Demand for cybersecurity professionals is high. This is set to continue growing for the foreseeable future and the salaries on offer are generally on the higher end of the pay scale—both factors which make a career in this field an attractive option.
Entry level positions require a relevant bachelor’s degree, but the more specialized and highest paid roles usually require a master’s degree.
If you’ve got amazing computer skills, you might be able to walk into a lucrative position without any formal qualifications, but you’ll stand a better chance of getting a job in the field if you have one of the following degrees.
Computer Science Degree
A computer science degree will give you a strong foundation for a career in cybersecurity. When you take computer science at the master’s level, you’ll study mathematical and theoretical foundations, computer systems and artificial intelligence, as well as being required to undertake in-depth study in one of ten specializations. These are:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Software Theory
- Bio Computation
- Real World Computing
- Computer & Network Security
- Database Systems
- Human Computer Interaction
- Theoretical Computer Science
- Numerical Analysis
Computer science degrees are available at traditional brick and mortar universities, but this area of study lends itself very well to an online program. You should expect an online course to last approximately two years and require around 15 hours of study per week.
Degree in Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity degrees are still fairly new, and as such schools are still working out the best way to provide their programs. At the moment schools appear to be taking one of two approaches, either focusing on programing and discrete probability distribution or putting the emphasis on drafting security policy and the study of computer forensics. An ideal program would give you a thorough grounding in both skill sets, so you’ll need to investigate exactly what’s included in a program before you sign up.
You can study for your degree on campus or through an online degree.
Master of Information Degree
An important aspect of cyber security involves handling and understanding data. An online master of information degree can be tailored to give you a specialization in data science or technology, information and management.
Like the cybersecurity and computer science courses, you can study for this degree remotely through an online MLIS program.
Courses typically last two years and can be studied online on a full-time or part-time basis.
Taking an online degree gives you the ability to continue working full-time while you study, and to fit the program in around your schedule. Classes can be a mix of pre-recorded lectures and live sessions, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to interact with your fellow students in online discussion groups and joint projects.
With the size of the cybersecurity market expected to grow from its current $75 billion to a whopping $170 billion by 2020, it makes sense to get your qualifications now, so that you can take advantage of the great career opportunities that are opening up in this industry.
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