Cyber Security Bachelor’s Degree – Everything You Need to Know


A bachelor’s degree program in cyber security is an undergraduate program that provides students with foundational knowledge on the various aspects of securing computer systems, networks, and data from cyber threats. The program generally takes 4years to complete and ensures students are well-versed in the principles of cyber security and possess practical skills in implementing security measures. (xanax)

Some of the topics that are covered in a typical cyber security bachelor’s degree program include; cyber threats, network security, cryptography, cyber law, incident response, ethical hacking and cyber security operations management.

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Why get a degree in Cyber Security?

“Formal education is important for cyber security professionals because it provides a structured, organized way of learning about the field. Cyber security is a constantly evolving industry, and formal education can help provide a foundation that will allow professionals to adapt and stay current as threats and technologies change.”

Sam Olyaei, Senior Security Researcher at Rapid7

Constantly evolving and growing field

Cyber security is a constantly evolving field, with new threats and technologies emerging all the time. A bachelor’s degree in cyber security can provide students with a solid foundation in the principles of cyber security, as well as the skills they need to stay up to date with the latest developments.

The the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of cyber security professionals will grow 33% from 2020 to 2030 and the growing demand spans various industries, which means that a bachelor’s degree in cyber security can provide students with a range of career opportunities.

Hands-on experience

Many cyber security degree programs include hands-on experience through internships, research projects, or capstone courses. This provides students with practical experience working with real-world cyber security challenges and technologies, which can be valuable when entering the job market.

High earning potential

Cyber security is a lucrative field, with many roles offering high salaries and opportunities for advancement. The median annual wage for information security analysts is $103,590.

What’s covered in a Bachelor’s degree in Cyber Security?

“The day-to-day experience for a student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Cyber Security is one of problem-solving and constant learning. They are learning to think like an attacker so they can anticipate and counteract threats to an organization’s network and data. Every day, students are studying new technologies, vulnerabilities, and techniques that attackers use to gain unauthorized access to networks, and they are learning how to develop and implement effective security solutions to mitigate these risks.”

John McCumber, Director of Cybersecurity Advocacy at (ISC)²

A Bachelor’s degree in Cyber Security covers a range of topics related to securing computer systems, networks, and data from cyber threats. Some of the key areas covered in this degree program include:

  1. Cybersecurity Fundamentals: an introduction to the principles of cyber security, including the types of threats, vulnerabilities, and attacks that computer systems and networks face.
  2. Network Security: the technologies and techniques used to secure computer networks, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and virtual private networks (VPNs).
  3. Cryptography: the principles of cryptography, including encryption and decryption, and how they are used to protect data.
  4. Cybercrime and Cyber Law: the legal and ethical issues related to cyber security, including privacy laws, data protection laws, and intellectual property laws.
  5. Ethical Hacking: the principles of ethical hacking, including how to identify and exploit vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks.
  6. Incident Response and Disaster Recovery: the principles of incident response and disaster recovery, including how to respond to cyber security incidents, investigate security breaches, and recover from system failures.
  7. Cyber Security Management: the principles of cyber security management, including risk assessment, risk management, and security auditing.

Here is a sample curriculum for a 4 year Bachelor’s program in Cyber Security:

First Year:

  • Introduction to Cyber Security
  • Programming Fundamentals
  • Networking Fundamentals
  • Calculus I
  • English Composition
  • General Education Elective

Second Year:

  • Operating Systems Fundamentals
  • Database Fundamentals
  • Web Application Security
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • General Education Elective

Third Year:

  • Cyber Crime and Cyber Law
  • Cryptography and Network Security
  • Incident Response and Disaster Recovery
  • Risk Management and Compliance
  • Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing
  • General Education Elective

Fourth Year:

  • Cyber Security Management
  • Wireless and Mobile Security
  • Cloud Security
  • Capstone Project in Cyber Security
  • Cyber Security Elective
  • General Education Elective

Bachelor’s degree in Cyber Security vs Computer Science?

Many students enter the cyber security industry via a degree in a related field such as computer science. There are some advantages and disadvantages to each of these paths:

Specialized vs generalized

A Bachelor’s degree in Cyber Security has a narrower focus thereby providing students with a more specialized education and training in cyber security.

A Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science can provide students with versatile skills that can be applied to a variety of industries and roles, with cyber security being just one of these.

Career Opportunities

A Bachelor’s degree in Cyber Security will prepare students for a variety of cyber security job roles right away. The same could be said for a computer science degree but not necessarily all cyber security roles. You might be required to do additional training if you only have a computer science degree.

Hands-on experience

Many cyber security degree programs are very hands on. You will spend a lot of time in labs testing and practicing new techniques, as well as learning from your peers. You will have assignments and projects that require you to think creatively and apply your knowledge to real-world scenarios.

Whilst many computer science programs focus more on theory and programming concepts rather than hands-on experience, which means that students may need to seek out additional opportunities for practical experience.

How much does a Bachelor’s degree in Cyber Security cost?

The cost of a Bachelor’s degree in Cyber Security varies considerably but on average it will be between $10,500 and $27,000 per year.

What should you consider when choosing a Cyber Security degree program?

With so many cyber security degrees on offer, it can be difficult to easily compare them. Here are some points for you to consider when evaluating each program:

Hands-on experience & Certification Preparation

Look for programs that offer opportunities for hands-on experience, such as lab time, internships, research projects, or capstone courses, as this can be valuable in preparing students for careers in cyber security.

Additionally, a degree program that is linked to obtaining industry certifications, such as CISSP or CEH, will be valuable in demonstrating your expertise to potential employers.

Resources, facilities and faculty

Consider the resources and facilities available to students, such as computer labs, research centers, and other resources that can help students gain practical experience and develop their skills.

Be sure also to look into the faculty members who teach in the program, and their qualifications and experience in the field of cyber security. Review their research, publications, and professional affiliations. Faculty members are a key component of the student experience and frequently can act as a gateway into future opportunities for students.

Consider your investment in obtaining a Bachelor’s degree as exactly that, an investment. This means you should look at key data such as job placement rates, starting salaries, and career advancement opportunities, to assess the program’s success in preparing students for careers in the field.

Industry partnerships

Investigate whether the program has partnerships with industry organizations, companies, or government agencies, as this can provide students with access to valuable networking opportunities and potential job prospects.

What are the entry requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree in Cyber Security?

Here are some general entry requirements that are commonly found in many programs:

  1. High School Diploma or Equivalent: Most Bachelor’s degree programs in Cyber Security require applicants to have a high school diploma or equivalent..
  2. GPA: Applicants may be required to meet a minimum grade point average requirement, typically in the range of 2.5-3.0.
  3. Essays: Applicants may be required to submit essays or personal statements that explain their interest in Cyber Security and their career goals.
  4. Letters of Recommendation: Some programs may require letters of recommendation from teachers or other professionals who can attest to the applicant’s academic ability and character.
  5. English Language Proficiency: International students whose first language is not English may be required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores to demonstrate English language proficiency.

What jobs can you do with a Bachelor’s degree in Cyber Security?

A Bachelor’s degree in Cyber Security can prepare graduates for a variety of careers in the field of information technology and cyber security. Here are some of the common job roles that graduates with a Bachelor’s degree in Cyber Security can pursue:

  • Cyber Security Analyst: Responsible for identifying and mitigating potential security threats to an organization’s computer systems and networks.
  • Information Security Manager: Responsible for overseeing an organization’s information security program, ensuring compliance with relevant regulations and standards, and developing policies and procedures to protect against cyber threats.
  • Network Security Specialist: Responsible for ensuring the security and integrity of an organization’s computer networks and systems, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and other security technologies.
  • Penetration Tester: Responsible for simulating attacks on an organization’s computer systems and networks in order to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
  • Security Consultant: Responsible for providing expert advice to organizations on how to improve their cyber security posture, including identifying and mitigating risks, developing security policies and procedures, and selecting and implementing security technologies.
  • Secure Software Developer: Responsible for designing and developing software applications and tools to support an organization’s cyber security efforts, including intrusion detection and prevention systems, vulnerability scanners, and security information and event management (SIEM) systems.

How much can you earn with a Bachelor’s degree in Cyber Security?

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