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CAREER GUIDE Bachelor of Science, Network Operations and Security

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Career guide: network and IT security experts.

In today's world, sensitive information gets stored everywhere. On our phones. With our favorite retailers. In the cloud. Unfortunately, hackers and cybercriminals know this and have become extremely sophisticated when it comes to accessing and stealing everything from encrypted credit card accounts to tax records and Social Security numbers. To stay cybersteps ahead of criminals in the digital age, organizations in every industry need highly trained network operations and security professionals. 

The good news: The cloud's the limit for IT professionals who have what it takes to manage network infrastructure and secure data through effective IT policies and procedures. You'll need experience in network design, network operations, network security, and cloud security, but once you've earned a respected degree and the industry certifications to document your expertise, you'll have what it takes to qualify for a range of extraordinary career opportunities. 

Employers in every industry are seeking skilled professionals trained to manage and administer network and security systems. The best way to catch the eye of hiring managers and recruiters is to showcase your proven qualifications with at least a bachelor’s degree, coupled with certification credentials from top trade organizations like CompTIA, Cisco, Axelos, and Linux. They're indicators that you have what it takes to lock down your next job or promotion.

Job listing growth 2016–2026.

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Career opportunities.

Careers in cybersecurity are plentiful and diverse. With the right education and training, you can target a future in healthcare, government, banking and finance, or the IT department of an organization that needs to protect its computer networks and systems. Once you develop and can demonstrate expertise in network design, network operations, and security management, you'll be in demand in just about every industry. 

Positions in the field.

  • Network administrator
  • Network security analyst
  • Computer and IS manager
  • Information security analyst
  • IT security manager
  • IT project manager
“I work in Seatte's tech industry. A degree from WGU has given me the confidence and opened up new opportunities for me professionally.” Dan Sweetwood
B.S. Information Technology

Job market forecast.

To say the demand is high for network operations and security professionals would be an understatement. Cyberattacks and security breaches have created an overwhelming demand for IT professionals with the knowledge and credentials to prevent hackers from stealing critical information or spreading viruses across secure computer networks. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of information security analysts to grow 28% from 2016 to 2026. The need exists in almost every industry and every market, so polish up your education, training, and credentials, and get ready to secure your next big career move.

Job growth 2016–2026.

Work environment.

Depending on the industry in which you choose to focus your career aspirations, you might find yourself working in just about any type of workplace environment. Hospitals. High-tech startups. Investment banks. Government agencies. In this day and age, just about every entity needs IT professionals trained in network operations and security. Generally speaking, you'll work in conjunction with others in your organization's IT department monitoring networks and protecting sensitive information. Because security breaches can happen at any time, you may spend time in the office beyond normal business hours, but it's an important position and can be an extremely satisfying career. 

Professional organizations.

There are many organizations that can help you prepare for a future in network operations and security. Check out these links to learn more about growing opportunities and the education and training required to take advantage of them.

Job search resources.

The search is on for IT professionals with proven network design, network operations, and security management skills. With the right education, training, and industry-recognized certifications, you can take advantage of open positions across the country and in nearly every industry. Start planning your next career move!


Salary stats.

It's a hot market for network operations and security professionals, and it's reflected in high salaries being offered to those with the right knowledge and industry certifications. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that in May 2017, the median annual wage for information security analysts was $95,510. Security is a top concern for almost any organization in today's big-data environments, and it pays to have the professional credentials to take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace.

Average salary of jobs with related titles.


Summary.

We live in a digital age when massive amounts of information are generated every day, creating opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit breaches in security and hack into sensitive information. Network operations and security professionals are responsible for protecting the computers and systems of the companies or government agencies they work for. It's an increasingly important role that requires career-focused professionals to stay current with industry-recognized certifications. Recruiters have more open positions than qualified IT professionals to fill them, so sharpen your knowledge and skills, and secure your next big opportunity.  

Next Start Date

Jan 1

Start the 1st of any month—as soon as you complete enrollment!

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Your career’s next step: Earn a degree.

Ready to take advantage of the growing demand for IT professionals with specialized skills? WGU's online B.S. Network Operations and Security program is designed to prepare you with the expertise and certifications to take your career to the next level. It's easy to get started!