Bachelor's Degree in Computer Networking & Security
Programs specifically in information technology (IT) with a networking and security emphasis are rare but there are degree options available. Relevant coursework can be found in bachelor's degree programs such as information and network technologies with a security systems focus.
Bachelor's degrees in computer networking and security allow students to learn through lectures and hands-on training. Programs can generally be completed in four years or less. Typically, there are not many educational prerequisites for admission into a program, but students usually need at least a high school education. Information technology programs provide students with the skills to manage and secure networks, but also include general education requirements that prepare them to work with a variety of clients.
- Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
- Program Length: 4 years
- Computer Networking and Security Program Fields: Information technology, information and network technologies, security systems
Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology
Through hands-on and theoretical coursework, students learn about security strategies and are able to design and evaluate secure computer networks. Topics such as storage area networks, advanced server administration and security concepts are usually covered. The development of problem-solving, business and interpersonal skills is emphasized. Common core topics may include:
- Computer forensics
- Basic concepts in networking
- Principle of network security
- Database server administration
- Network infrastructure
Popular Career Choices
The skills IT experts possess are in high-demand with the numerous organizations that rely on such technology to run successful operations. Completion of a bachelor's degree program equips graduates for many different job roles in computer network support and security. Some popular career choices include:
- Database administrator
- Network security analyst
- Compliance consultant
- Network architect
- Systems analyst
Career Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment for information security analysts is expected to increase by 37% between 2012 and 2022, while computer network architects should see job growth of 15% during that same time period (www.bls.gov).
In May 2014, the BLS estimated that information security analysts earned a median yearly salary of $88,890. Computer network architects made a median salary of $98,430 per year.
Continuing Education Information
Most information technology experts enter the workforce after graduation, but some may decide to go on to earn a master's degree in a related field. Although a bachelor's degree provides sufficient training for many jobs, some employers prefer applicants with an advanced degree for some positions, such as network architects or information security analysts, according to the BLS. With a career in IT, it may also be possible to move upwards into positions with more responsibilities and higher pay after gaining expertise and experience in the field.