Bachelor's Degree in Computer Networking & Security
Explore bachelor's degree programs in information technology with a computer networking and security focus. Research the courses you might take and browse possible career options. Check continuing education and advancement details.
Although programs specifically in information technology (IT) with a networking and security emphasis are rare, relevant coursework can be found in bachelor's degree programs such as information and network technologies with a security systems focus, or computer science with a networking focus. Such programs - which can generally be completed in four years or less - include lectures and hands-on training. Typically, there are not many educational prerequisites for admission into a program, but students usually need at least a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Through hands-on and theoretical coursework, students learn about security strategies and are able to design and evaluate secure computer networks. Topics such as storage area networks, advanced server administration and security concepts are usually covered. The development of problem-solving, business and interpersonal skills is emphasized. Common topics may include:
- Computer forensics
- Basic concepts in networking
- Principle of network security
- Database server administration
- Network infrastructure
Popular Career Choices
The skills IT experts possess are in high-demand with the numerous organizations that rely on such technology to run successful operations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment for information security analysts is expected to increase by 37% between 2012 and 2022, while computer network architects should see job growth of 15% during that same time period (www.bls.gov). Completion of a bachelor's degree program equips graduates for many different job roles in computer network support and security. Some popular career choices include:
- Database administrator
- Network security analyst
- Compliance consultant
- Network architect
- Systems analyst
In May of 2012, the BLS estimated that information security analysts received an average yearly salary of $89,290. Computer network architects earned an average of $94,000.
Continuing Education and Advancement
Most information technology experts enter the workforce after graduation, but some may decide to go on to earn a master's degree in a related field. Although a bachelor's degree provides sufficient training for many jobs, some employers prefer applicants with an advanced degree for some positions, such as network architects or information security analysts, according to the BLS. With a career in IT, it may also be possible to move upwards into positions with more responsibilities and higher pay after gaining expertise and experience in the field.
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