Computer security is not only a very interesting field, but it is expected to offer a large number of employment opportunities for qualified individuals over the next several years. As electronic threats become more sophisticated, the demand for people who are qualified to prevent, detect and combat them will increase.
The Computer and Information Security concentration of a Computer Science degree program agives students an overview of programming, computer architecture, and operating systems. It also prepares them for careers with law enforcement agencies, banks and software development companies.
The person considering this concentration must have an excellent eye for detail. He or she will need good analytical skills. This type of work requires good judgment and decision-making abilities. Well developed time management skills are also required for success in this field.
The ability to think outside the box is important as well. The security expert will need to be able to anticipate potential threats, as well as have strategies for dealing with them appropriately once they have been discovered. Since this field also includes positions where a person would be working on developing new applications, student considering this program will need to be able to appreciate how humans and computers interact if they wish to develop user-friendly information systems which are also secure.
A graduate from the Computer Security and Information concentration may also be involved in instructing others in the proper use of computer devices, which means that excellent verbal and written skills are required.
Computer and Information Security Concentration Curriculum
A student enrolled in the Computer Security concentration can expect to take courses in the following topics:
- Software Engineering
- Discrete Mathematics
- Data Communications
- Operating Systems
- Digital Logic
- Artificial Intelligence
- Expert Systems
- Real Time Systems
- Systems Administration of Computation
- Fault Tolerance
- Computer Programming
- Data Structures and Recitation
- Systems Programming and Recitation
- Operating Systems and Recitation
- Analysis of Algorithms
These courses are meant to give students an understanding of how computer networks work, as well as familiarizing them with database systems and their operation. Along with the required courses for a Computer Science degree, students will also take specialty courses, such as:
- Security Management
- Internet Security
- Models of Security
- Database Security
- Network Security
- Computer Security
- Formal Methods for Insuring Security
- Principles of Computer and Information Security
- UNIX and Network Security
Career Options for Computer and Information Security Concentration
Some career choices for graduate of the computer and information security program are as follows:
- Information Security Crime Investigator
- Forensic Analyst
- Security Analyst
- Security Auditor
- Intrusion Analyst
- Vulnerability Researcher
- Security Operations Center Analyst
- Malware Analyst
- Incident Responder
- Network Penetration Tester
- Systems Administrator
- Information System Security Officer
A Computer and Information Security graduate who is interested in going to the forensics field would probably need to start with an entry-level position in information security. This type of specialty field would likely require a master’s degree or higher. Several years of on-the-job experience would also be needed for high-ranking position in the computer security field.