The top security degree employers want and are looking for include undergraduate and graduate degrees in cybersecuriy and homeland security. Careers in the security field are unusual. Do you need a degree? Is a certification useful?
Anyone asking themselves if a degree in security is worth it may wonder if it’s possible to work in security without possessing a degree. Entry-level positions are available. However, employers look for degrees and certifications to advance in most cases. Those who question if a degree in security is worth it and choose to forgo a degree may find themselves limited on how far they can progress in terms of income and rank.
So do you need a degree for a career in cybersecurity? It’s not 100-percent necessary for people who have skills in computer technology. It can be beneficial for those who don’t possess these skills or want to further their ability. The job market is competitive and a degree can set a person ahead of the competition. Generally, those who earn a degree in either homeland security or cybersecurity earn the minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
Choosing the Best Degrees for Security Careers
There are several degrees in the field of security. Broadly they fall into the categories of security management, homeland security, and computer security. The list below explains what degrees employers are looking for and to keep their eyes out for. This short guide will at least narrow down for you what type of degree you will need in order to apply for particular positions you may want with confidence, as well as help you to achieve the goals you have set for yourself and your future. These degrees will get you to the highest-paying security careers.
Undergraduate and graduate-level Cybersecurity degrees are also referred to as Information Security (IS) degrees. Undergraduate cybersecurity programs typically require four years to complete unless there is a fast track option offered by the program you choose. Furthermore, an online cyber security degree offers flexibility for working professionals. A master’s of Cybersecurity graduate candidate generally completes the coursework in 1.5 to 2 years.
The best degrees for cybersecurity professionals depends on the desired area of focus and specific needs and career preferences. For example, individuals interested in penetration testing may want to find a program with tools and frameworks such as Kali Linux, Parrot Linux, and OpenVas. A variety of degrees include specializations for Network Administration, a Cybersecurity Threat Analyst, a Software Engineer, and a Security Risk Specialist. Additionally, and online cybersecurity degree is a flexible option for working professionals.
What Jobs Can You Get with a CyberSecurity Degree?
Both a Bachelor of Science (BS) and master’s cybersecurity degrees prepare students for various types of careers. Popular jobs include Cybersecurity Engineers, Cybersecurity Architects, Cybersecurity Analysts, Penetration Testers, Security Analysts, Vulnerability Assessment Analysts, or also Computer Analysts.
What is the Salary and Job Growth with Cyber Security Degrees?
According to the BLS those who hold undergraduate cyber security degrees typically earn an average salary of $112,000 (BLS) per year. Graduate degree holders and professionals with experience earn a higher salary. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates the cybersecurity jobs for information security analysts to grow by thirty-two percent (32%) over the next decade, which is significantly faster than the average of US industries.
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2. CIS Administration or CIS Management
Computer and Information Systems Administrators are tasked with the responsibilities of the daily operations of one or more computer network systems. They plan, coordinate, and direct all the computer related activities in an organization. These administrators work in any industry dependent on computer systems to stay operational.
What Jobs Can You Get with a CIS Administration Degree?
Administrators with graduate degrees will be prepared for positions as Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Chief Technology Officers (CTOs), IT Directors, IT Managers, IT Project Managers, and also IT Security Managers.
What is the Salary and Job Growth with a CIS Administration Degree?
At present, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that there are more than 557,000 Computer Information Security Managers and Cybersecurity Administrators employed in the United States. These professionals earn an average yearly salary of $164,070 (BLS). Additionally, statisticians at BLS anticipate job growth of fifteen percent (15%) through the next decade, faster than the national average of all jobs.
3. Homeland Security
The best degrees for Homeland Security prepare students to enter the many facets of this field. Undergraduate degrees for these careers generally require approximately 120 credit units, but the exact number depends on the program selected. Most students need four years to complete it. Many earn their homeland security degree online. Additionally, some Homeland Security professionals choose to earn a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in border specialization or a homeland security specialty.
What Jobs Can You Get with a Homeland Security Degree?
Those who hold a baccalaureate degree can work as Intelligence Analysts, Emergency Management Professionals, FBI Agents, Transportation Screeners, or as Cybersecurity Analysts.
What is the Salary and Job Growth with a Homeland Security Degree?
Homeland Security professionals who hold an undergraduate degree earn approximately $89,000 annually, according to PayScale. Anticipated job growth varies by the exact placement of the homeland security position. For instance, Forensic Scientist job growth is expected to be thirteen percent (13%) through the next decade (BLS). Additionally, the Investigator job growth is 5% five percent (BLS) and the expected job growth for Agents & Detectives is 3% three percent (BLS) over the same period.
4. Information Technology (IT)
Information Technology (IT) is a growing and critical field in every industry. IT security professionals protect an organization digital assets, including their networks, data, and computers, from cyber threats and attacks. They develop and implement strategies and technologies to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their organization’s information. An IT security degree provides students with the necessary skills and knowledge to identify and address cyber threats and vulnerabilities, as well as to create and maintain secure computing environments.
At the undergraduate level, IT security degrees may be offered as a concentration within a computer science or information technology program. At the graduate level, students can pursue a Master’s degree specifically in IT security, which may provide more specialized and advanced coursework. Some common courses in an IT security degree program may include Introduction to Information Security, Intro to Relational Databases, Installing and Configuring Windows Servers.
What Jobs Can You Get with an Information Technology Degree?
Career paths with an IT degree include Network Administrator, Systems Administrator, Business Analyst, Database Analyst, Computer Network Architect, Application Developer, Database Administrator, and also Systems Analyst.
What is the Salary and Job Growth with an Information Technology Degree?
The BLS reports the median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations is $100,530. Additionally, the organization expects over 375,000 job openings (BLS) each year over the next decade from employment growth and replacement needs.
5. Information Assurance
Graduate and undergraduate level Information Assurance & Security degree programs prepare degree graduates to protect information, knowledge, and data, thus ensuring the information used by millions of people is authentic and accurate. Bachelor’s degree programs in Information Assurance & Security provide a comprehensive education that requires the completion of approximately 120 credit units (which differ from school to school) that usually takes four years to finish. Masters degrees in Information Assurance & Security can generally be completed in 18 months to 24 months.
What Jobs Can You Get with an Information Assurance Degree?
There are many career opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate Information Assurance & Security degree holders. These include an IT Project Manager, a Technology Director, Network Administrator, Computer Support Specialist, Computer Systems Administrator, Computer Systems Analyst, Database Administrator, Information Security Analyst, Information Systems Manager, Security Engineer.
What is the Salary and Job Outlook with an Information Assurance Degree?
Undergraduate degree candidates attending programs offered by some of the best degrees for cybersecurity degree programs generally earn an average of $59,000 each year; however, this varies by the specific Information Assurance & Security position. Those who hold a graduate degree in Information Assurance & Security earn, on average, $95,000 per year.
6. Security Studies and Intelligence Studies
A Master of Security Studies (MSS) (aka a Master of Security & Intelligence) degree program is one of the best degrees for cybersecurity students interested in protecting American interests domestically and abroad. Professionals who want to go into security management would do well to choose an MSS. Degree candidates for MSS degree are schooled in the interdisciplinary areas of systemic thinking, Analysis of Data, Cyber Crime, and Leadership Skills, among others. Most Master of Security Studies degree program requires the completion of 32-48 credit units over 1.5 to 2 years.
What Jobs Can You Get with a Security Studies or Intelligence Studies Degree?
The Master of Security Studies degrees for Homeland Security careers includes a FEMA Fraud Investigator, a US Postal Inspector, a CIA Information Security Agent, and FBI Agent.
What is the Job Outlook and Salary with a Security Studies or Intelligence Studies Degree?
The average annual wage for those professionals working holding a Master of Security Studies is $82,000. According to the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of Information Security is projected to have job growth of 32% — more than four times the national average job growth predictions.
7. MBA with Security Focus
There are many quality schools that offer a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialty focus in Security. Those who hold degrees for Homeland Security career with a Security Focus can generally complete the 32-48 credit units required to graduate in one to three years, depending upon the course load chosen. Some of the best degrees for cyber security offer hybrid programs and fast-track options.
What Security Jobs Can You Get with an MBA?
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialty focus in Security are prepared for career opportunities that include the fields of IT Management, Human Elements of Cybersecurity, Data Warehousing, IT Testing & Monitoring and Global Cyber Security, among others.
What is the Salary and Job Outlook With an MBA?
The average annual wage for those who hold an MBA with a Security Focus is $97,000, according to Payscale.com.
8. Network Security
A specialized field within cybersecurity that requires a complex understanding of computer networks is Network Security. And network associate and undergraduate degrees are some of the best degrees for cyber security candidates as it provides a comprehensive business education in addition to a security specialty. Network security professionals are trained to anticipate, prevent, and react to cybersecurity threats that compromise the integrity of the information people and nations require to operate efficiently and safely.
What Jobs Can You Get?
Network Administrator, System Administrator, Cybersecurity Consultant
What is the Salary and Job Outlook with a Network Security Degree?
According to Payscale.com, the yearly median wage for those who hold a bachelor’s degree in is $65,000, while those who hold an Associate of Applied Science degree in earns an average annual salary of $57,000. Both degrees prepare graduates for positions as a network technician, cybersecurity analyst, and security analyst.
9. Security Management
A degree in security management prepares students for a career in protecting individuals, businesses, and organizations from threats such as crime, terrorism, and natural disasters. This degree program covers a wide range of topics, including risk assessment, crisis management, security technology, and security law.
Students in this program will learn how to identify potential security risks, develop strategies to mitigate those risks, and implement security procedures to protect people and assets. In addition to theoretical knowledge, students also gain practical skills through hands-on experiences, such as conducting security audits and creating emergency response plans.
What are Security Management Jobs?
Graduates of a security management degree program can pursue a variety of career opportunities in various industries, including law enforcement, corporate security, government agencies, and consulting firms. Some possible job titles for those with a degree in security management include Security Manager, Risk Manager, Security Consultant, Emergency Management Specialist, and also Intelligence Analyst.
What is the Salary and Job Outlook with a Security Management Degree?
Overall, a degree in security management prepares individuals for a diverse range of careers in the field of security. With the increasing need for security in today’s society, job opportunities in this field are expected to continue to grow. Graduates with this degree can make meaningful contributions to the safety and security of individuals and organizations.
10. Risk Management
A risk management degree is a specialized program that prepares individuals to identify, assess, and mitigate risks in various industries and organizations. This degree is ideal for those who are interested in a career in insurance, finance, or consulting. The curriculum typically includes courses in finance, insurance, statistics, economics, and risk assessment and analysis. Students will also learn about legal and regulatory issues, as well as strategies for managing and minimizing risks. Some programs may offer specializations in areas such as cyber risk management, enterprise risk management, or financial risk management.
What Jobs Can You Get with a Risk Management Degree?
Graduates can pursue various career opportunities in both the public and private sector. Some common job titles include Risk Analysts, Insurance Underwriters, Insurance Agents, Actuaries, Risk Managers, Financial Managers, and Compliance Officers. They may work for insurance companies, banks, federal government agencies, consulting firms, or other organizations.
What is the Salary and Job Growth with a Risk Management Degree?
Overall, a degree equips individuals with the skills and knowledge to effectively manage and navigate potential risks in various industries. This field is expected to continue to grow as organizations become increasingly reliant on risk analysis strategies to protect their assets and operations. For example Actuaries earn around $113,990 and have job growth of 23% (BLS). Graduates can also pursue advanced degrees, such as a master’s in Risk Management, to further enhance their knowledge and career opportunities in this field.
What are the Top Cybersecurity Degrees Employers are Looking For?
Cybersecurity is a field that’s in demand and necessary in many corporate, financial, medical, military, and government organizations. To improve one’s chances of obtaining a job, a prospective cybersecurity student may wonder what degree is needed for cybersecurity. A student interested in cybersecurity may take one of three paths. The options include a degree in cybersecurity, homeland security, or cyber forensics.
When someone determines what degree is best for cybersecurity, it’s important for the person to have an ideal career in mind. For instance, what degree is best for cybersecurity and creating firewalls and other methods to protect data is one cybersecurity. These individuals work to prevent cyber attacks. On the other hand, if a person is wondering what degree do I need for cybersecurity to solve computer-related crimes, the answer is a cyber forensics degree. This particular degree is the best type of information security degree because students get to focus on identifying hackers and recovering data, along with other aspects of security.
What is the Best Information Security Degree?
The best type of information security degree may be a homeland security degree. For individuals wondering what degree do I need to go into cybersecurity, this degree program educates students to prepare them for protecting Americans. Part of the program focuses on cybersecurity. Although this could be a solution to what degree do I need to go into cybersecurity, this major educates students about other aspects of security, such as terrorism, emergency response, and immigration enforcement.
Those who wonder how to get a degree in cybersecurity may discover both online and on-campus programs. Students interested in how to get a degree in cybersecurity may find the option of certificate programs as well.
What are the Security Degrees Employers are Looking For?
Homeland security is a field for an emotionally rewarding career and one that’s always going to be in demand. Individuals who enter Homeland Security also can reap the reward of a lucrative career in terms of salary. A person in this field can earn anywhere from around $40,000 to over $150,000 annually.
If this entices a person, it’s important to understand what is a degree in homeland security. It’s possible to choose between degrees for homeland security jobs by earning a degree in homeland security. This works as the number one option for best homeland security degrees since it educates a student about various aspects of keeping the country safe. When a person searches the web for the best degree for a homeland security career, this one pops up because it educates students about cybersecurity, immigration, public safety, and even psychology. The reason why this is the answer to what’s the best degree for a career in the national security field is because of its versatility.
What are the Benefits of a Security Degree?
Understanding why this degree is beneficial also entails gaining insight into what is a degree in homeland security. When a person searches for degrees for homeland security jobs, a person finds programs that consist of learning about the different concentrations in homeland security. For instance, the program educates students about terrorists, illegal immigration, cyber-attacks, natural disasters, and other issues that can affect American safety. In any of the pupil’s options for what’s the best degree for a career in the national security field, a student learns how to address the major issues.
When selecting between the best homeland security degrees, a student needs to take into consideration that it’s possible to earn a degree in this subject matter either online or in person. It’s also important to choose the best degree for a homeland security career based on the topics covered, especially if a person plans on entering into a specific career within homeland security.
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