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Information Assurance Bachelor's Degrees: Online & Campus-Based Programs

Information assurance degree programs teach students how to defend a computer network from attack and protect sensitive information stored on computer databases. It's possible to earn your bachelor's degree online or in-person. Read on to learn more about topics covered and the career options for graduates.

What Information Assurance Bachelor's Degrees Can I Pursue?

Information assurance degrees are available that lead to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.). However, you can also pursue an information assurance emphasis through a bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology or cybersecurity. Some such programs are degree completion programs; these will require an associate's degree for enrollment.

Degree Options Information assurance, computer science, information technology or cybersecurity degrees
Prerequisites High school studies in English, computers, algebra, trigonometry and calculus, a background check may be required
Online Availability A variety of online programs are available with hybrid options
Common Courses Threat assessment and defense, firewalls, computer security, ciphers or passwords
Career Options Computer network, systems and database administrators, information technology and computer security professionals
Median Salary (2020) $98,860 (for all database administrators
Job Outlook (2019-2029) 10% growth (for all database administrators

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Can I Complete My Degree Online?

There are some online information assurance bachelor's degree programs. In general, the admission requirements are the same as for on-campus programs. However, some online programs may require you to complete courses in Java programming, statistics or calculus prior to enrollment. Hybrid programs are also offered; these allow you to complete some of your coursework online, but also have substantial in-person requirements.

What Topics Will I Study?

In a bachelor's degree program in information assurance, you can expect to take courses on computer security and threats. Topics of study may include firewalls, threat assessment and defense. You might take a class on ciphers or passwords, learning how they are created and how to break them. Some schools may also give you the opportunity to attempt to hack into a secure system to better understand what makes a system vulnerable and how to defend it.

What Can I Do with My Degree?

With a bachelor's degree in information assurance, you may be qualified for a variety of jobs in information technology and computer security. Computer network, systems and database administrators include individuals who focus on computer security. These specialists focus on creating and maintaining information security for organizations, which can include watching for security breaches, installing security-focused software and defending against cyber attacks.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of database administration as a whole is expected to increase by 10% between 2019 and 2029 (www.bls.gov). The BLS notes that this faster-than-average growth rate is partially attributed to the growing amounts of data and the increasing demand for data security. In 2020, the mean annual wage for information security analysts - which includes the field of computer security - was $107,580, according to the BLS.

Are There Any Prerequisites?

It's recommended that you study algebra, trigonometry, calculus, English and computers in high school if you plan to pursue an information assurance bachelor's degree. Some schools may require you to have completed coursework in certain programming languages. Many programs also require you to pass a background check.