Degree Overview

Bachelor of Science in Network Operations and Security

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 credentials you need to turn that demand into career success. Designed for IT professionals seeking to use their network experience and knowledge of the cloud to become network administration and IT security management experts, this program also includes many sought-after industry certifications.

Earning your B.S. Network Operations and Security degree will set your IT career in motion. This program will help you develop the latest network design, network operations, and security management skills.

We won’t waste your time. You don’t need to rehash things you already know. WGU’s innovative learning model allows you to prove your existing skills and knowledge so you can move quickly through the subjects you’ve already mastered, giving you time to focus on what you still need to learn. Learn more about WGU’s competency-based model here.

Who the Program is For:

  • Established IT professionals seeking a bachelor's degree and certifications needed to advance their careers and become network and IT security experts.
  • IT professionals with aspirations to work in careers like network administrator, network security analyst, computer and information systems manager, and more.
  • Individuals who have completed some college coursework, have earned high-level IT certifications, and/or have applicable work experience.
  • Individuals planning to continue into master’s-level programs in IT security or network administration.
  • Tech-savvy, self-motivated students with strong skills in problem solving, decision making, collaboration and teamwork, writing, research, conflict management, and big-picture thinking.

Plan to work hard. Our most successful students spend at least 20 hours a week on their studies. Your own study schedule will be flexible, but this is a rigorous program. You should be self-motivated and prepared to commit fully to your studies. Click here to learn how this program works.

What You'll Learn

Essential Knowledge and Skills

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. WGU’s online Bachelor of Science Network Operations and Security degree program was designed to prepare you for a successful career in the fast-paced, ever-changing world of network operations and security, and ensure you learn best practices in network design, administration and security, as well as cloud fundamentals, IT service management, and project management.

This program consists of 123 competency units (CUs, the WGU equivalent to the traditional credit hour), including a capstone project. Most students begin their program with some IT experience, and students who have taken college courses or received a degree from another university may be able to transfer credits, significantly shortening the time to graduation. An evaluation of your transcripts from prior colleges will be needed to determine whether you will be able to apply transfer credits toward your WGU degree program.

Key Subject Areas

These Courses Add to Your Credentials

  • Information Technology Fundamentals

  • Business of IT

  • Network and Security

  • Data Management

  • Scripting and Programming

  • Leadership and Management

  • Web Development

  • Interconnecting Network Devices

  • Technical Writing

  • Spreadsheets

  • Security

Core Subject Areas

These lower-division courses may be cleared through transfer credit:

  • Introduction to Communication

  • English Composition I and II

  • Critical Thinking and Logic

  • Introduction to Geography

  • Intermediate and College Algebra

  • Introduction to Probability and Statistics

  • Introduction to Humanities

  • Introduction to Biology

  • Natural Science Lab

  • Integrated Physical Sciences

What You'll Earn

IT Certifications

This program incorporates multiple industry-recognized certifications, giving you a competitive advantage in the real-world job market. You will study for and complete the following certification exams at no extra cost:

  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Cloud Essentials
  • CompTIA Network+
  • CompTIA Security+
  • CompTIA Project+
  • CompTIA IT Operations Specialist
  • CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist
  • Axelos ITIL®* Foundation
  • LPI Linux Essentials
  • CIW Site Development Associate (CIW-SDA)
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate – Security (CCNA Security)
  • Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA)
  • Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT)

Note: Your current IT certifications may waive some required courses in your degree program. Click here to see which IT certifications may transfer to WGU. Contact an Enrollment Counselor with any questions.

* ITIL® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

Capstone Project

The B.S. Network Operations and Security program culminates in a capstone project. The capstone project allows you to take what you've learned and showcase your knowledge by solving a significant, real-world business problem.

How It Works

A Degree Program That Fits Your Schedule

WGU Tennessee is designed to let you go to school on your time, not according to a class schedule. Our online degree program is flexible and puts you at the center of your education: you choose when and where to complete your coursework. Once you demonstrate your competency in a subject area, you can move on to your next course.

Online learning is not easy.

You should expect to work hard and spend 20 hours or more per week on your studies. Still, your program will be flexible enough to fit into your schedule, not the other way around.

How Long Will It Take?

It Depends On You

The average time it takes to complete the online degree program at WGU is just over two years, significantly less than at other online schools. For students with little or no prior college, it takes longer. That said, the amount of time it takes to complete your degree is truly up to you!

What’s more, if you possess an associate’s degree (A.A. or A.S.) in Information Technology from a regionally accredited school, you should be able to clear your liberal arts requirements as well as the lower-level information technology assessment requirements. Combine that with WGU’s competency-based method, which allows you to advance with the skills and knowledge you already have, and you may be able to finish in even less time.

The expected time to complete the B.S. Network Operations and Security degree is two years or less for students with an associate’s degree in IT.

If you've taken courses or received a degree from another college or university, you may be able to clear some of these requirements through transfer credit.

Ultimately, the pace at which you complete your online B.S. Network Operations and Security degree program depends on how rapidly you pass assessments.

It’s your program. It’s up to you. Create your own schedule, choose your pace and achieve your personal goals.

"Employers in the information technology field increasingly are looking for students that not only have a degree but certain certifications in the technologies that are really driving the industry forward." Brad Smith, Executive Vice President for Legal and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft

How Competency-Based Education Benefits You

Put Your Existing Knowledge to Work

Western Governors University was the first university in the country to employ a cutting edge, competency-based learning model that lets you use skills and knowledge you already have to accelerate your degree program.

In WGU's online degree programs, students advance by demonstrating their competence in each subject area. You’ll be able to move quickly through material you already know so you can spend your time focusing on what you still need to learn.

  • You’ll work with your assigned Faculty Mentor on a personalized Degree Plan that establishes the pace at which you move through the program.

  • With few exceptions, you’ll be able to choose when and where you study.

  • You’ll complete as much work as YOU choose during each six-month term.

  • You’ll collaborate with your Faculty Mentor to determine the learning resources that will help you develop and demonstrate your competency in each subject area.

  • You’ll be required to complete at least 12 CUs per term for bachelor's degree programs and 8 CUs per term for graduate degree programs in order to make On Time Progress. If you choose to and are able, you can add courses and move more quickly through your program.

How Much Will It Cost?

Less Than You Think

We're committed to keeping tuition low and making sure our online education degree programs remain the very best value for hardworking students. WGU doesn't spend money on classrooms, research facilities, or football stadiums. Instead, we focus on keeping costs low. And because we charge tuition at a flat-rate each term, if you complete coursework ahead of schedule, you can save yourself money as well as time.


You pay for time—not credits

  • No matter how many courses you complete each term, your tuition stays the same.

  • The more courses you complete each term, the fewer terms you have until graduation.

  • Our competency-based model gives you the opportunity to accelerate your progress.

  • If you complete your program ahead of schedule, you'll save both time and money.

Tuition and Fees

For this program, a full course load is 12 competency units (credit hours) per term – each course generally represents three or four competency units.

  • $3,225: Tuition per 6-Month Term
  • $145: Resource Fee per 6-Month Term
  • $150: Program Fee per 6-Month Term
  • $65: One-Time Application Fee

The Network Operations and Security online degree program at WGU is designed to be affordable for hard-working adults with bills to pay.

Learn more about tuition and fees.

When We Say Affordable, We Mean It

The WGU Network Operations and Security degree program is typically about half the cost of other equally reputable IT programs. Other schools charge as much as $400 per credit, which can ultimately cost between $30,000 and $60,000 for your degree. WGU is different. You’ll save thousands with our affordable, flat-rate tuition and an online learning model that won’t require you to buy expensive textbooks. In fact, you can earn your bachelor’s degree from WGU for as little as $12,900.

The Faster You Go, The More You Save

WGU competency-based approach makes it possible to finish your degree in less time and with less financial strain: the faster you go, the more you save. Tuition is charged at a flat rate every six months and covers all coursework attempted in that time. If you complete your program in less time, you'll save both time and money. Our students are able to graduate with little or no new student debt, which allows them to graduate with professional confidence and financial stability. At WGU, you’ll earn a degree and a better return on your investment compared to other online universities.

As a tech-savvy individual and IT professional, you likely have skills and knowledge that will let you complete the program in even less time. We encourage you to apply your existing knowledge to save money and succeed!

Financial Aid

You Can Afford to Earn a Degree

WGU's financial aid experts are on hand to help you finance your education in the smartest way possible. 76% of WGU students receive some type of financial aid.

Federal Financial Aid is available to most students.

Respected, Recognized, and Accredited

Northwest Commission Accredited

Western Governors University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Northwest Commission is also responsible for the accreditation of other major universities in the West, including the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, Gonzaga University, and the University of Utah, among many others. Learn more about accreditation here.

An online IT degree from WGU tells employers that you're serious about success.

Take the next step into a prosperous future.

WGU is a Microsoft IT Academy Member

As a Microsoft IT Academy program member, WGU is able to offer students a world-class technology curriculum and courseware provided by Microsoft. Many (but not all) of your Microsoft courses will use this rich online learning resource which includes virtual labs that provide hands-on experience with Microsoft software to supplement your learning. The cost of certification exams is included in WGU tuition.

The demand for talented, competent IT professionals is tremendous. WGU's online IT degrees ideally fit today’s challenging IT world. By incorporating the latest industry recognized certifications (including CIW, CCNA, MCSA, OCP, and CompTIA), you’re assured of an education that will give you the credentials you need to get ahead.

WGU Graduates Succeed

Become a Success Story

Our latest survey of leading employers speaks volumes about our ability to prepare grads to work in many industries:


of employers said WGU grads exceed expectations.


of employers rated WGU graduates’ job performance as very good or excellent.


of employers consider WGU graduates prepared for their jobs.


of employers said they would hire another WGU graduate.

Note: 2017 Survey of Employers by Harris Poll

You can learn more about how employers view WGU grads by exploring our National Student Success and Performance Data.

"The big draw was the fact that it was online. I could work at my own pace." James Dye,
WGU Alumnus

How a Course Works

Prove What You Know and Move Forward

You set your own pace by demonstrating your skills. In the online degree programs at WGU Tennessee, you'll advance through each course by first mastering the course content, then completing and passing challenging assessments that measure your knowledge and skills in each subject area.

These rigorous assessments (tests, papers, assignments, and projects) let you demonstrate your competence in each subject area in order to pass the course and earn competency units (CUs), our equivalent to the traditional credit hour.

WGU Tennessee sets a high standard, and we want our students to succeed. You'll be given ample opportunity to master the subject matter and re-take assessments as needed in order to graduate.

Get Started

Enrollment is easy. View our Enrollment Checklist for the easy steps to getting started.

To be admitted into this online IT degree, you must:

  • Possess a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • Demonstrate IT experience through at least one of the following four methods:
    • Option 1: Have earned an associate’s degree in IT or equivalent (A.S. or A.A.S. acceptable).
    • Option 2: Have completed the following high-level IT coursework within the last five years:
      • Two or more upper-level Networking courses; OR
      • Two or more upper-level Object-Oriented Programming courses (Java, C#, etc.); OR
      • One or more upper-level Operating Systems course; OR
      • One or more upper-level Information Security and Assurance course.
    • Option 3: Hold high-level IT certification in network, security, programming, data management, operating systems, or hardware management earned within the last five years.
    • Option 4: Submit a resume showing three-plus years of IT work experience.

You may also be required to take and pass the WGU Readiness Assessment — a short, multi-part online admissions test that helps determine the likelihood of success in a WGU Tennessee program. Applicants who possess a bachelor's degree or one of the IT certifications that WGU Tennessee recognizes for competency credit will have this requirement waived.

See more about College of Information Technology Admission Requirements

Speak to an Enrollment Counselor and Apply Today

You'll be on your way to a successful career. A world of opportunity awaits.

Request Info Apply Now

Question and Answer

Select a question from the left, see the answer to the right.

How does WGU keep its tuition so low?

As a nonprofit university, WGU doesn’t need to benefit shareholders. Our students are our main concern. We also try to keep our operating costs low. And since we’re an exclusively online university, we don’t need to maintain expensive classroom buildings, a campus, and other non-academic programs. 

Should I consider financial aid?

Using financial aid is a personal decision. When making this decision, you should know that a degree is a great investment in yourself that will pay for itself many times over. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn on average almost a million dollars more over the course their careers compared to those without one. A master’s degree typically has a similar impact on your wallet. You should definitely consider federal financial aid if it means the difference between getting your degree or not. Speak to an Enrollment Counselor to learn more.


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