The rise of computer related crime such as fraud and identity theft has created a demand for experts in the field of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is in general a specialization of information technology (IT) departments within organizations and companies. Many areas fall under their direct responsibility including virus protection, database security, website design and security, network design, communications security and systems administration. Many of these areas overlap with the general duties of the IT department but the added understanding and training of the cybersecurity expert provides the ability to be proactive in securing the computer systems of the companies against attack.
Many colleges and universities are now offering bachelors in cybersecurity. These programs are coupled with the information technology programs. They represent a small set of specialized courses that prepare the students to assume the role of cybersecurity officers within corporate IT departments. Among the types of courses required are hacking techniques and tools, cryptography fundamentals, user authentication security and management of databases. The demanding tasks of problem solving, planning and assessment of systems, proactive thinking and investigative techniques to locate and find breaches in the system that opens the network and sensitive information to access by unauthorized personnel.
Most institutions offer not only bachelors in cybersecurity but also have additional courses available that lead to masters in cybersecurity. It can be a difficult task in discovering exactly the correct department at a college or university responsible for these types of courses. Examples of possible choices are forensic sciences, homeland security programs, computer sciences department or information technology departments. Most computer sciences departments can direct you to the proper courses and departments to build your portfolio of courses and expertise.
Many online colleges and universities offer bachelors in cybersecurity degrees as programs that you can complete through the online campus. While these options are a great choice for those that need to attend and complete their coursework at non-traditional times, some classroom attendance can be advantageous due to the availability of more hardware and computer networks for hands on experience.
Gearing your mind towards where you desire to find a job when you graduate, you should think about what type of job your degree will prepare you to perform. A program that is single minded towards cybersecurity may not include the correct coursework to allow you to perform a less specialized position within an information technology department. If that is the case, compare the requirements for a degree in information technology with the coursework required for your bachelors in cybersecurity and augment your degree with the other courses that will make you more marketable.
Most cybersecurity jobs will be found in the IT departments of organizations or companies, but there are some unique jobs available in other areas that may be more exciting. Many law enforcement agencies use experts in cybersecurity to pursue and catch those persons committing cyber crime. Major metropolitan police departments, FBI and the NSA all use cybersecurity professionals in their work. Keep your mind open to opportunities that a bit out of the norm.