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Technology has become an irreplaceable part of our everyday lives. By using computers, mobiles, or other similar devices, we are constantly in contact with technology. Nowadays, these devices have become a requirement for almost every business, and that is why careers related to computers, and networks are booming more than ever.

In case you are interested in pursuing a promising career that centers around computers, the internet, and data, then two great choices you should consider are cyber security and computer science. There are many similarities and differences between the two. To better understand each field, as well as differentiate between them, we will compare cyber security and computer science in requirements, job outlook, salary, and the skills needed to succeed in them.

What Is Cyber Security?

Cyber security, also known as information technology security, is focused on protecting networks, devices, and information of a particular organization from unauthorized uses or digital attacks. As an important field, it protects sensitive datapersonal information, health information, governmental information systems, genetic data, and biometric data.

Education requirements

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you need a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related program to work in cybersecurity such as computer science, information technology, and computer engineering. Additionally, many recruiters also value certifications in cybersecurity or programming and courses in statistics and mathematics.

Typically, for entry-level positions in cybersecurity, you only need an educational degree. More advanced roles, on the other hand, can also require work experience.

Job prospects

Because of the continuous increase of users, devices, and the data they produce—a lot of which is confidential—cybersecurity is growing in importance. According to a report by Global Market Insights, the value of the cybersecurity market is estimated to cross $400 billion by 2027.

Career prospects are promising for individuals in possession of the right skills and knowledge about the field. In general, you can expect to start your cybersecurity journey in an entry-level role or even an internship. After gaining more experience, then you progress into senior positions or even leadership roles.

There are many job positions in cybersecurity that you can choose from. Some of the top positions include:

  • Security analyst
  • Security engineer
  • Security architect
  • Security software developer
  • Chief security officer
  • Cyber intelligence specialist
  • IT security architect

Salary range

Your salary as a cybersecurity professional would depend on the position and the company you work for.

But, according to the latest reports on cybersecurity, the average salary for these professionals in the United States is $77,459 per year. The highest recorded salary is $160,930, whereas the lowest is $37,283 per year.

Skills

cyber-security-skills

To succeed in cybersecurity, you must possess some technical and non-technical skills. You should have a deep understanding of the technological devices you use, so you can access databases, manage files, use spreadsheets, and code. Other technical skills you should improve on are: identifying risks and managing them, programming, reverse engineering, application design, and more.

In addition to the mentioned skills, you would also need some non-technical skills, such as communication skills, leadership skills, research and writing, among many others.

What Is Computer Science?

Computer science is the field of study centered on computer technology, hardware, and software. It also deals with computational systems and theories, computer design, development, numerical analysis, graphics, and software engineering.

Education requirements

Most computer science professions require a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, mathematics, or another related subject. However, some web development entry-level positions often require only an associate degree in computer science or web design.

For more advanced engineering and management positions, a master’s degree might be necessary, in addition to professional certification in computer languages.

Job prospects

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the computer science market is projected to grow 15% from 2019 to 2029, with more than 531,200 new jobs. Compared with other occupations, the average growth for computer science is much higher.

When pursuing computer science, you have many job options to choose from. Some jobs related to such a degree include:

  • Software engineer
  • Web designer
  • Web developer
  • Data analyst
  • Game designer
  • Application analyst
  • Database administrator
  • IT consultant

Salary range

The average salary for a computer scientist in the United States is $104,770 per year. The highest recorded salary reaches $167,181 per year, whereas the lowest is $65,658 per year.

Skills

computer-science-skills

When pursuing any position in computer science, you should be skilled in maths, computers, and technology. It is highly recommended to improve your abilities to analyze and trace problems all the way to their core causes and be able to work with various programming languages. When it comes to soft skills, as a computer scientist, you should have great communication skills, time management, adaptability, and always be curious and eager to learn and work hard.

The continuous and rapid development of technology has changed many aspects of our work and life. From the way we gather information to how we process it, how we share it with others, and so on, dealing with data has become more effective due to technology and computers. Knowing all of this, now is the best time to pursue a career in a technology-related field, such as computer science and cyber security.

The main difference between cybersecurity and computer science is that computer science focuses on studying computers, whereas cybersecurity deals with protecting the data inside them. Both fields require knowledge of computer hardware and software. When it comes to the differences in computer science vs cyber security degree, or computer science vs cyber security salary, you can pick and choose which one sounds more appealing to you and fits your plans for the future

To make a positive difference in this digital world we are living, computer science and cyber security are the way to go.

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