Online Information Systems Security Degrees by Program Level

Get information about online programs in information systems security. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, as well as career and options.

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Essential Information

Many schools offer information systems security bachelor's and master's degree programs in a distance learning format. Prior IT knowledge isn't typically required for admission to a bachelor's program, but applicants to master's programs usually need to possess foundational IT skills. After graduation, degree holders can often pursue industry certifications through Cisco, Microsoft and other organizations. Earning a degree in this field could lead to work as a network administrator, information security analyst or computer support specialist. Software and hardware specific to this field of study may be required.

Bachelor's Program in Information Systems Security

A bachelor's degree program in information systems technology is typically comprised of studies in the social and natural sciences, humanities and specialized coursework in information technology. Students gain information technology skills, such as systems administration and management, database development and maintenance, Web development and software development.

It typically takes four years to complete the coursework required to earn a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology or similar degree. A high school diploma and acceptable scores on entrance exams, such as the ACT and SAT, are common prerequisites.

Students interested in distance learning are generally able to complete this degree program entirely online. Students need a computer with high-speed Internet. Coursework is monitored through a course management system. Instructors blend traditional text, Web presentations and other modern instructional technologies to create a virtual classroom. Advanced classes in information technology might require additional computer hardware, software or specific operating system.

Course Topics

At the bachelor's degree level, information technology courses are typically introductory in nature. Students learn the principles and practices of Web networks, databases, security and current operating systems.

Basics of Information Systems Security

Students receive a broad and thorough overview of information security methods. Topics covered include network infrastructure security, assessment and audits, access control, cryptography and organizational security.

Basics of Project Management

Project planning and implementation are the focal points. Students learn how to conceive and see a project through while paying attention to important issues, such as cost, best practices, resource allocation and personnel management.

Basics of Computer Networks

Students learn about computer networking theory which includes a discussion of networking equipment and networking protocols. Also covered are the design, installation and configuration of computer networking devices, such as routers, switches and firewalls.

Career Information

Graduates are qualified to take on a number of roles, including database administrators and information security analysts. The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported an expected 11% increase in employment for database administrators and 18% increase in employment for information security analysts over 2014-2024. Additionally, the BLS reported median salaries of $81,710 for database administrators and $90,120 for information security analysts in May, 2015.

Online Master's Degree Program in Information Systems Security Overview

Students working towards a Master of Science in Information Technology or Master of Science in Computer Information Systems take advanced coursework that covers core information technology topics and concentration areas, such as database management, project management, business intelligence and information systems security. Classes are designed to give students ample hands on experience and prepare them for management positions.

A master's degree program in information systems security typically takes two years to complete. It is available as a distance learning program from many schools.

Instructors use current online educational tools, such as audio and video presentations, chat rooms and podcasts to create a virtual learning environment. Specific software and computer operating systems may be required on an individual course basis.

Course Topics

The curriculum of this master's degree program is comprised almost entirely of advanced coursework in various information technology concentrations, including information systems security. Students who concentrate in security take courses in security threat identification, security policy development and procedures, project management and others.

Advanced Theories of Database Security

Current theories and practices in database security and auditing are the focus of this course. Students use simulated scenarios and examples to explore database security issues, such as profiles, password policies and access control enforcement.

Policies and Procedure of Information Technology Security

This course focuses on security risk detection, security policy correction and secure business network implementation. Areas of interest include risk management plans, network and user access, disaster recovery, proper information handling procedures and privacy issues.

Theories and Practices in Data Mining

Students review current practices and theories in data mining, text mining and Web mining, using case studies as examples. Emphasis is placed on classification, decision-making, association rules, clustering and algorithms.

Career Information

A master's degree is generally preferred for upper-level management information technology positions. As technology continues to advance, the need for qualified workers in information technology will continue as well.

There are a multitude of information systems security degrees available online at the bachelor's and master's degree level. These programs teach the essential information in subjects such as database security, project management, computer networking and data mining.

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