With many careers available in tech, you might ask yourself, “Is a cybersecurity degree worth it?” Cybersecurity is already an important aspect of information technology fields and the demand for it is growing rapidly.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of cybercrime, you understand how difficult and costly it can be for individuals and corporations to bounce back after a cyberattack. As people use the internet for more of their regular interactions, the reliance on technology will continue to grow. This results in an increased need for more robust cybersecurity measures. If you are asking yourself, “Is a cybersecurity degree worth it?” the answer may be yes if you are interested in using your technical skills to help people and organizations stay safe online. Continue reading to learn more about the field of cybersecurity.
How to Decide if a Cybersecurity Degree is Right for You
What Is Cybersecurity?
Large corporations have fallen victims to hackers in the last several years, proving the need for cybersecurity professionals. Whether it is a multi-billion-dollar company or a small family business, everyone needs to incorporate important security measures to avoid cyberattacks. This may include having cybersecurity professionals on staff to ensure the company’s networks and online presence is safe and secure.
Are Cybersecurity Jobs in Demand?
Cybersecurity jobs are an important factor to consider when entering a cybersecurity degree program. You want to feel confident that you can find work once you earn your degree. The good news is that cybersecurity and similar information technology careers are on the rise. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts information security analysts jobs, such as cybersecurity professionals, will increase 31% through 2029, accounting for an estimated increase of 40,900 jobs in the field.1
It can also be beneficial to get an information technology internship. An internship position can give you hands-on experience that can be beneficial in your career. Also, such opportunities can help build your resume and can potentially help you land other positions.
Which Industries Need Cybersecurity Experts?
Cybersecurity degree graduates are needed in all fields. Any organization that has a digital presence needs some type of information security. If you know that you want to go into a field such as healthcare or international business, you can be sure you will find open jobs in those areas. However, do not discount other fields such as education, insurance and even e-commerce.
The BLS notes that banks, financial institutions and other corporations will need more cybersecurity experts to face new cybersecurity threats. These businesses want to ensure their customers’ personal banking information remains safe. Healthcare is another field with high demand for cybersecurity professionals. Electronic health records need to stay secure to be sure patient information stays private.2
Who Qualifies for Cybersecurity Jobs?
After graduating with a cybersecurity degree, you will likely want to find a job right away. That can sometimes be tough in an economy where many other people are also looking for work. However, the cybersecurity field needs qualified candidates. There are not enough qualified cybersecurity professionals to meet the current demand. This is due to cybersecurity being a relatively new field to work in.
If you're wondering if a cybersecurity degree is worth it, career prospects may be the most important factor to consider. Not only will you be able to work in a variety of fields, but you should also be able to break into the field more easily because of the need for people with your training.
Is Cybersecurity Hard?
There are many open cybersecurity jobs because organizations are looking for more qualified candidates. A qualified candidate is generally considered someone with at least a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as information technology or cybersecurity specifically. In a survey of job postings for an information security specialist, 93% of employers wanted an employee with at least a bachelor's degree.3
What Skills Do Cybersecurity Professionals Need?
Each cybersecurity job may have a different set of required skills and characteristics in order to be successful in the field. However, some common skills and traits include:
- Problem-solving skills
- Strong communication skills
- Attention to detail
- A love for learning
These skills will be beneficial in a business setting to fix issues as they arise. Other technical skills to consider learning are:
- Networking and System Administration
- Coding languages (Java, Python, Perl, etc.)
- Different operating systems (Windows, MacOS, and Linux)
Do You Need a Degree To Become a Cybersecurity Professional?
In most career fields, the higher your degree level, the more employable you are. Cybersecurity is no different. Many employers look for quality candidates who understand the concepts of security for a computer-based work environment. Having a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity will give you an advantage over others seeking employment in the field since degrees in this subject are fairly new.
Are There Opportunities for Career Advancement?
Earning a cybersecurity degree will help you to find work as a cybersecurity professional, especially because you will be considered a qualified candidate. And, with a degree, you are likely to have many opportunities for advancement. The same job posting analysis already referenced showed that companies were primarily looking for someone with at least three to five years of experience.4 So, once you complete your first few years of work as a cybersecurity specialist, you may be qualified for advancement in your career.
Is There Value in a Cybersecurity Master’s Degree?
While you can break into cybersecurity with a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in cybersecurity can help you advance your career. With this advancement, you may receive a substantial raise as well. Also, a master’s degree will help open up many more job opportunities throughout your career.
Can I Really Make a Difference?
If you want to make a difference in the world, cybersecurity is a great option for those interested in a technology career. Businesses and consumers have the desire and right to keep their information secure. As a properly trained cybersecurity analyst, you have the valuable responsibility of safeguarding peoples’ privacy and preventing it from getting into the wrong hands.
If you are interested in starting your career path in cybersecurity, enroll in the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity degree at Grand Canyon University or view our other Engineering and Technology degree programs. You may just find yourself starting off in the role of a cybersecurity analyst.
1 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is based on September 2021, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Information Security Analyst
2 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Information Security Analysts, Job Outlook in December 2020
3 Center for Strategic and International Studies, The Cybersecurity Workforce Gap, in December 2020
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.