As technology becomes more prominent in today’s modern world, protecting the information in software and other databases is of vital importance. Some of the jobs available to those who work in cyber security include information systems security professionals, system administrators, and senior system managers. These professionals are typically responsible for information systems and the security of these systems.
Some of the course topics students can expect to discuss include ethics in information technology, psychology of criminal behaviors, and security policy analysis. Course work may also include advanced mathematics classes, such as statistics, calculus, and discrete mathematics. These classes are designed to show students how to protect and secure digital information.
Other courses, such as criminal investigations, computer forensics, and criminal evidence, are designed for those who are more interested in investigating and tracking down those who have been committing cybercrimes. Cyber criminals are usually very computer-savvy, and have advanced knowledge of the field in which they are committing a crime. Investigators must also be very experienced in a variety of computer areas, and should understand both the side of the investigation as well as the mind of the cybercriminal.
Sometimes internships can open the door to new opportunities, or help students hone already learned skills. Places like the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or NASA have coveted internships that are also a great addition to a future resume. Internships also allow students to work alongside experts in the field, and learn more about malicious code, incident handling, forensics analysis, and other STEM-related areas.
Many students find they are more qualified for a job in cyber security if they have a few of the following additions to their resume:
- Being certified in showing a master of a body of knowledge, such as a being a Certified Information Systems Security Professional.
- Have experience in law enforcement or the military
- Have some IT experience, either through internships, volunteering, or a job
- Understand IT security topics.
Some of the certificates that will further demonstrate qualification of certain focused areas include cyber security policy, digital forensics, cyber investigation, cyber security technology, information assurance, and homeland security management.
One of the biggest employers in this field is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In an interview conducted by U.S. News, the former secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, explains that “billions of dollars of intellectual property” is being stolen every year and “resulting in job losses and damages to our economy.”
A master degree in cyber security should allow students to enter their field and be prepared to tackle a multitude of protection and security issues. Students should consider a traditional degree (on-campus), or a blended learning format when enrolling in a program. Completely online degrees are available as well, which allows working students to keep their job while also participating in higher education.