Cybersecurity is a popular field with many opportunities in 2020. Network security and cybersecurity demand have increased over the last couple of years, and therefore there is a need for cybersecurity professionals. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth in the number of cybersecurity jobs from 2018 to 2028 is estimated to grow 32%. You should know the difference between cybersecurity and computer science when choosing between the two career paths. Computer science deals with computers and computer systems while cybersecurity deals with security, monitoring, and policing computer systems and networks. A Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity degree is better suited for the Cybersecurity career path.
What Exactly is Cybersecurity?
Hardware, software, and electronic data can be damaged and destroyed by malicious parties. Services can be disrupted and misdirected from intended uses. Electronic data can be stolen and transferred to individuals outside of a company or organization. Someone with a Bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity deals with the protection of computer and network systems of attacks.
The different types of technologies being used are growing constantly. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and “smart” devices are relatively new technologies used every day by consumers who were not using the same technologies at all twenty years ago. All of these technologies are vulnerable to eavesdropping, denial-of-service attacks, and destruction of systems and data. Cybersecurity is the protection of these systems from these attacks.
Jobs in Cybersecurity
Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity allows you to obtain a job in one of the many fields that are considered cybersecurity. These jobs typically have high salaries, because the information these workers protect is of extreme value.
Information Security Manager
What people in this field do is create and implement security policies and security measures for a company or organization. There is a need for professionals in information security in the industries of insurance, finance, and computer systems design. The salaries for Information Security Manager are some of the highest. According to U.S. News & World Report, the median salary for an information security manager is $100,000 per year.
Information Assurance Engineer
These computer engineers maximize the security of how organizations store and process data. Information assurance is the practice of managing risks related to the processing, use, transmission, and storage of data. These workers often have an educational background in Computer Science or Data Science. According to U.S. News & World Report, the median salary for an information assurance engineer is $85,000 per year.
I.T. Security Consultant
A consultant, in general, is a person who provides expert advice about a particular field. Someone in the field of I.T. is simply someone who has made a career of building technological infrastructures and applications. An IT Security Consultant helps companies or organizations improve their information security. Improving their information security means the security consultant will identify vulnerabilities in the computer security of a company or organization and then strengthen the weaknesses. According to U.S. News & World Report, the median salary for an IT security consultant is $81,000 per year.
Information Security Specialist
These people carry out cybersecurity tasks for a company instead of concentrating on strategy or management. This role is best for someone who wants to work more directly on computer security than strategize and present to executives. According to U.S. News & World Report, the median salary for an information security specialist is $75,000 per year.
Information Security Analyst
Their role on a team is to be responsible for the strategies for a company’s cybersecurity policies. The information security analyst can also be in charge of putting the strategies in place. According to U.S. News & World Report, the median salary for an information security specialist is $70,000 per year.
Private Sector Versus Public Sector
With a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity, you may have the option of choosing between the private sector or the public sector. In cybersecurity, working for the government generally pays slightly less than working for a company. However, government jobs generally have better job security than working for a private company. Additionally, government jobs can sometimes have scholarship and loan-forgiveness programs. An example of a scholarship program is the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service. This program gives students funds for their degree for the same period of time that they agree to work in a government job.
To determine whether you want to pursue a government or corporate job, you should know how the jobs are different between the sectors. Government jobs are generally process-driven and highly structured. In private, there is generally more room for creativity, and the option to work with the latest technology is usually more available. Private sector career ladders can generally be progressed more quickly than public sector career ladders. Private sector career ladders can be less stable than public sector career ladders though. You should be aware that government jobs have additional requirements than private-sector jobs.
Government sector jobs will make you go through a polygraph, drug test, and background check. The drug test and background check will be more thorough than those that you would face working for a regular company. The pre-employment process for the government can be more like joining the US Army than what you think would be necessary for starting a job. Also, working with government data and projects is taken on a greater level of seriousness than working for a regular company.
Unique Options With Cybersecurity Degrees
The choice to earn a bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity leads to other fascinating opportunities like the ability to enter bug bounty programs and earn additional money. A bug bounty program is a deal offered by many websites and companies to give a reward and recognition to individuals who find vulnerabilities in a website, computer, or network. Many companies and organizations will also offer cybersecurity contract opportunities to work on a particular cybersecurity project. The bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity should allow you to qualify.
A bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity can lead to an interesting job working for either a company or government organization. The degree should also prepare you to earn money in bug bounty and other cybersecurity contract opportunities.