Online Computer Security Degree Programs
Computer security is very important in all fields that use computer systems. With the constantly changing field of computer systems and the Internet, companies, organizations, and individuals need to be protected from potential threats. An online computer security degree prepares students for an interesting and exciting career in many different fields. Computer security programs provide students with a well-rounded education on a variety of computer security topics. Students learn the proper procedures and methods for protecting, preserving, and recovering confidential information and digital materials. Read more about online computer security degree programs.
In 2006, there were 946 bachelor degrees and 287 master degrees conferred in computer and information systems security (1). In 2006, computer support specialists (including computer security specialists) held 552,000 jobs (2). According to Payscale.com, computer security professionals earned average annual salaries between about $52,000 and $102,000 depending on field and position (3).
Employment outlook for computer security graduates differs among degree, field, and position. As new technologies emerge and more industries rely on computer programs, there will be increased demand for advanced computer security. The employment of computer support specialists is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions from 2006 to 2016, increasing 13% and adding 71,000 new jobs (2). Computer security specialists with less than 1 year experience earn annual salaries between $20,000 and $46,139 (4).
Computer security is a large field that offers many different specialties for academic focus. The specialties include data security, network security, information systems security, operations security, Internet security, telecommunications, intelligence analysis, engineering, cyber crime, cyber terrorism, enterprise systems security, wireless security, computer forensics, and project risk management. Students who are interested in a particular specialty should select schools that offer strong programs in that area.
What to Expect
Computer security degree programs vary widely on the program, school, and specialization. Undergraduate computer security degrees require general education courses in areas such as English, science, mathematics, history, psychology, and electives. The core coursework varies by program, but many programs require courses such as network security, introduction to cyber crime, ethics, business law, operating systems, technical communication, security management practices, programming, cyber threats, security planning, security models, and cryptology. Many programs also provide lab environments where students can gain practical experience. Graduate computer security degrees focus more on specialization and prepare graduate for more advanced positions.
The End Result
An undergraduate degree in computer security provides individuals with an abundance of career options in many different fields. Many computer security professionals work in businesses, corporations, military organizations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. Graduate degrees open the door to more advanced career options with larger salaries. Career opportunities for computer security graduates include:
Computer Security Specialist
Data Security Analyst
Information Systems Security Engineer
Computer Support Specialist
Field Service Engineer
Data Security Administrator
Security Network Analyst
Computer Forensics Specialist
Information Technology Investigator
Computer Systems Security Analyst
A career in computer security will be rewarding for individuals who are interested in protecting, maintaining, and recovering information from a variety of computer systems. Computer security professionals must have high levels of integrity and confidentiality. They apply their knowledge and skills and adapt to new challenges and provide solutions to many security issues. They must have excellent interpersonal and communication skills to communicate with a variety of different professionals and clients.
(1) SOURCE: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics
(2) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition
(3) SOURCE: Payscale.com, Salary Survey for Skill: Computer Security
(4) SOURCE: Payscale.com, Salary Survey Report
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