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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Information Systems: Security

Majors Overview January 9, 2014

Get information on an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree in information systems: security and its education requirements, coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

A.A. Programs in Information Systems: Security

Students enrolled in an associate’s degree program related to information systems security are taught about evaluating computer systems and implementing the most optimal security methods to protect computer data. Students can expect to learn to resolve security violations and restore virus-infected systems. Some schools offer programs falling under a wider field such as an associate’s degree program in computer information systems focused on security. Schools typically offer degrees as either an Associate of Applied Science or an Associate of Science. Students who want to start working immediately on graduating would be best served by opting for the first, while those who seek to continue their education through transfer to a bachelor’s program would be better off choosing the second program.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. Some schools expect enrolled students to possess a laptop wherein certain provisions are met.

Coursework

Coursework begins with basics of computer science, including networking, programming, and operating systems and builds up to more complex topics related to security, such as security issues related to current information systems and latest protection methods. Among the various projects they participate in, students build protected systems and have their peers test the security of these systems. Courses include topic areas such as:

•Internet security
•Security management
•Data communications
•Database systems
•Cryptography
•Computer security ethics
•UNIX operating systems
•Information systems for organizations
•Router configuration
•Network design

Career Choices

Graduates can seek entry level occupations as information security analysts or in broader information technology work; however, most recruiters for safety-related jobs prefer bachelor’s degree holders (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). They may choose from various career options including:

•Computer security specialist
•Information assurance specialist
•Information security manager
•Security administrator

Continuing Education Choices

Schools may allow students to transfer credits earned in an associate’s degree to a bachelor’s degree program that schools usually offer as a computer science or an information systems major with security as a concentration option. Graduate certificate and Master’s degree programs in this field are also offered.

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