Network Security Majors

Network security specialists analyze and assess risk levels of systems in order to take an aggressive, proactive approach toward network protection. Learn about degree programs and courses that could prepare you for this field. Schools offering Computer Forensics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

The field of network security involves the prevention of viruses, hacking and various forms of cyber attacks that can threaten individuals, corporations and government entities. Degree programs aim to provide the tools to build and maintain systems that are protected from cyber threats and equipped to deal with any that should arise.

How Can I Study Network Security?

Network security education is widely available from a variety of schools, including public, private non-profit and for-profit schools. These schools include everything from small, 2-year community colleges to large, 4-year state schools that are part of a university system. You can study network security through online and on-campus programs that lead to associate's and bachelor's degrees. Undergraduate degrees are the most common available in this field. In some cases, the actual degree is in network security. However, in the majority of cases you'll earn a degree in information technology or network technology with a concentration in network security. Master's degrees in information technology with a security focus that includes network security are available, but rare.

At larger schools, network security programs may be presented through a larger department or school of information technology or computer science. In these cases, it may be possible for students to study topics other than network security through elective courses or by tailoring a plan of study to include topics like information systems. Some schools even offer double majors through their computing departments, allowing students to major in both network security and another technology discipline like computer science or interactive media.

What Should I Look For in a School?

One factor to consider in choosing a school for network security study is the amount of actual network security coursework you will take in the standard curriculum. Some programs offer a small number of core courses in network security, covering introductory topics, with the rest of the curriculum devoted to general education and other computer science or information technology topics. In other programs, you will take intensive network security courses, exploring advanced network security topics like the development of advanced, intelligent network defense systems. Your level of familiarity with the field may help guide you toward a program that will match your existing skill set, or lack thereof.

Another consideration that you may want to explore is the quality and additional cost of the technology equipment provided by the school. Some schools may require students to pay a lab fee for certain computer courses. This lab fee is typically not included in tuition, and may not be covered by financial aid. In the case of programs with online content, you might want to take stock of what equipment you will be required to have at home. The requirements for online network security classes may include the purchase of hardware or software more advanced than that required as a base entry into the online learning program.

Which Schools Offer an Associate's Degree in Network Security?

A number of schools offer associate-level programs in network security. Here is just a sample of the colleges where you could earn an associate's degree in the field:

  • Broward College provides an Associate of Science in Computer and Network Security.
  • West Los Angeles College offers associate's and certificate programs in Computer Network and Security Management.
  • Mesa Community College provides an Associate in Applied Science in Networking and Security.

Which Schools Provide Bachelor's Programs in Network Security?

Majoring in network security at the bachelor's level is possible at several schools, many of which offer both online and in-person study options. Below are a few of the available programs:

  • Wilmington University offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Network Security.
  • Liberty University has a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program with a concentration in Data Networking and Security.
  • Franklin University offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Cyber Security.

Which Schools Offer Master's Programs in Network Security?

A few universities offer continuing education programs at the master's degree level in network security. Here is a list for your consideration:

  • SUNY Polytech Institute offers a Master's of Science in Network and Computer Security.
  • DePaul University can provide a Master of Science in Cyber Security.
  • Boston University has a Computer Information Systems concentration in Security, Master's Degree.

What Courses Will I Take?

In network security associate's and bachelor's degree programs, there are usually courses providing introductory coursework to computer science and information technology topics like local area networks, programming languages like C++ and networking.

The typical associate's degree program in network security provides more basic coursework, introducing students to computer operating systems, introductory web design and basic computer repair. Bachelor's degree programs may include more advanced coursework, such as classes in discrete mathematics, technical writing, project management and application programming. Bachelor's degree programs may also go deeper into network security topics, covering strategies like offensive security.

Choosing to major in network security is possible at a number of schools. These programs provide the expertise to build and maintain networks and systems that are secure in the face of cyber threats.

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:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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