What is a Security Degree?

A security degree prepares an individual for a career in the information security field. Individuals with a degree from a formal four-year undergraduate program help organizations deal with security threats to their data, networks, and systems.

These professionals help companies monitor networks for viruses and other malware. They also investigate network intrusions and data breaches and conduct forensic analysis to determine and mitigate any security weaknesses that may have caused the breach. Security graduates help develop standards and policies for their companies and to recommend enhancements to bolster data and network security.

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Promising Job Outlook

The job outlook for individuals appears to be bright. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for information security will grow at a rate of about 33 percent annually for the next several years. The median salary for information security professionals is around $103,590 and will increase steadily because of the growing demand for skilled professionals. On average, the growth in demand for security jobs will outpace many other professions at least until 2030, according to the BLS.

Undergraduate Information Security Degree

Few colleges and universities offered degree-level programs in security until relatively recently. That has changed quite a lot over the past few years. These days, individuals interested in a career in information security have a plethora of programs to choose from.

In addition to four-year colleges, community colleges around the country offer associate and bachelor’s degree programs in information security. Students who complete these courses typically graduate with a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Engineering (BE) degree in computer security or information security.

Broad Range of Topics

Typically, these undergraduate programs impart knowledge on a broad range of security topics. Most four-year programs include courses in network security and management, risk assessment, cyber forensics, cryptography, web application security, database security, and policy development and management. Some tracks prepare students for operational security roles while others are more focused on security management and security administrator roles.

Security Degree Specialization Options

Students who take a 2 or 4-year undergraduate program can choose to specialize within the security industry. For example, a student can choose to specialize in business continuity and disaster recovery. These degree courses prepare students to quickly respond to security incidents and recover from them with minimal disruption.

Similarly, to specialize in data privacy students focus on courses that explore the ethical and legal issues of data security. A topic like risk factor analysis policies and procedures helps a student become a specialist in security audit roles.