Finding the Best Cyber Security Degree Program
Considering expanding your IT qualifications with a cyber security degree? Discover some of the courses offered by the best cyber security schools in the country – and what they could do for your career.
For many people, the idea of going to school to learn cyber security is something out of science fiction. But the reality of modern society is that cyber security underpins everything we do – from everyday banking, shopping and education, to running businesses and government organizations.
For instance, recent research from Gartner shows that spending on cyber security annually grew by 4.7 percent to an estimated $75 billion in 2015.
That’s why we need more people working in cyber security to help keep data and information as secure as it can be. Thankfully, more schools are offering cyber security programs that provide the training required to place people into roles where they are desperately needed. Many of these programs are online, allowing people to learn at their own pace.
If a professional is looking for a career change or wants to boost skills in an area that will only become more important, cyber security training should be a focus for years to come.
The Growing Need for Skilled Cyber Talent
Although many schools are offering cyber security training, it’s important to know that not all courses are created equal. Some are more comprehensive than others, and specific cyber security courses can be tailored to specialized areas of development.
For instance, Utica College in upstate New York has created a specialized series of cyber security degrees in an Economic Crime Prevention portfolio. These courses, which include an MBA in Fraud Management and a Financial Crimes Investigator Certificate, can prepare participants for careers in an increasing number of private-sector jobs with a focus on fraud prevention.
These jobs will require a significant amount of technical analysis, but also the ability to create action plans against threats. Ideally, a Master’s program’s academic schedule teaches students to:
- Assess risks an organization faces due to cyber threats, and recommend steps to combat those risks.
- Apply skills and knowledge to new but similar cyber security problems, so they can respond to new attacks as they evolve.
- Describe how cyber attacks against an organization can be monitored and investigated for actionable intelligence.
- Explain how symmetric and asymmetric encryption and authentication systems safeguard data, and recommend encryption and authentication systems suited to particular tasks and settings.
The ability for students to choose between a “management” or “technical” concentration – provides even more opportunities to become specialized before heading into the private sector.
Specialize in Areas of Interest
Businesses need to know their data is secure. Regis University’s Master of Science (MS) in Information Assurance lets students focus on either cyber security or IA Policy Management. All of its cyber security courses also are modeled on guidelines from the national Committee on National Security Systems.
It can be difficult to determine which courses are of a sufficiently high quality to provide real private-sector experience. The University of Delaware’s (UD) MS in Cyber Security is designated by the National Security Agency as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.
Additionally, the university is home to the UD Cybersecurity Initiative, a hub of research and training with partnerships with the U.S. Army, IBM, General Electric, Bank of America and other major businesses. This addresses a key problem with many courses: How to ensure students are ready and qualified to hit the ground running with skills businesses will find useful?
That said, studying a cyber security degree isn’t just about working at these firms, which specifically look for candidates with advanced educations.
Get Ahead of the Pack
Businesses and government are facing more cyber security pressures than ever before. These courses can help provide training and knowledge to be indispensable in the modern economy.
Investing in skill development and cyber security training is investing in long-term career growth and advancement. A cyber security degree can help secure a high-quality, lucrative role now, and it can also open up a variety of diverse opportunities as one’s career progresses.
Discover more about the long-term career benefits of a cyber security degree and find the right Master’s program.
Quick Facts and Links
For cyber security professionals on the go, here’s a recap list of the best schools for cyber security degrees:
- Utica College offers a range of specialized degrees, covering fraud management, financial crime, compliance management, cyber policy and risk analysis.
- Regis University allows students to explore the intricacies of information assurance with its leading-edge Master of Science in Information Assurance degree.
- The University of Delaware not only offers an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity degree but the UD Cybersecurity Initiative, a hub of research and training with partnerships with the U.S. Army, IBM, General Electric and others.