Associate's in Network Security & Computer Forensics: Degree Overviews

Oct 19, 2019

The Associate of Information Technology in Network Security and the Associate of Information Technology in Computer Forensics are both 2-year programs that combine degree specific coursework with general education classes in mathematics, science and the humanities. The former focuses on protection and prevention, while the latter program focuses on uncovering legal violations of cyber security.

Essential Information

Those who decide to pursue an associate's degree in network security or computer forensics will learn the basics of information security technology, including topics such as intrusion detection and data recovery. Once coursework is completed, most programs do offer students hands-on learning opportunities. From there, graduates may decide to earn certification to increase their job prospects.


Associate of Information Technology in Network Security

This degree program teaches individuals about information security and the latest technology used to safeguard data. While enrolled, students may learn about computer forensics, counterintelligence and current software and hardware used to keep computer networks secure. Certain schools may even prepare students to earn security certifications.

  • Security policy
  • Wide area networks
  • Routing basics
  • Intrusion detection
  • Secure administration

Associate of Information Technology in Computer Forensics

Students earning this degree learn about cyber law and the ethics involved in the field. Classes may teach them how to utilize their skills in areas where confidentiality is paramount, such as in hospitals, banking and government. Coursework topics may include:

  • Psychology
  • Encryption
  • Cyber crime
  • Cyber security software installation and monitoring
  • Security information
  • Data recovery techniques

Popular Career Options

After earning an associate's degree in network security, individuals may be prepared for employment in several fields of information security. Positions may include the following:

  • Network engineer
  • Network security officer
  • Network administration

Career Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that network and computer systems administrators will see job growth of 5% from 2018 to 2028, while information security analysts would see growth of 32% for the same decade. As of May 2018 network and computer systems administrators had a median annual wage of $82,050. On the other hand, information security analysts earned a median salary of $98,350 as of May 2018.

Continuing Education Information

Associate's degree program graduates may choose to sit for Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) certifications. Specific certifications include Network+, A+ and Security+. Preparation can be done with a series of classroom training courses and/or self-taught interactive classes.

Other certificates may be for operating system security and wireless security in addition to network security. Instructors may teach students about wireless technology and various operating systems and their concepts

Network security and computer forensics programs at the associate's level primarily focus on security policy and counterintelligence practices, and cyber crime laws and encryption, respectively. Students can eventually go on to pursuing certification in specialized sub-fields of security and computer forensics, which will increase their prospective career options.

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