Suppose you want to work in cybersecurity, mind that you need to earn special education and training. Usually, this area is not covered in high school or college. Thus, you will need to apply for a university program or a special school. Sometimes, it might be enough to pass some courses, so, as a student, you can combine them with your basic degree and work.
Do you want to earn an average of $116,000 annually or $55.77 per hour? According to CIO, that is how much a cybersecurity specialist makes. Below, we will tell you what you should study as a student.
Obtain a Relevant BA Degree
You can ignore the significance of a BA degree, but with an associate’s degree alone, you risk missing all the good offers from respected companies. Most often, HR managers from various corporations expect to see a candidate with a 4-year BA degree in cybersecurity. You should study it as a separate program instead of part of an IT program.
Many students think by mistake that studying cybersecurity requires only coverage of such disciplines as programming/coding, statistics, and IT. However, that is not true. You will even have to learn ethics and computer forensics as cybersecurity is closely related to these two areas.
During your college program, you will gain and develop the analytical and tech skills necessary to succeed in this field. You may briefly cover cybersecurity as a computer science or IT class, but it is not enough to become a specialist in this field. With every new year, most colleges introduce new programs related to cybersecurity, so you even have a choice. The programs try to align with your career objectives and expectations.
Even some popular Business & Management programs contain cybersecurity on the list. The University of London is one of the possible options if you decide to study online security. All you need is an impressive admissions essay and high school records. If you have difficulty writing, you may look for online services that offer papers in English, Spanish homework help, projects in German, and more.
Fulfill Special Training & Courses
If you want an attractive offer from the very beginning, you should think about additional cybersecurity courses while studying in college. You may also attend them after work to raise your proficiency level or get ready for the career choice. If you manage to apply for a Master’s degree in cybersecurity, you may skip extra courses as this diploma is enough for the employers. However, depending on the company’s internal systems and approaches, you may need tutoring and supervision for the first few months. Do not be ashamed to ask your employer for that.
If you decide to pursue a master’s degree, you may have to spend 1-2 years more to finish with your studies and get the desired degree. What will you learn during this period? This year or two is critical to learn more about electro-infrastructure and computer networks.
Young people will master policies and procedures that guarantee online and data safety. Even if you work full-time, you can still pass some online courses. If you have a generous social package, your company may decide to cover your educational expenses.
Handle Security Clearances
The Department of Defense may be your next target. This organization established personnel and facility security clearances. You should be able to pass them at any time to prove your competence. It is unnecessary for everyone – only for people who want to deal with classified data in a military organization. Wait until you get a conditional offer of employment from your recruiter. Conduct background research/investigation. Then, prepare your clearance doc for review.
Choose the Level of Degrees That You Wish to Earn
Do not expect to find a great variety of programs in this field. It is up to you whether to study in college and live on-campus or do everything distantly. You will also pass internships over the course of your education. Is an associatelevel enough for you? If yes, in these cases:
- When one who already has a related job needs an extra qualification;
- When one wishes to obtain an entry-level job as a computer technician;
- When one plans to gain a 4-year cybersecurity degree and needs something to start from.
If you realize that you still require a bachelor’s degree, be ready to dig deeper into such topics as database apps, stats, and coding. The program may remind you of a standard computer science degree with some nuances. A lot will depend on your intelligence.
Finally, if you are looking for a quick start to your career and high wages from the beginning, you should first spend a maximum number of years in university. To get a master’s degree, you will have to successfully defend coursework on cryptography, digital forensics, or related topics.
To develop quality security products and services, people should first study computer science. Cybersecurity is a large and important part of this course. If you want to focus on this area, it is better to apply for a separate degree in one of the colleges or schools specializing in security technologies. You may also think about attending additional courses after your work or ask your colleagues for help.