With the growing fear of online fraud and identity theft, the field of information security continues to expand. Organizations hold onto valuable information, sometimes personal, that if compromised by a hacker could pose a lot of problems.
Possessing a degree in information security is valuable and may land you a job in nearly any industry or field. The job of an information security specialist is to protect the sensitive information of a company or business. This information may include customer information, employee and personnel files, product specs, corporate data and other pieces that would be valuable to an online thief.
Information security degrees are available online and through a number of accredited institutions, colleges and universities. Most degree programs require two to four years of your time and lead to an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. While some schools offer certificates in information security, the higher paying jobs require more schooling. Master’s degree programs in information security are available at some colleges.
Required Coursework for Information Security
Many schools combine information technology with information security courses to satisfy the degree requirements for the program. Some programs emphasize network security while teaching the students the ins and outs of computers. The basics of managing a network are often taught to students in the program.
Students are exposed to several programming languages and learn how to incorporate information technology with business and economics. Some schools require that additional business and economics classes be taken.
Within the program students learn how to keep networks secure within an organization or business. Students may also learn how to provide online security tactics that are common in the field, as well as how to identify security threats and online hackers. Other skills learned in the program include how to create firewall systems, designing custom security plans and maintaining security programs that have already been set up within an organization or company.
The Right Degree Program
Choosing the right degree program in information security should be based on several factors. Firstly, the school should be accredited by a state and regional agency. Accreditation is legitimacy for future employers. Many employers will not hire students who have graduated from a non-accredited institution.
The second component in choosing the right degree program is the instructors or professors. Many online schools today require that their instructors have at a minimum a master’s degree. Many professors possess a PhD in the field and are highly qualified to teach the class. Finding a school that hires this caliber of instructor will benefit you in the long run.
The last key to choosing the right online degree is to evaluate the course load. Make sure that the classes provide the information you desire and that the load is not too light or too heavy. The course load evaluation will depend on your personal schedule and needs. Evening and weekend classes or a move-at-your-own-pace schedule may be perfect for the student who works full time throughout the week.
Online courses in information security are available and offered in a wide variety of programs to suit your needs and schedule. Do your homework and find the right program for you.