Today's businesses and organizations rely heavily on various forms of technology to streamline their processes, improve productivity, and keep track of important data. Because of this increased use of technology in the workplace, professionals with a strong technological background, especially those who work in network security, are in demand.
A range of occupations fall under network security: systems administrators, information security analysts, and database administrators are just a few examples.
Network Security Careers: Educational and Certification Requirements
Many schools offer a specialized bachelor's degree in network security concepts. Degree names vary by school, but below are some common ones:
- Information technology
- Network security
- Computer and network security
Though course titles also differ by school, students in network security programs commonly learn the concepts listed below:
- Computer systems administration
- Networking fundamentals
- Network security
More specifically, students with a degree program in network administration in network security may learn how to protect and manage a company's data and prevent or respond to computer-related security breaches, viruses, or the discovery of malicious software. Other potential concepts include solving complex computer software and hardware problems and building safe and reliable computer networks.
Network security employers sometimes require candidates to have an advanced degree. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an MBA might improve job prospects for information security analysts. Existing bachelor's degree holders can also advance their skills through a master's degree program in information security or a related field.
After earning their degree, individuals may decide to earn a certification. The BLS states that certification can prove to be an advantage against competing candidates and may even be required by employers. Network, computer systems, and database administrators may need certification in the product they use. Information security analysts may earn a general certificate or a more specialized one in systems auditing or another area of information security.
Career Outlook for Network Security Majors
Due to the heavy investment many businesses and organizations have made into technology, the demand for professionals in this industry remains relatively high. Additionally, as the BLS states, since cyberattacks have become more common, organizations need information security professionals to help protect them.
The BLS made the following national growth projection for security-focused and related careers for the 2012-22 time period:
- Information security analysts: 37 percent
- Database administrators: 15 percent
- Network and computer systems administrators: 12 percent
Database Administrators, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/database-administrators.htm
Information Security Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm
Information Security Analysts Summary Report, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1122.00
Network and Computer Systems Administrators, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm