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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Information Technology Covering Security Management

Majors Overview December 19, 2013

Read information about associate degree programs in Information Technology Covering Security Management and its coursework, career choices, certification, and continuing education choices.

A.A. Programs in Information Technology Covering Security Management

Students enrolled in a 2-year degree program in information technology (IT) with a security focus can enroll in an Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Information Technology Security or an A.A. in Network Security Management. Students can expect to build a strong foundation in data management, communications and information and Internet security, and become adept in designing, managing and troubleshooting secure networked systems.

Students are taught to protect networks and systems by running IT systems, analyzing security needs, managing risks and using software and hardware. Admission criteria require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Coursework in IT associate programs is devised to impart students with the knowledge about fundamental security principles for computer systems and networks, in addition to information technology management and software development. Students can gain practical experience in information technology through participation in internships. Coursework may include subject areas such as:

•Security administration
•Data communication
•Forensics analysis
•PC and network operating systems
•Loss prevention
•Switching and routing
•Information assurance

Career Choices

Though security is the focus of these programs, opportunities in technical support, e-commerce and computer networking are likely to become available to graduates from the program. They may aspire for job titles such as:

•Computer support specialist
•Help-desk technician
•Network technician
•E-commerce website support specialist
•Network security specialist

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

Students enrolled in some IT associate degree programs are specifically prepared for security and networking certifications such as the Cisco Certified Network Associate Security (CCNA-Security) designation, the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification and the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) credential. According to the level and type of certification needed, students may have to satisfy different exam and experience prerequisites.

Graduates can exhibit their computer networking skills to potential hirers by obtaining the entry-level Network+ certification offered by CompTIA. They can demonstrate proficiency in cryptography and network security by pursuing the CompTIA Security+ credential.

Associate degree graduates can opt for continued education by earning a bachelor’s degree in information security. There is a deep focus on information security in related master’s programs wherein specialized study in a sub-field, such as policy management, may be offered. Doctoral programs in information technology with concentrations in information security are also offered.

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