According to their estimates, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by the end of 2029, the information technology security sector will increase by 31%, which is “far faster than normal.” There are many employment openings for IT security professionals, who are few and far between in cybersecurity. But first, you might be interested in learning what training is required to become a cyber security specialist.
It is widely held that a college degree is not particularly important in the IT sector; what matters are your talents, the projects you’ve worked on, and how ready you are to keep learning and developing.
And while this idea is partly true, it doesn’t fully capture the situation regarding cybersecurity education. Find out what qualifications you need to start a career in information security, whether a college degree is required, and what talents you should have.
Protecting computer systems, devices, and networks is the field of cybersecurity. Unauthorized access, theft, and damage to hardware, software, or data are all covered by this protection.
For a variety of reasons, malicious actors try to hack into systems. Sometimes it’s to get access to private data. Other times, it might be used to demand money from users in exchange for ransom.
Why think about working in cybersecurity?
There is a huge demand because cybersecurity is growing rapidly. There won’t be a lack of employment for skilled applicants shortly. Both the public and private sectors have open positions. Compared to other career options, great demand in a highly technological profession indicates high compensation and employment security. Future development in cybersecurity is essentially assured. Consider the exponential growth of smartphones over the past ten years and the emergence of IoT (Internet of Things) gadgets like smart TVs, appliances, and more.
You’ll practice ethical hacking. You’ll be able to hack computer systems exactly like the bad guys since you’ll understand how they think. Instead, you’ll defend your company’s assets and interests by being a positive force. As an ethical hacker, you’ll battle bad guys who try to break into your networks and wreak havoc. Vulnerabilities and exploits are available. You’ll learn how to repair them.
Numerous cybersecurity roles are available remotely. This is a great field to look into if you like the notion of working remotely and living anywhere you like. A remarkable work-life balance can also result from not having to work traditional office hours or at the workplace. You are free to work when and where you wish. You must pick up your children from school. Visit a medical appointment? No issue. Work at your own pace if you so want.
What Degree to choose for Cyber Security?
It isn’t very easy to determine whether you need a degree in cybersecurity.
On the one hand, just as in any other IT field, you can start as a security specialist without a college education. All you’ll need to land the position is a set of appropriate IT security credentials, possibly some real-world experience.
What is different is if you will be promoted to higher levels. The company’s policy and career development plan are the major determinants.
Knowledge is a key issue in cybersecurity. If a conventional software or web developer makes a mistake, there isn’t much at risk; you could have to postpone a deadline, or a client might become dissatisfied, but that’s about it. However, if your primary responsibility is creating and implementing security solutions, a mistake could result in significant data loss and even financial catastrophe.
The majority of businesses have high educational criteria and prefer to hire candidates with bachelor’s degrees to reduce the likelihood of this happening. Having a master’s degree is preferred for better employment. A degree in a similar discipline, such as computer engineering, computer programming, computer and information sciences, etc., will also do. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in cybersecurity.
It also doesn’t matter if applicants have traditional degrees or online degrees because most employers demand proof of your education in the form of a credential, regardless of where you obtained it.
What choices are there for careers in this field?
The field of cybersecurity is important and expanding. Globally, businesses are investing more than ever in technology and digital transformation. Innovative company processes are driven by or informed by artificial intelligence and machine learning. The trend of cloud computing is expanding.
More than ever before, both businesses and consumers are dependent on computer systems. Networks and computer systems are more prevalent and valuable than ever. To maintain business continuity, organizations must have strong cybersecurity procedures.
There are numerous chances to get involved in the industry. You can start your job for the first time or make a professional change. You can find something, anyway.
7 Best Degrees to Get into Cyber Security Career are shown below:
- Computer Science
- Computer Programming
- Database Administration/Management
- Network Administration
- Cloud computing
- Information Technology Management
- Computer Forensics
1. Computer Science
Computer science is the first choice you’ll come across as you look into degree programs focusing on cybersecurity. It is the most popular bachelor’s degree program in computers. It won’t be difficult for you to locate a school that offers it.
A basic curriculum that educates students about all facets of computers is a computer science degree program. It imparts technological know-how as well as computer science theory and principles. Students will learn about computing systems in general.
The following are the most frequently offered courses in computer science programs:
- Engineering Systems
- Machine learning
2. Computer Programming
No matter what business you’re interested in, computer programming—also known as software development or software engineering—is a highly sought-after ability. This curriculum is interesting to look into if you’re interested in the software side of cybersecurity.
You will discover how to create, analyze, and compile code. Your programs will contain detailed instructions for the computer to follow to carry out various tasks. You’ll study algorithms and problem-solving techniques. You’ll gain knowledge of bug-fixing techniques and group collaboration.
Here are some examples of the common courses you can take:
- Database Structures
- The Python
3. Database Administration/Management
Information and data that businesses gather and store are contained in databases. This knowledge is priceless and essential to the company’s success. This implies that it’s an important attack vector in cybersecurity to guard against.
A hacker uses databases to steal information if they want to. They alter or delete data in databases when they do so. Databases are also used by cybersecurity software to store logs and other information. Therefore, implementing, establishing, and managing databases is essential in cybersecurity.
Typical courses for this degree include the following:
- Structural Query Language (SQL)
- Database Management
- Security of Databases
- Analysis of Data
4. Network Administration
Network administrators manage the links between hardware, software, and operations. As a network administrator, you will be in charge of these systems’ everyday operations. You’ll assist with identifying system requirements, installation, and support for software and hardware.
You will learn how to perform upgrades and repairs, assess performance, and manage security in a network administration program. You’ll be able to control users’ permissions. Additionally, you’ll be able to troubleshoot and fix network issues.
In programs for network administration, you may take the following courses:
- Configuration of the router
- Security & Application Deployment
- Technologies VPN
- Networks in Local Areas (Cloud Computing)
5. Cloud computing
Many firms are increasingly turning to cloud computing for innovation and corporate growth. On-demand computer services accessed over the Internet are referred to as cloud computing. These offerings include access to computation, storage, software, analytics, and other services.
Administrators for cloud computing are in high demand. You can handle cloud computing systems if you earn a degree in this area. You can earn various degrees and numerous industry certifications. Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure are the three major cloud service providers.
Here are some common courses you could enroll in:
- Security for Networks
- Cloud Operations and Deployment
- Programming and scripting
6. Information Technology Management
IT managers are in charge of organizing all technological resources by business requirements. All software, hardware, networks, data, and the staff handling them are under managers’ control. This is a great route to go if management appeals to you more.
Technical and interpersonal skills are both taught in management degree programs. Operations, risk management, and team leadership will all be covered.
Degrees in management information systems and information technology combine business and computer science. Additionally, you’ll gain extensive technical skills in the field of business.
Typical courses for this degree include the following:
- Project Administration
- Security and Network
- Management of Information Systems
- Personnel Management
7. Digital forensics
The field of study that deals with digital evidence in media and computers are this degree program. This curriculum might be a good fit for you if you’re the investigative type.
As a computer forensics analyst, you’ll learn how to gather, examine, and preserve data from computing systems. You will be taught how to restore data from deleted or corrupted hard discs. You’ll discover how to extract data and information from different media formats. You’ll be like the forensic investigator who finds every piece of evidence at a crime scene.
Typical courses in a program in computer forensics include:
- Law of Criminals
- network building
- System Operating
- Languages for Programming
- Methods of Digital Forensic Investigation
- The White-Collar Crime
Having one or more certificates under your belt is a major plus, whether or not you have a degree in cybersecurity or a related profession. This shows prospective employers that you have the education required to be a cyber security professional, that you are actively striving to increase your knowledge base, that you are developing your abilities, and that you have no trouble keeping up with emerging technologies.
Before deciding to enter the field of information system security, professional certifications or certs will give you a solid knowledge basis and perhaps even some practical experience.
Examples of some of the most popular cybersecurity certificates are shown below:
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA, Routing, and Switching)
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- CompTIA Security+ Base-Level Certification
- Systems Administration and Network Security Certifications (SANS)
Although a college degree is not required for most IT job titles, it is crucial for someone aiming for an IT security post. Although associate’s degrees may be acceptable to some employers, bachelor’s degrees are typically preferable.
You probably won’t need to earn a second degree if you already have one in an IT field unrelated to cybersecurity. To become a cyber security specialist, it would be best to complement your education and experience with other IT security certifications. These can be targeted at ethical hackers, security software developers, architects, analysts, or any other job title related to computer security. Choose the appropriate set of certificates based on where you picture yourself in your profession in the future.
Last but not least, don’t undervalue the value of real-world experience. Look for entry-level positions that may not be what you want right now but are the first step in developing a career in cybersecurity. Internships are another excellent choice because they allow you to learn from more seasoned professionals and could ultimately result in a job offer.