People are seeking online degrees in cyber security and it’s no secret that information security is growing in importance. It seems you can’t go a week without seeing a new headline about the latest breach or cybersecurity mishap. Big-name companies like Marriott International®, Equifax® and Yahoo® have all fallen victim to hackers in recent years.1
The constant barrage of cyber threats affects businesses and organizations that play important roles in nearly every aspect of our lives. Because of this, many Americans are growing increasingly concerned. Those concerns are well justified as cybercrime racked up approximately $3.5 billion in total losses in 2019, according to an FBI report—and that’s just what’s known.
Facts to consider about the value of a Cyber Security degree
You’ve heard about all of the enriching benefits of higher education. But let’s cut out the fluff and get straight to the statistics. Before deciding which online degrees in cyber security is worth it for you, consider these facts.
1. Cybersecurity jobs are on the rise
If you’re contemplating going back to school to pursue a new career, you want to feel confident that jobs will be available in the field upon graduation. Because no matter how passionate you are about the industry, you don’t want to invest time and money toward a degree that leads to a dead end.
Luckily, that’s not a concern in the case of cybersecurity. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects cybersecurity analyst jobs to increase 33 percent from 2020 through 2030, which is more than four times the average projected employment growth for all occupations.3
2. Cybersecurity professionals are needed in all industries
The growth highlighted above isn’t limited to just the technology field. In today’s digital landscape, nearly every company in every industry has a need for some level of information security services. This means you won’t be restricted to certain types of companies when it comes time to find a job. You can put your skills to work in practically any field, from education to insurance to law enforcement.
The BLS notes two areas in particular that currently have an increased need for cybersecurity professionals: financial institutions and healthcare institutions. Banks and other financial institutions especially need to increase their information security capabilities. Additionally, the healthcare industry will be leaning more on cybersecurity professionals to secure electronic health records and ensure patients’ privacy.3
3. Companies are struggling to find qualified cybersecurity professionals
You’re now well aware that cybersecurity jobs are out there. But the harsh reality is there are simply not enough qualified candidates to meet organizations’ cybersecurity needs. A 2020 report from (ISC)2 states the U.S. is facing a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals, with an estimated 359,000 skilled workers needed to close the gap.4
While, obviously, demand for cybersecurity professionals in your area can vary depending on several factors, it appears that the broader trend of organizations investing more in information security teams should persist. This is promising information for anyone intent on pursuing a cybersecurity career.
4. Employers are seeking candidates with a Cyber Security degree
Now that you’ve heard about the shortage of qualified candidates, you’re probably wondering what exactly it means to be “qualified.” To help us determine the answer to that question, we used real-time job-analysis software to examine more than 114,000 cybersecurity job postings from the past year.5 This helped us identify what employers are seeking in job applicants.
The data revealed that 88 percent of job postings called for candidates with at least a Bachelor’s degree.4 This means that earning a Cyber Security degree would help qualify you as one of the coveted cybersecurity professionals employers are desperately seeking.
5. Cybersecurity programs prepare students with the most up-to-date skills
It’s clear that employers value the training that comes with earning a Cyber Security degree. But you’re probably curious about what exactly that training entails. Every program is unique, but there are some common themes among them.
The Cyber Security programs at Rasmussen University, for example, train students using real-world tools, techniques and applications, such as cryptography, Windows®, Linux®, Cisco®, VMware® and Microsoft Azure®. The curriculum also prepares students for industry cybersecurity certification exams that can help your résumé stand out.
The modern curriculum that makes up our Cyber Security Bachelor’s degree program will teach you about security risk management, advanced networking, vulnerability analysis, security awareness and so much more. Courses like Malware Reverse Engineering, Advanced Network Security, and Hacker Techniques: Tool and Applications will help ensure you’re prepared to make an immediate impact in your first cybersecurity job.
6. Cybersecurity job opportunities typically increase with education level
Across all industries, it’s a general rule of thumb that the more education you acquire, the fewer barriers you’ll face when seeking employment. We decided to put this theory to the test for the cybersecurity field.