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Information Security Associate's Degree

If you are interested in the security side of information technology, you might consider an associate's degree. This article looks at the common courses in networking and viruses contained in an associate's program, along with career information on network and database administration.

What Is an Information Security Associate's Degree Program Like?

You can earn an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), Associate of Technical Arts (A.T.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.). If you'd like the option of pursuing a bachelor's degree, an A.S. often fulfills credit transfer requirements for 4-year universities. A typical associate's degree program in information security takes about two years of full-time study to complete. Online options for this program aren't common.

Degree LevelsAssociate of Applied Science, Associate of Technical Arts, or Associate of Science
Common ClassesOperating systems, program design, networking methods, cyber defense
Career OptionsSecurity analyst, computer forensics specialist, information security manager
Median Salary (2018) $98,350 (for all information security analysts)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 28% growth (for all information security analysts)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Can I Take?

When you start an information security associate's degree program, you gain a solid understanding of computer systems and how they work. You also learn about operating systems, program design and networking methods. Many programs also teach you how information systems are compromised, such as hacking, viruses and other attacks.

The security-related courses offered in many information security programs cover the various ways you can block information systems from damage and destruction. You can learn about security policies, computer forensics, cyber defense and firewalls. Security system design is also covered, and you can often learn how to create security protocols for various operating systems.

What Kind of Career Can I Have?

An information security associate's degree program can prepare you for entry-level jobs in the information technology field. You could work as a network security administrator, security analyst, computer forensics specialist or information security manager. Many programs give you the training you need to qualify for certifications from some of the leading industry vendors and organizations, including CompTIA, Microsoft and Cisco.

The certifications available to you through many information security associate's degree programs can be valuable in your job search. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many employers of computer network administrators and other systems security-related jobs look for candidates with a bachelor's degree, but experience, certification and education might be able to get you hired for entry-level positions.

The BLS reported that employment of information security analysts is expected to grow by 28% during the period from 2016-2026. That is much faster than average for most sectors.