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Schools with Network Security Programs: How to Choose

Dec 10, 2019

In a network security program, students learn how to maintain and develop the security infrastructure for computer networks. These programs can be found at community colleges and 4-year colleges and universities.

Colleges and universities across the U.S. offer certificate and degree programs at all levels of network security. Programs are available at both public and private schools.

10 Network Security Schools

These institutions offer network security programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition* (2018-2019)
The University of Texas- San Antonio San Antonio, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state Undergraduate $8,049; Out-of-state Undergraduate $19,538
Norwich University Northfield, VT 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Certificate Undergraduate $40,014; Graduate $17,710
Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate In-state Graduate $8,540; Out-of-state Graduate $23,140
Syracuse University Syracuse, NY 4-year, Private Graduate Certificate Graduate $37,416
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Private Master's, Doctoral Graduate $55,465
Purdue University West Lafayette, IN 4-year, Public Graduate Certificate In-state Graduate $9,208; Out-of-state Graduate $28,010
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private Master's Graduate $44,712
U.S. Military Academy, West Point West Point, NY 4-year, Public Bachelor's Tuition not available
University of Washington Seattle, WA 4-year, Public Certificate, Bachelor's, Master's In-state Undergraduate $11,207; Out-of-state Undergraduate $36,588
West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA 4-year, Public Graduate Certificate In-state Graduate $12,384; Out-of-state Graduate $18,576

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Selection Criteria

Below are some additional considerations when looking at network security schools.

  • Students might look for programs with unique real-world opportunities, like computer lab sessions in which students are allowed to think and act like hackers in a controlled environment.
  • Because many network security programs are offered online, students may weigh the benefits of taking courses at home versus participating in extracurricular activities, professional clubs on campus, and internships.
  • If you want an entry-level position in the field, you might want to consider an associate's or bachelor's degree program that will teach you how to configure the infrastructure of a network and safeguard data.
  • If you're a working professional looking for career advancement in the security field, you might want to consider certificate and training programs or earn a master's degree in network security.

Network Security Certificate and Training Programs

Certificate programs in network security may be offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels. A review of prerequisites is recommended prior to application. Professionals or students looking for additional specialized training may benefit from a certificate program because they can typically be completed in a short amount of time, and many are offered online.

Associate's Degree Programs in Network Security

Students in 2-year associate's degree programs are introduced to Unix and Windows operating systems and encryption techniques. Some programs may allow students to focus their education on one topic, such as computer forensics or computer investigation, through elective courses. Graduates may find employment as entry-level security officers.

Bachelor of Science in Network Security Programs

Internships and professional clubs for students are typically offered through 4-year degree programs. Graduates with a bachelor's degree in network security may find employment as network or security administrators.

Master of Science in Network Security Programs

Master's degree programs in network security may focus on developing students' leadership skills along with advanced security techniques.

Additionally, students need to complete a capstone project or thesis. Some schools help students publish their research work, which can build a student's resume and reputation in the field.

Network security, information security and computer systems security programs can all prepare individuals to pursue a career in developing network systems to protect data. It's possible to complete a bachelor's degree in this field, and students can also pursue graduate studies.

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