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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Computer Security

Majors Overview September 8, 2014

Those interested in computer security can major in information assurance, computer and network security, or information technology security. Bachelor’s degree programs in computer security will teach students about cyber security, which is the protection of computers and their systems from spyware, predators, hackers, viruses, and other security intrusions.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Computer Security

Schools may offer computer security as a separate concentration track or major for a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Information Technology or B.S. in Computer Science. Students enrolled in computer security bachelor’s degree programs are taught about creating information security systems, including policies, guidelines, and processes, with proactive and reactive security measures for individuals and businesses while ensuring that current policies and laws are complied with through these systems.

Schools don’t usually have any specific prerequisites for incoming students to Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs in Computer Security.

Coursework

Coursework augments general courses in liberal arts with specific aspects of information technology security and computer systems foundations coursework. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•System administrators
•Protection systems
•Cryptography and security
•Computer forensics
•Web security
•Cyber crime and terrorism
•Recovery systems

Career Choices

Career choices for computer security experts have increased due to the growing sophistication and frequency of cyber attacks. These professionals can choose from career options such as:

•Computer security systems auditor
•Information technology security administrator
•Computer security consultant
•Computer disaster recovery analyst
•Computer systems strategic planner

Job and Wage Outlook

In May 2012, network and computer systems administrators banked an average annual wage of $72,560 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). During the same period, information security analysts took home an average annual wage of $86,170. A job growth of 28% has been predicted for network and computer systems administrators over the 2010 – 2020 decade; during the same decade, information security analyst jobs are expected to see growth of 22% (BLS).

Certification Choices

Voluntary international certifications that carry the approval of the National Security Agency are offered by two entities. The Qualified/Software Security Expert (Q/SSE), Qualified/ Information Security Professional (Q/ISP), and Qualified/Information Assurance Professional (Q/IAP) certifications are offered by the Security University.

The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium administers the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), which both the U.S. Department of Defense and the National Security Agency approve. Contractors and federal employees would benefit from volunteering for the Federal IT Security Institute’s credential, the Federal IT Security Professional. As many as 17 certifications in software security, IT audit, security management, and security administration are offered by the Global Information Assurance Certification.

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