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Getting into internet/network security

  1. Jul 16, 2015 #1
    Lately I have been getting interested in internet/network security (an area of study which I am guessing is a subset of computer security). I use to do a little bit of programming a long time ago, but since it has been so long, let's assume that I have no programming experience. I am a math major at a university that seems to have a good selection of computer sciene courses that I can take. The only thing is, as I don't know much about computers, I don't really know which courses I should take. I do know that I will take some programming courses (they start you off programming in Python). I was hoping you guys could tell me which courses which be best for me to take. Or if isn't too much trouble, take a look at the list of courses and recommend some:


    I would appreciate all help. Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 16, 2015 #2


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    If you're going to get into network security, you'll eventually need to know most of what's in the Security+ certification exam. The exam doesn't require any coding skills but it is something that you should eventually take if you want to get into the field. The certification does have a time limit though. It is only good for three years and then you have to be re-certified.
  4. Jul 16, 2015 #3


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    Adding to what Borg suggested, I think it's also helpful to know what your goal is. Do you want to implement existing solutions, or develop new solutions? The former does not usually require any university (programming) courses, while the latter might.
  5. Jul 16, 2015 #4
    I am mostly interested in the encryption side of security...I am looking for an area where I can apply my math skills. Think of the type of mathematician/computer scientist that the NSA would employ.
  6. Jul 16, 2015 #5


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    Ahh, cryptography/cryptology it is then. :) The NSA does hire BS/BA Math majors for the field in which you're interested. Have you checked their site for any information regarding career paths?


    As far as programming goes, you should meet with an advisor and ask about any CS courses related to cryptography/cryptology. Unless there is someone here with intimate knowledge of the CS program at your institution, we can only give some general advice.

    Here's a relevant link to a wiki that might give you some ideas for the discussion with an advisor:


    Edit: Taking a quick look through the link you posted, I do not see any courses directly related to Cryptography. However, here are two I found that have some relevance:

    CSC448H1 Formal Languages and Automata(24L/12T)
    CSC463H1 Computational Complexity and Computability(24L/12P)

    Again, you'll want to talk to an advisor to make sure, but the topics covered in the above courses are related to cryptography.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
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