Biometric systems measure unique physical and behavioral human traits, such as fingerprints, in order to recognize and verify individual identity. Bachelor's degree programs in computer science may prepare students for a variety of professions in which they utilize biometric technology. At the graduate level, students can get biometrics training by earning a graduate certificate in the field as part of a broader master's degree program in computer science or computer engineering.
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Applicants to bachelor's degree programs in computer science must have a high school diploma or GED and demonstrate computer proficiency. Students engage in several computer courses that introduce fundamental computer programming concepts. Skills are developed in areas such as computer design, data structures, software writing, systems security and language programming. Students may choose to focus on a particular concentration, such as software engineering, depending on career interests and goals. Courses in mathematics are also common. Biometrics courses may be offered at certain universities. Topics of study include:
- Computer science
- Software engineering
- Operating systems
- Computer and information architecture
- Algorithm analysis
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Graduate Certificate in Biometrics
In order to enter a master's degree program which also offers graduate certificate in biometrics, applicants must have a bachelor's degree. Graduate certificate programs in biometrics offer concentrated study in biometric applications and current security technologies. Students are required to take core biometrics courses in addition to elective computer courses. Courses in biometric technologies examine the multiple methods of automated identification, which can evaluate unique human traits, such as fingerprints, handwriting, iris and voice. Coursework may include:
- Data mining and pattern recognition
- Computer image processing and graphics
- Network and database security
- Information assurance
Occupations in biometrics technology are available in biometrics companies, government agencies, law enforcement and technological security organizations. Examples of biometrics professions include:
- Biometric security technician
- Computer security professional
- Biometric analyst
- Biometric system designer
- Biometric engineer
Salary Information and Employment Outlook
According to Payscale.com, the national median annual wage for computer security specialists was $67,833 in January 2016 The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported that the employment for information security analysts, included in a category with web developers and computer network architects, is expected to grow 18%, which is much faster than average, between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov).
Bachelor's degree holders who are interested in a career in biometric security may seek master's degree programs that offer graduate certificates in biometrics. Additionally, training and professional development courses in biometric technology are offered by government agencies and biometric organizations, providing students and computer professionals training in areas like biometric device troubleshooting and installation. Some universities have research departments devoted to biometric technology, which may offer courses and research programs.
Although there are no bachelor's degree programs specifically in biometric security, undergraduates can learn about the subject as part of bachelor's degree programs in computer science. Graduate students can get a graduate certificate in the subject as part of a master's degree program.