Cyber security is one of the fastest growing industries with the Bureau of Labor Statistics citing a projected growth rate of around 33%. With the average industry growth rate hovering around 8%, this huge growth will mean that there are more jobs available than cyber security professionals.
While not all cyber security jobs require a master’s degree, it is certainly worth the effort. Holding a masters will open up new doors and improve the job offers you receive. If you’re really interested in expanding your career and seeing how far it can take you, earning a masters in cyber security is one of the best decisions you can make. Here are just a few of the reasons why:
#1. Increased Salary
Cyber security is a lucrative industry, especially if you hold a top leadership or management position. According to Forbes, C-level cyber security professionals can be expected to make an average of over $223,000 annually. If you live in large cities like San Francisco or New York, this salary can even be upwards of $400,000 annually. Holding a master’s degree can also provide an advantage when pursuing cybersecurity certifications such as the CISSP. The average salary for CISSP is one of the highest in the field.
Even if you aren’t based in a major tech hub or capital city, holding a master’s degree in cybersecurity can have an effect on your salary. How much education you’ve received, along with job location, workplace, and any additional bonuses you may get, plays a direct role in how much you’re paid.
#2. Job Security
As mentioned above, cyber security is expected to see a huge growth in the next ten years, but many professionals anticipate this spike will continue for many years to come. With some experts predicting as many as 3.5 million job openings by 2025, this is an industry where you won’t struggle to find a job that you enjoy.
With a masters in cyber security, you’ll be one of the few highly qualified professionals in the job market. Many cyber security professionals only hold a bachelor’s degree or are self trained, so being able to walk into a job interview with a graduate degree will set you apart from other applicants. It also ensures that even if cyber security jobs do become scarce, you’ll have the qualifications necessary to help secure you a job.
#3. More Job Opportunities
A masters degree will help you qualify for the majority of available cyber security job openings. With around 84% of jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree and 23% requiring a master’s degree as per a report by Burning Glass Technologies, you’ll be able to apply to pretty much every job opportunity that interests you.
With more education, you’re free to work wherever you want. Whether you’re interested in public or private sectors or you want to work in the medical, marketing, or education industry, there’s a cyber security job out there for you. You’ll be more than qualified for it, essentially giving you free range of the job market to take you pick and find your dream job with ease.
#4. High Job Satisfaction
Cyber security is one of the few industries with a high job satisfaction rate. Most professionals in the industry enjoy what they do and enjoy who they work for. If they don’t, there are other job opportunities available that they can apply for in order to find a job where they’re happy.
Seeing as cyber security is an industry that stretches across so many others (medical, educational, business, marketing, etc.), you can be interested in other industries and still take on an enjoyable cyber security job.
Many universities offer online or hybrid masters programs for their students. This makes it easier for cyber security professionals that are already working to keep their current job and still continue their schooling. It also makes it possible for recent undergrads to start working and gaining experience while continuing on to earn their masters.
Even if you hold a bachelor’s degree in something other than cyber security, the chances of you being accepted into a masters program are relatively high. Cyber security is a very welcoming industry and as long as you know your way around IT and computers, you don’t need to be a cyber security expert to earn your masters.
Job Opportunities that Require a Masters in Cyber Security
If you’re interested in a particular role in cyber security, you may be required to hold a masters. Again, only around 23% of all job listings require a master’s degree, but holding one may increase your chances of landing your dream job.
If you’re aiming to land a C-level position such as chief information security officers (CISO) or chief privacy officer (CPO), you’ll need a masters degree. These positions are the highest paying, but they also have the highest education requirements. Fortunately, the expected salary is around $220,000 or higher, so your degree will seemingly pay for itself.
Only around 27% of job listings for a security architect require a master’s degree, but this number will likely increase with time. Security architects earn a decent salary with the average being around $123,000 annually, though many professionals earn upwards of $150,000 with experience.
Penetration and Vulnerability Tester
Again, not many companies will require a master’s degree, but if you want to increase your chances of being hired and have the possibility of landing a job with a top company, a master’s degree is in your best interest. If you’re interested in testing security vulnerabilities and helping to analyze and evaluate cyber security systems, this is a good option.
Increased Education Leads to Increased Opportunities
When it comes right down to it, earning your masters in cyber security is really up to your own personal career plans. It isn’t a requirement for most job opportunities, but it does do wonders at helping you land higher positions and it can increase your salary. If you truly want to make the most of your career, earning a master’s degree is the best way to do so.