Students who are interested in computer networking and security may earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in the field. Some schools also offer similar BS programs in cybersecurity and computer information and information science with a network security concentration. Through traditional lecture-style classes and computer lab training, students in these programs are taught to evaluate the security needs of an organization's infrastructure and create plans to protect against potential attacks and security breaches. Some of these programs are offered completely online.
BS in Computer Networking & Security
Through lecture and lab work, students learn to manage and secure linked systems of computers and devices. Students take courses on how to defend against network, application, database and computer attacks and can learn about the various methods attackers use. They may also learn the basics of criminal justice principles and examine how they apply to information security. Some covered topics may include:
- Web and desktop application programming
- Computer forensics, cyber law and ethics
- Computer operating systems
- Disaster recovery
- Systems and network administration
Popular Career Options
Graduates have various career opportunities in the areas of computer networking and security management. While some graduates work in businesses or consulting firms, they can also find positions in major government agencies. Some career options include:
- Security analyst
- Network administrator
- Information security manager
- Network auditor
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for network and computer systems administrators are anticipated to grow by 5% during the 2018-2028 decade (www.bls.gov). Information security analysts should expect to see an 32% increase during the same time period. May 2018 data from the BLS shows that network administrators and information security analysts earned mean annual salaries of $87,070 and $102,470, respectively.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Graduates interested in specializing in network security, computer security or compliance can pursue a master's degree related to information security. Some information technology doctoral programs additionally offer a concentration in information security and may enable students to conduct research or teach information security courses at a university. Graduates may also pursue certification through various product vendors or professional organizations, which could serve to prove professional competency in the field.
For students who want to dedicate their careers to fighting cyber threats, there are multiple BS programs that provide the necessary technological training. Graduates are prepared for information technology jobs in the public or private sector; they may also seek to earn graduate degrees or professional certifications in order to improve their job prospects.