The role of a cyber security manager requires a complex set of skills above and beyond those required for entry- and mid-level cyber security professionals. A Bachelor’s degree and a few years of experience can offer some of these skills, but those interested in furthering their career should consider pursuing a Master’s cyber security course of study.
The cyber security industry is seeing a 90 percent year-over-year increase in cyber security jobs, but filling them is a challenge. The issue comes partly from a need for improvements in how hiring managers and HR departments look at applicants, combined with a shortage of capable talent. Qualified managers, in particular, are difficult to find. One study showed that senior security leadership positions are often left unfilled for 18 months or longer.
Cyber security managers must possess a wide range of capabilities. While a Bachelor’s level cyber security degree can deliver many of the skills required, additional cyber security training may be needed to expand them. An advanced cyber security degree indicates a high level of both technical and theoretical knowledge. Those looking for further specialization could also invest in a certificate program, which allows you to focus on a specific area within cyber security, such as financial crime and fraud investigation.
However, the amount of training isn’t the only indicator of the best candidates for cyber security management. Leaders need to understand not just technology but also the role’s legal, business, interpersonal, and communication components.
What Makes a Good Cyber Security Manager?
An individual in the role of a cyber security manager must deal with a variety of issues that require a different set of skills from those required by entry- and mid-level roles. A cyber security manager must juggle budgets, prepare the next generation of industry leaders, and clearly understand how the cyber security component affects business operations.
Managers should have a working style that can incorporate a high level of detail, strong analytical and problem-solving skills and the ability to work closely with others. Experience is also vital. It’s what enables a cyber security manager to appropriately manage risk for the good of the company. Other factors, such as a commitment to ethics, are considered as well. A strong professional reputation shows the candidate has earned the trust and respect of co-workers and colleagues.
Importantly, successful managers need to know how to hold on to all their hard-won employees. Some strategies include financial and time incentives, the opportunity to work on exciting projects and gain additional education (such as a specific cyber security course or a cyber security degree), and mentorship. Managers must be able to clearly explain employees’ expected career path. Managers who can attract and retain quality workers will play a pivotal role in their company’s growth.
Training is Foundation
A good cyber security course of study can help you build the skills needed to keep data secure and develop strategies to prevent future attacks. Some cyber security training programs can be completed online.
Utica College offers several options, including a Master’s of Science (MS) and a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in both Cyber Security and Cyber Policy; and Fraud and Financial Crime. These and other programs like them help students gain specialization in these growing fields.
No matter which program you choose, cyber security Master’s degrees can provide another layer of credentials to help you advance your cyber security management career.