Getting a degree in cybersecurity can be expensive, but there are ways to make it less expensive. Check out our article on community college cybersecurity degrees to learn more about their benefits. For a general idea of how difficult a cyber degree will be, check out this page.
One of the first questions you should ask yourself if you want to work in cybersecurity is whether or not you need a degree. Getting a degree is expensive, and this is a major concern for many people. With financial aid, co-op programs, and other ways to pay for tuition, the cost of a college education isn’t a deal breaker.
Now let’s talk about how much it costs to get a degree in cybersecurity. According to the type of college you attend, a cybersecurity degree can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $50,000 per year. Students considering a career in cybersecurity should be aware of the numerous financial aid and grant opportunities available to them.
First, let’s take a look at the advantages of obtaining a cybersecurity degree.
Cybersecurity Degrees Have Many Advantages
- Employers often view education as a form of work experience – When it comes to getting a job, experience can make or break a candidate’s chances. As a result, graduates have an advantage in the job market because they have a degree.
- Pay increases in direct proportion to educational attainment. – A higher starting salary is typically yours if you have a college degree. Educated employees are considered to have a solid understanding of their field because education counts toward experience. The higher your educational attainment, the more money you’ll start making.
- The federal government of the United States only hires cybersecurity experts with degrees. – For a government job, you need a degree in an appropriate field. Both computer science and cybersecurity are excellent choices for those seeking work in the field of cybersecurity.
- If you have a bachelor’s degree, you have more options for employment. People with certificates and experience can get jobs, but no one will turn down someone with a bachelor’s degree. While a bachelor’s degree isn’t required to get a job, having one opens up many more doors for you in the future.
- If you don’t have a degree, you’ll have an advantage over those who do. Earning any degree can help you stand out from your peers and job applicants who don’t have a degree or don’t have a degree at the level you are applying for. And the more advanced degrees you earn, such as a masters instead of a bachelors, the more this benefit is magnified.
- If you’ve earned a degree, you’ve already proven your ability to communicate. For cybersecurity positions, communication is one of the most desired soft skills, with teamwork, leadership, and interpersonal skills all also in demand. The fact that you’ve earned a degree means that you’ve likely taken classes in writing, as well as in public speaking and communication. In the eyes of many employers, college graduates are superior to those without a four-year degree when it comes to writing and communicating.
- Employers typically require a bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity or a closely related field. After graduating from college, it is more likely that one will be promoted to an executive or other high-level position, such as that of an information security officer (CISO).
Colleges and Universities in Your Area
There is no better place to find out whether or not you are capable of taking classes than community college. The classes are significantly less expensive than those offered by state and private universities, they are often located closer to home, and their course schedules are often designed to accommodate working professionals. Depending on your course load, a community college can typically accommodate a full-time student for about $4,000 a year.
Because many community colleges only offer two-year Associate degrees with the goal of encouraging students to transfer to a four-year college, many are just the first step in your educational journey. For those who are new to the field of cybersecurity, community colleges can provide a solid foundation for further education.
Cybersecurity courses can help you see if it’s the right career path for you, or you can start your educational career there to save money.
Community college cybersecurity programs have a lot to offer, and you can read about them here.
Degrees Earned Through the Internet
Full-time workers can earn a degree at their own pace with the help of online degrees, which vary in cost. Earning a cyber-related bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree can be done from the comfort of your own home with an online program. Taking a class doesn’t interfere with your regular work schedule.
Tuition for an online degree typically ranges from $10,000 to $20,000 per year, though there are some exceptions. Oftentimes, they’re less expensive than going to school on-campus.
Education: How to Pay for It
No need to freak out. I’ll admit that some of those figures scare the hell out of me, but getting an education doesn’t have to mean taking on a lifetime of debt.
When it comes to finding the right path for yourself, awareness and the willingness to ask questions are your best friends. Make sure you take the time to apply for all of the resources available to you before rushing into anything (and understand the extra expenses that it may be possible to avoid).
There are a variety of ways to get financial assistance. Students in the United States can find out if they are eligible for federal loans by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Low interest rates are typical of these loans.
A large number of colleges and universities offer financial aid in the form of scholarships to their students. Some are based on merit, while others are based on a person’s financial situation. To increase your chances of receiving financial aid, you should apply for as many scholarships as you are eligible for. Getting a scholarship is a great way to get interest-free financial assistance.
Study Abroad Programs (SAPs) Financial aid may be provided in the form of a work-study program in some cases. These programs allow students to work part-time and earn money to help offset the cost of their education. It’s a good idea to use these programs to add work experience to your resume.
Many colleges and universities offer part-time jobs for students to help pay for their education, similar to work-study programs. Job opportunities include everything from student assistantships to help-desk positions and everything between.
Since you’re in cyber, you have the opportunity to participate in co-op programs offered by a variety of agencies to help you prepare for future employment opportunities. It’s possible to work full time for one semester and then return to school if you’re accepted into the co-op program at the National Security Agency (NSA). Although it adds time to your degree, the experience is well worth it.
Keep in mind that you may be able to apply for multiple financial aid programs at the same time. As an example, you can apply for financial aid and scholarships at the same time.