What You Should Know About This Degree
A degree in cybersecurity specifically trains you to work in information security, with coursework in digital forensics, cloud, mobile and network security, and cyber laws. If you want to pursue a career as a software or web developer, database administrator, or systems manager, you’ll probably want to investigate a computer science degree, which offers a broader array of training in computer-related topics.
At the graduate level, another option worth exploring is a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems. These types of programs include business and leadership coursework that prepare students for management-level positions. Consider what your career goals are and which degree is best suited for your needs.
Additional professional certifications may be required once you enter the workforce. The most common is the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), but you can also obtain certifications for other specializations within cybersecurity. Obtaining professional certifications is another commitment of time and money to this profession.
Because of the sensitive nature of working in information security, most jobs will require you to pass a background check and receive a security clearance. If you have any situations in your background that may present an issue, it’s important to discuss it with your advisors and see if it will impact your employability.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Cyber Security programs:
- Am I eligible for this program? Because of the highly specific nature of the cybersecurity field, many master’s-level programs require students to have an undergraduate degree in cybersecurity or another computer-related field. They may also require students to have professional experience.
- Does this program have the specialization I want? Within cybersecurity programs at the bachelor’s and master’s levels, some programs offer concentrations in areas like energy systems, cybersecurity policy, and forensics. If you want to specialize in a particular area, check to see if the program offers that option.
Once you’ve found the programs that interest you, research their application processes and admission requirements. This information is typically available on the program’s webpage; you can also contact the program directly if you have questions.
Financing your education is another important consideration. Research scholarship opportunities and financial aid deadlines. If you are currently employed, check with your employer to see if tuition remission/reimbursement benefits are available.