Information technology (IT) security professionals protect the data found within computer systems and networks for private corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Individuals who are interested in a career in this field often enroll in an information technology security certificate program at a community college or university.
Students enrolled in a certificate program in information technology security learn to develop and implement policies to safeguard networks and computer systems by acquiring skills necessary to protect computer systems from viruses, hacking and other damaging intrusions. Many such programs provide hands-on lab training in the latest equipment and technology to emerge in the IT security field.
Different schools have different educational prerequisites for such a program, ranging from a certificate in network systems administration to an associate's or bachelor's degree in information technology. It is helpful for students to already have a competency in computer systems and an understanding of information technology. Various certification options are available to those seeking a career in this field. Programs are 9-18 credits long.
Certificate in Information Technology Security
Certificate programs in information technology security are vocational programs and contain only those courses that might prepare individuals for careers in the field, like network/wireless security and firewall technologies. Some examples of these classes include:
- Communication security
- IT risk assessment
- Secured protocols
- Developing security policies
- Penetration and defense testing
- Intrusion detection systems
Popular Career Options
Graduates of a certificate program in information technology security may go on to earn positions related specifically to IT security, or they can apply their knowledge to broader roles in the IT field. Some potential careers include:
- Information technology security technician
- Cyber security professional
- Information security manager
- Director of information technology
- Information security analyst
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates that job openings for computer and information systems managers, including computer and information systems managers, should increase by 10% from 2019-2029 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2020, computer and information systems managers earned a median salary of $151,150, per the BLS.
The Information Systems Security Association offers a variety of certification options for professionals in the IT security field. Some of these include Certified Information Security Manager, Certified Information Systems Security Professional and Certified Information Privacy Professional. Individuals in the field can also be certified to work with certain software products or systems dealing with IT security.
Certificate programs in information technology consist of laboratory training units and traditional courses in key topics. Graduates may pursue professional certification.