Getting Your Cybersecurity Degree: Online Options
With our lives becoming increasingly reliant on technology, businesses and government agencies are tasked with protecting their computer networks, infrastructure — and us — against the growing threat of cyberattacks. In the age of the internet of things, when every email, website, software application, smartphone, and anything else that connects to the internet potentially carries a threat from criminal cybergangs and even rogue states, this is not an easy job.
According to the White House, malicious cyberactivity attacks cost the US economy between $57 and $109 billion in 2016 (accurate estimates are difficult to calculate as not all cyberattacks are reported to law enforcement agencies). With this in mind, it’s easy to see why big business and government take the threat of cyberattacks very seriously.
As the threats evolve and attacks become more sophisticated in their nature, enhanced cybersecurity becomes an essential component of the nation’s economic development and national security. Despite this, there is a considerable shortfall in the number of cybersecurity professionals available to tackle this growing problem. That makes obtaining your cybersecurity degree online a good opportunity for career growth.
Experts predict that the US cybersecurity workforce needs to increase by more than 50 percent to meet current demands, meaning there is no shortage of opportunities in the field. The problem is particularly acute in California where, at the time of writing (November 2018), there were an estimated 36,602 cybersecurity job openings. Other states facing a similar chronic shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals include Texas (with 24,835 openings), New York (14,698), Virginia (33,530), North Carolina (13,078), and Florida (13,465).
With positions such as the role of an Information Security Analyst paying a median wage of $95,510 per year, opportunities for skilled workers with the right qualifications in the cybersecurity industry can be exceptional. Professionals who have the right skillset are finding themselves in a seller’s market on the cybersecurity recruitment landscape.
Faced with such a shortage in the skilled workforce numbers, recruiters are pinning their hopes on attracting applicants from groups currently under-represented in cybersecurity roles. These groups include women, who currently only represent 14 percent of the cybersecurity workforce, and military veterans who recruiters believe possess many transferable skills desirable to the industry. The challenge is equipping these under-represented groups with the combination of the right skills and experience to enter the cybersecurity industry.
Cybersecurity Degrees Online
A Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity (BSCYB) from National University can prepare you for in-demand career opportunities in the cybersecurity industry, including positions as security analysts, computer network defenders, and computer incident responders.
The National online cybersecurity degree is designed to provide you with an understanding of basic information technology management concepts and fundamental security skills, as well as a foundation in the legal and ethical issues associated with cybersecurity. Once you complete the core cybersecurity classes, you then choose a four-class concentration specializing in computer network defense or digital forensics, helping further define your career options.
The flexible nature of the cybersecurity degree online, which aligns with National University’s unique four-week class structure, enables you to join the program at a time that suits your unique needs (programs start every 30 days) and allows you to fit periods of study around existing work or life responsibilities.
This typically allows you to either complete an online degree in a much shorter timeframe than is possible a “traditional” university setting, or to balance your studies around work, family, and other commitments.
Online degrees also create opportunities for students who may not be able to access their education any other way. Not surprisingly, National University is a popular choice for students working full-time or on active military service, as well as with military veterans and working parents — many of the same groups that recruiters are actively targeting to consider careers in the cybersecurity industry.
Secure Your Future in Cybersecurity
Earning your cybersecurity degree online with National University could be your first step to a rewarding career that underpins the success of many organizations and protects the prosperity of the nation.