5 Reasons to Get a Master’s Degree in Cyber Security

Ethical Hacking

Every year, new technologies and innovations surface, bringing with them new possibilities and exciting opportunities for business. In a digitized world where things are becoming increasingly reliant on technology, gadgets, and data, every new digital platform or device presents tons of opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit and misuse data.

In light of this, there’s a pressing need for designing a safety and prevention plan to protect both individuals and organizations from being the victims of cyber crimes and attacks. In other words, enterprises MUST invest in cyber security.

The past decade has witnessed more than its fair share of cyber crimes and data breaches, and it is only aggravating with every passing year. Remember the infamous Yahoo hack of 2013, the Marriott breach, and the very recent Cambridge Analytica Scandal? 

The drive for cyber security is further encouraging young aspirants to opt for postgraduate-level studies and obtain a cyber security master’s degree. As businesses and organizations continue to become more data-oriented, they must also shoulder the responsibility of safeguarding and protecting their customer data. While large corporations are often the primary victims of cyber criminals, small companies and start-ups can also become their target – nobody is safe. Wherever there’s data, cyber criminals will sniff it out and try to exploit it.

The three primary reasons why it is absolutely essential for businesses to invest in cyber security are:

  1. Minimizes the risk of cyber threats and attacks

With a well-designed and robust cyber security infrastructure in place, it becomes easier to identify system vulnerabilities and prevent and mitigate cyber threats successfully. Also, it helps to keep sensitive customer and business data safe and secure.

  1. It is a more cost-efficient option

In case a data breach or attack occurs, you will not only have to spend a lot of money on damage control, but you will also have to pay hefty fines. You can prevent this by investing in cyber security firsthand. It will save both your money and your reputation.

  1. It increases trust among clients and partners

A data breach can cost your company its reputation. Your clients will no longer feel safe to do business with you. Your partners and investors will find better avenues for investment, leaving you high and dry. However, if you have a robust cyber security infrastructure in place, your clients and business partners will have no scope for such fears.

Cyber security as a Career

From being a career that is exclusively associated with defense and government agencies, today, cyber security has become a mainstream career option. It is being leveraged by all sectors of the industry, including IT, BFSI, Healthcare, and Manufacturing and Retail, to name a few. As the adoption of Cyber security is increasing within the industry, the demand for cyber security professionals is soaring high. 

According to a Burning Glass Technologies report, there has been a 94% growth in the number of job postings in Cyber security compared to 30% growth for IT job positions. It also maintains that cyber security jobs make for nearly 13% of all IT jobs. While cyber security vacancies usually take longer to fill, they pay 16% more than other IT jobs.   

The most popular and trending job positions in cyber security are:

  • Cryptographer
  • Forensic Expert
  • Penetration Tester
  • Ethical Hacker
  • Security Analyst
  • Security Auditor
  • Security Architect
  • Security Engineer
  • Security Manager
  • Security Consultant
  • Security Administrator
  • Security Software Developer
  • Chief Information Security Officer 

Although each of these roles has its unique responsibilities, one thing they have in common is the duty to protect company systems and data. 

While the demand for cyber security professionals is rapidly escalating, unfortunately, there’s a tremendous shortage of skilled professionals in this domain. In fact, (ISC)2 maintains that the cyber security workforce gap will be around 1.8 million professionals by 2022. The reasons for the skills shortage in cyber security include the rapidly rising volume of cyber threats and attacks, under-investment in proper education and training, and technology evolving faster than training and education programs, among other things.

In the face of the skills shortage in this domain, companies are willing to pay high compensation and salary packages to deserving professionals. So, it would definitely be a good idea to get a Master’s degree in cybersecurity.

Five Reasons to Get a Master’s degree in Cybersecurity

Although careers in Cybersecurity are booming at present, if you still need a push to complete your Master’s degree in Cybersecurity here are five reasons:

  1. It creates plenty of job opportunities.

Since Cybersecurity is a highly complex domain, companies want educated professionals who know this field inside out. A majority of cybersecurity job postings demand at least a bachelor’s degree and higher, whereas others look for advanced certifications like the CISSP. As the competition is steep in the job market, getting a master’s degree in cybersecurity will bring you plenty of job opportunities. 

  1. You get a chance to make more money.

Like we mentioned earlier, cybersecurity professionals earn much higher salaries than their IT counterparts. Naturally, the pay is higher for higher degrees and advanced certifications. Having a master’s degree will not only help you bag managerial-level job roles but also the salary packages that come with them!

  1. Acquire managerial and leadership skills.

Unlike bachelor’s degree courses that teach the basic level skills and concepts to students, Master’s degree programs focus on introducing them to the pivotal business tools and acquire the skills needed to lead a team. These are essential industry skills for cybersecurity job roles, particularly for senior positions.

  1. New scholarship opportunities open up for you.

 Granted that investing your money in higher education can be a costly affair, there are numerous organizations (both government and private) that offer scholarship programs and financial incentives to worthy aspirants. So, you can take advantage of these programs, either free of cost or reduced costs. 

  1. It brings in exciting networking opportunities.

Master degree programs present an excellent opportunity for networking and growth. You not only get to learn from expert mentors in the field, but you also get to interact with peers from different educational/professional backgrounds. Also, there are plenty of opportunities to meet industry experts while working on real-life industry projects.

Getting a Master’s degree in cybersecurity is an excellent idea to take your cybersecurity career to the next level. As you learn, you will grow both personally and professionally. However, if you are unable to join a full-time, on-campus Master’s course in cybersecurity, do check out online courses from reliable training providers.

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