Is a Cybersecurity Degree Worth It?

As our world becomes increasingly interconnected, the significance of cybersecurity has surged dramatically. With cyber threats evolving in sophistication and prevalence, the demand for skilled professionals in this field has soared. Consequently, many individuals are deliberating whether investing in a cybersecurity degree, whether through traditional institutions or online programs, holds merit. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the value of a cybersecurity degree and assess its potential as a rewarding career choice.

Explore the benefits of pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity at through our comprehensive blog and accompanying infographic. Packed with pertinent facts and statistics, our infographic serves as a valuable resource to aid in your decision-making process as you chart your academic path.

Cybersecurity Industry Job Growth

In our digital era, cybersecurity has become indispensable, with businesses, governments, and individuals alike relying on secure online platforms. The escalating frequency of data breaches, ransomware attacks, and other cyber threats underscores the urgent necessity for specialists capable of safeguarding sensitive information and critical infrastructure.

While some argue that a general Bachelor of Information Technology suffices for lucrative roles in cybersecurity, a bachelor’s degree specifically in cybersecurity offers a more focused curriculum. Although both degrees cover overlapping areas, a BS in cybersecurity delves deeper into encryption, risk management, digital forensics, and ethical hacking, whereas an IT degree provides a broader understanding of hardware, software, and networking.

The burgeoning demand for cybersecurity experts has translated into promising career opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of information security analysts is projected to surge by 32% from 2022 to 2032, outpacing the average growth rate for all occupations. This robust expansion signals a thriving job market for individuals equipped with the skill set acquired through a cybersecurity degree.

Benefits of a Cybersecurity Degree

A cybersecurity degree offers numerous advantages, both professionally and personally. It equips you with specific skills essential for developing and solving security-related infrastructure challenges. Moreover, it can open doors to high-paying roles right from the start of your career. Here are some key benefits:

  • Comprehensive Knowledge: A cybersecurity degree program provides thorough training across various aspects of the field, covering network security, cryptography, ethical hacking, risk assessment, and more. This depth of understanding enables you to effectively address and counter evolving cyber threats.
  • Professional Credentials: Obtaining a degree in cybersecurity enhances your credibility in the job market. Employers often prefer candidates with formal education in the field, seeing it as a commitment to cybersecurity and a solid grasp of the subject matter. Additionally, earning cybersecurity certifications as part of your degree program further boosts your credentials.
  • Hands-on Experience: Many cybersecurity degree programs offer practical, hands-on learning experiences through simulations and group projects. These opportunities enable students to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios, sharpening their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Furthermore, internships are often available, providing valuable hands-on experience.
  • Networking Opportunities: Whether attending a cybersecurity program online or in person, you gain access to valuable networking opportunities. Connecting with professors, industry experts, and peers can lead to valuable contacts throughout your career.
  • Project Management Skills: A Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity also instills a strong foundation in project management, enhancing your ability to develop comprehensive project plans tailored to the unique demands of safeguarding sensitive information. At UMass Global, we offer an emphasis in project management alongside our cybersecurity degree program, providing knowledge in risk identification, mitigation strategies implementation, and coordination of diverse teams.

Cybersecurity Professional Salary Potential

In recent years, cybersecurity job salaries have been consistently increasing, mirroring the high demand for proficient cybersecurity experts and leading to competitive compensation packages. With organizations acknowledging the pivotal role of cybersecurity in today’s environment, many are committed to investing in their security teams. This commitment is reflected not only in generous base salaries but also in bonuses and benefits aimed at retaining top talent.

In the United States, the average information security salary stands at $119,000, with salary ranges fluctuating based on the industry. Even for entry-level positions, cybersecurity jobs offer competitive compensation, with an average salary exceeding $91,000.

Cybersecurity Certificate vs Degree

Both cybersecurity degrees and certificates are crucial for preparing individuals for careers in the field, each serving distinct purposes and offering unique advantages. A cybersecurity degree, whether it’s a bachelor’s or master’s in cybersecurity or information security, delivers a comprehensive and thorough education spanning various topics like network security, cryptography, risk management, and ethical hacking. It provides a profound understanding of the field, often preferred for leadership roles and advanced positions.

On the contrary, cybersecurity certificates such as CompTIA Security+, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), or Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) focus on specific skills and knowledge areas. They are quicker to attain and serve as a practical means to gain specialized expertise in particular cybersecurity domains. Certificates are valuable for individuals seeking rapid entry into the workforce or for experienced professionals aiming to validate their skills.

Ultimately, the choice between pursuing a degree or certificates depends on an individual’s career aspirations, desired depth of knowledge, and envisioned path within the cybersecurity field. Many professionals choose to complement their education by obtaining both degrees and certificates to develop a comprehensive and versatile skill set.

Is a Cybersecurity Degree Worth It?

Determining the worth of pursuing a cybersecurity degree hinges on individual circumstances and career objectives. While such a degree can furnish several advantages, including a strong grounding in core concepts, hands-on training, and the opportunity to forge professional connections, it’s vital to weigh factors such as tuition costs and time commitments.

In the dynamic field of cybersecurity, certifications and hands-on experience are highly prized, sometimes even more so than formal degrees by certain employers. Therefore, a cybersecurity degree program that incorporates certification preparation can provide the most beneficial route to a thriving career in information security.

Secure Your Future: Making the Right Choice in Cybersecurity Education

Securing your future in cybersecurity education entails making the right choice that aligns with your goals, lifestyle, and learning preferences. Whether you opt for an online cybersecurity degree or a traditional program, both avenues provide valuable knowledge, skills, and credentials essential for success in this rapidly evolving field.