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Degree Overview: Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree in Information Technology Security

Majors Overview January 21, 2014

Get information about Associate of Science (A.S.) degree program in information technology security and its coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.
A.S. Programs in Information Technology Security
Information technology (IT) professionals who want to gain in-depth understanding of emerging security threats in order to ensure that computer and network systems stay safe can earn an Associate of Science (A.S.) in Information Technology Security degree.
Students who earn an IT security associate’s degree are trained in designing, implementing and maintaining secure network infrastructure through various E-commerce security modes such as VPNs (virtual private networks), intrusion detection systems and firewalls. These 2-year programs impart graduates with the skills they would need in evaluating the data security needs of the business and in implementing their technological skills in successfully integrating it with the organization’s needs. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Students enrolled in these programs are taught about various operating systems through a combination of classroom and laboratory instruction. Programs also require enrolled students to attend seminars and participate in supervised internships. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Statistics and data analysis
•Linux/Unix operating systems
•Intrusion detection and prevention
•Risk management
•Legal ethics and issues in security
•Operating system security
•Systems networking
•TCP/IP and network routers
•Programming logic and design
•Firewalls and network security

Career Choices

Those who complete the program successfully become adept in every aspect of IT security and can seek entry-level jobs in many career fields and aspire for career titles such as:

•Network administrators
•Network technician
•Computer security specialist
•Computer systems administrators
•Desktop support

Continuing Education Choices

While many companies hire associate’s degree graduates with work experience for systems administrator and computer network administrator positions, most emloyers prefer candidates who hold bachelor’s degrees in the field, especially for network architect and database administrator roles. Those who complete the program may seek entry-level occupations or pursue continued education. Graduates can boost their job prospects by obtaining professional certification that would enable them to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in the field to potential employers, apart from allowing them to keep abreast of technological advancements in the field.
Computer product vendors and certifying associations offer such certification; interested individuals may also join some training programs devised to prepare those interested in taking certification exams. CompTIA Net+, Certified Cisco Network Associate (CCNA) and Certified Cisco Network Professional (CCNP) are some examples of credentials offered by these organizations.

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