Your Online Resource for Network Security Degrees

NetworkSecurityDegree is a site filled with information on online Network Security programs. The network security degree allows a student to go on to work in the security realm for the government or major corporations. Security is a fast growing business where students can obtain an entry-level position and work their way to a better paid position with more responsibility.

An increasing number of online programs are offering degrees in network security. This degree is also sometimes referred to as an information security or computer security degree and usually has the same curriculum as those labeled network security.

Kaplan University — Kaplan University's programs of MSIT - Information Security and Assurance and BSIT - Information Systems - Info Security teach the fundamentals computer and network security by covering concepts such as viruses, worms, and other malicious software, to more high-level aspects of IT security like network defense, ethical hacking, and computer forensics.
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ECPI University — The ECPI University's BS and AS degree programs of Computer & Information Science focusing on Network Security provides students the knowledge and skills needed to secure a successful career as a Network Administrator, Network Security Analyst, Network Applications Supervisor/Manager, and more. Graduates are expected to learn how to create and build networks and secure them against would-be hackers.
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Boston University — The Master of Science in Computer Information Systems with a specialization in security from Boston University trains students how to prevent and respond to computer-related security breeches. Graduates of the program will have many job opportunities within both the public and private as graduates with this degree are in high demand.
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Northcentral University — The Doctor of Business Administration and the Doctor of Philosophy in Computer and Information Security are degree programs of Northcentral University. Both programs are designed to meet the demands of business and industry and its graduates are trained to tackle cyber-terrorism, computer forensics, and computer security. Students will study current techniques in data preservation, identification, and extraction, and will perform forensic analysis of systems using popular examination toolkits.
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Southern New Hampshire University — An MS in IT Internet Security at Southern New Hampshire University assists students to become IT professionals and become knowledgeable about internet security. Students will gain skills in building, reviewing and revising an information security organization to protect information that keeps businesses viable. Course will focus on internal and external threats to network security and design, and one will learn how to enforce security policies and protect an organization?s information.
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Walden University — Walden University offers several degree programs in the field of information security including: BS CIS - Information Systems Security, teaching how to protect computer networks and data; a BS in Criminal Justice - Computer Information Systems and Security program, demonstrating the use of interactive media in law enforcement; a BS IT - Security/Forensics, focusing on installing, configuring, and operating information technology components and security risks involved; an MS Information Technology - Information Security, concentrating on the evaluation process of information systems.
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Network Security Degree Defined

There are two and four year network security degrees, available through traditional and online schools. While two year degrees focus on the fundamentals of network security, bachelor’s degrees usually offer a specialized area of study for students. Some schools also offer master’s degree programs in the subject. Students learn about:

  • Privacy
  • Security laws
  • Risk management in computers and security
  • Firewalls
  • Wireless security

Associate’s Degree in Network Security

For those who want a short program to jumpstart a career in network security, two-year programs are available through trade and technical schools, as well as community colleges. You can also find accredited network security associate’s degrees online. Some of these online programs are extensions of traditional schools, while others operate only online. The average associate’s degree takes two years to complete, provided a student is attending school full time. The associate’s degree curriculum usually covers area like security assessment, disaster recovery and backup and network defense theory. Students also learn how to install software, the fundamentals of networks and some computer programming. These programs also focus on written and oral communication skills. Students complete the program ready for an entry level position. A certificate or diploma is issued to show proof of completion. Most network security positions, at any level, require a certificate or diploma of some sort, along with work experience.

Bachelor’s Degree in Network Security

A bachelor’s degree in network security is available at some schools. Others require students to obtain a bachelor’s in computer science or information science, which covers the same principles, but sometimes is more in-depth than those considered network security. Network security focuses on security for computers and information, while computer and information science degrees usually revolve around coding and web development. Often the latter two are offered with a concentration in security, allowing the student to work in multiple realms once they’ve completed the program. These degrees may also teach design, securing networks and maintaining database information. In addition to a degree, a certificate in information or network security usually improves your chances of employment. While a certificate is not mandatory or regulated by the state, it can show your area of expertise to an employer. Because this is a degree that is being explored by many people, job saturation may become an issue. The more certifications you have in specific areas, the higher your chances are of becoming a candidate for the best network security positions.

What Type of Certification Do I Need for Network Security?

Students should have certification in particular programs. Some of these are:

  • Linux+
  • Microsoft
  • Oracle, A+
  • Security+
  • Network+

After you are working for a company a few months, many will offer vouchers or reimbursement to become certified in these programs. You can also pay for certification on your own, as any additional certificates are useful tools for gaining employment. As you progress in your career, you may be required to obtain additional certification.

Online vs. Traditional Network Security Degrees

The majority are two-year programs that prepare students for an entry-level position in the field. These programs are usually accredited and no different in curriculum than a traditional school. Online programs are accepted throughout the computer networking community, as this industry is comfortable with technology as a tool for convenience. Students who work full time can take classes part time online and complete their network security degree in as little as two years. The entire program is taken online, making it easy for a student to continue with work and family commitments. The courses are just as intensive as those at a traditional school. Students should be prepared to devote adequate time and effort to an online network security program, just as they would for conventional classes.

Is This Degree in Demand?

Network security degrees are in demand because there are many positions to be filled for private companies and the government. Many of these positions are entry level, as network administrators are needed to oversee, maintain and create new systems of security for vital information that must remain private. Privacy laws are ever-changing, and both private businesses and government agencies want people who are familiar with these laws and stay on top of the latest security trends. As with any other area in computers, the technology and methods of security are constantly improving and changing. This field will remain in demand for years to come, making it an area that has job security and many positions for those who are qualified.

What Else Do I Need to Work in Network Security?

Something that is not required, but extremely helpful, is security clearance. This is obtained by the government and all background checks, drug testing, and further information is explored by the government to grant someone security clearance. With security clearance, many new job opportunities will present themselves. The best way to get this is to enter a network security position at the entry level. Before promoting someone, the government usually begins the process of security clearance. Once this clearance is obtained, you have it for life and are free to apply for any position that calls for it. Anyone with a military background in the United States also has security clearance and can apply for positions that require this, should they have the proper network security certification. This is a fantastic way for those with a military background to enter the work force after they have completed their years of service.

Military Service and Working in Network Security

Because those in the service already have security clearance, you’re in a prime position to complete a two or four year program in network security. Working for the government requires this clearance. When you enter the job force and already have it, you’re eligible for higher-paid positions with more responsibility, provided you have some work experience and an education in the field. Those who have completed a number of years in the service may consider exploring their options for a network security degree. Because the programs are offered online, many students find they can ease back into the routine of school and homework, because they are attending school part time and making their own schedule.

With limited network security experience, you may be able to gain employment at a private company. The combination of experience and security clearance will make you a favored candidate once you have completed your degree and apply for a position with the government. There are government positions for network security administrators all over the world. Those with a long history with the military will appreciate staying with the government, while serving their country in a different medium. This is a great route for those who have had only a few years in the military or those who retire from their careers in their 40s or 50s, which is common for service people.

About Security Clearance

While security clearance is not required to work in network security, it will lead to far more career opportunities. To meet the requirements, you cannot have any felonies on your record and results must come back clean when drug testing. Security clearance can take a few months to complete. The process usually begins when a person is being seriously considered for a position, but he may be required to continue working at their current employer until they receive clearance.

Education and Network Security

A four-year degree is not required to work in this field, but it does increase your earning potential. You may choose to attend a two-year degree program, obtain an entry level position, and then go back to school to complete your bachelor’s after a few years. Accredited two-year programs are usually transferrable for a bachelor’s degree, so you will not start the program over, but attend school for an additional two years to receive this degree. If you are entering a bachelor’s program part time, some schools do require a background in network security, while others allow you to enter regardless of your previous education or work experience. To enter a master’s program in the field, a bachelor’s in a related subject is required. This can be computer science, information technology, network security, network administration or information science. Master’s programs also require students submit scores from the Graduate Records Exam (GRE), and sometimes a letter of recommendation. Most master’s programs only accept applications from students with one to three years of work experience in the field.

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