Start Your Cybersecurity Career with an Associate’s Degree
We live in a networked world where everything from banking information to healthcare records is managed and stored online. But all this convenience has a cost. As more data is stored, processed, and transferred online, cybercriminals attempt different cyberattacks to steal valuable data and either ransom it to owners or sell it to the highest bidders. What stands in between our data and these bad actors? Cybersecurity experts. And if you love technology and are passionate about protecting others, a career in cybersecurity could be the perfect fit for you.
What Is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a field dedicated to protecting systems and data from bad actors in digital spaces. Cybersecurity professionals perform cyber threat analysis on systems to protect them from possible attacks, for example, social engineering tactics like phishing or malware attacks like ransomware, develop cybersecurity plans and processes to defend against attacks, and stay apprised of emerging threats, technologies, and best practices in the field. They also manage company policies and workflows to ensure cybersecurity compliance. Cybersecurity professionals must be constant learners, strategic thinkers, and experts in networked computer systems.
What Is the Career Outlook for Cybersecurity?
As networks grow, cyber threats multiply. That means cybersecurity is one of the most rapidly advancing career fields globally, with an anticipated growth of 33% by 2030. Every field requires cybersecurity professionals, from healthcare to government, finance to education. The 2022 median annual salary for Pennsylvania cybersecurity professionals was $95,000 yearly, with higher salaries available as skills increase. Job titles range from analyst to systems engineer.
How Can an Associate Degree Prepare You for a Cybersecurity Career?
As members of a highly skilled profession, cybersecurity professionals need advanced training to be effective and successful in today’s competitive job market. They need a working knowledge of network administration, cryptography, and cybersecurity frameworks. They will be expected to be able to plan proactively, think critically, act ethically, and communicate effectively and professionally, so they will also need a grounding in humanities and writing.
Some cybersecurity professionals pursue four-year or graduate degrees before entering the field. While there is something to be said for preparation, many students are eager to enter the field more quickly and start working their way up the ranks. If that describes you, consider a two-year associate degree instead. While four-year degrees are expensive and take twice as long to complete, associate degrees are faster and much less costly, allowing you to gain a well-rounded education without the burden of excessive debt. Plus, an associate degree can provide a foundation you can build upon later if you decide to pursue a four-year or graduate degree to better your career options.
At Lackawanna College, you can earn a two-year associate degree in cybersecurity entirely online. The cutting-edge curriculum will prepare you to hit the ground running right after graduation, arming you with skills that employers reward. In addition to core courses, including math, writing, and humanities, you will complete courses in cybersecurity, networking, scripting and programming, cryptography, network design, and more. You will also embark on a cybersecurity internship, providing real-world experience to show potential employers.
Lackawanna also offers preparation programs for two cybersecurity framework exams:
• Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Exam Preparation Program: A series of three courses, this program prepares students to take the CCNA certification exam, a widely respected certification in the industry.
• CompTIA Security+ (Security+) Exam Preparation Program: This two-course series prepares students for the Security+ exam, another respected credential in the cybersecurity field.
If you are seeking entry into the cybersecurity career field, consider Lackawanna College’s associate degree in cybersecurity to jumpstart your career. Schedule a meeting with an enrollment counselor to review your educational options, consider whether to add an exam certification program and begin the application process. Applying to Lackawanna College is fast and straightforward. The career of your dreams is just a few steps away.