Earning an associate degree in network security can get you a start in a career that continues to grow every day. Learn what an associate degree in networking security all entails as well as what you may expect when you pursue network security as a career.
Network security involves policies and procedures determined by a network administrator who monitors and prevents unauthorized access to a computer network and network-accessible resources. It also prevents unauthorized users from modifying or misusing the computer’s network. As such, an associate degree in network security program teaches students what it takes to successfully complete the tasks required of a network administrator.
Associate’s in Network Security Requirements
Earning the associate degree typically takes two years and completion of at least 60 credits of study. The first year the student completes prerequisite or general education courses. These may include mathematics, English, composition, communication and psychology, etc. The second year involves actually computer courses that begin with simple computer troubleshooting and programming and lead up to actual network security and computer programming.
Network vs. Cyber Security
Network security and cyber security are often used interchangeably. Often the only prerequisites are a high school diploma and possibly some computer experience. In addition to coursework, students may also be required to complete supervised internships to obtain hands-on training in this field. Successfully completing the academic requirements for this program qualifies students to obtain several industry certifications, which can boost the individual’s resume.
Network Security Specific Degrees
While some colleges offer actual network security associate degree programs, others offer network-related degree programs that include network security courses as part of the curriculum. Here are a few degree names to be on the lookout for:
- Associate degree in Networking Specialist
- Associate degree in Information Technology – Cyber Security
- Associate degree in Cyber Security & Computer Forensics
- Associate degree in Cyber Security
- Associate degree in Cyber Technology – Programmer -Analyst concentration
Network security programs may also offer areas of concentration or tracks, which allow the student to focus on his or her area of interest. However, in most cases, network or cybersecurity is the area of specialization or offers an associate degree in cyber technology with a network security concentration.
Online Network Security Degrees
Associate degrees in network security are also offered through distance learning at some colleges. Distance learning or online programs allow students to complete the programs at their convenience and at their own pace. Instead of attending classes on campus, students learn through other methods like MP3 lectures, online discussion boards, chat rooms, streaming video and emails.
Career Outlook for Network Security
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that most careers working with computer networks require bachelor degrees; however, entry-level positions may be found with just an associate degree or an undergraduate certificate. At the very least, an associate degree in network security should be enough to get you a good start in this career. Listed below are a few of the positions network security associate degree graduates may seek as well as the average annual wage as of May 2014 and the BLS’s projected employment growth for each one during the decade of 2012-2022.