In general, students looking to obtain and associate's degree in cyber security will go on to learn about the vulnerabilities of hardware and software systems. Successful completion of a program can prepare students to sit for certification exams, such as Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Network+, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Security Certified Network Professional (SCNS). Applicants to these programs must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent and must submit official transcripts of any previously completed postsecondary coursework. Once enrolled, students will participate in an information security capstone experience to graduate.
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Associate's Degrees in Cyber Security
These programs consist of approximately 60-68 credits and are designed to be completed in approximately two years. Some programs may require completion of business courses. Some course topics may include:
- Networking and computer systems technology
- Microcomputer operating systems
- Windows server
- Network security and security administration
- Tactical perimeter defense
- Computer forensics and cyber law
Popular Career Options
Work can be found in almost any business or organization that utilizes a local area or wireless network for communications and Internet access. Job duties may include staff and employee advisement on security risks and vulnerabilities, performing risk assessments, evaluating security policies and designing security measures. Typical job titles may include information systems security specialist, operating systems security specialist, applications security specialist, and information assurance security specialist.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
In 2015, information security analysts earned an annual median salary of $90,120, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Jobs for these professionals were expected to increase by 18% -- much faster than average -- from 2014-2024.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of an associate's degree program covering cyber security may choose to further their skills and knowledge and enhance marketability by enrolling in bachelor's or master's degree programs. Master's degree programs can often be taken online. According to the BLS, certifications earned through product vendors or computer organizations can enhance advancement to higher positions. A bachelor's degree is required for many positions, but an associate's degree, experience and industry certification can be adequate for entry-level jobs (www.bls.gov).
Students earning an associate's degree in cyber security will take courses in security and computer technology to prepare for careers as information security analysts. Graduates can expect positive job growth in the field and may wish to pursue advanced degrees.