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The benefits of progressing your cybersecurity career with an online degree

It’s not just the governments that are looking for people either; its private companies and public services too.

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In any career, education can always take you further. For some industries, having specific knowledge and qualifications can open up many doors in your career, and none more so than in cybersecurity. 

If you think back to the first time you used the internet, it actually wasn’t that long ago. It was first made publicly available in the early nineties, but it wasn’t till a few years after that, we started using it for a range of different things other than work. The infamous buzz of the dial-up tone will probably be remembered for generations. However, it’s not until more recently that protecting individuals and businesses started to ramp up. 

The fast-paced industry is now one of the most prominent places to make a living. However, with the changes and innovations happening across the web, the need for protective forces is never more important today. Cyber attacks are becoming more prevalent and frequent in modern society, and they don’t just affect government and corporations. They can attack the individual too. Businesses now require the expertise of many individuals to take their security policies to the next level. Plus, create solutions to a number of potential threats. 

There is a significant skills gap in the market at the moment. The number of positions for cybersecurity experts has increased in the last decade, but there is a shortfall in new recruits training for the jobs available. Until recently, there were very few specialist qualifications in cybersecurity that offered you a chance to progress in the field.

However, in recent years, there have been some significant changes. Online degrees mean that you can undertake sophisticated training via the comfort of your own home. Plus, you can choose to specialize in different subjects and fields. For example, there are courses such as a master’s in cybersecurity that can boost your career prospects whether you are starting out in cybersecurity or want to add something to your CV. 

Finding a suitable course provider 

There is a wide selection of courses available online, including masters in cybersecurity and various degrees. Choosing a provider is simple; however, researching your options is advisable. When you decide on a master’s course, there are a few things to look out for. The curriculum should cover a range of subjects surrounding cybersecurity but also management skills. This makes masters in cybersecurity qualification a multi-disciplinary course that should incorporate computer science, network engineering, and management. 

Some specific areas to consider when choosing a suitable educational establishment include:

  • Check out reviews and testimonials

A simple way to see whether a course is a good fit for you is to check out the reviews and testimonials about a master’s in cybersecurity course. This will give you an insight into how the subject matter was helpful to others in their career, and how successful they have been since taking the course. However, everyone is different, and considering this with other research can help you make the best choice. 

  • Chat to faculty 

Many online courses will have help and support staff available to answer your questions. You may also have the opportunity to chat with faculty members that conduct the lessons. Using these resources, you will be able to ask questions about the course and discover how a masters in cybersecurity might further your career. In many online masters in cybersecurity qualifications, you will also have access to industry professionals and will usually be able to view the lecturers that will be taking lessons. You can then look into their individual backgrounds and gain a better understanding of how each relates to the industry. 

Why Take an Online Masters?

An online master’s in cybersecurity not only equips you for the world of work, but it also offers numerous benefits. 

Learn new skills 

You can learn a range of other handy skills to take into employment from this course. Cybersecurity professionals require a variety of skills besides technical ability to progress in their careers, and these are some of the things you will develop during your time studying your degree. Take a look at some examples below:

  • You will learn how to effectively communicate 

Communication is vital in any job, but in cybersecurity roles, they might be required on a different level. You will need to translate complex problems and solutions into workable and digestible information for non-technical personnel. This can be a challenge in this line of work. However, a master’s in cybersecurity will equip you with the necessary guidance to do this effectively in your job. 

As part of the broader communications requirement, it won’t just be verbal communication that you will learn. It will also be written communication. Report writing is a vital aspect of this. You will need to communicate the information well on paper to a number of stakeholders in the company. An excellent way to show your technical writing ability is to create a personal or professional blog. This can be updated alongside your masters in cybersecurity studies and creates a portfolio piece for potential employers. 

  • You will learn how to solve problems 

Cybersecurity positions take problem-solving to the next level, as you effectively become a detective of the cyber world. The industry is continuously evolving, and so too are the threats that come with it. During your online studies, you will discover a range of ways to deal with issues swiftly and accurately to get the best outcomes. A master’s in cybersecurity also equips you with scenarios and case studies to learn from and put into practice in a live environment. 

  • You will learn about discretion and how to uphold it

Most of the work you will be doing in a cybersecurity capacity will have some form of sensitivity. The nature of the task revolves around keeping people out of company information, so having discretion and integrity is a part of the job. This is a skill that comes naturally to most, and an online course will solidify the protocols of working with both public and private companies. 

  • You will learn how to adapt to different situations 

No two days will be the same, and situations can change at the drop of a hat. So it’s vital that you are able to adapt to any event. A cybersecurity role is varied and exciting; however, it can be highly stressful and pressurized. You will need to balance a calm and composed demeanor with the ability to adapt to changing scenarios and present threats. When you study for an online degree in this field, you will develop ways of logically and methodically handling challenging situations with ease. 

  • You will be able to analyze risk by the end of the course

Many jobs require risk assessments, and cybersecurity is no exception. However, when you are working with companies, you will have to determine the level of risk they face and how to provide adequate solutions to the problem. Working with a team, risk will be based on a range of factors, including economic loss and privacy breaches, which can ultimately affect reputation. There will be different risk analysis steps to take depending on the type of company you work for, and a masters in cybersecurity course will help you develop successful ways to make the process straightforward and effective. 

  • You will become a technical know-how expert 

If you have already gained qualifications in computer sciences, you will be well-versed in technical jargon and fluent in technical languages such as Java, Python, C, and C+ plus many others. Taking an online masters in cybersecurity will improve on these skills and help you gain a deeper understanding of their full use and capabilities. During online studies, you will learn about relevant case studies and scenarios to test your knowledge and technical skills. 

Flexible learning environment 

The beauty of progressing your career with an online degree is that you can tailor your learning to your schedule. Courses are delivered over the internet, and this means you can take further qualifications while you work. The experience is interactive and includes a range of research modules, live projects, and connections with professionals across the globe. 

You will also gain access to support from student advisors and faculty to ensure you are on the right track throughout the course. You can learn at your own pace too, which is handy if you have commitments and family life to juggle. However, you can gain a masters in cybersecurity, for example, in a little as 18 months. The benefit of studying online also makes it more affordable to take your career to the next level. 

Topics covered in an online cybersecurity course

There is a range of courses such as an online masters in cybersecurity available to study. Some of the main elements of study you will experience include:

  • Secure software design
  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence
  • Network engineering 
  • Disaster recovery plans
  • Penetration testing
  • Cryptography
  • Digital forensics 
  • Data mining
  • Risk management 

Many of the subjects covered will include real-world examples to help you understand how they apply in live situations. These courses will also focus on providing an expansion to topics you may already have experience in. Plus, there will always be a link back to business and enterprise examples. 

Preparing for professional certification 

Taking an online masters in cybersecurity degree will not only provide a stepping stone in your career, but it also equips you to take on further professional certification. Some courses are specifically designed and partnered with industry organizations and can help you gain qualifications such as CISCO CCNA, Certified Network Defender, and CCNP Security. 

Importance of professional development 

A masters in cybersecurity will give you the necessary qualifications to progress in your career. Professional development in the cybersecurity field is also crucial to be able to stay ahead of the curve and tackle new and frequent attacks. The innovation and advancements in technology will also mean that modern and sophisticated networks and systems come into play over the next decade. The integration of 5G will also have an impact on the level of attacks that could be made on companies and government data. 

Choosing an online course such as a masters in cybersecurity will put you in front of the curve in the industry and support your career progression. It is also essential to stay on top of industry updates and changes that occur frequently. Alongside your studies, you should look to participate in seminars, conferences, and workshops to further your skills. Reading industry news and joining relevant cybersecurity associations will also provide you insight into industry-specific topics. 

Networking within the industry

The cybersecurity industry is growing rapidly, and so is the network of professionals within it. Becoming a part of this opens up a wealth of opportunities for personal development and the chance to network with like-minded individuals. By taking an online master in cybersecurity, you will have access to industry professionals and faculty members that are a significant and trusted part of the community. 

These connections can open up a broader conversation about your career and industry progression. Plus, it gives you a chance to chat and connect with people that speak your language. Once you’re out in the real world, you can take these connections with you, and grow your network exponentially. 

Starting out in cybersecurity

If you are starting your career in cybersecurity and want to get your first job, there are a number of courses for people at entry-level too. In this role, you will need to understand coding languages, so learning this in a position and with online learning can help you get a foot in the door for higher cybersecurity positions. Once you’ve undertaken this training, you can also look towards studying further with a masters in cybersecurity and taking your journey to the next level. 

The future of the cybersecurity sector

We know that cybersecurity is a growing sector, and due to the pressures businesses face every day, this industry has become a pivotal part of keeping everyone safe from cyber attacks.

It’s not just the governments that are looking for people either; its private companies and public services too. In some instances, if you’re starting out in the sector, some companies are offering internships and entry-level programs to get you on the career ladder. 

The job market is also seeing staggering growth and doesn’t appear to be slowing anytime soon. With the innovations of the internet and how it connects to all industries across the globe, it has never been a better time to start thinking about a career in cybersecurity. 

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