A bachelor's degree program in computer security prepares individuals to work in cyber-security where their responsibilities would include protecting computers and computer systems from viruses, spyware, hackers, predators and other security breaches.
Computer security may be a separate major or a concentration track for a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or B.S. in Information Technology. Students of computer security bachelor's programs learn how to create information security systems, including processes, guidelines and policies, with reactive and proactive security measures for businesses and individuals, making sure that these systems comply with current laws and policies. Programs are typically four years in length and require a high school diploma or equivalent for admission.
Bachelor's Degree Programs in Computer Security
Coursework for bachelor's degree programs in computer security, beyond the general core of required liberal arts courses, covers computer systems foundations and specific aspects of information technology security. Classes may include:
- Computer forensics
- Cryptography and security
- Cyber crime and terrorism
- Protection systems
- Recovery systems
- System administrators
As cyber attacks have grown in frequency and sophistication, so have the jobs of computer security professionals. Some computer security careers are:
- Computer disaster recovery analyst
- Computer security consultant
- Computer security systems auditor
- Computer systems strategic planner
- Information technology security administrator
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
In May 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median salary for network and computer systems administrators was $82,050 (www.bls.gov). In that same time, the BLS reported that information security analysts earned a median of $98,350. From 2018-2028, job openings for network and computer systems administrators were expected to increase by 5%, while growth for information security analyst jobs was projected to be 32%, per the BLS.
Two entities offer voluntary international certifications approved by the National Security Agency Committee on National Security Systems (NSA CNSS). The Security University offers Qualified/ Information Security Professional (Q/ISP), Qualified/Information Assurance Professional (Q/IAP) and Qualified/Software Security Expert (Q/SSE) certifications. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is approved by the U.S. Department of Defense in addition to the NSA CNSS, and is administered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium.
Certification as a Federal IT Security Professional through the Federal IT Security Institute targets federal employees and contractors. Global Information Assurance Certification offers 17 certifications in security administration, security management, IT audit and software security.
Students can earn a bachelor's degree in computer security to study how to prevent and recover from cyber attacks. Voluntary certifications may help graduates be more marketable, but the job outlook for positions related to this field is positive.