With more and more of our lives becoming interwoven with the online space, from our social lives to even our private information, it is becoming more and more important that our data stays protected and safe from malicious actors. The goal of cybersecurity is to protect our digital devices as well as the networks they operate on from threats that could exploit weaknesses to gain access to your information.
There is a lot of progression available in pursuing a career in cybersecurity, as the industry is only set to expand, with skills that can be transferred to any sector of the economy. It can be difficult to navigate all the different types of programmes and niches of cybersecurity, so we have compiled the information that you need to know in order to better understand the field of cybersecurity and whether you should consider taking cyber security courses.
What is a cybersecurity degree for?
A degree in cybersecurity is a great option for those who have or want to develop their critical thinking skills and are knowledgeable about computing. Getting a degree in cybersecurity will help you better develop and understand skills relating to the securing of networks and information. Not only will you be able to know how to secure devices such as computers and devices, but also systems like networks and databases from cyberattacks. You will also know how to look out for exploits and monitor for threats before they even cause any damage.
There are a few different variations of cybersecurity degrees that can be attained, depending on what aspect of cybersecurity you want to specialise in. All The skills that any of the degrees will teach you will better enable you to minimise the number of data breaches that your company or organisations face, either proactively or reactively.
The courses and skills needed for a cybersecurity degree
The different cybersecurity degrees will also have some specific prerequisite skills and courses that you would need to possess, though there are some universal ones that you should definitely have. You should definitely be comfortable with programming and understanding information law and ethics, as well as operating systems. Cybersecurity-specific courses like cybersecurity policy, digital forensics and system vulnerability assessment are also vital to gaining a firm understanding of cybersecurity operations.
What’s great about getting a cybersecurity degree?
Work that helps other people
The information about people is important and dependent on the industry you ultimately choose to work in, this information can be life-changing if it gets in the hands of people who aim to do people harm. Doing your job well means that you protect people from getting their credit card details stolen, as well as their addresses and other sensitive information. Fraud and blackmail and various other crimes are life-changing for many people and ensuring that every facet of your information security is secure means that they will never have to go through that.
Your employers will also benefit greatly, as data leaks and compromised systems result in significant delays in operations, meaning that companies value what you bring to the organisation and your prospects are greatly secured.
Develop and hone your skills
A degree programme in cybersecurity will help you advance your career through the further honing and widening of your skills. A degree programme will endow you with skills that you can take back to the workforce, skills that would be difficult to learn outside of a school setting. A degree programme offers you a chance to practice and dry-run your skills and offers you a chance to spot your mistakes and improve on them without any adverse consequences to your employers.
The cybersecurity and cloud industry is only set to grow in the next decade, meaning that there will be greater demand for people with skills to protect information and data online. Many estimates by government agencies are expecting a large increase in the demand for these roles to be filled, which means that you can expect higher starting salaries and job opportunities. Many other sectors are expanding into cloud services as well, such as finance and healthcare where there is a lot of data management, meaning that you’re not pigeonholed into working in just one industry.
Though you may not need a degree in order to get into cybersecurity, many data studies have shown that a degree in cybersecurity will often net you an increased salary and higher positions as you continue working in the field.
This is especially compelling if you’ve been in the industry for a while without a degree and are looking for a way to increase your salary and job prospects!
Build your network
When you take a degree programme, you won’t be doing it alone. You’ll meet and interact with many other like-minded people, from your fellow classmates to your lecturers and professors. This gives you the opportunity to build networks and connections with others. These connections are very useful in a professional setting, whether you may be looking for other positions or interests, or have contacts that you can reach out to for collaborations or advice.
Some programmes may also offer the chance for an internship or job attachment during your studies, meaning that you can develop your professional skills in a real-world setting. You can also interact with the professionals in the organisations you’re in, meaning you have a better chance of landing yourself a job straight after your graduation.
There are plenty of different cybersecurity degrees that you can choose to pursue depending on your specific interests and capabilities. From computer science to engineering or even the study of cybersecurity itself, each degree will offer you the opportunity to get into the cybersecurity role and understand the inner workings better. Taking a degree offers you a ton of other benefits as well, such as being able to better find a job position that suits your needs and to also develop your professional circle so that you can better leverage the opportunities networking can provide.