Should you get a cybersecurity degree or a certification?

William Woods Adult Degrees

cybersecurity degree or certificate

For anyone thinking a certification is a quicker way to land a job than earning a bachelor of science degree in cybersecurity remember: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. One study found that 83% of available jobs in the cybersecurity field require a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The degree is needed to land your first job; certifications are needed to advance your career.

William Woods University offers a convenient, online Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Cybersecurity.  Along with key fundamentals, our cybersecurity program covers the information that is on the COMPTIA Security-Plus (Security+) cyber certification exam, which includes topics such as;

  • network security
  • compliance and operational security
  • threats and vulnerabilities
  • application, data and host security
  • access control
  • identity management
  • cryptography

Another certification exam to take early in your career is the Global Information Assurance Certification Security Essentials (GSEC). This exam evaluates a person’s knowledge and technical skills in areas such as:

  • Identifying and preventing common and wireless attacks
  • Access controls
  • Authentication
  • Password management
  • DSN
  • Cryptography fundamentals
  • ICMP
  • IPv6
  • Public key infrastructure
  • Linux
  • Network mapping
  • Network protocols

When you are looking for a new job, having passed an information security certification exam helps you stand out from the other applicants, plus it enables you to negotiate a higher salary. Many companies offer financial assistance to pay for certification exams, so remember to ask your human resources department about their policies before you take any certification exams.

As you advance in your career, there are other certifications you can take to show your expertise. According to Business News Daily, the best information security certifications for 2019 include the two mentioned above plus the Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Information Security Manager and the Certified Information Systems Security Professional.

Depending on what industry you decide to work in, you might also obtain your security clearance. Burning Glass reports that 29% of cybersecurity jobs in public administration and 19% of cybersecurity jobs in manufacturing and defense require a government clearance to handle classified information.

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