It’s no secret that information security is growing in importance. It seems you can’t go a week without seeing another headline about the newest breach or cybersecurity mishap. Big-name companies have all fallen victim to hackers in recent years.
The constant barrage of cyber threats affects businesses and organizations that play important roles in nearly every aspect of our lives. Due to this, many Americans are growing increasingly concerned. Those concerns are well justified as cybercrime racked up approximately $3.5 billion in total losses in 2019, consistent with an FBI report—and that’s just what’s known. As our digital reliance grows, it’s no surprise that this growing problem also creates an increased awareness of the necessity for cybersecurity professionals.
What role are you able to play in fighting against cybercrime?
You’ve heard the statistics seen the news headlines, which is why you’re considering doubling down on your interest in technology to launch a cybersecurity career. You’re excited to enlist within the cybercrime protection section but unsure of your next steps. There’s one question that especially stands out: Is a Cyber Security degree worth it? While we can’t answer that question for you. We will provide you with some important information which will assist you as you make the proper decision for your future.
Facts to think about the value of a Cyber Security degree
You’ve heard about all benefits of higher education. But let’s cut out the fluff get right to the statistics. Before deciding whether a Cyber Security degree is worthwhile for you, consider these facts.
Cybersecurity jobs are on the increase
If you’re contemplating going back to high school to pursue a replacement career, you would like to feel confident that jobs will be available within the field upon graduation. Because regardless of how passionate you’re about the industry, you don’t want to take a position time and money toward a degree that results in a dead end.
Luckily, that’s not an issue within the case of cybersecurity. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects cybersecurity analyst jobs to extend 31 percent through 2029, which is nearly seven times the typical projected employment growth for all occupations. What’s more is employment for these professionals is projected by the BLS to grow 56 percent, specifically within the computer systems design and related services field, therein same period.
Cybersecurity professionals are needed in every industry
The growth highlighted above isn’t limited to only the technology field. In today’s digital landscape, nearly every company in every industry has need for varying levels of data security services. This suggests you won’t be restricted to certain companies when it comes time to seek out employment. You’ll put your skills to use in practically any field, from education to insurance to law enforcement.
The BLS notes two areas that currently have an increased need for cybersecurity professionals: financial institutions and healthcare institutions. Banks and other financial institutions especially must increase their information security capabilities. Additionally, the healthcare industry will be leaning more on cybersecurity professionals to secure electronic health records and ensure patients’ privacy.
Companies are struggling to seek out qualified cybersecurity professionals
You now know that cybersecurity jobs are out there. But the tough reality is there are simply not enough qualified candidates to satisfy organizations’ cybersecurity needs. A 2020 report from ISC states the U.S. faces a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals, with an estimated 359,000 skilled workers needed to shut the gap.
While the demand for cybersecurity professionals in your area can vary depending on several factors, it appears that the broader trend of organizations investing more in information security teams should persist. This is often promising information for anyone bent pursuing a cybersecurity career.
Employers are seeking candidates with a Cyber Security degree
So if there is a shortage of qualified candidates, you’re probably wondering what exactly it means to be “qualified.” The data shows that 88 percent of job postings involved candidates with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. This suggests that earning a Cyber Security degree would help qualify for the jobs employers are desperately seeking.
Cybersecurity programs prepare students with the foremost, in-demand skills
Employers value the training that comes with earning a Cyber Security degree. But you’re probably interested inwhat exactly that training entails. Every program is unique, but there are some common themes among them.
For example, many programs train students using real-world tools, techniques and applications, like cryptography, Windows®, Linux®, Cisco®, VMware® and Microsoft Azure®. The curriculum also prepares students for industry cybersecurity certification exams which will help your résumé stand out.
The modern curriculum that creates your course of study will teach you about security risk management, advanced networking, vulnerability analysis, security awareness, and more.
Cybersecurity job opportunities typically increase with education level
Across all industries, it’s a general rule of thumb that the more education you acquire, the less barriers you’ll face when seeking employment. We decided to put this theory to the test for the cybersecurity field. After scanning the work postings in our analysis, we were ready to identify the entire number of job postings required education level. Here’s the breakdown:
• High school diploma: 10,221 job postings
• Associate’s degree: 3,917 job postings
• Bachelor’s degree: 96,822 job postings
• Master’s degree: 2,717 job postings
• Doctoral degree: 732 job postings
You’ll notice that a majority of those job listings requires a Bachelor’s degree. So if you’ve been on the fence about the education, consider this: Earning a Cyber Security Bachelor’s degree makes you eligible for eight times as many roles as someone with no degree.
Cybersecurity professionals have solid earning potential
After hearing about the stark shortages of cybersecurity professionals, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that employers are willing to put significant investments into qualified candidates. The BLS reports the median annual salary for cybersecurity analysts in 2019 was $99,730.3 This is twice the national average for all occupations.
Is a Cyber Security degree in your future?
It’s impossible to overlook the importance of cybersecurity in today’s digital economy Whether you’re excited by the earning potential or motivated by the high demand and potential for advancement, take a look at the opportunities awaiting you. So is a Cyber Security degree worthwhile for you? Consider the facts laid out above, and decide for yourself.