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What can you do with a master’s in cybersecurity?

SOURCE: Romain Lafabregue/AFP
The fight against malicious cyber intent begins with professional expertise.


By U2B Staff 

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Should you pursue a master’s in cybersecurity? Data suggests opportunities in the field are abound, which means gaining additional knowledge in the area can open the door to career opportunities. 

Cybersecurity Ventures predicted there would be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021. The company notes: “Almost anyone with cybersecurity experience and realistic salary expectations can find immediate employment”.

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The US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Information Security Analyst’s Outlook notes that cybersecurity jobs are among the fastest-growing career areas nationally. They predict cybersecurity jobs to grow 31% through 2029, over seven times faster than the national average job growth of 4%. 

Meanwhile, security research by Varonis suggests that most companies have unprotected data and poor cybersecurity practices in place, making them vulnerable to data loss. 

Cybercrimes are on the rise. Due to the impact of COVID-19, organisations scrambled to shift to remote work, often neglecting to implement sound cybersecurity practices. All businesses are potential prey to cybercrimes, regardless of growth rate, structure and reputation. 

Many have suffered costly cyberattacks, leading to revenue loss and a decrease in customer trust. 

It’s clear that organisations need qualified cybersecurity experts, which means an advanced cybersecurity degree could come in handy if you’re looking to carve yourself a career in the field. 

Careers you branch into with a master’s in cybersecurity

While the modules you take vary depending on the university attended, the skills you’ll gain from a master’s in cybersecurity will help you tackle real-world cybersecurity issues and can open the door to a wide array of careers.

The University of Birmingham, for instance, notes that a master’s in cybersecurity will equip students with the skills they need to deal with current and future cybersecurity threats. “It provides a solid foundation for graduates to pursue a career in the software industry or research,” they said. 

Students will be equipped to work on secure software development within the software and IT industry or to become cybersecurity consultants. They may also choose to move on to PhD research.

A master’s in cybersecurity can also prepare students for careers in application and software security and cyber law enforcement, to name a few, or pave the way for a PhD in the field.

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Royal Holloway’s master’s programme in information security is a broad curriculum that encompasses cryptography, fraud detection, system security, network security, device security and the study of how security should be managed. 

In recent years, their graduates have gone on to forge successful careers in a wide range of sectors, including banking, telecommunications, security consultancies, the civil service, public utilities and the retail sector.