You can do a lot with your computer, but hackers can also do a lot with your information if they are able to get into your system. An information security analyst is becoming an important part of businesses that rely on computer systems. Normally this person has a degree in computer science, or information science, and has extra training in computer security, English, and math. Some schools are also offering degrees centered around cyber security, which takes computer science to a new level. Degrees in information security are also a recent trend. Three of the best schools offering this program online include Western Governors University, Penn State Worldwide Campus and Drexel University. Keep reading to learn more about these top three programs, so you can choose the one that's right for you!

What is a degree in information security?

This degree teaches the basics of information systems, and goes a step further by teaching students how to protect systems. There is instruction regarding ethical and legal concerns as well as management and other issues in this fairly new field.

What are some subjects that are covered?

Data protection is the major subject, and that has many aspects or parts. There are subjects like data protection, security, hackers, network security, forensics, security infrastructure and design, and cybersecurity. Cybercrime and other information threats are also subjects that are covered.

Are online degrees as respected as classroom degrees?

Online degrees are gaining popularity and respect around the world. Business leaders recognize that not everyone can get to a campus to take classes, and there are some advantages to an online degree. In some ways an online degree could even be superior as it allows the student to better manage time and learn at their own speed.

What makes Penn State World Campus a good option?

It is the online division of a major nationally respected university as its backing, so that gives it some clout. The Penn State program offers an internship program that gives students a lot of hands on experience as part of the program. Some of the courses include terrorism threats and crime, risk analysis, and statistics for security and risk analysis.

What is Western Governors University?

This is a relatively new university, started in 1995, by governors from 19 states that wanted to redefine how higher education is done. The school is headquartered in Utah, but all of its classes are online. One unique thing is its competency based learning model. This means students advance toward their degree by mastering certain topics or reaching certain milestones. Cyber security is one of only four programs offered. It is also one of the lower cost online universities.

What makes Drexel a good option?

Drexel is a private university in Philadelphia, and was one of the pioneers of online education. It launched the first online degree program in 1996. At that time some universities offered a few classes online, but Drexel was the first to offer an entire program. The Drexel program offers 188 hours of instruction, which is more than most universities. Risk management, information security, incident response and security defense are the major emphasis of this program.

How secure is a job in this field?

While it is new, it is something that many businesses will need. Almost all businesses use computers, and the bigger the business the more information it will be processing. This means they will need someone with the ability to protect that information. There are government agencies, and a lot of corporations, who will be needing people to fill this role. The average starting pay is around $92,000.

How long does it take to get a degree in cyber security?

A traditional bachelors degree takes four years at a traditional university. That involves eight semesters. The same amount of time would be required for an online degree. The only difference is, you get to set the pace.