Software security is a highly technical and vital skill in today's evolving technological marketplace. Even so, programs specializing in this area are quite rare. In fact, it's more common to find a professional in this field with a Bachelor's or Master's degree in computer science, than it is to find experts who have achieved a certification in software security.
Software Security Degrees Are on the Rise
More institutions are providing programs and degrees focused on the security aspect of information technology than ever before. Part of the reason for this is the significant projected increase in the number of jobs available in the field. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the industry will grow by 36%.
The growing technology and ever-expanding number of applications are a significant contributing factor. As new technology appears and grows, so does the risk of system vulnerabilities and the need for specialists to mitigate and protect against them using penetration testing tools and other preventative procedures. .
What to Expect in a Software Security Degree Program
If you're interested in a software security degree program, you'll find a healthy interest in technology and solving intricate problems will help a lot. By the time you've received your degree, however, you'll have a detailed understanding of the challenges involved in securing network and computer systems, and be able to use technological tools and protocols to minimize risks. You'll feel confident knowing you can restore various systems after an attack and be comfortable providing security for mobile and software management.
You'll have the basics in software engineering, telecommunication network fundamentals and have the option to include additional classes such as business management and managerial economics. Just because this program focuses on software security, doesn't mean there's no variety.
Some programs such as the Master of Science in Information Technology – Information Security designation (MSIT-IS degree program) from INI Pittsburgh-Silicon Valley offers focuses in Mobility, Information Security, or Software Management. You're not confined to standard classroom learning either. Some programs offer an internship while many classes are available online, which is perfect for students who may otherwise be unable to take this kind of program.
Certifications in this area can be attained in as little as two years, although the education can take up to four. Most potential employers will consider applicants who combine a degree with practical experience, and this is where internships can make a significant difference.
Where Can You Work With a Software Security Degree?
The job titles currently available to those with a software security degree can include information technology specialist, data security administrator and computer security specialist, among others. Applications can involve the health care industry, financial businesses, or any business that requires any sort of computer program to function. This leaves the field wide open to those who wish to specialize in this fast-growing career choice. The money isn't bad either; annual salary starts at an average of $50K per year and goes up from there.
With the need for software security experts on the rise, and everyone getting online, you can still work in almost any industry. Combine you degree with other interests, and you may just find the career you've always dreamed of.
This is a guest post by Fergal Glynn. Fergal is the director of product marketing and a frequent writer for Veracode. The Veracode platform helps websites of all kinds avoid cross site scripting vulnerabilities. Fergal has spent the last decade working primarily in online security and software development
Talkback and comments are most welcome