Is a Cyber Security Degree Worth it? 3 Facts You Can't Ignore

cyber security degree worth it

Here’s an unsettling statistic: more than 80 percent of U.S. companies have been hacked!

Big name companies like Target, Sony and Home Depot fell victim to hackers in recent years, revealing not just a multitude of information – the hackings also exposed the harsh reality of cybercrime in the digital age.

Americans are afraid. A recent study revealed identity theft and cyber terrorism are amongst the top fears of Americans. And these fears are well-justified; cybercrime costs an estimated $445 billion dollars worldwide each year!

As our digital reliance grows, it’s easy to see how this growing epidemic creates a need for cyber security professionals.

What can you do about it?

If you’re looking to join the fight against cybercrime, why not make a career out of it? You’re passionate about technology and want to have a positive impact on society. But at the end of the day, your main concern is helping your family achieve financial stability.

Well, you’re in luck—there’s a career out there that combines all three!

You’ve already taken steps to strengthen your passwords and keep your family safe online, but if you’re interested in becoming part of a bigger solution, you may be fit for a career in cyber security, otherwise known as information security.

Is an information security degree worth it?

An analysis of more than 65,000 information security jobs posted in the past year provided an optimistic outlook.* See what it means for the future of cyber security and why a degree in information security really is worth it

Reason 1: Jobs as far as the eye can see

If you’re considering a career change, you want to be sure that jobs will be available in your new field upon graduation. Because really, why would you want to invest money towards an education that yields so few jobs?

FACT: Information security jobs are expected to increase 37% through 2022.

Luckily, that’s not a concern in the case of information security. The field is growing quite impressively, with a projected 37 percent increase through 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is more than three times the average growth rate for all occupations!

And this surplus of cyber security jobs comes with exciting earnings, too. Our analysis revealed that information security professionals with less than a bachelor's degree enjoy an average annual salary of nearly $80,000. But for those with a bachelor’s degree, an even more impressive average annual wage of more than $95,000 can be expected.**

Reason 2: Opportunities increase with education level

Now that you’re aware of the prevalence of information security job openings, a new concern arises: Will you be qualified for these open positions?

As is the case in most industries, job opportunities increase with your education level. In fact, based on our analysis, earning a bachelor’s degree in information security qualifies you for nearly 600 times more cyber security jobs than someone without a bachelor’s degree.

Unfortunately, the passion you have to help put a stop to this epidemic may not be enough to land you a job in the field. The skill and practical know-how are vital in such a technical field. These are both critical ingredients in the recipe for success.

An information security degree will provide you with the technical skills and hands-on experience needed to successfully protect organizational data, investigate data breaches and develop strategies to prevent data from being compromised.

It can also help prepare you for industry certifications from CompTIA®Microsoft® and Cisco®.

Not only that, but it could also be the missing link that will help open the door to many career opportunities that are currently out of your reach.

Reason 3: A plentiful array of advancement opportunities

Earning a degree can help you land a job in information security, which then introduces a yet another question: Will you be stuck in that position forever?

FACT: More than 80% of U.S. companies have been hacked.

Just as education boosts job opportunities, so does experience. The sooner you get your foot in the door, the sooner you begin acquiring invaluable work experience that will help propel you in the field.

While your short-term goal is to land an entry-level information security position, it’s important to know there is room for career advancement down the road. As you gain more experience, you’ll continue to develop as a professional, increasing your value to potential employers.

Here’s the reality: Individuals with three to five years of information security experience are qualified for more than three times the number of jobs than those who have zero to two years of experience under their belt. This means there will be plenty of paths for you to pick as your career progresses down the road.

What are you waiting for?

It’s impossible to overlook the importance of cyber security in today’s digital world. Too much of our lives and information are encoded for us not to stand up to cybercrime. Whether you’re excited by all the jobs available in information security or motivated by sheer industry growth and the potential for advancement, take a look at the opportunities awaiting you.

So is a cyber security degree worth it? The facts all point to YES! All that’s missing is the formal education and training needed to launch your career as an information security professional.

Check out our information security degree page to learn how a degree in information security will help equip you with the knowledge and hands-on training you need to join the fight against cybercrime.


Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.

* (Analysis of 65,602 information security job postings Oct. 1, 2014 through Sept. 31, 2015.)

** (Analysis of 8,800 information security job salaries Oct. 1, 2014 through Sept. 31, 2015.)

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This article was originally published in May 2013. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2015.

External links provided on are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced.

Callie is the Associate Content Marketing Manager at Collegis Education. She oversees all blog content on behalf of Rasmussen College. She is passionate about providing quality content to empower others to improve their lives.

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