What jobs can you get with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Networks and Cybersecurity?
The cybersecurity field is filled with divergent career paths, many of which depend on each other to function. Just like the networks they work on, jobs in computer networks and cybersecurity are interdependent and multifaceted. With a bachelor’s degree in Computer Networks and Cybersecurity, you’ll have a clear idea of the part you want to play in the world of information technology — and what’s more, you’ll have the skills you need to play it.
- Computer Network Architect
Computer network architects create data communication networks designed specifically to align with the goals of an organization. From local area networks (LANs) to wide area networks (WANs), from small intranets to huge cloud infrastructure: the computer network architect will know how to create a plan that’s within budget, and then hire the right staff for the job. They’ll also have to keep abreast of new information technologies, to make sure they can keep pace with the increase in data traffic as their organization grows.
- Network Administrator
Once a network architect designs a system, they’ll rely on network administrators to keep it running smoothly and securely. They’ll help install the necessary hardware and software, and then provide constant support once it’s up and running. They’ll make necessary upgrades to keep up with data traffic and improve performance. And when problems arise, they’ll be there to solve them — whether that means training users in proper use, running bug fixes, or repairing system components.
- Computer Network Support Specialist
Computer network support specialists are also key players when it comes to maintaining a secure network. They’ll regularly run routine maintenance and connectivity tests, to make sure all data exchanges within an organization run smoothly and safely. They’ll also keep well-organized documentation of existing network processes and architecture; provide onsite technical support; create reliable backup procedures; and employ the latest information technologies to enhance performance.
- Certified Computer Technician
Network support specialists often work hand-in-hand with other members of an organization’s IT department — and specifically with certified computer technicians. Certified computer technicians will make sure all of an organization’s employees have up-to-date hardware and software, so that everyone can deliver their best work. (That also includes training employees in the use of that hardware and software, as well as supporting them whenever problems arise.) They may also work for manufacturers of hardware and software, providing remote or on-site support for customers.
- Systems Analyst
As a business grows, its needs can change drastically. Information systems that worked so well in the past may no longer be able to keep up. It’s the systems analyst’s job to make sure that an organization's hardware, software, and network architecture are scaled up to meet those increased demands. They’ll run tests on existing systems, then recommend new modifications for developers and programmers to implement.
- Application Developer
Systems analysts may recommend new software; application developers create it. Armed with a broad knowledge of different programming languages and operating systems, they’ll work individually and in teams, writing and testing code that’s uniquely suited to an organization’s needs. App developers usually specialize in specific areas, including mobile applications, accounting software, graphics software, and more. They’ll also continue to develop upgrades to their software as the need arises.
Behind every website you see — including this one — there’s a webmaster hard at work. Webmasters build and maintain websites. They’ll update content according to the needs of owners and designers; fix flawed code and broken links; and run regular tests for speed and functionality. Webmasters also maintain a website’s server (where all its data is stored) to make sure it’s running at optimal performance.
- Penetration Tester (aka Ethical Hacker)
In old Westerns, you could tell the good guys from the bad guys by the colors of the hats they wore. The same goes for hackers. Black hat hackers are the ones committing cybercrime. White hat hackers — also known as ethical hackers, or penetration testers — are the ones who work with companies to stop them. They’ll use the same set of skills as the black hats in order to anticipate their every move. . They’ll simulate cyberattacks to test vulnerabilities in a system’s security (known as penetration testing); then help devise security engineering strategies to close whatever gaps they discover.
When you send sensitive information across the internet, you can thank a cryptographer for keeping it safe from prying eyes. Cryptographers use their knowledge of systems architecture, data structures, and programming languages to develop computer security systems and encryption algorithms. Being a cryptographer means flexing your analytical muscles each and every day. Most people take online security for granted; good cryptographers never do.
- IT Security Consultant
When cryptographers and penetration testers have done their jobs, the job is still far from over. IT security consultants develop strategies for protecting against cyberattacks, and then ensure compliance with the policies they put in place. They’ll monitor systems constantly in search of any possible data breach; and train teams of experts to move quickly when they find one. IT security consultants often need to earn their CISM (certified information security manager) certification, which indicates their expertise in risk management.
What can you do with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Networks and Cybersecurity?
Even if you do everything right when it comes to protecting your information, you can still fall victim to cybercrime. There’s a good chance you already have: cyberattacks target 12 people every second. That’s 556 million people a year.
That number isn't going down anytime soon. Cyberattacks are the fastest growing category of crimes in the country. Worldwide, global cybercrime cost individuals and businesses roughly $3 trillion; by 2025, it could be three times that amount. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, more than three out of five businesses worldwide — 61% — were targeted by at least one cyberattack.
It’s no surprise, then, that cybersecurity specialists are in high demand. And investment in cybersecurity will only increase in the years to come. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some cybersecurity careers have a projected growth rate as high as 31%. That’s far higher than the average.
A career in cybersecurity is one of the most stable career paths there is. It’s also one of the most challenging — and the most rewarding. Cybercriminals will always be looking for new weaknesses to exploit; it’s up to cybersecurity specialists to find them first. And with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Networks and Cybersecurity from the School of Information Technology at Monroe College, you’ll be ready to do just that
What will I learn with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Networks and Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a high-stakes career: millions, maybe billions of dollars depend on getting it right. Every day will put your knowledge to the test. And as you work toward your bachelor’s degree in Computer Networks and Cybersecurity, you’ll learn from instructors who’ve put their knowledge to the test with years of experience in real-world conditions.
You’ll gain a solid foundation in industry standard hardware and software, and move on to advanced courses that cover:
- Cisco networking systems
- Wireless technology
- Network security
- Information security
- Systems analysis and design
- Ethical hacking/penetration testing
At the same time, you’ll be preparing yourself for the certifications you’ll need to thrive in a competitive field. By the time you finish your bachelor’s degree, you’ll be ready for the CompTIA A+, Security+, Cloud+, and Network+ exams, as well as the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), and Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) exams.
Information keeps the world running; and cybersecurity professionals keep information safe.
With a bachelor’s degree in Computer Networks and Cybersecurity, you can also pursue a career in the public sector. Law enforcement agencies nationwide are always in need of a cybersecurity forensics expert; the Department of Defense relies on information security analysts to keep sensitive information secure. You can also rise through the ranks in the private sector: corporations everywhere have come to see the value in chief information security officers.
No matter what path you choose, cybersecurity professionals are essential to our modern way of life. And a career in cybersecurity will carry you — and the world around us — well into the future.