Role of Computer Science Degrees in the Field of Cybersecurity- Because there are numerous dedicated cyber security degree programmes that are more suited and useful to the security profession, a computer science degree is not required for cyber security. Many colleges and institutions have realised the distinction between computer science and cyber security, and now offer a separate cyber security major.
Let’s look at the similarities and distinctions between computer science and cyber-security degrees.
What is the difference between a degree in computer science and a degree in cyber security?
Degrees in computer science have been around for a long time. Programming, databases, software, and web development are all topics covered in most computer science degrees. Computer science degrees are known for requiring a lot of math, particularly courses in multiple levels of calculus, because of this focus. Many people have historically struggled with this math requirement, and as a result, several universities have devised a second technology-related curriculum known as computer information systems, computer information science, or management information systems. These programmes frequently have fewer math and programming requirements, resulting in a stronger business concentration, which may include a business minor.
Cyber security programmes have only lately been formed, and they are far more focused on security. Programming, calculus, and business courses may or may not be included. Because cyber security programmes are relatively new to colleges and universities, with the majority produced in the previous decade, there is typically a vast diversity of content in the programmes, and they vary widely from one college to the next.
Consider the type of work you believe you’d like to accomplish while deciding between a computer science and a cyber security curriculum. Are you interested in learning how to safeguard a computer system, conducting penetration testing or forensics, or developing applications and websites, or dealing with databases?
What do degrees in computer science and cyber security have in common?
After laying out the differences between computer science and cyber security studies, it’s crucial to note that, despite their differences, both can be incredibly valuable. Because there is such a high need for people with any of the talents taught in either of these programmes, graduates with either degree should have a bright future ahead of them. In other words, you’re merely attempting to determine which of the two is the best fit.
While computer science and cyber security degrees are not the same, they do have some commonalities. Both of these degree kinds provide some form of usable and marketable technical knowledge, as well as the ability to write, record, and communicate at a higher level, which is an important skill set for anyone pursuing a professional job in these fields. Enrolling in either type of programme will demonstrate to an employer that you are interested in furthering your education and expanding your knowledge.
What kinds of jobs can you get with a computer science degree?
Although there may be some overlap across concentrations, the following jobs are likely to be compatible with the degrees listed below.
Computer science degrees are likely to be most useful if you want to work in the following fields:
- Computer and Information Research Scientists — Conduct research to develop new technologies and improve existing ones.
- Chief Technology Officers – Evaluate technology for an organisation. Requires a high level of technical understanding in one or more specialised areas.
- Computer Programmers – Develop and test computer code that creates applications or other software solutions.
- Web Developers — Create web-based apps for the internet or internal intranet networks by writing and testing code.
- Database Administrators – Develop and maintain database systems for an organisation.
What kinds of jobs can you get with a computer information systems degree?
Computer information systems degrees are likely to be most useful if you want to work in the following fields:
- Information Systems Managers – Plan and oversee information technology projects for a business or organisation or a department. Budgeting, management, or leadership skills, as well as people supervision, may be required.
- Chief Information Officers – An organization’s technology goals should be planned for. A good business background is required, as well as a Master’s degree in business administration.
- Computer Support Specialists — Assist users with tier one or tier two technological solutions, such as software and hardware installation.
- Help Desk Technicians — Provide people with tier one or tier two technological support over the phone or online. It is necessary to be able to document and escalate technical issues as needed.
What kinds of jobs can you get with a cyber security degree?
If you want to work in one of the following fields, you should have a cyber security degree.
- Network Administrators/Systems Administrators — Manage the systems and networks of an organisation.
- Information security analysts – These professionals provide security solutions for an organization’s technology assets, such as networks, databases, and other devices.
- Penetration Testers – Penetration testers seek to replicate an approved attack or hack on an organization’s technological systems or assets in order to assess the system’s security. A background check, security clearance, and the capacity to document and convey results are frequently required.
- Chief Information Security Officers – Plan for the protection of a company’s technological assets. A strong background in one or more security domains is required.
- Computer Network Architects — Plan and develop the network systems of a company.
Should you pursue a computer science degree with a cyber security concentration?
Combining approaches and pursuing one subject while adding an emphasis in another, such as earning a computer science degree with a minor in network security or a concentration in cyber security, is another option. This strategy is advantageous not just because many college programmes are structured as computer science degrees with specialised majors like these, but also because it allows you to combine the best of both worlds and exploit both skill sets.
Switching majors is a Typical Occurrence
Another recent trend I’ve noticed is people switching majors, or picking one major and then switching to another at a later date. There appear to be two explanations behind this. To begin with, some people just do not appreciate or find their chosen major to be too uninteresting or challenging. Computer science students who drop out when they reach calculus because they can’t or don’t want to manage the arithmetic are a common example of this.
The second argument is that someone may discover that they prefer the other region in the end. This is common when someone is pursuing a cyber security degree and then decides to pivot and switch disciplines after taking a programming class and enjoying it.
Of course, the negative is that this always takes more time, costs more money, and delays graduation. The long-term benefit is that the worlds of computer science and cyber security are clashing in many ways, with programmers needing to think about security and security experts needing to know how to code in order to complete duties. Having a foot in both camps may just provide you with the skillset you need to take your career to the next level.
What should I look for in a cyber security programme at a college? Any college cyber security curriculum that provides a realistic timetable and hands-on lab practise chances where you can master the skills is worth considering. Exam cram programmes or boot camps that are prohibitively expensive, or programmes that only allow full-time enrolment, may not be the best option for most people.
Is it possible for me to get into a college programme if I haven’t attended school in a long time? When you haven’t been in a classroom in a long time, returning to school might be scary and difficult. Always remember that you aren’t the only one in that scenario. Transitional coursework choices are available in colleges, particularly community colleges, to help you get back up to speed on academic abilities you haven’t used in a while. These programmes frequently have extensive transitional options in place to assist those who are returning to school after a break.