In the simplest terms, information security and assurance is the protection of information from unauthorized use. Today, most information security deals with electronic data stored on computers and other technology. Organizations employ information security professionals to protect their security policies and processes and hardware and software infrastructure in the event of cyber attacks, natural disasters, theft, and other instances. If you enjoy working on computers, communicating with people, and solving complex problems, then a career in information security and assurance may be a good fit for you.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree?
One of the best ways to break into the information security field is to earn a bachelor’s degree in this subject. Although it is possible to get hired with only an associate degree in information security and assurance, some employers prefer applicants with more education or experience. In general, a bachelor’s degree meets most employers’ minimum educational requirements. Those who hold this credential have more job flexibility and career opportunities in information security and other related and non-related fields.
Getting Into a Bachelor’s Degree Program
The first step in obtaining an information security career is earning the proper level of education and training. If you’re interested in the bachelor’s degree program, you need to make sure you meet the following educational requirements:
- High school diploma or its equivalent
- Desired score on the SAT, ACT, and/or entrance exam
- Minimum required GPA
Inside an Information Security and Assurance Bachelor’s Degree Program
A bachelor information security online degree usually lasts four years, depending on your course load and pace. Students in this program can expect to take a wide variety of courses, including introduction to computer security, networking security principles, security risk management, software assurance, database security, computer forensics, security compliance, and more. In addition to their core classes, information assurance security majors will also take general education courses and electives to ensure they receive a diverse and well-rounded education.
Online students can access their courses, lectures, assignments, grades, and other class resources on a learning management system, such as Blackboard or Moodle. Here, students can correspond with their instructors or classmates through discussions forms, e-mail, or instant messaging. Don’t forget to take advantage of your school’s academic, financial, and career services that are available to online and traditional students.
What’s Next for Information Security and Assurance Bachelor’s Degree Holders?
Graduates of the bachelor’s degree in information security are prepared to do several technical jobs, including information security analyst and computer and information systems manager. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, both information security analysts and computer and information systems managers are expected to have excellent employment prospects in the coming years. Information security analysts are projected to grow 22% by 2020, and computer and information systems analysts are expected to see an 18% increase by the same year. Not only do these professions have optimistic job outlooks, but they also have very favorable salaries. In 2012, information security analysts made an average annual salary of $89,290, and computer and information systems managers made $129,130 annually.
Even though many students stop at a bachelor’s degree, it isn’t uncommon for information security professionals to go back to school for additional training. The next education option for these candidates is to earn a master’s degree in information security and assurance. Not only does a graduate degree expand your knowledge of computer science, programming, and business, but it can also dramatically increase your marketability and earning potential.