Cybersecurity is one of the most important fields in the military today, and with good reason. The Department of Defense (DoD) has estimated that cyber attacks could cost the United States up to $250 billion by 2021. That’s a lot of money!
While a degree in cybersecurity might seem like the only way to get ahead in this field, there are other options available to you. In this article, we’re going to look at what qualifications you need to be a cyber security specialist in the Air Force, and whether or not a degree is really necessary.
The Air Force Cyber Security Academy
The Air Force Cyber Security Academy (AFSC) is a school operated by the Air Force that provides education and training in cyber security. To be eligible for admission to the AFSC, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in information technology or a related field.
Admission to the AFSC is competitive and requires an excellent academic record and test scores. Students must also submit application materials including letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a resume. The AFSC offers a variety of courses that cover cyber security topics such as network security, digital forensics, penetration testing, and cryptography.
The AFSC provides students with the skills they need to pursue careers in cyber security. Admission to the AFSC is competitive and requires an excellent academic record and test scores.
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a field of study that deals with the prevention and response to cyberattacks. To be considered cybersecurity-literate, you don’t need a degree – but you will need some specific skills.
Even if you don’t have a college degree, there are many opportunities in the cybersecurity field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for cybersecurity specialists was $86,490 in May 2017.
There are many types of cybersecurity jobs available, so your skills and experience will matter less than what interests you. However, some common requirements for these positions include:
- Knowledge of computer security principles
- Experience administering or using Linux or Microsoft Server systems
- Strong analytical and problem solving skills
- Excellent communication and teamworking abilities
How to Become a Cybersecurity Professional in the Air Force
In order to join the cyber security profession in the Air Force, you will need a degree from a accredited university. However, many cyber security professionals have previous experience in the field or are self-taught.
The following are three steps to becoming a cyber security professional in the Air Force:
1. Acquire Cybersecurity Certification
First, obtain cybersecurity certification from an accredited certification body. This will demonstrate that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to work as a cyber security professional. There are many certification bodies available, so search online for “cybersecurity certification” to find one that is right for you.
2. Become Certified in Information Assurance and Security Management
Second, become certified in information assurance and security management (IA/SM). This certification will show that you have the knowledge and skills to manage information assurance and security programs. IA/SM certification is available from several accreditation bodies, so look for certificates with the “IA/SM” designation when searching online.
3. Prove Your Experience in Cybersecurity
Third, provide proof of your experience in cybersecurity. This can be done through letters of recommendation from former employers.
A look at the job market for cybersecurity professionals
Cybersecurity is a growing field, and with that comes a corresponding increase in the demand for professionals with cybersecurity skills. But what if you don’t have a degree in cyber security? Is there still a place for you in the cyber security workforce?
There are certainly opportunities for cybersecurity professionals without degrees, but it will likely take more than just natural skill to land a job in this field. In order to gain admission into some of the nation’s top cybersecurity programs, candidates often need strong GPAs and test scores. Additionally, many roles require certification from organizations like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Despite these requirements, there are some cyber security positions that do not require a degree or specific certification. For example, many entry-level positions in cyber security may only require basic computer science knowledge. And even if you don’t have a degree, there are always ways to improve your skillset and qualify for jobs in this field. Whether you’re looking to gain experience or learn new technologies, there’s no shortage of ways to get involved in the cyber security world.
The Basics of Cybersecurity Training
In order to be a cyber security specialist in the Air Force, you don’t need a degree. All you need is a certification from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and experience in the field. The Air Force offers two cybersecurity certifications: the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and the Certified Security Professional (CSP). To get certified, you need to pass an exam from NIST. Certifications are good for five years, but you can renew them if you keep up your cyber security skills.
No, you don’t need a degree to do cyber security in the Air Force. However, having a degree can definitely help you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of being offered a position. Cyber security is one of the fastest-growing fields, so there are plenty of opportunities for those with the right skillset. If you are interested in pursuing a career in cyber security, be sure to check out our online resources to see if there is a school or program that would be a good fit for you.