Networking & Security Training Courses
Though labor analysts predict that IT jobs will keep growing faster than those in other segments of the economy, one segment stands out with exceptionally high demand for skilled workers. Computer networking and security professionals mitigate risk while boosting operational efficiency.
Wireless networking training can help students and IT professionals build careers in this emerging technology and prepare for advancement. Wireless networking courses also focus on critical certifications demanded by employers.
Network technology training can help professionals sharpen and refine their knowledge of networking systems. Network technology courses cover routing and switching, security protocols, enterprise architecture models, and more.
According to information technology salary surveys, hiring managers view network security training as crucial for many advanced IT jobs.
Protecting data and preventing downtime amid an ever-evolving landscape of threats keep IT security professionals' jobs--and their certifications--constantly changing.
Network administration training prepares information technology professionals to manage the systems of data transmission that connect today's business environment. Learn what network administration courses can do to enhance IT career prospects.
As institutions from Citibank to Sony's PlayStation Network come under cyber attack, the need for trained computer security professionals continues to grow.
With data networks carrying the lifeblood of commerce and government, digital security is indispensable. Training in information assurance, the IT equivalent of risk management, puts professionals on the front lines of data protection.
Three news stories highlight the importance of networking and security training for companies, schools, and government agencies:
- Department of Justice investigators recommended that the FBI increase networking and security training after disclosing that field agents often spend more time traveling between training assignments than learning about critical technology updates.
- A U.S. House of Representatives hearing uncovered evidence that major corporations, including the global company at the center of a significant data breach, often run outdated systems because they lack the personnel to carry out routine security updates.
- The National Cyber Security Alliance's study of American K-12 schools found that few students learn even the basic principles of computer networking and security, leaving many young consumers vulnerable to personal identity theft.
American institutions face similar challenges every day, obliging many companies to recruit graduates of networking and security courses. Defending employers from both internal weaknesses and external attacks can lead workers to some of today's highest-paying careers.
Networking and security specialties
Rapid growth within the IT field requires security specialists to segment themselves into niche groups. Computer security jobs often focus on one or two critical areas, such as:
- Cyber security. Professionals with a broad understanding of malware, intrusion, and social engineering can take on leadership, strategy, and academic jobs in the IT security field.
- Hardware. Engineers ensure the physical security of critical systems, like voting machines, automatic tellers, and manufacturing robots.
- Information assurance. Practitioners ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of critical data across public and private networks.
- Network administration. Admins not only worry about network uptime, they develop disaster recovery plans and design secure computing facilities.
- Network security. Networking specialists ensure that data transmission remains complaint with legal requirements and with company best practices.
- Systems analysis. Skilled practitioners determine whether IT plans can work, given the right combination of technology, policy, and procedures.
- Network technology. IT managers merge stable, secure systems with new technology demanded by company leaders.
- Routing and switching. Specialists ensure that criminals can't intercept secure information between network hubs, while preventing security measures from slowing data traffic rates.
- Wireless networking. The rise of mobile technology has forced many companies to adopt Wi-Fi and cellular data streams that require their own encryption and defenses.
Wages and overall compensation packages can vary, depending on a professional's specialty, industry, and location. In general, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates that most IT managers with networking and security certifications earn more than $120,000 per year. Security-minded computer analysts enjoy average annual salaries just over $77,000.
Career transitions for networking and security professionals
Networking and security training helps many professionals build hybrid careers, blending the IT community's best practices with a lifetime of work experience. Career transition examples include:
- Hackers. "White hat" programmers use the same tools as "black hat" criminals to secure networks, often by finding vulnerabilities and staging their own attacks. Combining self-taught tricks with formalized training and certification can turn former cyber-villains into online guardians.
- Law enforcement professionals. Industry training and certifications allow former beat cops and security specialists to gather online evidence to solve crimes.
- Accounting and legal professionals. Sophisticated network intrusions can go undetected for months or years, only to be revealed after a careful technology audit. Experience with financial reporting and the legal discovery process can prepare candidates for forensic computer security jobs.
The IT job market no longer exists inside a Silicon Valley bubble. Instead, computer networking and security jobs exist in nearly every Fortune 500 company, as well as inside hundreds of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses. Job seekers with industry insight and recent certifications often land more compelling jobs than IT degree holders with little outside perspective.
Networking and security certification exams
The rapid pace of change in the IT business drives network and security training programs to prepare students for the latest industry certification exams. Popular certifications include:
- DoD Directive 8570
- Cyber-security related certs: CEH, CHFI, CISSP, Security+, CISA, CISM, SSCP and the Information Security degree
- Information systems security: CISA, CISM, CISSP
- Network administration certifications: Network+, CCENT, CCNA
- Network security certifications: CCNA Security, CCNP Security, Security+, CISSP, CEH
- Routing and switching: CCENT, CCNA
- Wireless networking: CWNA, CWSP, CWAP
Though most IT certifications remain specific to technology from a single vendor, many employers weigh the value of understanding the concepts of networking and security, especially when recruiting senior team leaders and managers. Pursuing such programs can help job seekers find better-paying positions in their existing firms or lucrative opportunities with new employers.