Cyber security is a diverse field with an assortment of degrees from which to choose to launch your career. There is also the choice of no college or university degree. Some professionals are self-taught or take online training to gain the necessary skills in one of the areas of cybersecurity. For this article, we will examine some of the possible majors and minors you combine with cybersecurity. However, keep in mind that a degree in cybersecurity is just one of several majors that will provide the academic qualification to pursue work in this field.
The selection of your degree, as mentioned above, is as vast as the different areas of employment. A shortlist of college majors is information security, IT security, computer science, network security, network engineering, cryptography, systems security, cybersecurity, and more. (Note that the words cyber security and cybersecurity are interchangeable).
Some degrees pair with a related discipline, creating a double major, of sorts. There isn’t a ‘best’ combination of majors or minors. Some pairings provide the education to expand your knowledge into the various facets of cybersecurity. The following is a random selection of bachelor’s degree options:
Cyber Forensics and Information Security
Courses involve the application of IT security tools, as well as the techniques to collect, analyze, preserve, and report on digital network evidence. Students learn about the technical aspect, for example, in courses covering system analysis, database management, digital media forensics, and network defense. Also, you may study security policies, ethical and legal environments of business, and white-collar crime.
The example above is a single major since it is one-degree incorporating coursework in the subjects of cyber forensics and information security. Individuals interested in these disciplines can find several colleges offering them. One example is the Bachelor of Science degree at Keiser University. Graduates of their program are eligible to sit for the Certified Systems Security Professional exam. A vital credential for anyone in the field of cybercrime.
An example of a good double major is in cybersecurity and computer science. These are complementary disciplines; however, they are not synonymous. Computer science involves all things related to computers, such as networks, hardware, system maintenance, programming, design, and applications. Cybersecurity uses computers to prevent, analyze threats, protect systems, and detect hackers.
Mount St. Mary’s University offers a pure double major in cybersecurity and computer science. Their Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and CS is available through the School of Natural Science and Mathematics. The core requirements include a range of subjects, such as network administration and security, UNIX and Windows Systems, data structures, computer security, and cybersecurity electives, among others.
Online enthusiasts may prefer the University of Maryland’s Global Campus (UMGC) bachelor’s degree in Computer Networks and Cybersecurity. Graduates of this 120-credits program will be versed in operational procedures and technologies to design, administer, implement, secure, and troubleshoot corporate networks. The coursework teaches network security, ethical hacking, Cisco devices, and digital forensics in the criminal justice system. The practical skills learned in this double major will enhance employment prospects in cybersecurity.
Anderson University offers a choice of double majors. You may combine a Bachelor of Arts in Cybersecurity with Computer Science, Criminal Justice, National Security Studies, and Accounting. Criminal justice takes you into criminal law, legal process, social problems, and social deviance. National security deals with homeland security, terrorism, political violence, and U.S. government safety concerns. The double major that includes accounting may interest individuals who want a career in accounting forensics and white-collar crime.
Most jobs have an array of soft skills employers look for in potential hires. Recent or soon-to-be college graduates should not underestimate the power of soft skills. These skills are those not learned entirely in the classroom. One primary skill is effective communication. Despite your stellar academic achievements, employers desire verbal and written communication. Therefore, a minor in communications teaches students about public relations, advocacy, conflict resolution, and leadership.
Emotional intelligence is another skill that is transferable to the work environment. Industrial/organizational psychologists act as management consultants for corporations to increase self-awareness and empathy among employees. The knowledge obtained with a minor in psychology would apply to work in a group setting and dealing with different personalities.
Mathematics is another possibility as a minor; however, basic math may be sufficient for an entry-level position in cybersecurity. Binary math is integral to the operation of computers as run on binary data. This math specialty refers to the conversion of data into a group of ones and zeros. A course in algebra is also beneficial to understand binary math.
Philosophy may seem like an odd coupling with cybersecurity, but a minor in this subject teaches critical thinking. Some programs have a choice of customizing your interests. For example, chose courses from business, law, science, history, or psychology in your philosophy minor. Graduates typically have the ability to produce concise verbal statements, comprehensive writing skills, and construct arguments.
As expressed, there is not one major or minor that best suits a degree in cybersecurity. As mentioned in the opening, the diverse branches in this field translate to a host of subjects you can major in, double major in, or add as a minor with cybersecurity.