Online information security degrees prepare students for careers in keeping sensitive databases, networks, and computer systems safe from internal and external threats. In other words, the degree teaches students how to develop and implement strategies for keeping private company information and communications from being accessed by people outside of the company, or by unauthorized personnel within a company.
Online programs in information security will incorporate much of the same course work in networking, operating systems, programming, and database administration as you’d find in a broader information technology (IT) degree, and the discipline is often offered as an IT specialization. However, information security as a discipline in and of itself has a much greater focus on topics like security architecture, operating systems security, computer forensics, disaster recovery, and network security than IT. While IT focuses on broad-based computer skills, information security has a more narrow focus that explores the nuances of technology risk management and security law.
Degree level and experience requirements vary significantly for careers in information security, but a graduate of such a program might pursue careers in government or the military, where they help protect matters of national security; health care, where they help protect private patient information; or private businesses, where they help protect client contact information and sales strategies from falling into the hands of competitors. Career titles in the field include network security analyst, IT forensic analyst, information security specialist, or cyber security analyst.