Everything You Need to Know About Getting an Online Cyber Security Degree

As more businesses, organizations, and government offices transition their data and infrastructure to the connected world, security firms across the globe have increased their focus on finding ways to protect private information from hackers. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, as evidenced by several recent massive data breaches affecting companies like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Rubrik, to name a few. 

The consequences of these cybersecurity incidents have been felt by millions of consumers around the world, with their personal information falling into the hands of unknown individuals — people who either sell this data or use it for all types of criminal activity.

Want to understand the finer nuances of trojans, backdoors, and countermeasures? Then take up the Certified Ethical Hacking Course today!

Cybersecurity Affects Everyone

While cybercrimes often make the news when they occur on a larger scale, in reality, they are more prevalent than the occasional news headline suggests. Every day, hackers and cyber attackers victimize ordinary people who shop, bank and send or receive money online. 

There were more than 16.7 million victims of identity fraud in 2018, an 8 percent increase over the previous year. Fraudsters also stole more than $16.8 billion from U.S. consumers in 2018. 

As we continue to live in a connected world, there will always be a need for cybersecurity professionals. These tech experts can assess the integrity of digital infrastructure and take proactive measures to protect private data. 

The demand for cybersecurity roles jumped by approximately 7 percent between 2017 and 2018. This increase is even higher overseas. In India, for example, job postings for cybersecurity roles rose by 39 percent in 2018 from the previous year, making a cybersecurity degree in India a worthwhile investment. 

Unsurprisingly, cybersecurity is a critical priority for many businesses today.  In a recent survey of American CEOs at the World Economic Forum in Davos, cybersecurity is the main thing that keeps them up at night, topping other critical business concerns such as competition, a recession, and threats to global trade systems. 

Consider a Career in Cybersecurity

If you are thinking about a career as a cybersecurity specialist, one of the most practical ways to get started is to earn an online cybersecurity degree. 

A cybersecurity degree is designed to help you develop the knowledge and skills to secure computer operating systems, networks, and sensitive data from hacks. As a subdiscipline of computer science, a cybersecurity degree focuses on technical knowledge that includes:

  • Designing system architecture
  • Moving IT infrastructure to the cloud
  • Creating systems that detect risks, threats, and vulnerabilities 

Other possible names for these degrees include:

  • Information security
  • Information assurance
  • Information systems security
  • Information technology security

Cybersecurity Career Guide

The Path to Becoming a Cybersecurity ExpertDOWNLOAD GUIDE
Cybersecurity Career Guide

What are the Types of Cybersecurity Degrees?

To meet the demand for students seeking cybersecurity training, universities, colleges, and online learning platforms offer a variety of options for education and learning. Notably, organizations like the EC-Council University, Arizona State University, and Western Governors University, offer some of the best online cybersecurity degrees in the U.S. They all include the programs listed below.

Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity 

A Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity focuses on the fundamental principles of IT security and provides training to help students use real-world cybersecurity tools, applications, and techniques. A bachelor’s degree in this field is often geared toward preparing students to start their careers in cybersecurity. 

The strongest cybersecurity degrees provide training through a cutting-edge virtual labs environment, allowing students to gain hands-on experience with the tools a typical cybersecurity professional uses but in a safe, contained online environment. A typical degree will cover:

  • Network management
  • Computer security
  • Security incident response
  • Cybersecurity threat assessment and analysis

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

A Master of Science in Cybersecurity focuses on providing students with a solid foundation in the field and includes training in security management and information technology leadership. The goal of the program is to help students take the lead in creating cybersecurity policies in corporations, organizations, and agencies.

A master’s program in this field typically offers courses in: 

  • Computer security management
  • Computer security threat analysis
  • Security incident response
  • Organizational management
  • Leadership and behavior

The master’s program also offers a variety of specializations that allow students to focus on specific fields of study, whether it’s cloud security, network security, or data management.

Several colleges and universities offer both programs online, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace and time frame depending on their schedules.

There are also short courses that help students earn certifications in various cybersecurity subdisciplines. When it comes to a cybersecurity degree, salary boosts are often cited as the reason for earning one, but this is not always the case. Many certificate-based programs, including those listed below from Simplilearn, can be just as beneficial. 

Certified Ethical Hacking Course

The Certified Ethical Hacking (CEH) course trains students on the methods and techniques commonly used by hackers, including reverse engineering, writing viruses, and creating worms and Trojans. The goal is to help students develop a structured knowledge base that will help them discover network and technical vulnerabilities and recommend solutions to prevent common hacks.

Certified Information Systems Auditor Certification

The Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification course is designed to give students the skillset to control and manage enterprise IT infrastructure and perform comprehensive security audits on virtually any organization. It covers the acquisition, development, testing, and implementation of information systems, teaching students best practices, guidelines, and standards to protect them. 

Certified Information Systems Security Professional

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is considered by many to be the gold standard in the field of information security. CISSP training is designed to help students become information assurance professionals who are trained to define all aspects of IT security, including:

  • Architecture
  • Design
  • Management
  • Controls

It’s also worth noting that many companies hiring for IT security positions require or prefer candidates with CISSP certification, so consider prioritizing this course. 

Cybersecurity Expert Master's Program

Master the Skills of a Cybersecurity ProfessionalView Course
Cybersecurity Expert Master's Program

What are the Cybersecurity Degree Requirements?

For an online bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity, the typical requirements for admission include a valid high school diploma or foreign equivalent, or an associate’s degree or foreign equivalent from an appropriately accredited institution. A master’s degree, on the other hand, requires a valid bachelor’s degree. 

There are no formal qualifications required for most certification programs at the foundational level. These include the CompTIA Security+ certification course and COBIT 5 Certification Training, both of which usually only require previous IT experience. Advanced programs like CISA certification may require an employer to verify a student's experience before enrollment. 

What are the Benefits of Earning Cybersecurity Certifications?

Getting certified in cybersecurity can make you a more well-rounded IT specialist. Every role in IT has a security aspect to it, which is why upskilling in this discipline can open up a world of options for your professional development. Other benefits include:

  • Growth

    Cybersecurity is a continually evolving concern for any business. Certifications offer the chance to consistently grow your career, keeping you up to date on best practices and trends. Nothing is stopping you from earning as many certificates as you want
  • Variety

    Although cybersecurity is a subdiscipline of computer science, it still has its share of subfields. Through certification programs, you get an opportunity to explore all types of techniques and technologies, ensuring that you never get bored. 
  • Hands-on Problem Solving

    Certification courses are geared toward teaching students how to solve puzzles that tend to emerge in real-life security challenges. There’s no shortage of problems and issues to tackle in this field.
  • Competitive Edge

    Completing a cybersecurity degree or certification is a guaranteed way to set yourself apart from other candidates when applying for the many jobs available in the field.
Looking forward to a career in cybersecurity? Prepare yourself with these CISA practice exam questions. Try it now!

Getting Started with Cybersecurity

If you are interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity, take advantage of Simpliearn's online Cybersecurity Certification Training, which is designed to give you the skills necessary to secure your network and IT infrastructure.

Other certification programs available through the e-learning provider include -

Take your cybersecurity career to the next level by enrolling in one or more of these courses today!

About the Author

SimplilearnSimplilearn

Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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