Cyber security is one of the fastest-growing technology fields and companies are desperately seeking top talent to fill a range of positions. This growth has sparked many seasoned professionals to pursue a cyber security degree, and accredited online programs continuously rise to the top of the short list.
Job openings in the field have grown three times faster than other IT jobs, and cyber security professionals earn 9 percent more than other IT workers, according to a Burning Glass study. The study also reports that it takes companies longer to fill cyber security roles.
Because these positions require years of experience and high levels of education, there’s a shortage of qualified workers. While cyber security training and standalone certifications help, many companies want employees with an advanced cyber security degree to fill senior-level positions.
For cyber security professionals looking to advance in the field, now is a great time to further your education to take advantage of this job growth. But how do you find time to earn a degree? Online education may be your answer
Growth of Online Education and Cyber Security Degree Programs
A cyber security degree equips you with knowledge and skills to protect operating systems, networks and data from attacks.
Because many senior-level jobs require financial skills along with IT skills, some master’s degree programs include such training.
Explore our education section for information on cyber security education.
Online degrees are becoming more popular, from bachelor’s degrees to doctorates. Enrollment in online degree programs has increased at higher rates than overall higher education enrollment for several years.
Cyber degrees often have the same curriculum as on-campus degree programs, and the majority of academic officials rate learning outcomes of online education as good as or even better than on-campus learning.
Advantages of Online Cyber Security Degree
Online degree programs are well-suited for professionals already working in the industry, and IT degrees work particularly well in a virtual learning environment.
The advantages of an online program far outweigh in-person education, especially for working professionals and parents. Here are a few advantages:
- No need to put your career on hold: An online education allows you to earn your degree while still working full time. You don’t need to pause your career in order to advance it.
- More options: Enrolling in an on-campus degree program limits your choices to universities within a commutable distance, where you may have to forfeit a better program for convenience. However, online education allows you to select the best program for you, regardless of location.
- Lower costs: Though tuition is similar for online and on-campus programs, you save money on associated costs, such as commuting and childcare.
- Flexibility: An online program allows you to plan your education around your schedule, instead of tailoring your day to a class time. You can fit education around work and family responsibilities without making significant sacrifices that affect your quality of life.
- Self-paced learning: You can learn at your own pace with access to lectures and learning materials anytime you want them. You can take a few days off when you want and catch up on material when it’s convenient.
- Fewer distractions: Many students find it easier to concentrate without the distraction of other students or classroom activity.
Finding the Right Online Program
As you consider an online degree program, make sure it’s the right fit for you. Consider your career goals and the requirements for cyber security positions you desire when researching programs.
For example, some professional certifications require specific education requirements, so make sure the program is compatible.
Also, look for online programs that provide support and resources for telecommuting students. Many programs include online assistance, virtual libraries, career counselors and job placement services that can be beneficial.
There are many opportunities available for cyber security professionals to advance their careers. Acquiring the education necessary to reach your goals doesn’t have to disrupt your life. Online degree programs provide the same level of training as on-campus education with more benefits.
If you’re considering online education, find out more about an online degree program in cyber security and how it can benefit your career.