Online Cybersecurity Degrees

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Cybersecurity Degree Requirements

Most companies keep at least some of their sensitive data stored online. When big companies decide to house larger volumes of data, they are at risk for cyber attacks who hope to exploit private proprietary or personal information. These criminals find security flaws in an organization’s computer networks and then breach them using various cyber attack methods, such as viruses or denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks where hackers shut down a platform or network making it unavailable for use.

Cybersecurity degree requirements are designed to prepare students to develop new techniques and technology for the information assurance community. Through undergraduate cybersecurity coursework, students learn useful skills, such as how to investigate a network in order to discover potential threats to data security.

After completing undergraduate coursework, many cybersecurity professionals enter the workforce and begin master’s coursework through online programs. Cybersecurity professionals who possess both a master’s degree and hands-on experience in a cybersecurity-related field may qualify for a leadership role in information technology (IT) security management. This type of job entails acting as the backbone of an organization’s cybersecurity department. IT security managers plan information security objectives and coordinate IT-related activities that help an organization to reach its goals.

In 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that IT security managers and other computer systems managers earned a median annual salary of $139,220. BLS also expects 44,200 more jobs to open up in this particular occupation, and a master’s in cybersecurity could prove to be essential for applicants hoping to attain an IT security management position.

Computer code on laptop screen

Skills Gained Through a Cybersecurity Degree

Cybersecurity is best suited for tech-savvy individuals who are interested in learning how to defend computer networks. But just having an interest isn’t always enough to excel in a cybersecurity career. Aspiring cybersecurity professionals should plan to develop skills in the following areas:

Data Analysis

Cybersecurity job responsibilities may heavily center on analyzing data about computer information systems. This means prospective bachelor’s in cybersecurity applicants should have the patience and attention to detail necessary to effectively analyze data with minimal errors.

Computer Programming

Cybersecurity work is typically very technical. Keeping computer networks secure requires navigating software and, at times, programming solutions to security issues.   

Interpersonal Communication

In large organizations, there are a lot of cybersecurity professionals working together every day to fend off regular attacks from hackers. If important information is miscommunicated or not communicated at all, a hacker may exploit that gap of information to attack an organization’s digital assets. By honing their communication skills, undergraduate students in cybersecurity enhance their ability to collaborate with their colleagues.

Risk Management

There isn’t always enough time to acknowledge every threat to an information system. In order to prioritize numerous threats, cybersecurity professionals must use risk management to determine which security risks must be addressed first. Effective risk management employs a mix of valuable skills, such as problem-solving, decision-making, and the ability to work under pressure.

Prospective students should see enrolling in a cybersecurity bachelor’s program as an opportunity to build upon their basic interest in computers and information systems. Because cybersecurity coursework usually covers all of the previously mentioned competencies, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity should qualify for many different entry-level jobs. After gaining some real-world experience, graduates with a bachelor’s in cybersecurity also have the option to earn a master’s in the field to accelerate their career growth.  

Prerequisites for Cybersecurity Degrees

The difference between a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in cybersecurity is consistent with most other degree paths. The bachelor’s offers foundational knowledge about how to practice cybersecurity in the real world. After completing three to four years of coursework, graduates usually leave school with in-depth knowledge of how to implement cybersecurity measures and monitor their performance.

Whether bachelor’s in cybersecurity graduates choose to immediately continue their education or to enter the workforce, the next academic step should be a Master of Science in cybersecurity. These graduate programs are designed to hone and build on the core skills that bachelor’s coursework highlights. For example, a traditional master’s in cybersecurity curriculum introduces complex cybersecurity topics, such as cloud security and mobile forensics.

Earning Your Cybersecurity Degree from Maryville

For aspiring cybersecurity professionals, Maryville University’s Online Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity program can provide the training and skills necessary to enter the field. Those looking to take their careers to the next level should consider Maryville University’s Online Master’s in Cybersecurity program for training in the more complex aspects of the field.

Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity Degree: Requirements for Admission

Admission to Maryville’s undergraduate cybersecurity program requires that applicants possess either a high school diploma, with at least a 2.0 GPA or a GED. In many cases, students will benefit from having taken at least three units of math, four units of English, two units of science, two units of social sciences, and three additional units during their high school careers.  

Master’s in Cybersecurity Degree: Requirements for Admission

In order to be considered for a master’s program, such as Maryville’s, applicants will need to have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university and be able to submit official transcripts. International students may require a TOEFL score that meets a certain threshold.

Higher education is an important part of career advancement. This is particularly true for computer science professionals, as their extremely technical work is most easily learned through a well-structured curriculum. With this information about cybersecurity degree requirements, novices can take the first step toward a cybersecurity career by earning a bachelor’s in cybersecurity. For professionals hoping to open the door to new career opportunities, a master’s program can help prepare students with the tools they will need to acquire senior cybersecurity positions.

Sources:

Maryville University, Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity

Maryville University, Master’s in Cybersecurity

Cyber Defense Magazine

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics