13 FAQs for Cybersecurity and Networking
Updated By Staff Writer on September 10, 2020
We know you've got questions about cybersecurity and networking degrees—and we've got the answers!
What Is Cybersecurity and Networking?
Cybersecurity and networking are two similar, but separate, realms of computer science. Computer networking refers to working with the technology that connects information across computers. This can include data, voice, image, and video. Cybersecurity refers to working to protect this information from leaks and hacks.
What Is the Difference between Cybersecurity and Computer Science?
The difference between cybersecurity and computer science is that computer science is a broad term that focuses on computing in general, while cybersecurity focuses on keeping data safe from being seen by those not permitted to do so.
Can You Major in Cybersecurity?
Yes, you can major in cybersecurity at an accredited university. Cybersecurity is, in fact, very popular among college students. One of the reasons for this is that today's students grew up using computers every day and are very familiar with how to use them and their potential for exploitation.
Many students have had their own identity stolen or data hacked and want to fight back using their skills in computer science. As one cybersecurity consultant1 said, “I think it's the morality of the work that attracts a lot of us who are in it. A lot of us just want to save the company and do the right thing. We're looking to save the world.”
Other significant technology majors that today's students are very interested in include:
What Major Should I Consider for Cybersecurity?
For cybersecurity, an excellent choice for a major to pursue is a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Networking. This is because cybersecurity graduates will have the valuable knowledge and skills that employers are looking for in a job candidate.
Examples of the knowledge and skills that cybersecurity students learn include:
- Information security and protection
- Computer information systems operations
- Database security
- Client UI/UX interface
- Computer forensics
- Cybersecurity investigations and reporting
What Kind of Degree Do You Need for Cybersecurity?
To work in cybersecurity, you will most likely need a Bachelor's degree. In addition, certain certifications2 can distinguish you from others and could help in securing a job.
What Do You Learn with a Cybersecurity Degree?
With a cybersecurity degree, you'll learn how to monitor and mitigate cyber threats, and protect computer systems, computer networks, and sensitive data from leaks and attacks.
Some of the specific topics that are covered include:
- Information security management
- Cryptography (writing and solving codes)
- Threats and defense mechanisms
- Ethical hacking (structured hacking to expose system vulnerabilities)
- Computer forensics (finding digital evidence)
- Computer law (relating to the transfer, use, and storage of electronic data)
- Computer servicing
- Server and workstation administration
- Database management
- Client interface
- Cloud and mobile computing
- Network communications
- Operating systems
To learn these skills and many more, students complete weekly assignments, perform assessments, and participate in discussion boards while reviewing and meeting certain checkpoints along the way.
Does Cybersecurity Require Coding?
Cybersecurity does not generally require coding. However, coding may be necessary for some mid- and upper-level cybersecurity positions. There are a few other skills and habits that are quite valuable in the cybersecurity world. They are:
- Being effective at diagnosing and solving analytical problems
- Being aware of up-to-the-minute vulnerabilities
- Staying current on standards and procedures
- Being able to present effectively with management and clients
- Articulating complex concepts, both when writing and speaking
- Following through on projects
- Managing security incidents thoroughly
- Having integrity
How Long Is School for Cybersecurity?
At a traditional brick-and-mortar school, it can take four years or more to complete a degree in cybersecurity. However, an online cybersecurity degree can be earned in as few as 36 months. This is due to courses being taught in four-week modules rather than four-month semesters. It's also because students can start quickly and focus on fewer courses at a time, which aids in faster learning.
Another advantage of earning an online cybersecurity degree is that you can go to school while working full-time and may be able to graduate earlier. If a student does need financial aid to help pay for tuition, it may be able to be paid off more quickly because of the ability to apply for jobs sooner.
What Can I Do with a Bachelor's Degree in Cybersecurity?
With a Bachelor's in cybersecurity, an applicant can qualify to get a job protecting an organization's computer networks and systems. Job responsibilities may include:3
- Installing firewalls and data encryption programs
- Conducting testing that simulates attacks for exposing vulnerabilities
- Monitoring for security breaches
- Investigating violations
- Preparing reports that document breaches
- Researching the latest security trends
- Developing and implementing security standards, best practices, and recovery plans
- Recommending security enhancements
- Teaching computer users how to install new security products
Is Cybersecurity in Demand?
Yes, cybersecurity is in demand. In fact, it is in great demand and even considered to be mission-critical. There is expected to be a 32% increase in job growth by the year 2028.4 This is because the threat of cyberattacks is ongoing (and growing). Organizations need to protect their computer and cloud-based systems from being hacked, and critical and personal information from being stolen.
The U.S. intelligence community recently reported that Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran are all investing in cyberwarfare. Plus, considering that half of all cyberattacks cost businesses more than $500,000 per incident,5 cybersecurity professionals are in hot pursuit.
Is It Hard to Get a Job in Cybersecurity?
No, if you are a qualified candidate, it is generally not difficult to get a job in cybersecurity. Here are three statistics on cybersecurity that prove this statement:6
- 1. The number of cybersecurity job postings has grown 94% since 2013.
- 2. Cybersecurity jobs account for 13% of all IT jobs.
- 3. For each cybersecurity job opening, there were only 2.3 applicants to recruit.
Who Hires Cybersecurity Analysts?
The types of organizations that most often hire cybersecurity specialists are:5
- Professional Services (41% of openings)
- Finance and Insurance (18% of openings)
- Manufacturing and Defense (10% of openings)
In 2018, there were 112,300 employed cybersecurity analysts.6 Most work full-time at 40 hours per week during normal business hours (unless there is an emergency).
Where Do I Start in Cybersecurity?
To start in cybersecurity, you need to earn your Bachelor's degree and any relevant certifications. Having on-the-job experience is also a big plus.
Here are the four steps to take to get your Bachelor's degree in Cybersecurity and Networking:
- Request more info on the online cybersecurity degree program from Independence University.
- Submit an online application.
- Apply for financial aid.
- Begin taking online courses!