How Can I Learn About Computer Data Security?

If you're interested in the growing problem of protecting data, a career in computer data security might be for you. Computer data security professionals keep private, corporate and government information safe from outside attack. Schools offering Computer Forensics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Computer Data Security Defined

If you focus on this area of computer science, you'll learn to use methods such as authentication and encryption to protect the confidentiality of sensitive information. With some college education and certification, you may develop or oversee technology that validates the identity of users and proves that messages are from a trusted source. Your work can also involve physical security, keeping computers safe from physical access by unauthorized persons and protecting hardware from events such as fire and earthquake.

Important Facts About Computer Data Security

Database Administrators Network/Computer Systems Administrators
Median Salary (2014) $80,280 $75,790
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 11% growth 8% growth
Key Skills Logical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills Analytical, multi-tasking, and communication skills
Similar Occupations Computer support specialist, market research analyst, software developer Computer network architect, information security analyst, web developer

Source: United State Bureau of Labor Statistics

Training in Data Security

Because data security is critical to running an organization, training in it is part of preparing for a number of fields. These include business administration, accounting and healthcare information management. If you major in one of these fields, it's likely that some of your coursework will focus on data security.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Minor in Data Security

If you get a 4-year, bachelor's degree in computer science, you may cover the topic of data security as part of your coursework in database management. In some programs you can choose a minor or concentration in this area. A minor may allow you to learn about encryption programs and investigating computer crimes.

Master of Science in Computer Science, Emphasis in Data Security

Getting a master's degree in this field, with a concentration such as data security or database technology, may require 36 credit hours of study and take two years to complete. You can study the legal and societal implications of data security, computer security mathematics and encryption protocols. You may also be required to complete an internship.

Ph.D. in Computer Science, Concentration in Data Security

A doctoral program that provides this concentration may lead you into research on malware, threats and computer forensics. Some programs allow you to focus on areas such as telecommunications and e-commerce. After you complete the required courses, you may have to take a comprehensive exam and write a dissertation.

Career Opportunities

The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2 reports that expertise in data security may be beneficial if you are pursuing a career as a network security administrator, security engineer or systems analyst (www.isc2.org). Data security education may also help you find a career as a database administrator or application programmer.

Certification

A year of experience in information security may qualify you to take a certification exam from (ISC)2. Another route to certification for those who have bachelor's or graduate degrees in other areas is to acquire educational credits through a prescribed series of courses leading to a certificate in data security at certain colleges or universities prior to taking certification exams.

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:
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