The threat of cyberattacks remains greater than ever. From identity theft to the disruption of defense systems, elections, and energy infrastructure, the danger that these attacks pose to our world is crippling. Just as worrying is the lack of qualified professionals with cybersecurity skills who can stop these attacks—the number of unfilled cybersecurity job openings is expected to reach 1.8 million by 2022. Beyond 2022, job opportunities in cybersecurity will only continue to surge. Bureau of Labor statistics show that the employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 32% from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.
The lack of qualified cybersecurity professionals available to meet this growing demand has resulted in a tight job market, rising salaries, and job security in this field. According to a 2019 study on the U.S. cybersecurity job market by Burning Glass Technologies, the average advertised salary for a cybersecurity job is now $93,540, which is 16% higher than the average salary for all IT jobs. This all means that if you’re looking to expand your IT or computer science career, forging a path in the cybersecurity field will ensure that your skills are always in high demand.
Is a Degree in Cybersecurity Worth It?
The data proves it—most employers are looking for cybersecurity professionals who have completed higher education and earned a degree. Study findings from Burning Glass Technologies show that about 88% of cybersecurity job postings specify a bachelor’s degree or higher as a requirement. In addition, the number of employers looking for cybersecurity professionals with an advanced degree is rapidly increasing. Based on data in the 2017 Burning Glass/Labor Insights Report, cybersecurity job postings specifying a master’s degree grew by 73% between 2012 and 2017. Whether you’re a computer scientist with a few years of experience behind you, have a background in information technology, or are a seasoned embedded systems veteran, a cybersecurity master’s degree can create new opportunities in this dynamic field.
Secure Your Cybersecurity Career With an Online Master’s Degree from Georgia Tech
Cybersecurity degree programs provide the degree credentials, advanced knowledge, and problem-solving skills needed to succeed as a cybersecurity professional. In Georgia Tech’s online master’s degree program in cybersecurity, you can earn your degree online and on your own schedule for less than $10,000 in total tuition. Online master’s degree candidates experience the same academic rigor, content, and curriculum as the on-campus students in a program specially designed by a team of faculty and learning design experts. To meet the needs of online learners worldwide, it includes collaborative tools that allow the students to build communities and networks with each other and their instructors.
Cybersecurity Job Options With Your Master’s Degree
Due to the field’s inherently dynamic nature, cybersecurity career options can vary significantly. Georgia Tech prepares master’s degree candidates to become cybersecurity specialists in roles such as security analyst, security engineer, security consultant, and penetration tester, among other possibilities. Through their coursework, students learn ethical hacking, information systems, network security, and risk assessment, and become familiar with cyber threats and cybercrime.
To help students dive into the area of cybersecurity that they’re interested in, cybersecurity programs often offer specializations. At Georgia Tech, students pave the way to their chosen career path in cybersecurity by selecting one of three specializations: cyber-physical systems, information security, or public policy. While equally important, each of these specializations focuses on solutions for different problems, ultimately protecting different aspects of society, each with a different personal impact.
This specialization positions graduates for a career path keeping energy grids up and running, delivering power as expected. A cyber-physical systems cybersecurity expert protects the nation’s electricity, oil, and natural gas stores and delivery and the networks connecting them. Potential employers include energy companies, energy delivery companies, and the department of energy.
Those specializing in information security (infosec) are ready for careers focused on keeping data secure, including an organization’s personnel information and other critical data, whether in development, active use, or storage. One pinnacle of an infosec career path is chief information security officer.
In the public policy specialization, students focus on how IT security is affected by organizational, national, and international policies. Graduates could work in cybersecurity management, helping to develop and implement cybersecurity policies in their organization. Alternatively, they could work as staffers in agencies and legislative bodies concerned with cybersecurity policy or as policy analysts in think tanks.
Learn More About Georgia Tech’s Online Cybersecurity Master’s Degree
Learn more about whether Georgia Tech’s program is right for you: visit the program page and fill out the form to request additional information and speak to a Georgia Tech representative about your cybersecurity career path.