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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Network Security or Computer Forensic

Majors Overview January 19, 2014

Those looking for a career in a field that is growing may be interested in network security or computer forensics. The need for network security increases as the use of computers increase. Students can prepare for a career in this field with an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree in network security or computer forensics.

A.A. Programs in Network Security or Computer Forensics

Students enrolled in an Associate Degree Programs Covering Network Security or Computer Forensics can expect to obtain in-depth knowledge about a variety of information technology (IT) security tools employed in law enforcement and business. They can also expect to acquire problem-solving, research and analytical skills and learn to investigate cyber crime, fight cyber-terrorism and protect networks from hackers.

They are taught how to use industry software in keeping the systems secure. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. They may have to submit to criminal background checks for admission to some schools. Schools may offer these programs in various formats. Students may seek enrollment in programs in computer information systems, cyber security or digital forensics, with a focus on forensics, or in criminal justice network security with coursework focused on forensic.

Coursework

Industry-relevant coursework has been devised to train students in the current modes of network security. Apart from coursework, hands-on training is used to teach students how to implement network security in a computer system. Internships and co-op education opportunities are also given to students who learn specific courses such as:

•Ethical hacking and network defense
•Firewalls and network security
•Web technology
•Health informatics
•Information technology security
•Programming logic and design
•Operating systems security
•Cyber law and ethics

Career Choices

Once they acquire skills in computer forensics and network security, associate’s degree program graduates can seek entry-level jobs in various specialty fields related to the prevention of the corruption of computer networks in a range of career titles including:

•Computer security specialist
•Computer systems administrator
•Computer forensics specialist
•Network administrator
•Security network analyst

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

While professional certification is not a mandatory requirement for employment, certification is chosen by many employees to showcase their knowledge and skills in the field. Certifying agencies and computer product vendors offer certifications. After they complete associate programs, graduates would be ready to sit certification exams, such as Network+, Security+ and CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association) A+. Associate degree graduates may either seek entry-level jobs in the field or opt for continued education by earning a four-year bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or other related field.

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