FAQ: How Much Can You Earn With a Cybersecurity Degree?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published January 3, 2022

Cybersecurity involves protecting computer networks, assessing threats and detecting cyberattacks. A bachelor's degree in cybersecurity can help you develop the skills to pursue a career in this growing field. Knowing about the available jobs and average salaries for roles you can apply for with a cybersecurity bachelor's degree can help you choose one that's right for you. In this article, we discuss what a cybersecurity degree is, what some of the potential jobs are in the field and how much you can make with a cybersecurity bachelor degree.

What is a cybersecurity bachelor's degree?

A cybersecurity bachelor's degree is a four-year program that focuses on cybercrime. Most programs focus on identifying and preventing digital attacks. The programs also teach successful graduates how to implement security systems to protect online networks, databases and computer systems.

Some universities specifically offer a bachelor's in cybersecurity. Other options include studying for a degree that has a specialization in cybersecurity, like information technology. Also, some programs might offer many practical skills, while some might be a bit more theoretical in their teachings. It's a good idea to research different programs to find the one that best matches your long-term career goals.

How much can you make with a cybersecurity bachelor's degree?

Here are eight jobs you can pursue with a cybersecurity bachelor's degree. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries, please click on the links below:

1. IT security specialist

National average salary: $55,163 per year

Primary duties: An IT security specialist often works at a company in an entry-level role focused on cybersecurity issues. The specialist usually has some programming skills and a familiarity with C++, Python and Java. The IT security specialist often works as part of a larger team of IT professionals for a company. Their responsibilities often entail checking systems for signs of cyberattacks.

2. Computer programmer

National average salary: $59,143 per year

Primary duties: Computer programmers in cybersecurity often perform as code auditors. They check each line of source code for potential mistakes that could lead to a successful cyberattack. Professionals in this role are often knowledgeable about multiple programming languages.

Related: Learn About Being a Computer Programmer

3. Security manager

National average salary: $62,851 per year

Primary duties: A security manager is a cybersecurity employee who oversees a team. The manager might devise cybersecurity strategies and have specialists implement them. A person in this role might also develop company-wide policies for employees to follow to ensure cybersecurity and avoid phishing attacks. The manager sometimes collaborates with other company executives regarding IT and security issues.

4. Computer forensic analyst

National average salary: $65,071 per year

Primary duties: A computer forensic analyst investigates cybercrimes and attempts to determine how they happened and who committed them. In understanding how a cyberattack was successful, the analyst might devise strategies to prevent similar attacks from happening in the future. Computer forensic analysts often work for private cybersecurity companies, corporations or governmental agencies.

5. Information security analyst

National average salary: $82,254 per year

Primary duties: Information security analysts often study computer systems and networks and assess their security level. Companies often hire analysts as consultants to test their systems. The analysts look for vulnerabilities and then make recommendations to correct any potential issues. Analysts often work for private cybersecurity firms.

Related: Learn About Being an Information Security Analyst

6. Chief information security officer

National average salary: $111,813 per year

Primary duties: Chief information security officer (CISO) is a senior-level position that usually answers directly to the CEO. The CISO usually oversees a team of cybersecurity specialists. The CISO makes decisions regarding cybersecurity strategy, sets the cybersecurity priorities and reports on potential threats to senior leaders. The CISO also usually has a budget for business expenses that they can use for their projects and departments.

Related: Learn About Being a CIO (Chief Information Officer)

7. Software engineer

National average salary: $115,784 per year

Primary duties: A software engineer helps design and create software programs. For cybersecurity, the software engineer includes safety measures against cyberattacks in the software. An engineer working in cybersecurity might work as part of a team on a software project, specifically focusing on the security aspect.

Related: Learn About Being a Software Engineer

8. Network architect

National average salary: $129,647 per year

Primary duties: A network architect is an executive-level position focused on stopping malware and other cyberattacks. The architect helps design and test network systems. The architect might build communication networks, local area networks and intranets, ensuring strong cybersecurity measures. Sometimes network architects have a leadership role, overseeing and working with programmers and code auditors.

What skills can help you pursue a career in cybersecurity?

Here are some skills that can help you succeed in a cybersecurity role:

Programming languages

Understanding programming languages can help qualify you for some cybersecurity roles. Knowing C++, Python and Java, for example, can help you become a code auditor or work as a software engineer specializing in security. Even if you work in a higher level in cybersecurity, such as a manager or executive, speaking the language of programmers and other employees can help you understand cybersecurity issues and solutions.

Penetration testing

Penetration testing involves staging a cyberattack in order to gain an understanding of how well a system works. Understanding how to conduct such a test can be an important skill in assessing a system's security. In some instances, companies stage the attacks themselves. Sometimes a company hires outside professionals to attack their system and find vulnerabilities. Having these ethical hacking skills can help a person understand how to stop real hacks from occurring.

Problem-solving

Cybersecurity involves constantly anticipating potential problems and creating solutions for them. When a cybersecurity professional finds a potential vulnerability in a system, they may use some creative thinking to solve the problem. If an attack occurs and is successful, the cybersecurity professional reacts strategically in order to limit damage to the company while attempting to secure the system.

Threat detection

A cybersecurity professional often works to detect threats and attacks. A main element of the role is accurately assessing risk and vulnerabilities. Understanding what constitutes a significant system threat and being able to conduct routine assessments on a system to detect whether an attack occurred help a cybersecurity professional manage challenges in the future.

Proactive communication

Successful cybersecurity professionals communicate proactively regarding their findings and concerns. If you find a threat, discussing the issue with other team members and considering possible solutions is a critical element of fulfilling your role. A cybersecurity professional who communicates can help keep others knowledgeable regarding potential threats and prevent them.

What are some of the benefits of earning a cybersecurity bachelor degree?

Here are some of the benefits of earning a cybersecurity degree:

Specialist skills

A cybersecurity professional is a specialist in their industry. A bachelor's degree can help you develop the skills to be a cybersecurity professional, which may distinguish you from those who are working as general IT specialists. This degree may help hiring managers better assess your skills and abilities if you are applying for a cybersecurity role.

Job growth

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that demand for cybersecurity employees is rising. The Bureau projects a 33% increase in cybersecurity positions between 2020 and 2030. By comparison, the Bureau projects average job growth for all other positions at 8% during the same time period.

Business skills

You may have the ability to pair your cybersecurity degree with another major or minor in order to enhance your professional skills. Alternatively, some majors have a cybersecurity component or specialization. For example, some universities offer a bachelor's of business administration degree that emphasizes cybersecurity. A combination of business skills and technical knowledge regarding cybersecurity issues could help position you for future leadership positions.

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