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Information assurance protects against threats to data security, including distributed denial-of-service attacks, which Cisco projects may exceed 15 million per year by 2023. Businesses of all sizes must take steps to protect their data from outside threats. They can do so by employing professionals with a bachelor's degree in information assurance to safeguard their data.
Information assurance employees use the five pillars of information assurance (integrity, availability, authentication, confidentiality, and nonrepudiation) to protect the company's data and ensure that only authorized personnel gain access. These professionals implement authentication methods, keep confidential data from getting into the wrong hands, and log users' actions on the server to trace breaches back to the person responsible.
By earning an in-person or online bachelor's degree in information assurance, professionals help businesses protect the integrity of their valuable data and ensure its availability when needed.
Should I Get a Bachelor's in Information Assurance?
Although a career as an information security analyst requires at least a four-year degree in information assurance or a related field, the position pays a median salary of $103,590 per year, so the degree can pay for itself quickly.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 31% job growth for information security analysts between 2019 and 2029. This is much faster than the average job growth rate for all careers.
To obtain a position as an information security analyst, you usually need a bachelor's degree in information assurance, computer science, programming, or a related field. Some employers look for applicants with an MBA in information systems. You may need a few years of experience in a job like computer or network systems administrator to qualify for an information security analyst position.
Although a career as an information security analyst requires at least a four-year degree in information assurance or a related field, the position pays a median salary of $103,590 per year, so the degree can pay for itself quickly. Choosing a less expensive school or pursuing an online bachelor's degree in information assurance can increase the return on investment from your education.
Many information security analysts earn professional certifications, some of which may be required for certain positions. Coursera's chart shows how many employers ask for these certifications in their job ads.Find the best online Bachelor's in Information Technology programs
What Will I Learn in an Information Assurance Bachelor's Program?
Millions of electronic records have been stolen in recent years, including a large number of names and Social Security numbers from Equifax. During an information assurance bachelor's program, students learn how to protect individuals and businesses from cybersecurity attacks by taking preventative measures against data breaches.
Information security analysts protect data for businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Professionals use their expertise to protect data through authentication and cryptography. Students learn how to build recovery points and failsafes into the system.
A typical bachelor's degree in information assurance includes courses, such as principles of network security, web technologies, computer security, fundamentals of networking, and data analytics. Read on for more details about common coursework.
- Cyber Defense and Countermeasures
Students in this course learn the principles of cyber defense and how to apply countermeasures to analyze and secure components of the infrastructure.
- Cyber Attacks and Ethical Hacking
In this course, students learn to use cybersecurity utilities, tools, and techniques to understand how hackers attack networks and computers. Learners delve into system vulnerabilities and security threats that hackers exploit.
- Computer Forensics
Degree-seekers in this course learn how to support law enforcement through computer forensics to investigate white collar computer crimes.
- Security Management and Policies
Students in this course analyze existing procedures and security policies. They learn how to perform risk assessments and design security procedures and policies.
- Operating Systems and Application Security
In this course, degree-seekers learn to use appropriate technologies to investigate, identify, and mitigate threats, vulnerabilities, and risks in applications and operating systems.
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What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Information Assurance?
Graduates of information assurance programs often work as information security analysts or network and computer systems administrators. Additional job titles include computer support specialist, computer and information systems manager, and computer systems analyst.
According to the BLS, 26% of information security analysts work for companies that design computer systems and provide related services, and 18% work for finance and insurance companies. Most information security analysts work full time. Some companies require information security analysts to be on call in case of an emergency.
Popular Career Paths
- Information Security Analyst: Information security analysts create strategies to protect their organization's computer systems, networks, and data. They monitor computer networks for security breaches, install firewalls and data encryption programs, and recommend other security measures to protect the system.
- Network Security Careers
- Information Systems Careers
Popular Continued Education Paths
- MBA in Information Systems Management
- Master's in Information Assurance
- Master's in Information Systems Security
- Master's in Information Technology
How Much Money Can I Make With a Bachelor's in Information Assurance?
With a bachelor's degree in information assurance and a few years of work experience in the field, you can earn a median salary of $103,590 per year as an information security analyst. To prepare for this career, you may need to work as a network or computer systems administrator, computer systems analyst, or database administrator for a few years. The median salary for a network and computer systems administrator is $84,810 per year.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Information Assurance Programs
- How do I get into information assurance?
To get into information assurance, you need at least a bachelor's degree in information assurance. This degree typically takes four years to complete. You may also need to work in a related career for a few years before you are qualified to work as an information security analyst.
- How much does it cost to get a bachelor's in information assurance?
The cost of a degree varies from one school to another, but it is generally cheaper to attend a public college or university than a private school. The College Board reports that the average tuition and fees for a four-year public school were $10,560 for the 2020-2021 school year for in-state students. You may be able to save money by choosing an online bachelor's degree in information assurance.
- Is information assurance a good major?
Information assurance is in high demand and pays well. If you think you would enjoy protecting your employer's data from security breaches, information assurance may be a good choice for you.
- Why is information assurance necessary?
Information security protects companies, governments, and individuals from security breaches. Each year, thousands of breaches result in the exposure of millions of data records to criminals. Information security professionals help safeguard this data.
- What's the difference between a bachelor's degree in information security and a bachelor's degree in information assurance?
According to Norwich University, information assurance focuses on protecting data from risks encountered while processing, using, transferring, and storing data. Information security focuses on preventing unauthorized people from accessing that data.