What Degrees or Certifications are needed for Cyber Security Jobs

There are certain jobs in cyber security that do require specific formal training. These are normally gained through a university or college degree, or some other alternative qualification.

Cyber Security Degrees

At a degree level, most universities have traditionally offered some type of computer science degree, or degree in a related technology field. Alternatively, degrees in subjects such as mathematics or physics, or electrical engineering have been an appropriate alternative.

Degrees are now becoming more specialised, including in areas such as digital health, and more frequently degrees, both undergraduate and postgraduate, in cyber security itself.

There is an obvious attraction for anyone wanting to work in cyber security to look at gaining a degree in that very subject.

The caveat, is that these degrees can vary quite widely in terms of their subject matter, which may or not being appropriate for the work the individual wants to do.

While most of these degrees or have as their endpoint a career in cyber security, most of them can have a very different focus in terms of content.

Some will be very clearly computer science-based, with a heavy emphasis on programming, networking and information security, mathematics specifically for computers, databases and operating systems.

Other degrees will have more of a focus through the lens of cyber crime, with a strong emphasis on major cyber security, ethical hacking, data mining, online privacy and penetration testing.

All these are perfectly valid areas of work in the field of cyber security jobs, but again it is important that the individual starts off knowing what type of work they want to do, and then make sure that the degree they are going to do is a fit for that job in terms of the course content.

Cyber Security Certification

Certificationin the world of cyber security has usually referred to specific industry certification, such as a Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) or a Cisco Certified Network Associate ( CCNA)

These types of certification do not specifically relate to cyber security directly, but obviously can be of real benefit indirectly, either in terms of the work itself, or as a lead in to qualifying in some other aspect of cyber security.

In addition, there are many online providers, such as Cybrary, which offer online certification in a variety of different cyber security roles, such as security fundamentals, ethical hacking, digital forensics, incident response and web app security.

These courses can be taken online, and once completed, gain certification. Many employers now recognise the value of these certificates and are willing to accept them as proof of knowledge and experience in a particular area.

Other areas of online certification

There are a significant number of online course providers who offer free courses in cyber security and other related subjects. The caveat is that they charge a fee for a certificate at the end of it.

It is debatable whether or not these types of certification are of any real value, especially if an individual can demonstrate to a prospective employer that they have gained the experience and knowledge needed simply through the course itself.