Business Security & Assurance Degrees: Bachelor, Associate & Online Info

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What will you learn in a business security and assurance degree program? Read about degree requirements, the pros and cons of an associate and bachelor degree and potential careers.
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Studying Business Security and Assurance: Degrees at a Glance

Enrolling in a business security and assurance degree program can help you develop the skills needed to design, implement and manage secure business and information systems. You'll learn how to spot and evaluate security risks as well as how to prevent attacks on your informational assets. You can also learn how to communicate your ideas in a range of professional settings.

Job growth for the careers related to this field is predicted to be high from 2010-2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). For example, the BLS projected that web developers, information security analysts and computer network architects would see 22% growth over that period, which is faster than the national average. The expansion of e-commerce and the need for protection against cyber attacks will partly fuel this job growth.

Associate Bachelor
Who is this degree for? Those interested in entry-level jobs in business security and assurance Individuals interested in leadership positions in information security or a related field
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) - Computer operator ($39,000)*
- Computer support specialist ($51,000)*
- Information security analyst, web developers and computer network architects ($82,000)*
- Database administrator ($77,000)*
Time to Completion Two years, full-time Four years, full-time
Prerequisites High school diploma or GED equivalent High school diploma or GED equivalent
Online Availability Yes Yes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures)

Associate in Business Security and Assurance

You have a variety of program options at this level, such as the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Information System Security and Assurance, AAS in Information Security and Assurance and AAS in Security and Information Assurance. These programs are designed to provide you with the educational background you'll need for entry-level employment in the information security and assurance field. You'll study all of the relevant cutting-edge hardware and software used to protect information infrastructures and to detect attacks from hackers, malware and other instruments of havoc. These degree programs are typically oriented toward a vocation and often feature fewer general education requirements than other academic programs.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • You can find entry-level employment after only two years of study
  • You may be able to find one of these programs at a local community college, which will provide more affordable tuition rates
  • A variety of programs are available at this level

Cons

  • You may need a bachelor degree to advance in the field
  • Some information technology (IT) positions, such as a help desk technician, may require evening and weekend hours
  • You may be competing against applicants with less education and more experience

Courses and Requirements

While this type of degree program focuses on the skill set you'll need to be eligible for entry-level employment in an information security position, there will still be general education courses you'll have to take. These usually include English courses, such as composition, and math courses, such as algebra and statistics. There may also be a science requirement, such as biology. Listed below you'll find some common course topics for this program.

  • Introduction to operating systems
  • Directory configuration
  • Wireless networks
  • Database applications
  • Biometrics
  • Management foundations

Online Degree Options

There are several online degree program options for the field of business security and assurance. Provided that a recognized educational body accredits the institution in question, there should be no discernible difference in either educational outcomes or vocational options with an online degree program. These online associate degree programs offer the most flexible learning environment and can be ideal for working professional looking to change careers or increase their advancement opportunities.

Getting Ahead with This Degree

An internship is an efficient way to communicate to potential employers that you have the education, experience, drive and motivation that they are looking for. Most associate degree program do not offer internships. However, this does not mean that you can't seek out an internship on your own. The summer between the first and second years of your program might be an ideal time to offer your services to an area business, non-profit or healthcare organization. You'll gain valuable professional experience and it might even help you solidify your career goals and objectives.

Bachelor in Business Security and Assurance

You can find numerous 4-year programs in this field, including the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Computer Security and Information Assurance, B.S. in Security and Information Assurance and B.S. in Information technology with a concentration in information assurance and security. These bachelor degree programs can teach you the skills needed to manage networks, assess risks and develop long-term strategies for business and information security and assurance. Programs may also allow you to choose a concentration, such as network security, information assurance or digital forensics. The curriculum will consist of classroom lectures and hands-on lab work.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Because this program prepares you for jobs wherever technology is used, you'll be able to conduct a nationwide job search
  • Employers in this field typically prefer or require a bachelor's degree
  • Many programs offer the option to concentrate or specialize in a related area of technology

Cons

  • Because of the ever-changing nature of technology, you may find it necessary to take continuing education courses in your field
  • Some IT positions, such as computer and information research scientist, require a graduate degree
  • Maintaining a secure information network for your business may require you to work overtime

Courses and Requirements

Bachelor programs in business security and assurance train their students for demanding work in positions that are highly dependent on computers and computer networks. Most classes are computer-oriented and revolve around networking and the web. You'll receive didactic instruction in lecture-based courses and you'll explore the latest technological gadgetry in computer lab courses. Below are listed possible course titles for this type of program:

  • Database integrity
  • Network forensics
  • Information systems
  • Secure software design
  • Information security auditing

Online Degree Options

There are online bachelor degree programs in business security and assurance. Programs that are offered entirely online will allow you to pursue your degree with a minimum of disruption to your existing schedule. These programs utilize technology, such as streaming video, chat rooms and email, to provide you with an educational experience that is equal to more traditional campus-based degree programs. Similar to campus-based programs, you may be able to pursue a concentration in your program.

Getting Ahead with This Degree

Computer and software manufactures often offer certification programs for their products. If you pass the certification exam, you are able to advertise yourself as being professionally familiar with their products. For example, Microsoft offers several levels of certification that allow you to display your proficiency in such areas as server infrastructure and business intelligence.

There are also certification programs pertaining to information security. For example, the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium offers certification credentials for business security career, including network architect, security administrator and database manager. The certification process consists of proficiency exams pertaining to your line of security expertise.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Certificate in Government Analytics
      • Certificate in Government Analytics
  • Online Programs Available
    2. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Corrections and Case Management
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Generalist
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Forensic Science
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Homeland Security and Crisis Management
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master: Criminal Justice
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Criminal Justice
      • BS in Corrections
      • BSCJ: Crime Scene Investigation
      • BSCJ: Homeland Security
      • BSCJ: Law Enforcement
    Associate's
      • Associate: Criminal Justice
      • AAS in Public Safety and Security
      • AAS in Criminal Justice and Criminology
      • Associate: Fire Science
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Benedictine University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MPH - Emergency Preparedness Focus
    Certificate
      • Certificate in Emergency Preparedness
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor - Management - Criminal Justice
      • Doctorate: Management - Homeland Security
    Master's
      • M.S. - Criminal Justice
      • Master: Management - Homeland Security
      • Master of Science in Homeland Security - Emergency Management and Public Health
      • Master of Science in Homeland Security
      • Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Criminal Justice
      • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Cybercrime and Security
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.A. - Criminal Justice
      • B.A. - Homeland Security
    Associate's
      • Associate of Arts - Criminal Justice
      • Associate of Arts - Homeland Security
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Utica College

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Professional Studies in Cyber Policy and Risk Analysis
      • MS in Data Science: Financial Crime
    Bachelor's
      • BS in Cybersecurity - Cybercrime and Fraud Investigation
      • Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation
      • Online Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation - Financial Investigation
      • Online Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation - Fraud Prevention and Detection
    Certificate
      • Monitoring, Surveillance, and Intelligence Operations Cert
      • Cyber Crime and Fraud Investigation Certificate
      • Cyber Network Defense Certificate
      • Financial Crimes Investigator Certificate
      • Financial Crime and Compliance Operations Cert
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Regis University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Criminology
      • Master of Science in Criminology - Cybercrime and Terrorism Focus
      • Master of Science in Criminology - Human Behavior Focus
      • Master of Science in Criminology - Leadership Focus
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Criminology
  • Campus and Online Programs
    9. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS - Cloud Technologies (Campus)
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Project Management and Public Safety Leadership
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Healthcare Management and Public Safety Leadership

Featured Schools

Johns Hopkins University

  • Certificate in Government Analytics

What is your highest level of education?

American InterContinental University

  • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
  • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Corrections and Case Management
  • Associate of Science in Criminal Justice

Are you a US citizen?

Kaplan University

  • Master: Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor: Criminal Justice
  • Associate: Criminal Justice

Which subject are you interested in?

Benedictine University

  • MPH - Emergency Preparedness Focus
  • Certificate in Emergency Preparedness

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Technical University

  • Doctor - Management - Criminal Justice
  • M.S. - Criminal Justice
  • BS - Criminal Justice

Are you a US citizen?

Keiser University

  • B.A. - Criminal Justice
  • B.A. - Homeland Security
  • Associate of Arts - Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Arts - Homeland Security

What is your highest level of education?

Utica College

  • Master of Professional Studies in Cyber Policy and Risk Analysis
  • BS in Cybersecurity - Cybercrime and Fraud Investigation
  • Monitoring, Surveillance, and Intelligence Operations Cert

What is your highest level of education completed?

Regis University

  • Master of Science in Criminology
  • Master of Science in Criminology - Cybercrime and Terrorism Focus
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminology

What is your highest level of education completed?