An Online Networking Degree that Prepares You for an Exciting Career
The demand is high for network operations and security professionals. With WGU’s online bachelor’s degree in network operations and security, you’ll gain the additional knowledge and skills you need—and the credentials to prove them—to turn that demand into career success. You'll be prepared for a lucrative and rewarding career where you will be a critical member of the team. You can also earn while you learn by keeping your current full-time job while earning your networking degree. WGU is online and completely flexible—nothing is holding you back from moving as quickly as you're able through your networking degree program.
Earning your B.S. Network Operations and Security degree will help you build on your current IT skills, boost your résumé, and stand out from the competition. This networking program will help you develop the latest network design, network operations, and security management skills. You'll be prepared to be a linchpin in your organization—someone who is called on to help solve problems and create meaningful systems for the entire company.
70% of students finish within
WGU lets you move more quickly through material you already know and advance as soon as you're ready. The result: You may finish faster.
Tuition per six-month term is
Tuition charged per term—rather than per credit—helps you control the ultimate cost of your degree. Finish faster, pay less!
Certifications in this program
Graduates of this program pick up a number of industry certifications during their work in this degree program—without adding any cost or time!
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COURSES & COMPETENCIES
Network Operations and Security Courses
Our Bachelor of Science Network Operations and Security degree program was designed, and is regularly updated, with input from the experts on our Information Technology Program Council. It covers crucial subjects including IT fundamentals, networks and security, spreadsheets, scripting and programming, data management, operating systems, interconnecting network devices, leadership and management, web development, the business of IT, and security. This networking program is built to prepare you for an exciting career.
Earning a bachelor’s degree designed by industry experts adds theoretical depth to the practical knowledge you already have. The experts who make up our IT Program Council know exactly what it takes for a graduate to be successful in the fast-paced, ever-changing world of network operations and security.
The B.S. Network Operations and Security program is an all-online program. You’ll complete program requirements independently, with instruction and support from WGU faculty. You’ll be expected to complete at least 12 competency units for each 6-month term. Each course is typically three or four units. There’s no limit on the number of units you can complete each term, so the more courses you complete, the quicker you can finish your program.
Introduction to IT examines information technology as a discipline and the various roles and functions of the IT department as business support. Students are presented with various IT disciplines including systems and services, network and security, scripting and programming, data management, and business of IT, with a survey of technologies in every area and how they relate to each other and to the business.
IT Foundations focuses mostly on hardware and will afford you the skills you need to support five core components: mobile devices; networking; hardware; virtualization and cloud computing; and network and hardware troubleshooting. These are essential skills to set up and troubleshoot any system. Whether you work in a data center or an office, most of your work as an IT professional will execute in a hardware platform; understanding the hardware layer of the IT infrastructure will allow you to work more efficiently, provide solutions for business requirements, and be a key contributor in your company. The course prepares learners for the CompTIA A+ Core 1 certification exam.
IT Applications explores personal computer components and their functions in a desktop system. Topics cover computer data storage and retrieval, including classifying, installing, configuring, optimizing, upgrading, and troubleshooting printers, laptops, portable devices, operating systems, networks, and system security. Other areas in this course include recommending appropriate tools, diagnostic procedures, preventive maintenance, and troubleshooting techniques for personal computer components in a desktop system. The course finishes with strategies for identifying, preventing, and reporting safety hazards in a technological environment; effective communication with colleagues and clients; and job-related professional behavior. This course is designed to build the skills to support four core components: operating systems, security, software troubleshooting, and operational procedures. These are core competencies for IT professionals from cloud engineers to data analysts, and these competencies will empower students with a better understanding of the tools used during their careers. The course prepares learners for the CompTIA A+ Core 2 certification exam.
Scripting and Programming - Foundations provides an introduction to programming, covering basic elements such as variables, data types, flow control, and design concepts. The course is language-agnostic in nature, ending in a survey of languages and introduces the distinction between interpreted and compiled languages. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Introduction to Programming in Python provides the fundamentals of the Python language and its features to control program flow and to manipulate data sets. This course teaches how to develop Python scripts that extract and manipulate data from unstructured data sources. Python libraries including acquisition and configuration are also covered. Scripting and Programming Foundations and Web Development Foundations are prerequisites to this course.
Network and Security - Foundations introduces students to the components of a computer network and the concept and role of communication protocols. The course covers widely used categorical classifications of networks (e.g., LAN, MAN, WAN, WLAN, PAN, SAN, CAN, and VPN) as well as network topologies, physical devices, and layered abstraction. The course also introduces students to basic concepts of security, covering vulnerabilities of networks and mitigation techniques, security of physical media, and security policies and procedures. This course has no prerequisites.
Networks for undergraduates focuses on the general concepts and applications of computer operating systems and network topologies. The fundamental knowledge and skills gained in this course prepares students for the CompTIA Network+ certification exam. Network and Security – Foundations is a pre-requisite for this course.
Network and Security - Applications prepares students for the CompTIA Security+ certification exam. Successfully completing the course ensures the student will demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to install and configure systems to secure applications, networks, and devices; perform a threat analysis and respond with appropriate mitigation techniques; participate in risk mitigation activities; and operate with an awareness of applicable policies, laws, and regulations. The following course is a prerequisite: C480 Networks.
Cloud Deployment and Operations provides students with the technical skills in deployment, management, and operations of cloud services. This course allows students to examine stability and scalability, backup and recovery processes, and deployment best practices. Provisioning of cloud resources, monitoring of cloud resources, and managing connectivity are also examined. Competency in this course is demonstrated by successfully completing the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified SysOps Administrator - Associate certification exam. The following courses are prerequisites: Cloud Applications (C923).
This course introduces students to the real-world issues and practical solutions of cloud computing. The course will teach the business value of cloud computing, cloud types, steps to a successful adoption of the cloud, impact and changes on IT service management, as well as risks and consequences. The course contains interactives, reading materials, video, and simulations to help students develop a broad understanding of cloud computing. This course prepares students for the following certification exam: AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C01). There are no prerequisites for this course.
The Emerging Technologies course examines emerging technologies, identifies the benefits and drawbacks of technology adoption, and provides students with a process to evaluate technologies. The course will examine three technologies that may have an impact on Information Technology services in the coming years.
The Spreadsheets course will help students become proficient in using spreadsheets to analyze business problems. Students will demonstrate competency in spreadsheet development and analysis for business/accounting applications (e.g., using essential spreadsheet functions, formulas, charts, etc.)
Principles of Management provides students with an introductory look at the discipline of management and its context within the business environment. Students of this course build on previously mastered competencies by taking a more in-depth look at management as a discipline and how it differs from leadership while further exploring the importance of communication within business. This course provides students with a business generalist overview in the areas of strategic decision-making and operational planning, managerial budgeting, change management, human capital management, staff development, and conflict management.
Organizational Behavior and Leadership explores how to lead and manage effectively in diverse business environments. The course requires students to demonstrate the ability to apply organizational leadership theories and management strategies in a series of scenario-based problems.
Business of IT—Applications examines Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) terminology, structure, policies, and concepts. Focusing on the management of information technology (IT) infrastructure, development, and operations, students will explore the core principles of ITIL practices for service management to prepare them for careers as IT professionals, business managers, and business process owners. This course has no prerequisites. This course prepares students for the Axelos ITIL v4 certification exam.
In this course, students will build on industry standard concepts, techniques, and processes to develop a comprehensive foundation for project management activities. During a project's life cycle, students will develop the critical skills necessary to initiate, plan, execute, monitor, control, and close a project. Students will apply best practices in areas such as scope management, resource allocation, project planning, project scheduling, quality control, risk management, performance measurement, and project reporting. This course prepares students for the following certification exam: CompTIA Project+.
Introduction to Cryptography provides students with knowledge of cryptographic algorithms, protocols, and their uses in the protection of information in various states. This course has no prerequisites.
This introductory communication course allows candidates to become familiar with the fundamental communication theories and practices necessary to engage in healthy professional and personal relationships. Candidates will survey human communication on multiple levels and critically apply the theoretical grounding of the course to interpersonal, intercultural, small group, and public presentational contexts. The course also encourages candidates to consider the influence of language, perception, culture, and media on their daily communicative interactions. In addition to theory, candidates will engage in the application of effective communication skills through systematically preparing and delivering an oral presentation. By practicing these fundamental skills in human communication, candidates become more competent communicators as they develop more flexible, useful, and discriminatory communicative practices in a variety of contexts. Note: There are references within this video to Taskstream. If Taskstream is not part of your student experience, please disregard, and locate your task(s) within your course.
English Composition I introduces candidates to the types of writing and thinking that are valued in college and beyond. Candidates will practice writing in several genres with emphasis placed on writing and revising academic arguments. Instruction and exercises in grammar, mechanics, research documentation, and style are paired with each module so that writers can practice these skills as necessary. Composition I is a foundational course designed to help candidates prepare for success at the college level. There are no prerequisites for English Composition I.
Applied Probability and Statistics is designed to help students develop competence in the fundamental concepts of basic statistics including: introductory algebra and graphing; descriptive statistics; regression and correlation; and probability. Statistical data and probability are often used in everyday life, science, business, information technology, and educational settings to make informed decisions about the validity of studies and the effect of data on decisions. This course discusses what constitutes sound research design and how to appropriately model phenomena using statistical data. Additionally, the content covers simple probability calculations, based on events that occur in the business and IT industries. No prerequisites are required for this course.
Applied Algebra is designed to help you develop competence in working with functions, the algebra of functions, and using some applied properties of functions. You will start learning about how we can apply different kinds of functions to relevant, real-life examples. From there, the algebra of several families of functions will be explored, including linear, polynomial, exponential, and logistic functions. You will also learn about relevant, applicable mathematical properties of each family of functions, including rate of change, concavity, maximizing/minimizing, and asymptotes. These properties will be used to solve problems related to your major and make sense of everyday living problems. Students should complete Applied Probability and Statistics or its equivalent prior to engaging in Applied Algebra.
This course provides students with an overview of the basic principles and unifying ideas of the physical sciences: physics, chemistry, and earth sciences. Course materials focus on scientific reasoning and practical, everyday applications of physical science concepts to help students integrate conceptual knowledge with practical skills.
This course provides students an introduction to using the scientific method and engaging in scientific research to reach conclusions about the natural world. Students will design and carry out an experiment to investigate a hypothesis by gathering quantitative data. They will also research a specific ecosystem using academic sources and draw conclusions from their findings.
This introductory humanities course allows candidates to practice essential writing, communication, and critical thinking skills necessary to engage in civic and professional interactions as mature, informed adults. Whether through studying literature, visual and performing arts, or philosophy, all humanities courses stress the need to form reasoned, analytical, and articulate responses to cultural and creative works. Studying a wide variety of creative works allows candidates to more effectively enter the global community with a broad and enlightened perspective.
American Politics and the U.S. Constitution examines the evolution of representative government in the United States and the changing interpretations of the civil rights and civil liberties protected by the Constitution. This course will give candidates an understanding of the powers of the branches of the federal government, the continual tensions inherent in a federal system, the shifting relationship between state and federal governments, and the interactions between elected officials and the ever-changing electorate. This course will focus on such topics as the role of a free press in a democracy, the impact of changing demographics on American politics, and the debates over and expansion of civil rights. Upon completion of the course, candidates should be able to explain the basic functions of the federal government, describe the forces that shape American policy and politics, and be better prepared to participate in America’s civic institutions. This course has no prerequisite.
English Composition II introduces candidates to the types of research and writing that are valued in college and beyond. Candidates will practice writing, with emphasis placed on research, writing, and revising an academic argument. Instruction and exercises in grammar, mechanics, research documentation, and style are paired with each module so that writers can practice these skills as necessary. Composition II is a foundational course designed to help candidates prepare for success at the college level. Composition I is the prerequisite for Composition II.
Ethics in Technology examines the ethical considerations of technology in each of four categories: privacy, accuracy, property, and access. The course presents a range of technologies and issues that challenge technologists in the field of information ethics. Students are introduced to a decision-making process as informed by ethical frameworks that outline key ethical considerations within the technologies presented. Students will study specific cases to help inform their professional responsibilities in how to navigate the important controversies in topics such as surveillance, social media, hacking, data manipulation, plagiarism and piracy, artificial intelligence, responsible innovation, and the digital divide. This course has no prerequisites.
This course will discuss geographic concepts, places and regions, physical and human systems, and the environment.
This course is a foundational introduction to the biological sciences. The overarching theories of life from biological research are explored as well as the fundamental concepts and principles of the study of living organisms and their interaction with the environment. Key concepts include how living organisms use and produce energy; how life grows, develops, and reproduces; how life responds to the environment to maintain internal stability; and how life evolves and adapts to the environment.
Linux Foundations is an introduction to Linux as an operating system as well as an introduction to open-source concepts and the basics of the Linux command line. Expert content, a Linux virtual machine, and step-by-step labs give you hands-on access to practice Linux command line concepts. Linux is widely used in different industries for all kinds of functions, including web servers, firewalls, and graphic design, and it provides robust functionality and a stable, secure environment that is not often found in any other client operating system. There are no prerequisites for this course.
This course introduces students to web design and development by presenting them with HTML5 and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), the foundational languages of the web, by reviewing media strategies and by using tools and techniques commonly employed in web development.
This course covers basic elements of technical communication, including professional written communication proficiency; the ability to strategize approaches for differing audiences; and technical style, grammar, and syntax proficiency.
This course prepares students for the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification exam CCNA-200-301.
Managing Cloud Security will prepare students to design solutions for cloud-based platforms and operations that maintain data availability while protecting the confidentiality and integrity of information. Many of today’s companies and organizations have outsourced data management, availability, and operational processes through cloud computing. Topics include security controls, disaster recovery plans, and continuity management plans that address physical, logical, and human factors. It is recommended that the following courses be completed before attempting this course: Networks and IT Applications.
The capstone project consists of a technical work proposal, the proposal’s implementation, and a post-implementation report that describes the graduate’s experience in developing and implementing the capstone project. The capstone project should be presented and approved by the course instructor in relation to the graduate’s technical emphasis.
Program consists of 36 courses
At WGU, we design our curriculum to be timely, relevant, and practical—all to ensure your degree is proof you really know your stuff.
Special requirements for this program
At the end of your program, you will complete a capstone project that represents the culmination of all your hard work—a project that allows you to take what you’ve learned and apply it to a real-world situation, proposing a solution to an actual issue you face in your place of business.
According to a 2021 Harris Poll, just two years after graduation, WGU grads report earning $18,200 more per year, and that amount increases to $25,900 four years after graduation.
On Your Schedule
No class times, no assignment deadlines. You are in charge of your learning and schedule. You can move through your courses as quickly as you master the material, meaning you can graduate faster.
The network operations and security bachelor's degree at WGU is 100% online, which means it works wherever you are. You can do your coursework at night after working at your full-time job, on weekends, while you're traveling the world or on vacation—it's entirely up to you.
One important measure of a degree’s value is the reputation of the university where it was earned. When employers, industry leaders, and academic experts hold your alma mater in high esteem, you reap the benefits of that respect. WGU is a pioneer in reinventing higher education for the 21st century, and our quality has been recognized.
3rd Party Networking Certifications Included
Designed for IT professionals seeking to leverage their network experience and grow their knowledge of the cloud to become network administration and IT security management experts, this networking degree program also includes multiple sought-after industry certifications—certifications that will boost your résumé as soon as you've earned them, even before you complete your computer networking degree.
- ITIL®*^ Foundation Certification
*Subject to vendor availability.
^ITIL® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.
As well as:
- LPI Linux Essentials
COST & TIME
An Affordable Online Network Operations and Security Degree
By charging per six-month term rather than per credit—and empowering students to accelerate through material they know well or learn quickly—WGU helps students control the ultimate cost of their degrees. The faster you complete your program, the less you pay for your degree.
A College Degree Within Reach
There is help available to make paying for school possible for you:
Competency-Based Education Puts You in the Driver’s Seat of Your Network Operations and Security Degree
You’ve worked in tech for years. Your experience, skill, and hard work have gotten you this far, but the next step requires something you don't have: your degree. We believe your experience should count for something. You deserve a bachelor’s degree program that will take into account all the know-how you’ve gained over the years, allowing you to move through courses as quickly as you can prove you've mastered the material. No waiting for other students or the end of the semester. No sitting through classes you could teach. Just a smart, direct path to the degree your career needs and the respect you deserve.
A Networking Degree that Helps You Stand Out From the Competition
The growing digital transformation of business functions has led to a sharp increase in demand for skilled professionals trained to manage and administer network and security systems. A computer networking program is key in helping you get the specific training and skillset you need to enhance your current IT experience.
Department of Defense contractors, communications, financial firms, technical consulting services, and colleges and universities are the leading sectors for network and security professionals. The need for professionals that are able to evolve and learn new technologies will continue to drive the demand for degrees in network and security. In addition to a résumé-boosting bachelor’s degree, students who graduate from this program will have a number of industry certifications, which can result in a premium of over $15,000 on average over salaries for IT jobs overall.
Return on Your Investment
Find Success with a Highly Respected Network Security and Operations Degree and Certifications
Some of the job titles a graduate of this network operations and security bachelor’s degree program are qualified for include:
- Data Scientist
- Network Administrator
- Network Security Analyst
- Computer Network Architect
WGU Grads Hold Positions With Top Employers
Network Operations and Security Admissions Requirements
To be considered for enrollment into this bachelor's degree program, students must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent AND demonstrate program readiness through one of the following:
- Option 1: Submit transcripts documenting completion of previous IT coursework. IT coursework must be 300-level or higher.
- Option 2: Possess a bachelor’s or associate degree (A.A., A.S. or A.A.S. acceptable) from an accredited post-secondary institution.
- Option 3: Demonstrate at least two years of IT work experience through resume review.
- Option 4: Submit official records of completion of current and active IT certifications, some of which may provide transfer credit into various programs.
- Option 5: Submit high school transcripts with a minimum GPA of 2.75 GPA and a B grade or higher in a S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) course. *Only advanced mathematics courses will satisfy this requirement.
NOTE: You do not need to take the ACT or SAT to be admitted to this program. Learn why we don't require these tests.
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Common Questions About Enrolling in a College of IT Degree Program
You should speak with an Enrollment Counselor. WGU can often provide advice or resources to help a prospective student fulfill enrollment prerequisites.
When you enroll in a WGU degree program, our goal is to see you through to graduation. Admission requirements are designed to increase your likelihood of success. Years of data and experience with the nontraditional students WGU serves have shown us how various types of academic and professional experience can be highly important in helping a student persist to graduation. Industry certifications are one of many ways a student can meet eligibility.
WGU has an obligation to our graduates—and their current and future employers—to ensure WGU alumni have mastered the most up-to-date, current competencies and skills needed in the workplace. Recency of certifications helps us ensure that students have demonstrated competency in skills as they are needed in today's working world.
As a full-time student, you will be required to maintain a minimum pace of 12 competency units (CUs) per term for undergraduate programs or 8 CUs per term for graduate programs. However, there is no maximum speed—once you complete a course, you move immediately to the next, and you complete a course not by waiting for the syllabus, the professor, or the rest of the class. You progress by learning the material and proving it—so you can move through your coursework at the speed of your own learning and experience.
Instructors are highly educated, experienced experts in the subject matter of a course. Unlike in a traditional university where going to class means listening to an instructor lecture while you take notes and try to learn in a group setting, WGU's Instructors provide one-on-one instruction and support when you need it—tailoring the instruction to your precise needs when you need it. Instructors also provide additional resources, lead topical discussions in online communities, and find countless other ways to bring a specific course to life for students.
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