Cyber Security Career and Education Information

Sep 11, 2019

Cyber security programs prepare students to protect computer systems from viruses and hackers by teaching computer forensics and networking fundamentals. Continue reading for an overview of possible majors, career options and certification information, as well as employment and salary statistics for graduates.

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Cyber security refers to the means used to protect computers and networks from illegal attempts to access personal, business, or classified information via the Internet. Those interested in a career in the field of cyber security may pursue work as a security administrator, cyber policy analyst, information security analyst or software developer.

Essential Information

Any computer connected to the Internet is vulnerable to cyber attacks. Cyber security is the technique used to protect computers and networks from these types of intrusions. As illegal efforts to gain personal or classified information via the Internet continues to increase, the demand for skilled workers who can prevent such attacks is also increasing. A relevant bachelor's degree is the most common academic requirement for careers in cyber security.

Careers Information Security Analysts Software Developers
Education Requirements A bachelor's degree in computer science or computer programming OR an MBA in information systems A bachelor's degree in computer science or software engineering
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 32% 21%
Median Annual Salary (May 2018)* $98,350 $110,000 for systems software developers

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Numerous job possibilities exist within the field of cyber security. They include digital forensics experts, security administrators, cyber policy analysts and cyber security software engineers.

Information Security Analysts

Information security analysts are in charge of installing the software that is designed to safeguard an organization's computerized data. These specialists research and recommend security measures and investigate security breaches.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that job growth in the field of information security analysts is expected to be much faster than the average for all occupations from 2018-2028, at 32%. The BLS additionally reports the median salary for information security analysts was $98,350 per year in 2018.

Cyber Security Software Engineers

Cyber security software engineers monitor the security of an organization's networks and attempt to minimize computer system vulnerabilities. They must have experience in malware protection, firewalls, routers and intrusion prevention systems.

While there was no data specifically for cyber security software engineers, the BLS reported that median annual salaries for systems software developers was $110,000 in May 2018. The BLS also predicted a growth rate of 21% among these professionals between 2018 and 2028.

Cyber Security Career Info

Securing the Internet and its stores of sensitive digital information is becoming increasingly important in the field of information technology. The demand for workers with specialized education or training is growing at a rapid pace.

Job prospects for those with specialized training or education in the field of cyber security are strong, with an increasing number of private businesses seeking to secure sensitive information.

Cyber Security Education Info

The path to a career in cyber security can vary greatly depending on a particular employer's needs. Earning a bachelor's degree in computer science or management information systems is a good place to start. A bachelor's degree in a related field, such as math or engineering, can also lead to opportunities in the field. Some jobs require an associate degree coupled with professional certifications, which are increasingly important in the technical world. These certifications are offered through software and hardware companies, professional associations and other institutions. In the computer industry, many employers view these credentials as the industry standard.

Since the demand for cyber security experts is rapidly increasing, more degree programs focused solely on the subject are being created. The government is actively involved in the recruitment and training of cyber security workers. The National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) works with the federal government and other agencies in this effort. The NCSD seeks applicants who have the necessary skills and education to detect vulnerabilities in information systems and respond to incidents of cyber security breeches. No particular degree is required for these jobs, but experience is crucial.

The growing demand for Internet security has contributed to strong job growth for those interested in a career in cyber security. These professionals typically require a degree in computer science, computer engineering, or computer programming.

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