Various computer security degrees are available for both undergraduate and graduate students, and they cover multiple aspects of systems and network security. Some degrees are general information technology degrees that offer a concentration in an area related to security, but others focus mainly on security. Students can choose an information systems security degree to gain knowledge in multiple areas of security, or a network security degree to focus mostly on security issues associated with networks. Information assurance and digital forensics degrees are even more specialized and require advanced study in criminal justice, policy creation and auditing.
Computer security degrees specializing in information systems security provide an overview of computer, network and software security and don't specialize in any particular area. Some topics covered include wireless technologies, Internet security, application security, data protection, information systems risk management and disaster recovery, as well as the legal and ethical issues involved with each. This specialization is useful for those who want to become security managers or network engineers.
Those interested in network security have many computer security degrees available to them in the field. Although this degree includes many of the courses in an information systems security degree program, it goes much more in depth with the study of networking technologies and security threats. Courses in network defense systems, network programming, electronic commerce, network design and advanced network security are usually part of the program.
If one is interested in creating security policies, analyzing risks and protecting data, then computer security degrees are available in information assurance. Although network security and systems security classes are included, the information assurance degree typically includes more courses that deal with security policies and auditing. The required courses can differ for both bachelor's and master's degrees in the field, with bachelor's degrees including more introductory classes in programming, networking and information systems architecture. Master's degrees in information assurance may require advanced knowledge in networking and security to enroll.
Computer security degrees focusing on computer and digital forensics integrate law and privacy with information security. These programs include courses in operating systems, digital evidence, programming, criminal justice, networking, security, cybercrime and computer forensics. This degree prepares students for careers in which they will examine evidence from storage devices and network data for potential manipulation, and it covers techniques students can use to create security polices that meet local laws and protect privacy. Many related careers are found in the law enforcement field, but private businesses also seek those with this degree.