Students in an associate of network security and computer forensics degree program develop analytical, research and problem-solving skills specific to cyber crime. They obtain hands-on training in implementing network security into a computer system. They may also have co-op education and internship opportunities. Admission to some schools may require passing a criminal background check.
Associate of Network Security and Computer Forensics
The topics covered in a network security and computer forensics associate's program include ethical hacking network defense, health informatics, and Web technology. Students become capable of investigating cyber crime, fighting cyber-terrorism and defending networks against hackers. Using industry-relevant courses, students can learn about the current types of network security. Specific courses may include:
- Programming logic and design
- Information technology security
- Firewalls and network security
- Cyber law and ethics
- Operating systems security
Popular Career Options
With the increasing use of computers in our daily lives, the need for network security specialists also increases. With skills in computer and network security, graduates of associate's degree programs may be able to enter into a variety of specialty fields related to preventing the corruption of computer networks. Possible career titles could include computer forensics specialist, security network analyst, network administrator, computer systems administrator, and computer security specialist.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't provide information specifically for network security specialists, network and computer systems administrators are projected to see an 8% increase in employment from 2014-2024. The median annual wages for these workers are $77,810 as of May 2015.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Although employers don't always require their workers to be certified, many employees choose certification to demonstrate their knowledge of industry standards. Certification can be obtained from computer product vendors and certifying agencies. Upon completion of the associate's degree program, graduates are prepared to take certification exams, such as CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association) A+, Security+ and Network+, among others.
Graduates can join the workforce immediately or pursue further education and transfer to 4-year programs to earn bachelor's degrees in information technology, computer science or related fields.
For those interested in IT security, an associate's degree in network security and computer forensics can provide the necessary technical knowledge to start a career or allow for certification or continued education. Most of these degree programs include hands-on opportunities so that students can learn how to apply various network security systems on computers.