Information Systems Security Degree Programs
Learn about information systems security degree programs, including what types of programs are available, what you'll learn, and the outlook for jobs in the field. Keep reading to see what professional certifications are available.
What Type of Degree Programs Are Offered in Information Systems Security?
If a career in information systems security appeals to you, you might choose to pursue a degree at the associate's, bachelor's or master's level. However, these programs might not always be titled 'information systems security'; for example, you might enroll in a bachelor's program in computer science with courses in information systems security or a concentration in cyber security.
|Degree Levels||Associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees|
|Online Format||Asynchronous lessons and assignments; campus-based sessions required for some programs|
|Key Topics Discussed||Software security, firewall design, computer forensics, cyber terrorism, IP addresses|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)*||28% (for all information security analysts)|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$98,350 (for all information security analysts)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Will I Learn?
You'll learn all aspects of software and hardware installation, configuration and maintenance through coursework and hands-on learning experiences. You'll develop the skill to create a secure network, identifying any possible security threats and implementing appropriate security policies. You also might spend time in the lab designing a secure network that can be used in a real-time situation.
Master's degree programs may require completion of a capstone project, which can be a research paper or project that demonstrates mastery of your area of interest and concepts of information systems security. Your courses may include the following topics:
- Role of computer forensics
- Firewall systems design and configuration
- Securing the network in enterprise environments
- Routing, switching and IP addresses
- Digital forensics
- Information assurance and security
- Software security concepts
- Cyber terrorism and crime
Can I Learn Online?
Many schools offer information systems security degree programs through distance learning. Your requirements and courses are similar to what you'd have in an on-campus program. To participate in an online program, you need a computer with Internet access and an e-mail account.
Your coursework is usually delivered asynchronously through a Web-based course management system, such as Blackboard. Through online lectures, threaded discussion boards and chats, you'll be part of a virtual classroom as you earn your degree. Although some programs are 100% online, others require occasional on-campus visits.
What Kind Of Job Can I Get?
Once you earn your degree, you may find employment as an information technology specialist, information security manager, technical support specialist, computer specialist or data security administrator. An associate's degree might qualify you for an entry-level position, while a bachelor's or master's degree may be required for data or network administration positions. You might improve your employment opportunities by earning industry certification. A number of certifications are available, including Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP), to name a few.
Information security analysts were projected to see a 28% percent increase in jobs from 2016-2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As of 2018, the median salary for these professionals was $98,350, per the BLS.