Top 5 Career Opportunities after Cybersecurity Degree Course
In this article, we will explore why students should consider a cybersecurity course, such as the increasing demand for skilled professionals, the educational pathways available and the exciting job opportunities.
What is Cybersecurity and why is it in demand?
Firstly, let’s explore what cybersecurity means. Cybersecurity is the protection of systems, networks and programmes from cyber-attacks. It is a practice used by companies to defend themselves from phishing schemes, ransomware attacks and data breaches.
These digital attacks are typically executed to access, alter or destroy sensitive information. Other motives could be to extort users’ money or interrupt routine business procedures.
Cybersecurity has become an increasingly critical field in the rapidly evolving technological landscape. As we continue to rely increasingly on digital technologies to carry out our daily activities, we are exposed to an ever-growing number of cyber threats. From identity theft and ransomware attacks to nation-state hacking and cyber espionage, these threats pose a serious risk to our personal privacy, financial security, and national security.
As a result, the demand for cybersecurity professionals has soared in recent years, with companies and governments seeking skilled individuals to protect their networks, systems and data.
According to MySkillsFuture, the number of cybersecurity job listings increased from 629 in 2018 Q1 to 4162 in 2021 Q1, being one of the most sought-after roles in Singapore. This growth is driven by various factors, including the increasing sophistication of cyber-attacks, the proliferation of internet-connected devices, and the growing cybersecurity measures.
How Cybersecurity Courses Can Land You Your Dream Career
The cyber security field – like many others, requires prerequisite knowledge and experience. Therefore, pursuing a cybersecurity course or qualification would be your best bet at landing your desired career.
Back in 2022, Josephine Teo, Minister-in-charge of Cyber Security Agency, launched a fund granting up to S$90,000 of initiatives to bolster the development of talents to combat cyber-attacks. This was done as part of the efforts to increase training and cybersecurity job opportunities.
Whether you are a fresh graduate, a mid-career professional looking for a job switch, or an IT professional looking to upskill yourself, there are relevant certifications to improve your knowledge of cybersecurity concepts and technicalities.
1) GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)
Suppose you are a mid-career professional with ambitions to switch jobs or a fresh graduate. In that case, you can look at the GSEC to learn valuable skills that put foundational terminologies and concepts to the test.
You will cover areas such as active defence, cryptography and cloud security, qualifying you as a competent cybersecurity employee. Layering this certification with an IT qualification from a local polytechnic or university can also increase the possibility of you landing your ideal cybersecurity job after graduation.
2) CompTIA Security+
This course is similar to the GSEC and provides candidates with hands-on troubleshooting and problem-solving skills that can even help you secure an intermediate-level cyber security job.
However, if you are new to IT, take up the Google IT Support Professional Certificate to gain some skills first.
3) EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
For professionals looking to consider a specialised route in cyber security, the CEH course trains candidates to rightfully hack into IT infrastructure and fix errors before any cyber-attacks. In addition, this certification will show employers you have specialised abilities in performing penetration testing, detecting attacks and implementing preventive measures.
However, you will minimally require two years of IT working experience to qualify for the CEH exam.
Like the courses above, plenty of other courses available for cyber security professionals to upskill themselves. But before you do that, plan your career goals and decide which path will be best.
Top 5 Careers with a Cybersecurity Certification & Salary
There are various cyber security jobs in the market, and the nature of these roles vary greatly. However, they can be categorised based on the following specifications:
• Your cybersecurity qualifications
• Professional work experience in the field of cybersecurity
• Your educational certifications
By carefully evaluating these specifications, you can choose the cybersecurity job that suits your preference and area of competence.
Now let us dive into cybersecurity career paths and the average salaries of a select few high-paying cybersecurity job roles in the cybersecurity field.
1) Chief Information Security Officer
A Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is a senior executive who oversees information safety for an organisation. They are responsible for developing and preserving information security and risk management programmes.
CISOs also communicate with partners to update them about security concerns. Becoming a CISO requires years of working experience in various cybersecurity roles.
According to Morgan McKinley, the average annual salary for a CISO is S$180,000.
2) Cloud Security Specialist
Next, the job of a cloud security specialist revolves around protecting data, systems and networks from cyber-attacks. They also ensure that the data stored on a cloud server is safe.
The average annual salary for a cloud security specialist is S$84,000, which can vary depending on the years of working experience.
3) Penetration Tester
Now, we move on to an exciting role of a penetration tester, also known as an ethical hacker. A penetration tester is a security consultant who uses limitations in a system to test and hack it, documenting the results and making corrections.
The average annual salary for a penetration tester is S$106,176, and can go up to $132,175 in a senior position.
4) Security Architect
Security Architects design security structures that can prevent malware attacks, perform system tests, and provide technical assistance to other team members. It may be good to have a degree in computer science or information technology to become a security architect.
The average annual salary for a security architect is $127,015 and can be around $92,000 for entry-level candidates.
5) Computer Forensics Analyst
Lastly, computer forensics analysts work on cyber-attack cases to gather evidence and retrieve data, such as deleted, compromised or missing data. To become a computer forensics analyst, you require certifications like the Certified Forensic Computer Examiner (CFCE) and Certified Computer Examiner (CCE).
The average annual salary for a computer forensics analyst is S$84,297.
Cybersecurity Courses for Beginners at MDIS
Have any of the cybersecurity jobs mentioned piqued your interest? If you are keen on pursuing a cybersecurity course, it is important that you select the right educational institute for your study to enhance and maximise your learning experience.
At MDIS, there is a range of cybersecurity courses for beginners to gain foundational information technology knowledge and kick-start their cybersecurity careers. Here are some courses and their course outline for you to know which is suitable for you:
1) International Foundation Diploma in Information Technology
This programme equips its students with fundamental knowledge and skills in information technology to prepare them for work and higher studies.
The curriculum covers Web Development Technology, Database and Information Management and Computing Systems to train you to be a competent professional.
2) Higher Diploma in Information Technology and Cybersecurity
Next up, the Higher Diploma in Information Technology and Cybersecurity is a course designed to teach you critical technical skills to secure computer and network resources and handle cyber range exercises.
The programme offers a unique hybrid curriculum consisting of specialised cybersecurity modules developed by the EC-Council and essential information technology modules.
The International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) is a professional certification body which has designed world-famous cybersecurity credentials.
By completing the EC-Council modules successfully, the EC-Council will award you with four industry-relevant certifications; the Ethical Hacking and Countermeasures (CEH) course, Computer Hacking Forensics Investigation (CHFI) course, Computer Security Incident Handling (ECIH) course and Certified Project Manager (CPM) course. On top of that, you will also be earning your Higher Diploma in Information Technology and Cybersecurity certification.
3) Bachelor of Science (Hons) Cybersecurity and Networks
The Bachelor of Science (Hons) Cybersecurity and Networks aims to equip students with professional and transferable skills to be competent in the workforce.
Its curriculum covers network architecture, python programming, ethical hacking and enterprise server management to teach students about the ever-changing discipline of cybersecurity and how to uphold the professional standards expected of a cybersecurity specialist.
The bachelor’s degree is awarded by Teesside University, a leading university in the UK with an international reputation for outstanding student and learning experiences. Furthermore, you can gain entry into either years 2 or 3 of the programme depending on your educational qualifications.
4) Master of Science Cybersecurity
Lastly, the Master of Science Cybersecurity focuses on developing students’ knowledge of the cybersecurity discipline and enhancing their intellectual ability to solve complex real-world problems.
The programme offers modules such as research methods, mobile systems and cybersecurity and IT ethics and law to use highly abstract ideas to develop critical responses and discover new approaches to cybersecurity.
The master’s degree is also awarded by Teesside University, UK, which is the first modern university to be awarded the Times Higher Education University of the Year, back in 2009.
Cybersecurity Courses: Entry Requirements and Fees
Now that we have looked at the cybersecurity courses available, let us look at the entry requirements for the Higher Diploma in Information Technology and Cybersecurity programme and the Bachelor of Science (Hons) Cybersecurity and Networks programme.
Here are the entry requirements for the Higher Diploma in Information Technology and Cybersecurity programme. You have to be 16 years old and above, with one of the following admission requirements:
• Minimally a Grade ‘E’ in 2 subjects for the GCE ‘A’ levels OR
• Diploma from local polytechnics/ pathway programmes from other PEIs OR
• An international applicant with 12 years of formal education
The admission requirements for the Bachelor of Science (Hons) Cybersecurity and Networks programme will vary according to the entry levels available for year 1 to 3. For more information, please refer to the programme’s entry requirements on MDIS’ website.
To summarise, pursuing a cybersecurity course can open up opportunities if your interest lies in cybersecurity.
The career options that await you if you decide to embark on this field not only offer high job security and high earning potential, but also provide you with the chance to make a positive impact on the safety and security of individuals and organisations.
Here at MDIS, our School of Technology (SOT) aims to provide students with a well-rounded education in information technology with courses ranging from diploma to master’s degree in Singapore. In addition, working together with renowned universities from UK and US, the emphasis is in allowing students to achieve a well-balanced education with a global relevance. Contact our consultants today for any enquiries; they will gladly assist you.