Associate of Cyber Security: Degree Overview
As more and more businesses create an online presence, cyber security becomes more important to prevent cyber attacks and intrusions. Individuals wishing to pursue careers in cyber security and networking can find entry-level positions by earning an associate's degree that covers this discipline, which can include degrees in network security management or information assurance.
Associate Degrees Covering Cyber Security
Applicants to these programs must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent and must submit official transcripts of any previously completed postsecondary coursework. Students can learn about the vulnerabilities of hardware and software systems from both a technical and human level. Successful completion of a program can prepare students to sit for certification exams, such as Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Network+, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Security Certified Network Professional (SCNS).
These programs consist of approximately 60-68 credits and are designed to be completed in approximately two years. Some programs may require completion of business courses. Students participate in an information security capstone experience. Some course topics may include:
- Microcomputer operating systems
- Windows server
- Network security
- Tactical perimeter defense
- Computer forensics
- Cyber law
- Security administration
- Computer systems technology
Popular Career Options
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that a bachelor's degree is required for many positions, but an associate's degree, experience and industry certification can be adequate for entry-level jobs (www.bls.gov). Work can be found in almost any business or organization that utilizes a local area or wireless network for communications and Internet access. Job duties may include staff and employee advisement on security risks and vulnerabilities, performing risk assessments, evaluating security policies and designing security measures. Typical job titles may include:
- Information systems security specialist
- Operating systems security specialist
- Security specialist
- Applications security specialist
- Information assurance security specialist
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of an associate's degree program covering cyber security may choose to further their skills and knowledge and enhance marketability by enrolling in bachelor's or master's degree programs. Master's degree programs can often be taken online. According to the BLS, certifications earned through product vendors or computer organizations can enhance advancement to higher positions.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
In 2012, information security analysts earned an annual median salary of $86,170, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Jobs for these professionals were expected to increase by 37% from 2012-2022, per the BLS.
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