Computer Assurance Degree Programs

Computer assurance involves the security and protection of networks. Learn about employment options for those who hold a degree in computer assurance, along with information about the classes offered in these programs, salaries, and an employment outlook. Schools offering Computer Forensics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Computer Assurance Degree Programs Are Available to Me?

You'll typically find training in computer assurance through an information assurance degree program or a computer science degree program with a concentration in information assurance and computer security. Schools generally will award you with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Master of Science (M.S.) or Master of Computer Science (MCS) for completing one of these programs, which teach you to employ computer troubleshooting techniques and prevent computer threats from viruses, identity theft and hacking.

Degree TypesBachelor of Science, Master of Science, Master of Computer Science
Course TopicsCryptography, computer virus protection, quality assurance, digital evidence retrieval
Program FormatOn campus or online
Career OptionsInformation systems manager, database administrator, forensic computer analyst, network administrator

What Does the Coursework Involve?

You'll find that master's programs in information assurance are more widely offered than their undergraduate counterparts. Graduate-level coursework mixes computer technology and networking with criminology and law. To apply to a program, you usually must have a bachelor's degree in a computer science-related subject, but some schools will accept a degree in any major if you have prior computer technology and math experience.

Master's programs typically end with a capstone project or thesis in which you must select a computer security issue to research and report on. Programs also might allow you to pursue an emphasis in forensic science or cryptography. Common topics that you'll look at during a graduate program in information assurance include:

  • Security risk management
  • Wireless network protection
  • Database management
  • Computer virus protection
  • Cryptography

A bachelor's program in information assurance can provide you with a broader view of computer technologies and network maintenance. Programs typically teach you various computer forensics methods, such as how to obtain digital evidence from a computer for a criminal investigation. Subjects that you might explore include:

  • Computer security laws and regulations
  • Digital evidence retrieval
  • Computer forensics
  • Quality assurance

Can I Earn My Degree Completely Online?

If you're interested in distance learning options, you can enroll in an online information assurance master's degree program. You usually can view podcasts of lectures online and download lesson plans to study from. You also may be able to attend live online conferences to discuss topics with instructors and peers. Class assignments for the program generally are due once per week.

You can typically participate in group projects from your home, and some programs allow you to take timed exams online. Other schools may require you to have your examinations proctored at a testing center or school near your home. To properly participate in your online classes, you usually need a high-speed Internet connection, a sound card, speakers and a microphone.

What Can I Do?

With a degree in information assurance, you might find a position as an information security or information systems manager. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that those with a master's degree should have the best employment prospects . According to the BLS, computer and information systems managers earned a median annual salary of $131,600 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov).

You also might find work as a computer security specialist who helps prevent cyber attacks or information theft. Additionally, you could apply for jobs as a database or network administrator. According to the BLS, you typically need to hold at least a bachelor's degree to find jobs in these fields. The BLS reported that you could face extremely favorable employment opportunities if you enter these fields.

Based on BLS figures, network and computer systems administrators made an annual median wage of $77,810 as of May 2015, while database administrators earned a median of $81,710 per year.

You also might enter the computer forensics field as an analyst or investigator. According to PayScale, computer forensics analysts had a yearly salary range of $40,214-$117,578 as of January 2016 (www.payscale.com)

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
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  • Capella University

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    Popular programs at Capella University:

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

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  • Independence University

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    Popular programs at Independence University:

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  • Colorado Christian University

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    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master
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  • Full Sail University

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    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    • Master
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    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Winter Park
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  • Tulane University

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    Popular programs at Tulane University:

    • Master

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  • Keiser University

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    Popular programs at Keiser University:

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