Internet Security Certification and Degree Program Overviews

Though no schools offer degrees specifically in Internet security, programs in computer science, network and information systems security, or related areas of study, some of which are available online, can prepare you for careers in this field.

Essential Information

Programs in the Internet security field may require math and computer programming courses for acceptance. These programs are math intensive and include calculus and statistics courses as part of the curriculum. They can also prepare graduates to obtain the entry-level employment and experience needed to earn professional certifications from organizations like the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, also known as (ISC)2, and ISACA.

Internet Security Certification

Computer science bachelor's degree programs include core courses designed to familiarize students with computer operating systems and develop their programming skills. Common courses include:

  • Computer architecture
  • Network security
  • Cryptography
  • Web page programming

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Graduates of computer science bachelor's degree programs can find entry-level employment as network and computer systems administrators who work to ensure the security of an organization's information systems, among other tasks. These IT professionals could see a 8% job growth from 2014 to 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Experience as a network and computer system administrator could lead to an advanced position as an information security analyst. The BLS projected an 18% job growth for information security analysts from 2014 to 2024.

As of May 2015, network and computer systems administrators earned a median salary of $77,810, while information security analysts earned $90,120, according to the BLS.

Continuing Education Information

According to the BLS, some employers prefer to hire information security analysts and computer network architects with a graduate degree in information systems or business administration. For students who'd like to earn a graduate IT degree, several schools also offer master's degree programs in the areas of information security and computer network security.

Several information security certifications are available to IT professionals looking to advance their careers. (ISC)2 offers the Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) credential to individuals with one year of related work experience. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) designations are available to individuals with between two and five years of related work experience. Both the SSCP and CISSP credentials require passing scores on an exam.

Other certifications are available from organizations like ISACA, which offers the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) credential to individuals who pass an exam after completing five years of relevant information security experience.

Internet security is rarely offered as its own field of study, but numerous programs include it as part of their curriculum. Pursuing a degree program in computer science, as well as certifications like the Systems Security Certified Practitioner program, can help prepare you for a career in Internet security.

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