Get the Skills for a Professional Career as a Security Specialist

A professional-looking man, possibly a Focus College Security Specialist certificate grad, is sitting in front of a computer and smiling
Are you trustworthy and good with computers? Start training at Focus College to be a Security Specialist today!

2 Year** Hands-On Information Technology Training Program

You may have noticed that computer and internet security is a big deal these days. Think about Facebook and GDPR, credit-card fraud and the hacking of government or bank websites. A new type of hero is needed in the digital age – someone who can help protect information assets in computer systems and on the internet.

In this 2-year* full-time Information Technology: Advanced Security Specialist program from Focus College, you will learn how to serve on the front lines of defending confidential information by adding employment-focused knowledge to your analytic, problem-solving mind. It all starts right here.

Focus on your goal and we’ll get you the skills to make it a reality.

Career Opportunities

The Information Technology: Advanced Security Specialist (ITASS) will prepare graduates for entry into a wide range of positions. Upon successful completion of the program students will be able to land an entry level job in a computer networking field. Job titles may include:

  • Information Systems Security Professional
  • Network Security Architect
  • Systems Operations Analyst
  • LAN Manager
  • Network Administrator
  • Network Engineer
  • Network Analyst

  • Computer and Network Operator
  • Mail Administrator
  • System Analyst
  • Network Forensic Inspector
  • Security Administrator
  • Network Technician
  • and more!


Who Will Benefit from the Program?

Actually, most people have a lot to gain from taking this program. Former students returning to school, anyone who wants to pursue higher education, adult learners with families, working individuals who wish to enhance their career prospects, and people who wish to start their own businesses.

University Progression

The Advanced Diploma in Information Technology: Advanced Security Specialist can provide entry to Bachelor’s or Master’s degree-level study. Visit this page for information on the institutions that will consider advanced entry with Focus College’s diploma qualifications.

The Information Technology: Advanced Security Specialist (ITASS) program is designed to prepare graduates to meet the Information Technology industry’s demands. It covers most popular industry platforms, such as the Microsoft and Linux operating systems, mail administration, security policies, procedures, and technical implementation of security standards, forensic inspection, ethical hacking, penetration testing, and more.

Upon completion of this program, successful students will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Act as an Information Technology specialist
  • Design, implement, maintain, and support the network infrastructure of the organization
  • Minimum Grade 12 or equivalent Canadian qualification OR relevant experience or mature students
  • In the case of students from non-English-speaking countries/territories, students will have to demonstrate their English proficiency at a minimum IELTS Band level of 6.0 or equivalent. (In a case where a prospective student has no proof of English proficiency or an English proficiency level below IELTS Band 6.0, that student will be required to take the Focus College ESL “Crash Course”)
ITASS 100 - Quarter End Project

This course will summarize the lesson learned from Desktop support & Infrastructure Implementation and Windows Server Configuration courses. It offers the participants an opportunity to review and practice the lessons learned, and will give the instructor a better idea of their students strengths and weaknesses.


ITASS 101 - Networking and Hardware Fundamentals

This is a hands-on course designed to introduce participants to the hardware and core concepts of current computers and wired networks. Participants gain an overview of the various hardware and connection issues that surface during hands-on building and wiring of computers and networks. Human factors in computing and desktop support will be explored in a project. This course will also provide the foundations required for many of the upcoming courses and concepts that will be discussed in ITS/ITASS. Several basic mathematical concepts are introduced and tested in order to ensure readiness for future topics.


ITASS 102 - Desktop Support & Infrastructure Implementation

This unit will provide candidates with the opportunity to develop effective skills for team working in the context of computing. Candidates will develop co-operative working skills which will include negotiation of goals, roles and responsibilities in the development of a team-based Information and Communication Technology (ICT) project. Candidates, both individually as a team, will present the project outcomes within the timescale prescribed by the team. Individual progress will be tracked against a project plan and the team will develop skills in updating the plan to ensure that the project is delivered on time. Individual team members will contribute to any necessary research and to documentation of the group’s activities.


ITASS 103 - Windows Server Configuration

This course covers the additional functionality provided by Windows Server operating system platform vs. desktop operating systems. It is expected that students bring a significant hands-on background with Windows OS administration prior to this course. Server System Configuration is a project-based course in which participants will work through a project to learn how the Windows Server network operating system can be implemented and maintained in a basic network. Topics include managing and maintaining physical and logical devices, managing users, computers, and groups, managing and maintaining access to resources, managing and maintaining a server environment, and managing and maintaining disaster recovery.


ITASS 104 - Professional Skills Level 1

This course is designed to introduce students to the skills and competencies that will give them the foundation necessary to be successful in their course of study. Utilizing a variety of resources, including but not limited to Strengths-finder, they will explore communication styles, group dynamics, and time management in order to develop self-awareness necessary for them to be successful in their chosen program and in their career. This will also provide an opportunity for the students to get to start the process of building a network and getting to know their fellow students.


ITASS 200 - Quarter End Project

This course will summarize the lessons learned from the Windows Server Administration and Advanced Network Administration courses. It offers the participants an opportunity to review and practice the lessons learned, and will give the instructor a better idea of their students strengths and weaknesses.


ITASS 201 - Scripting Fundamentals
Network Programming Essentials builds a foundation for system programming. The specific language used is Windows shell scripting. In addition to serving as a great introductory computing language, Windows shell scripting serves a very practical purpose: assisting the automated administration of computer and network tasks. As such, this program would be remiss if it did not provide you with some practical examples of Windows shell scripts designed to do something other than play games. This course covers scripting such as network disk drives, user management, disk defrag, network chatting etc.

ITASS 202 - Windows Server Administration

This is a project-based course in which participants work through an intense project to learn how Windows-based organizations can inter-network. Concepts covered include Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), Domain Name System (DNS), Routing and Remote Access Services, and Windows Internet Name Service (WINS).


ITASS 203 - Advanced Network Administration

This is a project-based course in which participants will work through a project to learn how the Windows Server network operating system can be implemented and maintained in a basic network. Topics include managing and maintaining physical and logical devices, managing users, computers, and groups, managing and maintaining access to resources, managing and maintaining a server environment, and managing and maintaining disaster recovery.


ITASS 300 - Quarter End Project

This course will summarize the lesson learned from Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure, Enterprise Administration using Windows Server Infrastructure, and Advanced Scripting & Network Administration courses. This will offer the participants an opportunity to review and practice the lessons learned, and will give the instructors a better idea of their students strengths and weaknesses.


ITASS 301 - Designing and Implementing Server Infrastructure

Designing and Implementing Server Infrastructure examines the design and decision-making process of network architecture. Prior to implementing or administration of a network infrastructure, it is vital that a clear road-map is considered prior to engagement. A project based on design and architecture is the basis of this course, which augments the knowledge gained in Advanced Network Administration; it is expected that students have strong knowledge and skills equivalent to the material in the co-requisites. Concepts covered include planning and implementing server roles and server security, planning, implementing and maintaining routing and remote access, planning and maintaining network security infrastructure and server availability.


ITASS 302 - Enterprise Administration using Windows Servers

This course provides participants with hands-on experience with implementing security in a Windows-based network. The widely deployed Windows has not historically been the most secure platform, which makes the study of security best-practices in Windows extremely important.  Participants will gain an appreciation for solving the paradox of security in a Windows-based environment, instead of merely complaining about its insecurity. Content includes security concepts surrounding network infrastructure, web services, and system updates.


ITASS 303 - Advanced Scripting and Network Administration

This course is a pragmatic exploration of scripting. The specific scripting used is PowerShell, which is the language of choice for Windows Administration.  This course covers the fundamental issues of computational programming, including algorithms, arithmetic computations, input/output, control structures and data files, sequencing, looping, decisions, and modular programming.  Structures including arrays, character and string processing will be utilized.


ITASS 304 - Professional Skills Level 2

The second module of Professional Skills concerns how to be an effective team member. In this module, you will develop interpersonal skills that will help you to be a more effective team member. These competencies are essential to your success, both in college and in your career. Through a variety of exercises, you will uncover effective communication strategies and you will then apply this knowledge in in-class assignments and projects.


ITASS 400 - Quarter End Project

This course will summarize the lessons learned from Mail Systems and Business Collaboration, and Advanced Routing & Switching using CISCO Hardware courses. This will offer the participants an opportunity to review and practice the lessons learned, and will give the instructors a better idea of their students strengths and weaknesses.


ITASS 401 - Mail Systems and Business Collaboration

This is a project-based course of study that provides participants with a detailed understanding of Microsoft Exchange and its role within an organization.  In addition to Email administration, topics include high availability, security, and administrative best practices.


ITASS 402 - ITIL Foundation

The purpose of the ITIL Foundation certificate in IT Service Management is to certify that the candidate has gained knowledge of the ITIL terminology, structure and basic concepts and has comprehended the core principles of ITIL practices for service management. The ITIL Foundation certificate in IT Service Management is not intended to enable the holders of the certificate to apply the ITIL practices for service management without further guidance.


ITASS403 - Advanced Routing & Switching using Cisco Hardware

This is a hands-on project-based course on Cisco-specific networking topics. LANs, WANs, and VLANs are examined in the context of a typical commercial enterprise network constructed with Cisco IOS-based equipment. Configuration of routing protocols and network address translations will also be explored.


ITASS 404 - Professional Skills Level

Connecting with people and building networking is the third module of the Professional Skills. In this module, you will develop and practice some very important networking skills. These competencies are essential to your success, both in college and in your career. Through a variety of activities, you will start the process of presenting yourself within your industry and building your professional network. You are required to conduct an informational interview with someone in your field. This will help you understand the insights and ideas for beginning your career with confidence.

ITASS 500 - Quarter End Project

This course will summarize the lessons learned from Project Management, and Virtualization and Cloud Computing courses.


ITASS 501 - Installing and Configuring Linux Operating Systems

This is a project-based course that provides participants with the knowledge and skills to fully administer a single UNIX-based server. Topics include fundamental Linux navigation as a user; installing and managing a Linux distribution; configuring and managing disks and file systems; users, groups and permissions; backups and restores, installing software and packages; and shutting down and rebooting Linux.


ITASS 502 - Project Management

This survey course provides an introduction to Microsoft Project Professional as a means of introducing project management concepts. Students will leave with practical working knowledge at an introductory level.


ITASS 503 - Windows Server Configuration

This course covers the additional functionality provided by Windows Server operating system platform vs. desktop operating systems. It is expected that students bring a significant hands-on background with Windows OS administration prior to this course. Server System Configuration is a project-based course in which participants will work through a project to learn how the Windows Server network operating system can be implemented and maintained in a basic network. Topics include managing and maintaining physical and logical devices, managing users, computers, and groups, managing and maintaining access to resources, managing and maintaining a server environment, and managing and maintaining disaster recovery.


ITASS 504 - Virtualization and Cloud Computing

This course builds upon the fundamental knowledge of information technology. Students will set up a Microsoft and VMware cloud hosting. It will also delineate software as a service concept using cloud and open cloud solutions. Some of the technologies this course will cover is proxmox, hyper-V, VMware, open virtualization etc.


ITASS 601 - Advance Linux Administration

Advance Linux administration course (ITASS601) is a project-based course in which participants will learn how to configure data communications and networking utilizing Linux as a learning tool. DNS, NFS, DHCP and Samba are covered.  Concepts covered include the OSI 7-layer model, encapsulation and decapsulation, routing, and the basic TCP/IP applications.


ITASS 602 - Business Communication

This course is designed to establish the foundation of effective documentation skills. In any industry and specifically Information Technology it is essential to have such a skill, to document and communicate effectively. Business standard communications and protocols are discussed.


ITASS 603 - Advanced Network Administration

This is a course that examines the conceptual issues of security within a computing context. Logical designs and architecture are emphasized, putting conceptual design for security ahead of implementation. Security in areas such as physical design, access controls, and network infrastructure are discussed. Computing Security Architecture is a course that covers the logic and theory behind how attacks are executed and how to prevent them. It will go over in depth traits of various types of malware and the defences designed to prevent them.


ITASS 700 - Quarter End Project

This course will summarize the lesson learned from the Perimeter Network Defense course. This will offer the participants an opportunity to review and practice the lessons learned, and will give the instructors a better idea of their students strengths and weaknesses.


ITASS 701 - Corporate Hybrid Networking using Linux and Windows

This is a project-based course in which participants will learn how to manage and maintain their Linux network. Specific topics covered are; patching, multi-booting, recovery, printing, backup and restores, file and web servers and integrating in windows networks.


ITASS 702 - Perimeter Network Defense

This course examines the critical defensive technologies needed to secure network perimeters. The course includes coverage of network security threats and goals, advanced TCP/IP concepts, router security, intrusion detection, firewall design and configuration, IPSec and virtual private network (VPN) design, and wireless network design and security. The course will highlight various threats and goals and best practices of a DMZ network along with best practices for exchange DMZ environment.


ITASS 703 - Enterprise Administration Project

This course is designed to implement a hands on industry project. It will cover concepts learned in the previous six quarters as well as the current quarter. The platform includes Microsoft operating systems and Linux operating systems. The project is designed to have a hybrid network where students will design a multi-site network using hybrid technology and operating systems.


ITASS 704 - Professional Skills Level 2

How to be an effective team member, is the second module of the Professional Skills. In this module, you will develop interpersonal skills that will help you to be a more effective team member. These competencies are essential to your success, both in college and in your career. Through a variety of exercises, you will uncover effective communication strategies and you will then apply this knowledge in in-class assignments and projects.


ITASS 800 - Quarter End Project

This course will summarize the lesson learned from the Cryptology and Modern Network Security, Incident Response and Forensic Inspection, and Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing courses. This will offer the participants an opportunity to review and practice the lessons learned, and will give the instructors a better idea of their students strengths and weaknesses.


ITASS 801 - Cryptology and Modern Network Security

This course provides practical knowledge of encryption technology and how it is applied in various industries. Conceptual overviews of cryptographic algorithms, confidentiality, integrity, authentication, non-repudiation, access control, and cryptographic standards and protocols are provided. Public key infrastructure (PKI) concepts including certificates, revocation and trust models are examined with a hands-on project.


ITASS 802 - Incident Response and Forensic Inspection

This course covers conceptual and pragmatic skills for the first responder for forensic investigation. All IT professionals with any security-related duties should be versed with rules of engaging in a forensic examination, including areas such as non-liturgical and liturgical forensic examination, abuse issues, intrusion management, profiling, and privacy issues. It also covers Computer forensics and investigation as a profession. This course will not only cover the technical aspect of the field but also provide a solid ground for law enforcement, legal processes, report writing for high-tech investigations and ethics and codes in expert witness.


ITASS 803 - Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing

Ethical hacking and penetration testing, introduces the art of ethical hacking and security testing, preparing you to be an efficient security professional. The course will cover the introduction and legality of the ethical hacking, TCP/IP, malicious software, security attacks, enumeration, programming concepts, vulnerabilities of operating systems, cryptography basics and network protection systems.

Review our program pricing for full details.

Scholarships and other financing options are available for qualified candidates.

  • This program is offered at the Kelowna and Surrey campuses
  • Students are required to maintain 80% attendance throughout the program
  • Approximately 20–30 hours/week are required from students to be successful in this program
  • In order to graduate, students must pass all units through the program with a grade of C or higher

Is Employment-Focused Training for a Career in IT Right for You? Get More Info…

If you’re interested in exploring whether Focus College’s training programs and career opportunities in Information Technology and Security Systems are right for you, or you want to learn more about how you can transfer credits to one of our many international university partners, fill out the form on this page and we’ll get you some more information.

A helpful Focus College Admissions Representative will be happy to answer any questions you have and can help with everything from determining the right career path for you to discussing financial aid options.

*Program length when completed in normal time. **Program length following the accelerated track.