Crime has always been around. However, when computers came into play, a good part of crime could be executed in front of a screen.
Data breaches, AI phishing, malware, ransomware—these are only a few of the hefty amount of cyber crimes.
Police protect against real life crimes; who protects us from cyber attacks? Those would be cyber security professionals who obtain degrees and certifications to qualify for their positions.
To become a cyber security professional, you may only need a bachelor’s degree or certifications. However, is a master’s degree in cyber security worth it? Let’s look into the reasons why it is.
Why Get a Master’s Degree in Cyber Security: Four Reasons
Enrolling in a master’s degree program, especially in cyber security, is not an overnight decision. It is something you decide to do because you love the profession; however, you will always have to weigh out the pros and cons list.
To help you with the pros list, here are a few benefits of a master’s degree in cyber security.
Although you may have learned a great deal of technical cyber security skills in your bachelor’s degree program, keep in mind that you work in an ever-changing field. Signing up and completing a master’s degree program could refresh your knowledge and give you a new pair of up-to-date skills.
Getting a master’s degree in almost any industry can and will put you ahead of the competition in the workplace. Employers are always on the lookout for well-trained and educated professionals. However, with a master’s degree in cyber security, you will be able to differentiate yourself from the crowd and move upwards on the ladder easier.
If you’re working in a tech-related industry, such as information technology, and you’re in need of a career change then your answer may be getting a master’s degree in cyber security. You can obtain the knowledge and skills required to make a shift in your career path and work in an ever-evolving industry.
Job growth rate
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), cyber security is one the fields with the fastest job growth nationally, with a 37% job growth rate. Not only does it have a fast growth rate, but it is also one of the fields where demand seems to be significantly higher than supply.
According to Cybercrime Magazine, there are an estimated around three million cyber security positions left unfilled. This means that, should you choose to get a master’s degree in cyber security, getting a job would be the least of your worries.
A master’s degree in cyber security can land you numerous jobs.These jobs are not only high in numbers, but they also come with a number of other benefits. For instance, you will never get bored in such an industry that teaches you something new almost every day.
A few of the best jobs you can get in the cyber security field include:
- Lead Software Security Engineer
- Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
- Penetration Tester
- Security Architect
- Information Security Analyst
- Information Security Crime Investigator/Forensics Expert
Another benefit of these jobs is that, due to the gap in supply and demand, the salaries tend to be some of the highest on the market today. So, let’s look into the median salaries for cyber security professionals with master’s degrees.
Master’s degree in cyber security salary
However much we love our profession, money is usually a considerable part of the reason why we choose to pursue it. With cyber security, you’ll be covered in that area. Salaries range from $70,000 for entry-level cyber security positions and can even go up to $200-400,000 per year for certain positions and after and a number of years of experience.
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Cyber Security Certifications vs Master’s Degree
Many of those who choose to pursue cyber security contemplate whether to enroll in a master’s degree program or pursue certification. Both alternatives have their advantages and disadvantages; however, there is always one that is more suitable for you.
Here are some of the differences between these two routes.
|One time payment||Inexpensive but builds up over time|
|Never expire||Most need to be renewed within a few years|
|Gain transferable knowledge||Depends but is mostly non-transferable knowledge|
|Builds perseverance in learning||Helps build test-taking skills|
|Broader and more in-depth concentration||Task-specific concentration|
|Skills measured through writing, discussions, critical thinking, and practical skills||Skills measured through exams.|
Ultimately, is a master’s degree in cyber security worth it? We can’t really be the judge of that. However, we made sure to show you all the perks that come with completing such a program. If you’re convinced this is the right choice for you, you can start out by enrolling in BAU’s Master of Science in Cyber Security program!