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.
“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.
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.
“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:
Here is a sample curriculum for a 4 year Bachelor’s program in Cyber Security:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here are some general entry requirements that are commonly found in many programs:
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: