Because of the explosive growth of the cybersecurity industry, there are many excellent employment opportunities available to qualified individuals. This guide covers all the important factors to take into account when deciding whether to major in cybersecurity or when assessing degree programs in the field.
Top five main justifications for earning a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity
It’s a significant decision to devote years of your life and thousands of dollars to a college or university degree. Make sure earning a degree in cybersecurity is a suitable fit for you before getting started.
Some of the main justifications for thinking about getting a cybersecurity degree are as follows:
- Specialists in cyber security are in high demand. This implies that cybersecurity specialists may obtain employment more easily than those in most other fields and that they are well-paid.
- Cybersecurity experts have a positive impact. It’s not as though cybersecurity experts work in a factory producing the same product over and over again. Instead, cybersecurity experts use their education and expertise to safeguard vital digital services and infrastructure.
- Among tech jobs, cybersecurity is regarded as the best. Information security analyst was recently listed as one of the top five IT occupations to have by US News & World Report. The ranking is determined by employment demand and income potential. The trends in other cybersecurity positions are comparable.
- The demand for cybersecurity jobs will increase well into the future. According to several employment websites, the average annual growth in demand for cybersecurity jobs is roughly 7%. Given how connected the world is becoming to one another digitally, that expansion is anticipated to last for quite some time.
- The field of cybersecurity is dynamic and rarely monotonous. Cybersecurity is always evolving due to new technological advancements and growing threats, therefore there are never any dull workdays.
Possible majors for those working in cybersecurity
- Cybersecurity: The demand for qualified security experts is growing, yet not all universities now offer degrees in cybersecurity. This can be an excellent option for you if you are certain that you want to study cybersecurity.
- Computer Science: One of the most sought-after bachelor’s degrees in the field of computers is in computer science. These courses typically cover a wide range of technical subjects, such as networking, security, systems engineering, and programming. If you are keen on technology but would like to keep your career choices open beyond cybersecurity, have a look at this widely accessible degree.
- Information technology (IT): While comparable to computer science, information technology (IT) focuses more on applying technology to issues. Take a couple of programming classes to improve your coding abilities if you decide to major in IT.
- Computer engineering: An electrical engineering and computer science bachelor’s degree program that also includes coursework in software, hardware, and computer programming is known as computer engineering. If you’re interested in working with embedded system security, this route might be of interest to you.
Prerequisites for entrance to a cybersecurity program
Most undergraduate cybersecurity programs require a high school diploma or a GED, just like other undergraduate degree programs.
Since cybersecurity relies heavily on computers, mastering the fundamentals of programming and computing infrastructure may help exhibit the abilities and skills needed to be an effective cybersecurity student and professional.
Learning how to build computer software and hardware or how to write computer code are both effective approaches to getting ready for a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity.
Not all cybersecurity experts begin their careers with a bachelor’s degree in information security or cybersecurity. Several students who concentrate on math, computer science, or engineering choose to focus on security through coursework, internships, or training for professional certifications.
How long are degree programs in cyber security?
An associate’s in cyber security can be obtained in two years, a bachelor’s in four, and a master’s with an extra two years of study at a typical four-year college.
However, accelerated programs can help you complete your education more quickly. You could earn an associate’s degree in 1.5 years, a bachelor’s degree in 2.5 years, or a master’s degree in as little as 15 months.
Pursuing a Degree in Cybersecurity and a Career
Step 1: Achieve a bachelor’s degree
Although an associate’s degree may be sufficient for some entry-level cyber security employment, the majority of occupations call for a four-year bachelor’s degree in cyber security or a closely related subject, such as information technology or computer science. Students are prepared for successful jobs in cyber security with the analytical and technical abilities needed by their coursework in programming, statistics, ethics, and computer forensics.
More cyber security degree programs are being created every year in a setting where security breaches are becoming the norm. Prospective students should make sure that their job goals are aligned with the cyber security degree they choose before deciding on it.
Step 2: Finish your Advanced Training
Some organizations will demand that applicants obtain a graduate degree, like a master’s in cyber security. To achieve this, potential employers might provide financial aid for education. After earning a bachelor’s degree, it takes an additional one to two years to finish a master’s degree, which offers advanced training in securing electronic infrastructures and computer networks. As they learn how to deal with network security defense tactics and countermeasures, they also study ethics, practices, regulations, and procedures of cyber security. Professionals in cyber security can also obtain certification to advance their knowledge while maintaining a full-time job and gaining practical experience.
Step 3: Pass security clearances in (if applicable)
For those who want to work with classified information as part of the military or a government agency, security clearances are required. Security clearances for individuals and facilities are granted by a number of organizations, but the Department of Defense grants the majority of them. There are different processes and documentation for each kind of clearance. The three months to a year-long procedure doesn’t start until an employer agrees to hire you, at which point you get a conditional job offer. Submission of clearance papers is the first step, followed by a Background Investigation.