There are many reasons why gaining a degree in cyber security could be a great fit for you. This is a challenging career with lots of potential for advancement, and you will always be learning new things. If you are already working in a similar field and want to move your career into a cyber security role, boost your existing skills or add to your qualifications, taking a cyber security degree online could help you do this. Furthermore, there is the option to study this course even if you don’t have coding experience or previous information science qualifications. Therefore you could work towards a cyber security role with little prior experience. Whatever your level of experience or qualifications, a cyber security degree that you take online could help you achieve your career aims and propel you to working in higher-level positions.
What is Cyber Security?
First things first, it is important to understand what cyber security is. In general, cyber security is the practice of protecting networks and computer systems, such as devices, software, or servers, from data theft and malicious attacks. Cyber security is essential in many industries, and you will be performing many roles and duties. There are several categories into which the types and roles of cyber security experts fall, such as:
- Operational security – This is concerned with handling and protecting data assets, and the processes and decisions that help this happen.
- End-user education – In order to reduce the risk of viruses being accidentally introduced to secure systems through human error, cyber security experts train and educate individuals in order to prevent this from happening.
- Network security – This is concerned with securing computer networks.
- Application security – Focuses on keeping software and devices free from threats.
An online cyber security degree will give you an understanding of many types of cyber security, software and techniques that are used in the industry, as well as simulated real-life experiences in order to put these newly learnt skills into practice and help get you ready for the workplace.
What is the Masters in Cybersecurity?
The masters in cybersecurity is an online cyber security degree that can be completed 100% online in under 18 months. It will give you the skills and experience to work in various cyber security roles in different industries, as well as allowing you more control over your learning environment and the pace at which you work. There are no GRE/GMAT requirements, and you can begin learning as soon as you are accepted. There are numerous modules covering a range of areas, including Foundations of Cyber Security, Ethical Hacking, Penetration Testing, Data Mining for Cyber Security, Risk Management and System Hardening and Protection, Enterprise Security and Machine Learning with Applications in Cybersecurity.
If you do not have previous coding experience or experience in computer or information science, then you can still study the online cyber security degree. There is the opportunity to complete a Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security, which is a 6-month course that will provide you with the basics and background knowledge required to then undertake the online cyber security degree. You will also have the opportunity to work with industry professionals and put your new skills to the test in hands-on interactive experiences. The online cyber security degree is also partnered with the EC-Council and CISCO Academy and will help you prepare to become certified.
Is It For You?
This course is mainly aimed at systems engineers, security specialists, networkers, and software developers who would like to move their careers into a more cyber security-focused role. However, it also available to be studied by those without previous computer or information science experience and qualifications, as you can undertake the Graduate Certificate that will give you the foundational knowledge required to complete the masters.
The online cyber security degree will prepare you with the professional and personal skills you will need to succeed in these roles. There are many traits and characteristics that will help you in this field, and they include:
• Teamwork and communication
As a cyber security specialist, you will be working with individuals or organizations and may also be working across different departments. You need to be able to collaborate with others in order to achieve common goals and find the most appropriate solutions. Furthermore, good communication and presentation skills are essential, as you may be educating employees, speaking with many people who may not have the same level of understanding as you, and also conveying complex technical ideas and methods.
• Willingness to learn
The digital world is always evolving, and so are the threats that could damage a company or individual. Therefore, you need to be constantly willing to learn and absorb new information, regardless of your position or how long you have been in the role. Keeping up to date with the latest ideas and technology will keep you and those you are working for at the forefront of cyber security, using the latest tech and methods to keep them safe.
You will often be working as part of a team and leading one. Many cyber security experts move into leadership roles, leading teams, planning and organizing, and motivating your team in order to achieve the best results. You will also have to communicate and collaborate with your own superiors in order to deliver the best services possible.
The majority of cyber security revolves around solving problems, so these skills will have to be developed within yourself in order to do this. As well as problem-solving, you will also have to have great critical thinking and decision-making skills in order to decide on the best solutions for the situation and implement them efficiently.
There are many great skills that you will gain and develop over the course of your online cyber security degree that will help prepare you to work in a variety of interesting and important roles. You may already have many of these traits and just need some guidance as to how to apply them in the new situations your new cyber security role may present you with.
Career Outcomes of a Masters in Cybersecurity
The online cyber security degree will prepare you to work in a range of roles in different industries and give you the opportunity to explore your strengths. This can help you decide on the kind of role you would like to work in when you have graduated. A few of the potential cyber security roles include:
- Cryptographer – This role involves developing algorithms, ciphers, and security systems in order to provide privacy for individuals and organizations.
- Penetration tester – Also known as ethical hacking, this is the process of evaluating the security of a computer system using an authorized simulated cyberattack.
- Security engineer – This role focuses on designing computer systems that can handle disruptions, maintaining the systems, and planning for potential future security issues with the aim of preventing them.
- Security director – This is a leadership role that involves planning and developing security training programs for members of the security, ensuring that they are aware of the most up-to-date ideas and developments.
There are many different roles and positions within the cyber security industry, and the online cyber security degree can help you explore the options that are available to you and the areas in which you are passionate.
Choosing to Study Online or Not?
If you are ready to take the next step and apply for a course, then you might be wondering whether you should study online or not.
Think about Your Location
Your physical location can have an impact on the kinds of courses that are available to you if you plan on studying in person. If your local institutions do not offer the courses that you want or need, then you may be forced to choose something else or not further your education at all. An online cyber security degree can give you access to a high level of education from the comfort of your own home, at any time that works for you. This is particularly useful if you do not enjoy learning in a physical classroom environment, as having more control over the area you learn in can help you absorb information more efficiently.
Top Tip: When preparing yourself to work and learn from home, you should create a productive study environment and learn more about the way in which your mind works.
Being a student can be very expensive, and this can put a lot of people off studying for their dream career. From travel to accommodation, tuition fees to textbooks, the financial requirements of a degree can really add up and make it seem unviable. However, an online cyber security degree can allow you to study whilst reducing or removing some of these costs. The course is competitively priced, and you may also be eligible for financial support and student discounts. When you study online, you will not have to commute to classes daily or rent campus accommodation, which are two of the largest costs that students face. Furthermore, being able to study at home allows you to work and maintain your current job, fitting your studies around your prior commitments and continuing to earn money.
Is Online Learning Right for You?
The online cyber security degree is perfect for those who want more control and flexibility when it comes to their studies. This is because it is taught 100% online, which provides you with the opportunity to fit the course around the rest of your life. There are numerous benefits to studying online, from saving money to learning at home, and there are further benefits for furthering your education and completing a masters. Often, job applicants with masters degrees can apply for higher-level jobs, which usually come with higher salaries. A masters degree shows that you have a genuine interest and passion in the subject and are keen to continue learning more. Furthermore, a masters degree gives you access to education, resources, and industry professionals that can boost your career and that you may not get to interact with outside of an educational scenario.
What Can You Do to Prepare?
If you have decided that an online course is the right decision, there are several things you can do to help in preparation for the start of your course.
The online cyber security degree will arm you with plenty of technical knowledge and skills, but it will also allow you to develop your soft skills by learning online. To ensure that you have the most success with this during your course, you can always start to build on your soft skills now.
Soft skills are non-technical skills that help you stand out in the workplace and are looked upon favorably by employers. Specific soft skills are very useful for cyber security specialists, such as communication, problem-solving, attention to detail, and teamwork, but they are all useful in a range of industries and positions. The benefit of this is that you will also have practical examples to give to employers during an interview of times when you have utilized these skills.
The online cyber security degree is designed for those with prior commitment, such as jobs or a family, who want to fit their education around this. It is a flexible and accessible course that allows you to work at your own pace and at times that suit you. If you find a physical learning environment too overwhelming or simply not have the time and availability to attend in person lectures full time, then this could be an ideal alternative. An online cyber security degree can give you a high level of education that can be adapted to your lifestyle, previous experience and schedule. However, it can be difficult to motivate yourself at times. This is why it is crucial that in preparation, you understand what type of learner you are and how to implement learning techniques that work best for you. This is really important in cyber security, as you will constantly have to learn and absorb new information in the workplace.
Starting Your New Career
An online cyber security degree is a valuable addition to your resume and can help you grow both personally and professionally. You will learn plenty of new skills, as well as expanding on existing ones, in order to make you a confident and capable individual upon graduation. Whether you are looking to move your career in a new direction or have very little experience in information science, there are ways to make the online cyber security degree work for you, preparing you for a rewarding and challenging career in a growing industry.