Careers in the security field are unusual. Do you need a degree? Is a certification useful? Anyone asking themselves “Is a degree in homeland security worth it” may wonder if it’s possible to work in security without possessing a degree. Entry-level positions are available. However, in most cases, employers look for degrees and certifications to advance. Those who question “Is a degree in homeland security worth it” and choose to forgo on a degree may find themselves limited on how far they can progress in terms of both income and rank.
So do you need a degree for cyber security? It’s not 100-percent necessary for people who have skills in computer technology. For those who don’t possess these skills or who want to further their ability, it can be beneficial. The job market for cyber security is competitive, which a person should take into consideration when asking, “Do you need a degree for cyber security?” A degree can set a person ahead of the competition. Generally, those who earn a degree in either homeland security or cyber security earn the minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
Choosing the Best Degrees for Cyber Security and Homeland Security Careers
So, in case you are currently looking for the educational guidance you need, we have decided to go through a number of degrees offered in this field of security, and explain what degrees individual employers are interested in and keeping 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.
1. Cybersecurity: Bachelor’s and Master’s
Undergraduate and graduate-level Cybersecurity Degrees are also referred to as Information Security degrees. Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in the cybersecurity field prepare students for careers as security analysts, network security analysts, or computer analysts. The undergraduate cybersecurity programs typically require four years to complete, unless there is a fast track option offered by the program you choose. A Master’s of Cybersecurity graduate candidate generally complete the coursework in 1.5 to 2 years.
The best degrees for cyber security professionals will depend upon your focus and career preferences. The variety of degrees for Homeland Security careers includes Network Administration, a Cyber Security Threat Analyst, a Software Engineer, and a Security Risk Specialist, among others. According to PayScale, those who hold undergraduate cybersecurity degrees typically earn an average salary of $69,000 per year; graduate degree holders have an average yearly salary of $84,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates the cyber security industry’s job growth to be 32%, significantly faster than the average of US industries.
2. Cybersecurity Administration: Master’s
Cybersecurity Administrators are tasked with the responsibilities of the daily operations of one or more computer network systems. Cybersecurity degrees for Homeland Security careers prepare students to develop, maintain, and troubleshoot the physical components of a computer network. The best degrees for cyber security offered by graduate schools are typically completed in about two years unless there is a fast-track option available. Cybersecurity Administrators work in many industries, as most are highly dependent on computer systems to stay operational.
Cybersecurity Administrators with graduate degrees will be prepared for positions as Network Architects, Database Administrators, Web Developers, and Information Security Analysts, to name a few. At present, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that there are more than 375,000 Computer/Cybersecurity Administrators employed in the United States during 2018, with an average yearly salary of $82,050. Statisticians at BLS anticipate job growth of 5% through the year 2028 – similar to the national average of all jobs.
3. Homeland Security: Bachelor’s
The best degrees for Homeland Security students prepares them to enter the many facets of Homeland Security. Undergraduate degrees for Homeland Security careers generally require approximately 120 credit units (the exact number depends on the program selected.), which most students need four years to complete. Many earn their homeland security degree online. Many Homeland Security professionals choose to earn his or her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in border specialization, or a homeland security specialty, to name a few.
Homeland Security professionals who hold an undergraduate degree earn approximately $55,000 annually, according to PayScale.com. Those who hold a baccalaureate degree in criminal justice/homeland security work as an intelligence analyst, an emergency management professional, and an FBI agent, a transportation screener, or cybersecurity analysts. Anticipated job growth varies by the exact placement of the homeland security position. For instance, Forensic Scientists’ job growth is expected at 14% through 2028; Investigators’ job growth is expected at 8% through 2028; Agents & Detectives job growth is expected at 5% through 2028.
4. Homeland Security: Graduate Certificate
A Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security prepares students to become Homeland Security’s future leaders and critical problem-solvers. Coursework required to earn a graduate certificate in Homeland Security requires the completion of 12–24 credit units (it depends upon the program selected) covering the areas of Homeland Security Issues, Legislation of Terrorism, and Planning & Leading during Critical Incidents, to name a few. Many schools offering the best degrees for cyber security programs typically require students to complete the certificate course in about six months to 2 years — depending on the course requirements.
Undergraduate degrees for Homeland Security careers prepare degree candidates for Homeland Security positions in law enforcement (local, state or federal), investigations, digital forensics, border patrol, special agent, corrections management and emergency manager professionals. According to PayScale.com, A Homeland Security professional employed by the US Dept. of Homeland Security averages annual earnings equal to $75,000. In 2018, there were more than 230,000 Homeland Security professionals employed by the US Dept. of Homeland Security.
5. Homeland Security: Master
One of the best degrees for homeland security careers is the Master of Homeland Security. The coursework for the Master of Homeland Security degree program prepares students to be future cyber security leaders by training them in the areas of Response/Recovery, Prevention of Terroristic Threats, Immigration Policy as well as Emergency Management, to name a few. Most graduate degree programs, like the degrees for Homeland Security careers, can be completed, on average, in about 18 months to 24 months.
Graduating with a Master of Homeland Security opens up many career opportunities. Within the employment category of Homeland Security, there are many career opportunities in Disaster Management, Infrastructure, Information Security, and Counterterrorism, to name a few. According to PayScale.com, Homeland Security professionals who hold a Master of Homeland Security earn, on average, $81,000 per year, although the specific yearly salary will differ based on the Homeland Security position. The job outlook for those who hold a Master of Homeland Security degree is significantly dependent on the specific slice of the Homeland Security job marketplace.
6. Information Assurance and Security: Bachelor’s and Master’s
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 for homeland security careers program in Information Assurance & Security can generally be completed in 18 months to 24 months.
Undergraduate degree candidates attending programs offered by some of the best degrees for cyber security 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. There are many career opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate Information Assurance & Security degree holders. These include an IT Project Manager, a Technology Director, or a Network Administrator, among others.
7. Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security
A Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Homeland Security is one of the best degrees for cyber security for those interest in cybersecurity and homeland security. The degrees for Homeland Security careers generally require the completion of 32-48 credit units, dependent upon the MPS Homeland security program chosen. The Homeland Security MPS degree can be finished in under two years as a full-time student. Part-time students finish at their own pace.
A Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security prepares graduates for many career options. Homeland security professionals can specialize in Counterterrorism, Cyber Threat Prevention, and Geospatial Intelligence, to name a few. The average annual wage for those who hold an MPS in Homeland Security/Information Analysts is $81,000. Anticipated job growth for the Homeland Security professionals is significantly contingent on the information security position selected, and the sector in which you work. Tech-heavy Homeland Security jobs will likely see the most job growth and job demand.
8. Master of Security Studies or Security & Intelligence
A Master of Security Studies (MSS) (aka a Master of Security & Intelligence) degree program is one of the best degrees for cyber security 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.
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, to name a few. 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.
9. 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 careers 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.
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. The average annual wage for those who hold an MBA with a Security Focus is $97,000, according to Payscale.com.
10. Network Security: Associate’s and Bachelor’s
Associate’s and undergraduate Network Security 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.
According to Payscale.com, the yearly median wage for those who hold a bachelor’s degree in network security is $65,000, while those who hold an Associate of Applied Science degree in Network Security earns an average annual salary of $57,000. Both degrees for Homeland Security careers prepare graduates for positions as a network technician, cybersecurity analyst, and security analyst, to name a few.
What Degree Do I Need for Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a field that’s in demand and necessary in many government, corporate, financial, medical, or military organizations. To improve one’s chances of obtaining a job, a prospective cybersecurity student may wonder what degree is needed for cybersecurity. A prospective student who is questioning what degree do I need for cybersecurity may take one of three paths should know that the options for what degree is needed for cybersecurity include the options of 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 in 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.
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 Degree Do I Need for a Career in Homeland Security?
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 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 whats the best degree for a career in the national security field is because of its versatility.
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’s safety. In any of the pupil’s options for whats 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 homeland security career based on the topics covered, especially if a person plans on entering into a specific career within homeland security.