This degree program combines system administration fundamentals with a foundation in cybersecurity concepts. Classes focus on best practices to implement, administer, and secure operating systems as well as computer networks.
Students will learn highly marketable technical skills and have the knowledge to meet the ever-changing technologies used in business and industry. Graduates will gain experience installing operating systems, configuring networks, managing servers, and performing other common system administration tasks while maintaining essential security practices.
The curriculum contains core classes in computer hardware, Windows and Linux operating systems, networking, security, and programming. Students may have the opportunity to earn college credit for cooperative education or internship opportunities with local businesses.
All classes in the program can be taken online or on-campus. For online classes, students may choose to attend live class sessions through the Internet. Using this format, students can watch and participate in the on-campus section of class as it is in progress. For students who cannot attend these live sessions, class sessions are also recorded for later viewing.
Students can complete the program in two or three years, depending upon prior preparation in Math, English, and Computers.
Students enrolling in the Cybersecurity and Computer Networks program should be logical and detail-oriented, as well as interested in computers and how they communicate. They should be able to type at least 40 words per minute and know how to perform basic file management skills such as saving, deleting, copying, and backing up files. Students should also be comfortable using a Windows-based computer, be able to easily navigate the Internet, and be experienced using email. For students that struggle to meet these requirements, BOTE 102 and CSCI 101 are highly recommended.
Students are required to have their own modern computers while completing classes in the program. On-campus students will need a laptop for class use, while online students may use a laptop or desktop system. Minimum computer specifications can be found at https://bismarckstate.edu/academics/programs/careertechnicalprograms/computersupport/laptop/.
Students who complete the Cybersecurity and Computer Networks curriculum requirements earn an Associate in Applied Science degree.
BSC Cybersecurity and Computer Networks students can enhance their degree by obtaining industry-standard certification including A+, Linux+, Network+, Server+, Security+, CCENT, CCNA Routing & Switching, CCNA Cyber Ops, MCSA, MCSE, and CEH.
Upon completion of the program, students are prepared to work in Information Technology (IT) departments for various businesses and organizations. It is an opportune time to be involved in the IT industry, as research shows IT-related jobs have seen three times the nation's job growth over the past decade. In North Dakota, there is estimated to be a 45% increase for IT-related occupations by the year 2022, making it one of the fastest-growing job sectors in the state.
Career opportunities: Computer Technician, Computer Operator, Computer Support Specialist, Help Desk Support, Information Security Analyst, Network Security Analyst, Systems Administrator, Security Administrator, Network Administrator, and Data Security Administrator.