Information security associate degrees are two-year programs intended for prospective students interested in systems and cyber security. With the growing digital expansion of transactions, keeping data safe from breaches is one of the main concerns of businesses. If you want to get into cyber and information security, you might consider pursuing an associate degree.
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This guide is your one-stop source for colleges and universities that offer comprehensive information security curricula. Keep reading to learn about the career opportunities to consider once you complete your associate degree.
What Is Information Security?
Information security involves protecting sensitive and classified data and information, usually in a business or organizational context. With social media, information security is needed to safeguard private individuals’ data and prevent it from getting exposed to unwanted users.
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Information security is one of the practices under the cyber security umbrella that is concerned with creating concrete steps and technology to protect data.
What Is an Information Security Associate Degree?
An information security associate degree is a two-year program that can usually be completed in around 60 credit hours. Some of the topics covered are the fundamentals of cyber security, problem-solving, computing, database management, and network security.
If you want to excel further in the field of cyber security, then you can take IT industry certification exams from CompTIA, Cisco, and Microsoft. The curricula of information security associate degrees prepare you for a professional certification exam. You can also use your associate credits for advanced degrees in information security.
Information Security Associate Degree Requirements
Whether you are studying on-campus or online, you need to prepare for a program of study that requires your critical thinking, mathematical, and problem-solving skills. Most information security associate degree programs also cover the broad reach of cyber security, so be prepared to touch on several topics. Technical skills like coding will be used, as well.
How Much Does an Information Security Associate Degree Cost?
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, an associate degree costs an average of $16,445 annually at two-year public and private institutions. Private institutions cost between $32,279 and $34,019 on average. Public schools are more affordable at an average of $15,748 per year, according to 2019-2020 data.
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Information Security Financing Options: How to Pay for Your Information Security Degree
Universities and colleges acknowledge that not everyone can afford the costs of taking a degree program, so scholarships are available for qualified students. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics show that about 72.2 percent of undergraduates have sought financial aid for their studies. The same 2015-2016 data by NCES also showed that 63.1 percent availed of grants, while 38.7 percent were financed by loans.
Best Information Security Associate Degree Programs and Schools: Overview
|Anne Arundel Community College||Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity, Networking, and Digital Forensics||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|Davenport University||Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Defense||State Approval Agency of the Department of Education|
|ECPI University||Associate of Science in Cyber and Information Science, Cyber and Information Security Concentration||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges|
|Georgia Military College||Associate of Science in Cyber Security||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges|
|Glendale Community College||Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity||Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges|
|Lackawanna College||Associate of Science in Cyber Security||Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Shawnee State University||Associate of Applied Business in Information Security||The Higher Learning Commission|
|Southern New Hampshire University||Associate of Science in Cyber Security||New England Commission of Higher Education|
|Tacoma Community College||Associate of Applied Science in Network and Cyber Security Degree||Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities|
|University of Phoenix||Associate of Science in Cyber Security||The Higher Learning Commission|
Best Colleges for Information Security: Top Information Security Associate Degree Programs
An associate degree in information security is usually offered as cyber security by some colleges or universities. You can also look for information technology associate degrees. Typically, information security is included as a possible specialization track. Here are some of the standout universities and colleges where you can study information security.
Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity, Networking, and Digital Forensics | Anne Arundel Community College
The associate degree program at Anne Arundel Community college covers the ins and outs of cyber security. In particular, you will develop skills in digital forensics by using the appropriate tools and techniques to analyze any potential breach or security threat. Upon completion of the program, you will receive a Digital Media Collector and Digital Media Examiner certification.
Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Defense | Davenport University
This information security program at Davenport University develops your skill in data integrity and case analysis. The two-year associate degree trains you to identify threats and remove any potential elements that might lead to a breach. Its end goal is to evolve your sense in quickly detecting system vulnerabilities to prevent irreversible network damage.
Associate of Science in Cyber and Information Science, Cyber and Information Security Concentration | ECPI University
Become a cyber security specialist with this concentration on information security by ECPI University, which teaches you how to troubleshoot and maintain computer hardware and software. Through this associate degree program, you will learn to set the proper measures to protect information and data. You will also learn techniques on how to set up network defense and prevent breaches.
Associate of Science in Cyber Security | Georgia Military School
The Georgia Military School’s associate degree in cyber security provides essential knowledge on programming, information security, and network systems. You will focus on safekeeping important data in a business context where security and confidentiality are the priority. You will also learn to develop plans for setting security measures, including what items to audit and monitor.
Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity | Glendale Community College
The program at Glendale Community College focuses on developing your skills in monitoring vulnerabilities in the system and how to address them. In addition, your training will highlight the legal and ethical implications of handling all kinds of data and information. The program is designed for government and industry employees who handle sensitive information daily.
Associate of Science in Cyber Security | Lackawanna College
Lackawanna College’s cyber security associate degree teaches foundational and contextual knowledge of computer science. The curriculum develops your ability to prevent and resolve security threats, especially in a business context. This degree program also covers programming, database management, and information assurance.
Associate of Applied Business in Information Security | Shawnee State University
This information security associate program prepares you for certification exams like CompTIA, Cisco, and EC-Council. You’ll develop programming and communication skills through this program as the curriculum operates in an organizational context. Some of the critical cyber security skills you will learn are ethical hacking, penetration testing, and digital forensics.
Associate of Science in Cyber Security | Southern New Hampshire University
Gain hands-on experiences that will prepare you for an entry-level position as you learn how to provide solutions for computer security concerns. This program introduces you to cyber security principles, practices, and relevant technical information for daily implementation. The curriculum is aligned to help you prepare for certification exams like those offered by CompTIA.
Associate of Applied Science in Network and Cyber Security Degree | Tacoma Community College
Tacoma Community College specializes in network and cyber security to train you in network and database administration and technical support. Focusing on security, you will gain techniques and tools to ensure the safety of data and information from breaches. Once you complete this program, you are ready to take a professional certification exam in cyber security.
Associate of Science in Cyber Security | University of Phoenix
This associate degree in cyber security focuses on developing your skills in protecting computer systems and information. This program is offered in partnership with the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants and trains you to evaluate risk and prepare plans to combat any security threat. The program emphasizes critical problem-solving skills and techniques.
Best Online Information Security Associate Degree Programs and Schools: Overview
|Bismarck State College||Associate Degree in Cybersecurity and Computer Networks||The Higher Learning Commission|
|Central Texas College||Associate of Applied Science in Cyberdefense and Information Assurance||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges|
|Franklin University||Associate of Science in Cyber Security||The Higher Learning Commission|
|Ivy Tech Community College||Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security and Information Assurance||The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Kirtland Community College||Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security||Michigan Commission on College Accreditation|
|Minnesota West Community and Technical College||Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Security and Assurance||The Higher Learning Commission|
|Saint Leo University||Associate Degree in Cyber Security||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges|
|Trident University||Associate of Science in Cybersecurity||The Higher Learning Commission|
|Umpqua Community College||Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity||Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities|
|Western Nebraska Community College||Associate of Arts in Cyber Security||The Higher Learning Commission|
Best Colleges for Information Security: Top Online Information Security Associate Degree Programs
For many students, online learning provides flexibility and convenience. There are many online information security associate degrees from accredited schools available for you.
Associate Degree in Cybersecurity and Computer Networks | Bismarck State College
This online degree program focuses on cyber security with system administration. You will be working on real-life scenarios and security threat simulations to provide solutions and learn essential concepts in the field. The curriculum offers training in the context of Windows and Linux operating systems and helps improve your general programming skills.
Associate of Applied Science in Cyberdefense and Information Assurance | Central Texas College
The cyber security program at Central Texas College is concerned with preventing loss of data, identity theft, and fraud. The information assurance track provides a comprehensive introduction to computing and network security to help you develop security measures for a system. This online program also covers network defenses to prevent any security attack.
Associate of Science in Cyber Security | Franklin University
Franklin University’s cyber security associate degree introduces you to the different ways to prevent cyber crime and data theft. If you aim to become a cyber security specialist, this program focuses on problem-solving using computing, data management, and fundamentals of cyber security. You will also get to develop your communication and mathematical skills.
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Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security and Information Assurance | Ivy Tech Community College
The Ivy Tech Community College offers a high-quality cyber defense associate program accredited by the National Security Agency. This program trains students to effectively identify and resolve computer security threats and advance their knowledge of the technology field. After earning your degree, you are eligible to take a professional certification exam.
Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security | Kirtland University
This online program helps aspiring cyber security professionals strengthen their skills and make them competitive for the job market. This associate degree involves preparation for a professional certifications exam and the possibility of obtaining extra credentials right after graduation. This program’s curriculum covers all the necessary fundamentals of cyber security.
Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Security and Assurance | Minnesota West Community & Technical College
Learn all about performing security audits through this comprehensive information security associate degree. Students learn to perform network and computer system assessments to identify various security needs. The program also covers database management, computer forensics, as well as ethical hacking.
Associate Degree in Cyber Security | Saint Leo University
This program broadens your tech skills to get you ready for an entry-level cyber security career. You will learn how to prepare for any security breach by identifying potential threats and setting up security measures right away. The program also develops your consciousness for data and information safekeeping, especially in the face of a fast-paced digital world.
Associate of Science in Cybersecurity | Trident University
Trident University offers a two-year associate degree in cyber security for those interested in becoming a cyber security specialist. The 60 credit hour program teaches you to apply theoretical knowledge to solve issues in computer and network systems. The curriculum covers information security management in depth and strengthens your problem-solving skills.
Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity | Umpqua Community College
The cyber security field is rich with topics to learn, which is why Umpqua’s two-year associate degree program tries to cover as many as possible. On top of the fundamentals, this program covers ethical hacking, computer forensics, and security operations. You will also learn relevant programming languages that are needed in cloud computing to strengthen information security.
Associate of Arts in Cyber Security | Western Nebraska Community College
Western Nebraska’s cyber security specialization deals with today’s security breach issues. Operating in the context of business, professionals will train you on how to sensitively handle customer information to ensure the trustworthiness and reliability of an organization. After graduating, you can take a professional certification exam or continue studying for a bachelor’s degree.
What’s the Average Information Security Associate Degree Salary?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, an information security analyst earns a median salary of $103,590. You may expect to receive lower compensation for an entry-level position, but the chances of an increase are possible as you gain more experience and credentials. Other job titles related to information security provide a salary range of $65,450 to $151,150 per year.
Top Information Security Associate Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview
Associate Degree Jobs
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||$151,150|
|Certified Ethical Hacker||$119,289|
|Information Security Analyst||$103,590|
|Computer Systems Analyst||$93,730|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrator||$84,810|
|Computer Support Specialist||$65,450|
Best Information Security Associate Degree Jobs Explained
- Average Salary: $151,150
- Job Outlook: 11%
- Number of Jobs: 482,000
- Highest-Paying States: California, New York, New Jersey
Computer and information systems managers work on projects that optimize the efficiency of an organization’s various computer and digital operations. They are responsible for assessing and planning the right technology for a business to prevent data loss and security breaches.
Certified Ethical Hacker
- Average Salary: $119,289
- Job Outlook: 33%*
- Number of Jobs: 141,200*
- Highest-Paying States: California, New York, New Jersey
Certified ethical hackers conduct ethical hacking and penetration testing to assess an organization’s security setup. The goal of an ethical hacker is to check the weakness or strength of the security system in place and suggest practical solutions if needed.
- Average Salary: $110,140
- Job Outlook: 22%
- Number of Jobs: 1,847,900
- Highest-Paying States: Washington, California, New York
Software developers build and develop programs and applications based on client needs, including security software, antivirus programs, and more. They may also be in charge of maintaining existing technologies and providing upgrades when necessary.
Information Security Analyst
- Average Salary: $103,590
- Job Outlook: 33%
- Number of Jobs: 141,200
- Highest-Paying States: California, New York, New Jersey
Information security analysts are in charge of the security measures and security policies of an organization. They are the ones classifying data and information based on their sensitivity and providing the technology to prevent security breaches and privacy violations.
- Average Salary: $98,860
- Job Outlook: 8%
- Number of Jobs: 168,000
- Highest-Paying States: New Jersey, Washington, California
Database administrators develop systems and technologies to store data and build secured databases to organize this information. Database administrators set security measures to prevent leaks of confidential information and ensure that data is not used for illegal and unethical activities.
- Average Salary: $93,730
- Job Outlook: 7%
- Number of Jobs: 607,800
- Highest-Paying States: California, Virginia, New York
Computer systems analysts design and build a more efficient computer system for the organization to use. They must have comprehensive knowledge of essential IT skills and be conscious of the security and performance of the system all the time. Additionally, they must stay up to date in the field to ensure that any new technologies being implemented are cost-efficient.
- Average Salary: $89,190
- Job Outlook: -10%
- Number of Jobs: 185,700
- Highest-Paying States: Washington, California, Virginia
Computer programmers are well-trained in coding programming languages such as Java, C++, Python to create useful programs and applications. Their duties include maintaining, updating, and troubleshooting programs or codes to ensure a smooth user experience.
- Average Salary: $84,810
- Job Outlook: 5%
- Number of Jobs: 350,300
- Highest-Paying States: Maryland, California, New Jersey
Network and computer systems administrators cover the daily operation of network systems, including making sure that the systems are secured. They maintain these computer systems and give authority to users to access classified data.
- Average Salary: $77,200
- Job Outlook: 13%
- Number of Jobs: 199,400
- Highest-Paying States: Washington, California, Georgia
Web developers work on building websites and applications that may contain data that needs to be kept safe. Aside from having the necessary full stack web development skills, they need to ensure that sensitive user information is free from potential breaches.
- Average Salary: $65,450
- Job Outlook: 9%
- Number of Jobs: 844,600
- Highest-Paying States: New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts
Computer support specialists provide technical assistance for any computer-related issue, including security concerns. Their duties include maintaining and troubleshooting network systems, as well as paying attention to customer needs and concerns.
*Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics data on Information Security Analysts
Information Security Bootcamp vs Information Security Associate Degree: Which Is Better?
There are benefits to enrolling for a bootcamp and an associate degree. You have to choose which one works best for you and what will provide the optimal results for your career goals. An information security bootcamp is ideal if you want a shorter program with intensive training, while an associate degree can provide knowledge in a broader area.
Here are some of the benefits for each option that you need to consider before deciding to commit:
Benefits of an Information Security Associate Degree
- Broader curriculum. If you want to learn additional skills on top of technical skills, such as good communication, an associate degree can provide this as part of its curriculum.
- Ideal for students with jobs. An online degree is a great option if you need to continue working while studying.
- Certification-ready curriculum. The curricula of an information security associate degree are designed to get you ready should you decide to take a certification exam.
- Expert instructors. The instructors are reliable and known to have good credentials to teach the students well. They also need to meet the accreditation standard of the university or college.
- Credit hours for a four-year degree. You can transfer your credit hours from completing an information security associate degree, should you decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution.
Benefits of an Information Security Bootcamp
- Intensive tech skills training. Bootcamp programs typically only take a few months to complete. The intensive curriculum focuses on developing your technical skills in a specific field.
- Short program duration. Since the program duration takes about 12 to 14 weeks for full-time students, you can apply for a job immediately upon completing it.
- Project-based curriculum. You can build your portfolio with any activities or projects that you worked on during the program.
- Reliable career services. Part of your tuition cost goes to career services that help develop your resume, provide one-on-one interview practice, and connect you with tech companies for a chance of hiring.
- Cost-efficient. Bootcamp programs are generally less expensive than the annual tuition of a college or university. Most bootcamps provide students with multiple financing options to ease the burden of payment.
Should You Get an Associate Degree in Information Security?
An Associate Degree in Information Security is a good step towards a dedicated career in cyber security. In two years, you can acquire the necessary skills to excel in the field and contribute to the development of a more secure digital and computer environment.
An information security associate degree opens up opportunities for a stable career, a training ground for various certification exams, and even credit hours should you decide to take up an advanced degree later.
Information Security Associate Degree FAQ
Yes, you can get an information security or cyber security job with an associate degree. If you want a higher position, you can still make your way up through different means, such as taking a professional certification exam or continuing to a bachelor’s degree.
An information security associate works the similar tasks of an information security analyst. You will be dealing with data and information security concerns and building reliable databases to safeguard them. You also need to live by and practice standard information security procedures at all times.
It takes two years to complete an information security associate degree. The programs are typically composed of a 60-hour long curriculum. However, two years is only the standard, and you might take it less than or more than that depending on your capabilities and preference.
The skills that you will acquire from an associate degree in information security will be helpful for your future career goals in the field. Information security is a highly technical discipline, so you need to gain knowledge and practical skills from experts through an associate degree.
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