A Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Information Systems Security program prepares students to recognize and address a wide range of network security issues and cyber-attacks. Security-related skills that are taught include data protection, managing user accounts in a network and maintaining current anti-virus and encryption software. Students also learn how to perform these tasks in UNIX, Windows and Cisco computing environments.
This four-year degree is commonly available partially or entirely online. Prerequisites for admission include a high school diploma and submitting standardized test scores.
Bachelor's Degree in Information Systems Security
Students explore different network vulnerabilities from the perspective of hackers, which is crucial to developing a security strategy or network security audit. Software courses explore different types of programming activity that compromise encryption, anti-virus programs, firewalls and the validity of digital certificates. Network security courses also discuss:
- Security in operating systems
- Security auditing
- Network systems management
Graduates might work as network administrators or as consultants that perform security audits for companies in a variety of industries. Security auditors determine if and how someone can access a network's data, what security controls a client is using and how security protocols can be tested and improved. Network administrators instruct users on how to safeguard network integrity and provide general assistance with an organization's networking needs. Qualified program graduates can earn network security certifications which attest to their level of expertise.
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that job opportunities for network and computer systems administrators will increase by 5% between 2018 and 2028. In 2018, the median yearly salary for these professionals was $82,050. Those with a bachelor's degree and additional certification to work on vendor-specific products will have the best opportunities.
Continuing Education Information
Many employers look for network security certification, such as the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) credentials. None of these certificates are necessary for a career in network security.
Those who hold the CCENT certificate have demonstrated basic computer networking knowledge, and the certificate is ideal for network administrators in small businesses. The CCNA certificate is for those working in larger businesses, and it demonstrates a functional knowledge of network security. Those with CCNP certification have an advanced understanding of network administration and security. Networking professionals must earn their CCNA credential before they work toward the CCNP certificate.
A B.S. in Information Systems Security program prepares graduates for careers in network and computer systems administration where they install, maintain and secure information systems for companies and organizations. After graduating, students can seek voluntary certification in a variety of specialties to improve their employment prospects.