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Computer Network Security Degrees

Get information about computer network security degree programs. Learn about degree levels and common courses along with career options, employment outlook and average salary.

What Degrees Can I Earn in Computer Network Security?

You can find computer network security degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate degree levels. To be eligible for employment as a computer network security specialist, you typically need a bachelor's degree, although some employers will hire you with an associate's degree, according to O*Net. You can earn various degrees, such as an Associate of Applied Science in Security Technology, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Computer Science with an emphasis in computer and network security, a B.S. in Information Technology Security or a Master of Science in Computer and Network Security.

Degree Levels Associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees
Learning Environments Traditional classroom and distance learning degree options are available
Key Topics Discussed Operating systems, network forensics, networking, cryptography, programming
Career Options IT security consultant, info security analyst, network auditor, among others
Potential Mean Salary (2018)* $87,070 for network and computer systems administrators

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Can I Earn My Degree Online?

Some schools offer computer network security degrees through distance learning, making it possible to earn your degree without leaving your home or job. To participate as an online student, you'll need a computer with high-speed Internet access and an e-mail account. With online learning systems, lectures, assignments and presentations are recorded live in class and available to you at your convenience. Some programs provide you with a mentor to guide you and point out available resources.

What Topics Will I Study?

You'll gain a basic understanding of networking, programming and operating systems. As a bachelor's degree student, you may be required to complete an internship or security project to apply offensive and defensive network security methods to real-world situations. Graduate students are typically required to complete a capstone project or master's thesis on research topics, such as cryptography or network forensics.

What Are My Career Options?

Earning a degree in computer network security can qualify you for jobs, such as network administrator, information security analyst, computer security consultant or network auditor. Certifications can be earned through hardware and software vendors or independent certifying organizations, and will enhance your credentials.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that network and computer systems administrators were projected to see an employment growth of six percent from 2016-2026. In 2018, network and computer security administrators earned an average salary of $82,050, according to the BLS.