Cybersecurity Education Guides

When you hear the word “cybersecurity,” what images or feelings does it invoke in you? Fear? Curiosity? Dread? Anxiety? Hope? Cybersecurity is one of the most innovative fields of information technology that is constantly changing and evolving. It can make us feel all of the above emotions, and more. If you have a better understanding of cybersecurity, however, you will quickly begin to comprehend that it is an exciting discipline that is ever-changing and, for that reason, one that requires ongoing education and training to keep up with the developments.

What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity, also known as information security, refers to the methods, technologies and processes that are created and implemented to protect information and data of all types from unauthorized access, use, misuse, disclosure, modification or disruption. You might think of the job of cybersecurity professionals as sitting in front of very large servers or networks of computers, monitoring them. This view is mistaken, however. As cloud and mobile computing continue to increase and more information and applications can be accessed by the Internet, the cybersecurity profession is changing, as well, in order to take into account all of these newer security risks.

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This myriad of changes in how we access information has created quite a demand for trained cybersecurity professionals. And cybersecurity is big business! As of September 2020, according to Security Today, there have been 78 new cybersecurity companies founded around the world, and they have collectively raised over $31.6 million in funding. Although just 15 percent of the cybersecurity startups that were founded in 2020 secured funding, three of the new cybersecurity companies collected 96 percent of that funding, or $30.3 million!

As the number of cyber incidents and cyberattacks increases each year, however, the number of new cybersecurity startups is decreasing. In 2016, for example, there were 490 cybersecurity startups launched, raising a total of $3.1 billion in investments.

Part of the reason that the number of startups in the cybersecurity realm is decreasing may be because the pool of talent to fill cybersecurity jobs is too small. Right now, the demand for trained cybersecurity professionals for these jobs outweighs the supply. It has been estimated that there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs worldwide by 2021! This means that, if you have any interest in the field at all, this could be the perfect time to explore the world of cybersecurity!

What Education Do I Need for Cybersecurity Jobs?

Before you can apply for job in cybersecurity, you need some kind of training and education. There are many levels of education that can help to prepare you for cybersecurity jobs, and this guide will help you to explore them all.

An associate degree or certificate in cybersecurity can help you to land an entry-level job in the field. This can also help you to obtain industry certifications, which are highly valuable when you are seeking certain information security positions. Certificates and associate degrees show that you have some type of more advanced technological knowledge of operating systems and information networks beyond what is normally learned in high school.

The next level of education in cybersecurity is a bachelor’s degree. Many information security jobs now require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, which is why this level of education is quickly becoming the benchmark expectation for cybersecurity careers. It can also better prepare you to take industry certification exams.

Graduate degrees in cybersecurity, at the master’s and doctoral levels, are usually recommended for more advanced cybersecurity positions. Research, managerial and business-oriented information security careers typically require a graduate-level degree.

You can explore all of these types of degrees within our Cybersecurity Education Guide. Choose the state in which you are interested in studying cybersecurity and you will quickly find the different types of educational resources available to you.

Is There Financial Aid to Help Me Study Cybersecurity?

The short answer to this question is, absolutely! Our expanded and comprehensive guide to Cybersecurity Scholarships lists scholarships, grants and fellowship opportunities available to students who wish to study cybersecurity in certain states. It also includes a number of non-state-based scholarship opportunities designed for students from any state. Some scholarships listed are targeted to undergraduate students, some are meant for graduate students, and others are suitable for both levels of education. Scroll through these financial incentives to help you fund your cybersecurity education to find the ones that best suit your situation.

What Types of Personalities Are Recommended for Cyber Jobs?

Cyber jobs are best suited to people who are analytical, curious and like to solve puzzles. They typically work well both individually and as part of a team. Although there are many careers and job descriptions within the discipline of cybersecurity, there are certain personality traits that have been proven to be recommended for cybersecurity jobs. According to Hogan Assessments, they include:

  • Modesty – Those who succeed in cybersecurity careers are not hungry for fame or wishing to stroke their egos through their work. They enjoy a low-key, humble lifestyle.
  • Altruism – Those who wish to help others are best suited for cybersecurity professions.
  • Composed – Working under pressure is typical of many cybersecurity jobs. If you can remain composed and calm while handling cyberthreats that require urgent attention, you will do well in these positions.
  • Scientific – Cybersecurity professionals enjoy solving problems through data and careful analysis. They must be technical and use evidence in their decision making.
  • Inquisitive – Those who succeed in cyber jobs are always asking questions and always eager to learn more. The cyber-world is ever-changing and requires curious, creative people.
  • Skeptical – A cybersecurity professional must think like a hacker in order to do well. This requires them to maintain suspicion and skepticism at all times.
  • Responsive – Good cybersecurity workers respond quickly and effectively to problems, whether or not they are of their own creation. They must also be responsive to criticism and able to accept it well.
  • Diligent – A cybersecurity professional working in a high-pressure environment must not cut corners. They must be detail-oriented and work on a project until it is thoroughly completed.

Which Cyber Career is Right for Me?

There are so many cyber careers available within the discipline of information security. It might be hard, at first, to discover which is right for you. Our Cybersecurity Career Profiles will help you to explore the different career options within cybersecurity. Job titles include, but are not limited to:

  • Computer forensics
  • Digital forensics
  • Cryptographer
  • Security software developer
  • Security specialist
  • Security code auditor
  • Malware analyst
  • Data protection officer
  • Cyber crime investigator
  • Cryptanalyst
  • Security incident responder
  • Chief privacy officer
  • Risk management

What is the Outlook for Cyber Careers?

The future of cyber careers is quite bright! Jobs for information security analysts, the largest group of cybersecurity professionals classified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are expected to increase by 31 percent from 2019 through 2029. This projected increase is much faster than the average increase expected for other job classifications. It is predicted that by 2029, there will be 40,900 new information security analyst positions in the United States alone!

If all of this information has peaked your curiosity, please continue to explore our Cybersecurity Education Guide to find out more about the exciting world of cybersecurity and the many opportunities that await you!