Cyber Security Colleges and Courses
As a cyber security professional, you'll protect Internet consumers from various threats, such as worms, viruses and hackers. Read on to learn about cyber security courses, online options, how to select a school and potential career paths.
What You Need to Know
Programs in cyber security prepare you for a career safeguarding large and small companies' computer networks from internal and external threats. You'll learn how to both identify risks and eradicate attacks. Some programs are also available online.
|Colleges||Look for those schools that best align to your career goals|
|Courses||Business data communication, network traffic monitoring, hacker techniques, cryptography, threat management, cyber terrorism|
|Future Career Options||Network administrator, systems analyst, network engineer, chief information officer, cyber intelligence analyst|
What Can Cyber Security Courses Teach Me?
Cyber security courses are offered in undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs specifically in cyber security, as well as elective options for programs in computer technology, network security, computer forensics and criminal justice. These courses are often taught by practicing professionals and are designed to meet standards set forth by the National Security Agency.
Courses in certificate and associate degree programs are often designed to prepare you for industry certifications, such as CompTIA's A+ and Security + or EC-Council's Certified Ethical Hacker designations. Courses in a bachelor's degree program are designed to qualify you for entry-level positions handling cyber threats at the enterprise level. Bachelor's degree course topics generally include firewall installation and configuration, hacker techniques, cyber stalking, identity theft prevention and telecommunications monitoring. These courses may also be covered in an undergraduate program:
- Network security
- Business data communication
- Client operating systems
- Computer maintenance
- Cyber ethics
- Server administration
- Wireless networking
- Desktop support
- Network traffic monitoring
- Emergency response planning
What Are Graduate Courses Like?
Graduate certificates are meant to supplement bachelor's and master's degree curricula. You're usually expected to have at least some formal education, though schools might also require actual experience in networking, security or systems administration. Cyber security courses in a master's degree program address prominent Internet security issues, such as those on national or international levels. These courses might be covered in a graduate program:
- Digital signatures
- Network security protocols
- Threat management
- Algorithm design
- Cyber law
- Psychological profiling
- Threat mitigation
- Research methods and cyber terrorism
Can I Learn Online?
Online cyber security programs are mostly available at the bachelor's and master's levels. You can complete your work whenever and wherever you like, as long as you adhere to assignment deadlines. Some programs require you to take an online orientation course prior to beginning your studies so you can know what to expect in an online learning environment. To complete your courses, you might need certain hardware and software components, such as Microsoft Office, high-speed Internet access and a CD-ROM drive.
What Should I Look for in a College?
Find schools with programs that cater to your career interests. If you're interested in working at the national or global levels, it might be best to choose a school that offers master's degrees in cyber security. Choosing a bachelor's degree program in another field with a cyber security concentration can also provide you with specialized training, such as legal procedures or business management. Hands-on training gives practical application to your studies, though schools that offer experience through internships also allow you to build contacts for postgraduate employment.
What Careers Are Available With This Training?
Certificate or associate degree training in cyber security generally qualifies you for entry-level jobs, such as network administrator, security programmer or systems analyst. A bachelor's degree might increase your opportunities, and experience in the field can help you to advance your career. Some additional job titles you might earn include:
- Information compliance officer
- Desktop security technician
- Network engineer or architect
- Security specialist
- Technology project manager
- Chief information officer
With graduate studies, you could specialize your career possibilities to include positions found in governmental and industrial agencies. You could be eligible for management jobs, as well as occupations in cyber intelligence analysis, Internet legislation or cyber policy consulting.