developers in computer systems design make an annual mean wage of $72,050. This is similar to all types of web development positions, which is estimated at $73,760 annually.
Some of the higher-paying states across the country are in New York, Georgia, Minnesota, Colorado, and California. Washington has an annual salary average of $134,310 in web development, which is sparked by a number of Fortune 500 tech companies in the Seattle area. These companies include Amazon, popular coffee chain Starbucks, and Nordstrom in the clothing industry.
Average salaries for other positions, such as an information security auditor, make between $55,000 to $83,000 according to Payscale. Networking specialists, which do administrative and troubleshooting duties involving the network and often includes security measures, make an average of $56,925 annually, and this does jump to around $84,000 in the top 10 percent.