In the current generation and era, a hugely increased demand for computers and machine-based technologies leads to the daily growth of computer science specialists and cybersecurity professionals.
Cybersecurity has become one of the crucial aspects of protecting computer systems from different attacks and threats. And this is the main reason why professionally trained cybersecurity experts are so in demand.
It’s also important to note that specialists with at least a cybersecurity Bachelor’s degree are more qualified for professional opportunities than those without this credential. So, let’s dig in further and explore more about the variety of cybersecurity programs, degrees, and formats.
Why Get a Cybersecurity Degree? Top Reasons and Benefits
The most general and straightforward answer could be because the cybersecurity professionals’ demand is higher than the supply. However, it’s just the surface, and there are many other benefits a cybersecurity degree can offer you. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- High Demand for Cybersecurity Professionals: As we have already mentioned, there is a dire need for qualified cybersecurity specialists. The number of job vacancies and opportunities is increasing daily. In addition, many companies follow National Security Agency guidelines, including a cybersecurity degree. With an advanced degree, professional skills, and certifications, you can surely stand out among other candidates and confidently apply for your preferred position.
- Professional Growth Potential: The IT sector is broad and includes a lot of subdivisions. Skilled professionals with experience and relative knowledge have all the prerequisites for growth and development. Besides, the cybersecurity sector itself is in a growing phase, and you can tag along and move forward simultaneously.
- A Cybersecurity Degree Equals to Job: A cybersecurity Bachelor’s degree is the most basic entry-level requirement. Even though you can still get a cybersecurity job without degrees and certifications, most companies require it.
Possible Major Options for Cybersecurity Professionals
Although having a degree is not always a must-have for getting a job in the cybersecurity industry, earning one can help you in different ways: developing deep and professional skills, acquiring new job opportunities, becoming a competitive specialist, etc.
If you want to enter the IT industry but haven’t decided what cybersecurity program to choose, you can consider some majors (for Bachelor’s degrees) listed below.
Computer Science is currently a highly demanded Bachelor’s degree program that is very popular among cybersecurity students. This program mainly covers various technical skills like network security, system engineering, and programming. If you are interested in the technology field but want something beyond cybersecurity, consider this option a possible major.
Though there are few universities and learning institutions where you can find cybersecurity degree courses, the demand is very high. The universities with such degrees and training options are now top-rated for training skilled security professionals.
This major is a mixture of computer science and electrical engineering. The courses include multiple topics, including software, hardware, and computer programming. If you prefer working with embedded system security, Computer Engineering is the best option.
IT (Information Technology)
A Bachelor of Science in Information Technology mainly focuses on using technology to solve problems. Here, you also need some basic code writing skills. If you don’t have such skills, you can simultaneously take programming classes.
Cybersecurity Programs: Available Formats
Multiple training options and formats of cybersecurity programs are available for diverse student needs: on-campus, online, and hybrid.
Cybersecurity students can choose the most convenient format based on accreditation, tuition fees, and faculty qualifications.
Online cybersecurity degree programs and training have become highly required in recent years. The good thing is that most online cybersecurity training and programs offer the same coursework and curriculum as their on-campus options. So, along with learning basic security skills and technology-management concepts, you will also learn about cybersecurity’s ethical and legal issues.
A hybrid format is a mixture of on-site and online cybersecurity programs. Depending on the institution and cybersecurity degree, you can have an opportunity to choose this studying format.
After getting your online cybersecurity degree, you are ready to start working right away. There are different jobs related to the security sector. You can find your place among digital forensic engineers, information security analysts, network security engineers, etc.
Other most famous roles and careers you can consider are listed below :
- Security Architect
- Penetration Tester
- IT Auditor
- Security Engineer
- Digital Forensic Analyst
- Network Administrator
- Incident Reporter
- Cyber Crime Investigator
Cybersecurity Degree Alternatives
If you don’t have an opportunity or can’t get a diploma for different reasons, don’t worry, there are still several options to enter the cybersecurity world. Look through them and pick the one that fits you the most.
- Certification: Many companies and organizations have at least an essential requirement in their job listings, which is certification. After the cybersecurity Bachelor’s degree, this is the best option to show your fundamental skills and techniques fully. In addition, you can get certifications of different levels based on your needs and technical knowledge: entry-level, mid-level, and advanced.
- Self-teaching: Today, the Internet contains different courses and available materials. Information Technology courses are not an exception. Most of these online cybersecurity courses are relatively inexpensive or even absolutely free. All you need for success is self-motivation, hard work, and persistence.
- Real Job Experience: You can gain more experience and sharpen your skills through real practice and work. It is actual for the cybersecurity industry too. You can start from an entry-level job in the IT sphere and then grow and develop your professional abilities with hard work. After a while, you will be able to be promoted and change careers.
Cybersecurity requires passionate professionals with specific skills to succeed in this field. Therefore, STEM educators include these skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) in the STEM curriculum.
It’s the best career path if you have a passion for technology, security, and computational systems. Additionally, the salary ranges of cybersecurity experts are among the highest in the job market.
The range mainly differs depending on the location, expertise, and job requirements and varies from $80.000 to $200.000.
You can enter into cybersecurity world even without a degree. Some options are getting a certification, taking online courses, applying for internships, or starting from a junior position and then advancing to higher levels.
If you have prior experience or a technology background, it will be easy to get a job in this field. However, if you are a newcomer and will begin from scratch, it’s recommended to get a degree or earn a certification.