As a rapidly growing career field, cyber security is gaining more attention every day. With the number of unfilled positions hovering around 3.5 million, it’s no wonder people are turning towards cyber security for their future careers.
While obtaining a job in cyber security without a degree is possible, more and more employers are requiring at least a bachelor’s degree so that they know their business is in good hands. It isn’t enough to simply fill the empty positions; the people that take on these jobs must have the skills and the expertise to tackle and prevent cyber threats.
Sure, a certificate may be helpful when job hunting, but it’s no longer enough to guarantee that you’ll get a top-paying job. If you really want to enjoy the benefits of a career in cyber security, then you’ll want to look into getting a full degree.
Once you have your cyber security degree, here are a few of the additional perks you’ll be able to take advantage of:
1. High Salary
Most cyber security positions pay very well. Entry-level information security analysts start with an average salary of over $62,000 according to PayScale, while ZipRecruiter reports an average salary of over $182,000 for Chief Information Security Officers. In certain metropolitan areas like San Francisco, New York, and Chicago, salaries may even triple!
The top-paying cyber security positions do require more schooling, such as a master’s degree. Most positions, though, will offer competitive salaries even for those who are still working on obtaining their bachelor’s degree.
2. Job Security
With so many job vacancies, you won’t struggle to find a good offer no matter where you go. You’ll be able to find employers all across the country, or even across the world, that are willing to hire you. As the job market is so hot right now, many employers will offer extra benefits, pay increases, or other enticing offers just to get you on their staff.
As cyber security professionals are in very high demand, you have a lot of power when it comes to negotiating your schedule and flexibility. If your current employer is unwilling to make arrangements with you, then it won’t be hard to find someone who will.
This being said, many cyber security positions can be done remotely. With a remote position, you’re freer to schedule your own hours, take your work on the road, or plan a vacation.
4. The Degree Pays for Itself
Especially once you get a masters in cyber security, the degree will pay for itself. Most master’s degree programs will cost between $19,000-$34,000 but this can easily be paid off once you start working.
There are tons of grants and scholarships available for those who are looking to go into cyber security, as well as employers that are willing to reimburse tuition costs. Even without this, though, the salary you’ll earn once you’re hired will be enough to make up for the cost of the degree.
5. Positive Job Outlook
Cyber security is one of the fastest-growing fields with a projected growth rate of 33%. The BLS also predicts over 16,000 new job openings will be posted every year for the next eight years. With such a high growth rate and the increasing number of opening positions, it won’t take you long to find a job once you graduate.
6. Career Openings in Every Industry
Cyber security is not limited to only certain industries. Every type of business from healthcare to education to food service needs a way to protect itself against hackers and malicious attacks.
As a cyber security professional, you’ll have a lot of options as to where you can find work. If you’re interested in working in healthcare, just look for a position online. If you want to work for the federal government, they’re hiring!
If you get tired of a certain industry or you realize that you don’t enjoy it as much as you thought you would, you can decide to change over to something else. Cyber security isn’t limited, so you’ll have an array of choices no matter where you look.
7. Many Jobs Require a Degree
At one point in time, a degree was not required to get started in cyber security. These days, however, most employers will require a bachelor’s degree. The BLS even lists a bachelor’s degree as one of the minimum entry requirements. While some people do still choose to start their career with only a certification, they won’t be able to get as far.
For top-paying positions, many employers require a master’s degree. Some may only list it as a preference, but they will require a bachelor’s degree at the very least. In order to avoid being denied a job based on a lack of a degree, it’s better to earn your degree first and then pursue a career.
8. You’ll Learn All the Necessary Skills
When it comes to cyber security, being good with computers isn’t the only requirement. You also need to know the theory behind it. You should also be familiar with other areas connected to cyber security such as law, policy, compliance, intelligence, governance, and management. These skills are all taught during a degree program along with additional things such as incident response, cryptography, secure systems architecture, and vulnerability detection.
Although being good with computers is a benefit, it can’t guarantee that you’re prepared to handle every threat or problem that you encounter which is why a degree is in your best interest.
Start Off on the Right Foot
No matter what career field you’re going into, it’s important that you start off on the right foot. Earning your degree in cyber security will help you do just that! When you graduate, you’ll have all the necessary skills to provide clients with secure, robust systems and you’ll be able to navigate unique problems.
Whether you’re looking for an on-campus degree program or a fully remote program, finding a cyber security degree that suits you is the best way to start your career.