Cybersecurity is an in-demand career with a promising future. If you are thinking about pursuing a job in this field, you’re probably thinking about beginning by loooking for cybersecurity colleges.
Cybersecurity colleges requires a significant financial investment, though. It makes sense to ask whether there are any schools that offer a strong program in information security and have scholarships available to help make their programs affordable.
This article will help you understand the opportunities available in cybersecurity right now and why a college degree is important to take advantage of them. We’ll also discuss scholarship opportunities and introduce the cybersecurity degree program here at Thomas College.
Our goal is to provide information and resources to help you find the program that’s best for you.
Going to cybersecurity college is an investment in your future. To understand whether it is a smart investment, you should keep in mind what the expected benefits might be.
There are many ways you might benefit from your college degree, and some can be hard to quantify. It can help you become a more reflective person, for instance, or build relationships that will matter to you for years to come.
Still, it is reasonable to expect that there will be measurable benefits, too. Many students are motivated to enroll in college so they can prepare for a career that they’ll enjoy and that will provide an adequate income.
In this respect, cybersecurity is an especially practical field to pursue. Over the past three decades, our dependence upon connected digital technologies has grown tremendously, creating a need for professionals who understand how to safeguard the systems and data at the heart of modern life.
The market for cybersecurity professionals has expanded far more rapidly than the supply of qualified workers. According to CyberSeek, a resource from the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, there are over 750,000 job openings right now in cybersecurity. Another organization estimates that we need 3.4 million additional information security workers globally.
It also means solid pay. The average salary for a Cybersecurity Specialist, an entry-level position, is over $100,000 a year.
In short, getting a college degree in cybersecurity is extremely likely to be a worthwhile investment that will pay off well for years to come.
Do you need a college degree for a career in cybersecurity?
You’ve probably heard that, especially in the tech sector, college degrees aren’t as important as they used to be for getting a job.
Maybe you’ve wondered if working through some online courses and earning certifications is a possible route to a job in cybersecurity that lets you bypass the time and expense of cybersecurity colleges.
CyberSeek has assembled some data to help us answer this question. They looked at a large number of online job postings to see which qualifications are listed in them for jobs in cybersecurity and found that, for a Cybersecurity Specialist, 59% of postings request a bachelor’s degree and a further 19% are looking for a graduate degree. That means that 78% want a degree.
For a Cybersecurity Analyst, the numbers are even higher: 88% of postings request a college degree of some kind.
You can see that, while the numbers are high, they aren’t 100%. So yes, it is probably possible to land a cybersecurity position with training and preparation gained outside of a university program. A college degree, however, is the standard route, and having one will make you much more competitive in the job market.
There are reasons beyond simply getting a job that counts in favor of a college degree as well. For one thing, it is likely to give you a much broader base of knowledge that will equip you to be a more competent professional.
In addition, your college experience helps you develop soft skills like leadership and critical thinking that will be powerful assets during your career.
Cybersecurity colleges that offer scholarships
So far, we have seen that earning a degree in cybersecurity is a great investment. So where can you earn your degree most affordably?
Keep in mind: it’s the final cost of a degree that matters most. For this reason, you don’t want to simply compare the sticker prices of programs. Instead, you should look at the costs after taking into consideration need-based aid and scholarships.
Another thing worth remembering is that cost isn’t everything. Value matters more. A more expensive program may be worth the extra cost if you get more out of it.
According to data from InfoSeek, there are over 200 bachelor’s level cybersecurity programs in the U.S. Many of these schools, no doubt, provide at least some kind of aid. You can investigate programs that interest you to see what might be available.
Cybersecurity at Thomas College
One high-value option to explore is Thomas College. Located in Waterville, Maine, we have about 800 students on a scenic, residential campus. We offer a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity that builds coursework in areas like computer forensics and ethical hacking on a foundation of knowledge about computer software and systems.
Historically, Thomas College has been focused on career-centered training that prepares graduates for tomorrow’s opportunities. Our cybersecurity program continues in this tradition, giving you the skills and training you need for this vital and rapidly-growing field.
But what about scholarships? Thomas is proud to offer a large number of scholarships, including the Summa Cum Laude Scholarship, worth $18,000/year. We believe an education here represents tremendous value and are so confident in the opportunities it will open for you that we even guarantee you’ll find a job in your field after graduation.
Other scholarship opportunities for cybersecurity
It’s helpful to remember that scholarships offered by a particular school are not your only options for support. Given the tight job market in cybersecurity we discussed above, there are organizations out there offering scholarships to help encourage students to train in this field.
Here are two examples to investigate.
- (ISC)2, a non-profit that specializes in training in cybersecurity, offers a number of funding opportunities — especially for groups underrepresented in the field.
The federal government sponsors a program that covers tuition and provides a yearly stipend in exchange for a period of work in cybersecurity within a government entity after graduation.
We’re excited that you are considering a career in cybersecurity. We hope this information helps you as you explore where to build your skills, vision, and experience – perhaps here in Waterville, Maine at Thomas College.
As you gather additional information, we’d love to share a bit more about what makes Thomas College special — like our history of innovation and our tight-knit campus community. We would also like the opportunity to answer any questions you might have.
Interested? Fill out a quick form and we’ll be in touch.