cybersecurity degree
Want to work in cybersecurity? Check out these graduate degrees. Source: Shutterstock

Cybersecurity is an emerging field that covers the protection of internet-connected systems and networks from cyberattacks, including hardware, software and data.

Due to rapidly growing technologies and the widespread adoption of companies in utilising these technologies, security risks are becoming more prevalent every day.

This puts cybersecurity experts in high demand, needed by companies and government everywhere to safeguard their computer networks as cybercriminals grow more clever and sophisticated by the day.

According to a study by Burning Glass conducted last year, “There have been major efforts to increase the supply of cybersecurity workers. But demand has increased as well, which means cybersecurity talent is still expensive and hard to find.”

“For example, federal data shows the number of postsecondary programmes in key cybersecurity areas has increased 33 percent, and the number of conferrals rose 44 percent between 2013-17.

“Yet one key indicator of supply and demand, the ratio of currently employed cybersecurity workers to job openings, has hardly budged since 2015. In other words, the pool of available talent has remained proportionally the same.”

This has led to the growth of graduate degrees in cybersecurity in recent years. Some programmes allow current cybersecurity or information technology professionals to upskill, while some are suitable for those from different backgrounds looking to enter the field.

Interested in receiving an advanced degree in cybersecurity? Here are four graduate degrees that will provide you with the latest education in the field.

University of California, Berkeley

According to JM Porup, a senior writer at CSO and recent graduate of the Masters in Information and Cybersecurity (MICS) from this university, UC Berkeley’s MICS  is the best professional cybersecurity masters degree around.

He wrote in CSO: “MICS, at least so far, has focused on recruiting mid-career, experienced security professionals, and unlike many other competing degree programmes, believes that cybersecurity is an interdisciplinary field encompassing technical skill as well as public policy, law and risk management.”

The programme can be taken online as it’s designed for working professionals who may be unable to go back to school full-time.

New York University

Another reputable degree that’s similar to UC Berkeley’s MICS programme is the MS in Cybersecurity offered by NYU, ideal for young working professionals with other degrees who want to retrain as entry-level cybersecurity professionals.

Students stand to receive a 75 percent NYU Cyber Fellows scholarship for this degree – priced at an affordable US$16,000 – at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. The programme includes access to a hands-on virtual lab, industry collaborations, industry-reviewed curriculum, exclusive speaker events, and peer mentors.

They also have a bridge programme where prospective students can learn basic computer science, and find out if they have the aptitude for cybersecurity.

Stanford University

Stanford offers two major cybersecurity graduate programmes — a standard Master’s in Computer Science, and a joint degree programme that combines the aformentioned MS with an MBA.

At the Ivy League, students attend traditional lecture-style classes but can also get involved in research projects that focus on network and computer security. Courses here teach the latest cybersecurity techniques, many of which were developed by Stanford researchers.

The university also has a Cyber Initiative programme, funded by a US$15 million grant, that enables interdisciplinary expertise in cybersecurity research.

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