What’s the Difference Between Cybersecurity Master’s and Bachelor’s Degrees?

If you’re considering a career in security management, you might want to earn a cybersecurity master’s degree. With cyberattacks growing in number and complexity, demand for qualified people remains high. If you have a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity, technology, or any hard science, you likely have the foundation you need to pursue a master’s in the field, especially if you have some relevant work experience. Here, explore what you can do with the degree and what you will learn in a typical cybersecurity master’s program.

What Can You Do with a Cybersecurity Master’s Degree?

Having a bachelor’s or master’s degree in cybersecurity opens doors to many exciting cybersecurity career paths.

A bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity is a four-year undergraduate degree that gives you a foundation of key security management concepts and a technical understanding of the most common types of cyberattacks, risk management, governance and compliance, and computer forensics, along with digital fundamentals in programming, cloud computing, operating systems, networks, and system administration. Most programs include general education classes in the humanities, science, math, and communications. You will be prepared for entry-level positions and can rise through middle management with this degree.

If you would like to move into upper management and even to eventually become a chief information security officer (CISO), or if you want to specialize in a specific cybersecurity practice area, you’ll want to earn your cybersecurity master’s degree. The degree prepares you for specialized cybersecurity jobs, cybersecurity management positions, and consulting roles. In all of them, you have opportunities with a higher earning potential. Example roles, in addition to becoming a CISO, include:

What Will You Learn in a Cybersecurity Master’s Program?

Typical cybersecurity master’s degrees incorporate classes in leadership, talent management, and advanced courses related to cybersecurity. You’ll study network and communication security, crime prevention and post event forensics, expanded legal and compliance issues, and computer security technologies, principles, and processes in depth.

Cybersecurity has become a critical element in business operations, government functions, and our infrastructure, with implications for national security. Protecting vital systems and data needs more than technologies and processes—it needs qualified people.

You can learn more about career and educational opportunities in the field at the National Cybersecurity Institute at Excelsior University, which brings experts from government, industry, and academia together to promote a stronger cybersecurity workforce and informed leaders for furthering cybersecurity practice in areas such as critical infrastructure, finance, national defense, and health care.

Cyberattacks show no sign of letting up. Indeed, as more of our world is digitized and connected, the threats only grow. And the need for qualified security management and cybersecurity technical expertise is growing along with the threats. Earning your cybersecurity master’s prepares you for a career on the front lines of protecting vital information and systems—along with everyone who depends on them.