Providing a solid background in information and Internet security, communications and data management, these degree programs teach students to design, manage, and troubleshoot secure networked systems. Some programs include internships that give students practical experience in information technology. Applicants need at least a high school diploma in order to enroll in associate degree programs.
Associate Degree in Information Technology Security Management
Courses in IT associate programs teach students fundamental security principles for computer networks and systems, as well as software development and information technology management. Students learn to run IT systems, analyze security needs, manage risks, and use hardware and software tools to protect systems and networks. Sample courses include:
- PC and network operating systems
- Security administration
- Information assurance
- Switching and routing
- Loss prevention
- Data communication
Popular Career Options
While these programs teach security, graduates will also be prepared for opportunities in computer networking, e-commerce, and technical support. Some related job titles for graduates include:
- E-commerce website support specialist
- Network technician
- Computer support specialist
- Network security specialist
- Help-desk technician
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for computer support specialists were expected to grow by 12% from 2014-2024 ('www.bls.gov). These specialists earned a median salary of $51,470 as of May 2015, according to BLS reports.
Some IT associate degree programs specifically prepare students for networking and security certifications. Possibilities include the entry-level Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) designation, the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification, and the Cisco Certified Network Associate Security (CCNA-Security) credential. Prerequisites, experience requirements, and exams differ according to certification type and level.
CompTIA offers the entry-level Network+ certification as a vendor-neutral recognition of computer networking skills. Individuals interested in demonstrating proficiency in network security and cryptography can pursue the CompTIA Security+ credential.
Graduates may also choose to pursue bachelor's degrees in information security. Related master's programs focus on information security in depth and may offer specialized study in a sub-field, such as policy management. There are also doctoral programs in information technology that offer concentrations in information security.
The security management focus in the information technology associate's degree program prepares students for a career in computer support, with seminar and hands-on classes. Graduates can also consider a bachelor's degree in information security or a related post-graduate degree program.