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What is Cyber Security?
Nevada’s top 10 industries show that arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services stand in the first spot; with Las Vegas attracting millions of tourists and gamblers every year, which is why cybersecurity is an important position in Nevada..
The other top 10 industries in the state are education, healthcare services; retail, real estate, rental, and leasing; finance and insurance; manufacturing; construction; transportation and warehousing; and wholesale trade. Despite the fact that none of the top ten industries is specifically computer technology, each of these industries make constant use of computers, databases, and data analysis. Because of this, these businesses all need cyber security protection. Or, more to the point, their customers, clients, and patients need to have their personal information protected.
Cybersecurity specialists can find work in a variety of positions. They all have one thing in common: everyone working in this field needs a broad understanding of difficult technology and the different procedures used to make sure that organizations’ networks are secure against a cyber-attack. These professionals should also know that the protocols and systems are always changing and developing, so they must stay current with the ever-changing risks and methods of cyber-thieves.
Those who are interested in computer science already and are looking for a specialization in which they can grow should fit right into this type of position. Students considering a future in technology should consider whether a career in cybersecurity is a good choice for them. Those with an interest in and aptitude for technology could fit easily into this specialization. The median salary for cyber security professionals begins at $75,000 and can go as high as $135,000.
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Online Cybersecurity Education in Nevada
Nevada also houses Nellis Air Force Base and has a healthy involvement in the aerospace industry. Should hackers successfully break into any one of the organizations involved in aerospace development or exploration, the ramifications could be significant.
Cyber-hackers want to change steal, lock away, or destroy information for their own reasons. Forms of cyber-crime include phishing, malware, and ransomware. Each one of these has the aim of negatively affecting information, whether they take it hostage or steal the information for themselves.
The number of unfilled cybersecurity positions grew by 350% between 2013 to 2021. Since 2021, the job and skill gap appears to be narrowing. However, between 2022 and 2025, it looks like the number of unfilled positions may remain the same or even increase.
Online Associate Degree in Cybersecurity (AS)
Students attending a community college may be interested in an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Computer Information Technology, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, or another similar field. There are many options in this field, even at this level. In these programs, students usually complete general education courses and also some core courses that focus on computer science and systems security. How in-depth these courses are depends on the exact degree you hope to earn. Those earning a computer science degree will take more general courses, while those earning an associate of applied science in cyber security will take courses that will apply directly to a position in the field but might not offer credits that are transferrable to a bachelor’s degree. That’s why it’s important to really dig deep in your college search and find the right program for your needs.
Students who have completed their program may be able to show the technical skills needed to recognize vulnerabilities in cybersecurity, communicate effectively, and work well with other members of the team in a project environment scenario. In class, they may complete tasks which mimic real-world requirements, and they may also gain technical proficiency in configuring and securing a network using industry-recognized cyber security measures.
After graduation, they may find positions in an IT or cyber security environment.
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Online Bachelor's Degree in Cybersecurity (BS)
Colleges and universities offer an online bachelor’s in computer science, online cyber security and information assurance, networking, and other similar degrees. Professionals with knowledge of cybersecurity are needed no matter what degree they graduate with, but bachelor’s in the field are becoming more common as available degrees in various computer science fields become available.
A B.S. in cybersecurity program is also becoming more common in an online format, allowing undergraduate students in Nevada and other states to gain the skills they need to be ready to detect vulnerabilities and harden them against attacks without ever leaving home. After all, the learning taking place in these programs is often already taught using a virtual component, so moving them to an online platform is no problem.
It may be a good idea to keep your eyes open for programs considered Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE), which means that they meet the guidelines established by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to teach cybersecurity.
Online Master's Degree in Cybersecurity (MS)
Students wanting to move their cybersecurity careers higher may choose to earn a Master of Science in Cyber Security degree. These graduate level programs are often offered on-campus, online, and in hybrid formats. This degree level can also provide students with CAE programs that will give them the expertise they need to be hired by the best firms in the world, as well as by the NSA or DHS.
A master’s program is ideal for cyber security professionals who are looking for an academic degree that emphasizes cyber security and gives them focused education in that field. These programs are best for professionals who need a graduate degree, those who are considering switching their careers into cybersecurity, and who need courses in this area for certification maintenance, among others.
Graduate students looking for an MBA can add a specialization in cyber security, management information systems, computer science, software development, and more in order to increase their job prospects within their current company or in looking for a new job. While schools in Nevada may offer some of these, professionals may also want to consider online programs from outside the state.
Within these programs, you can develop integrated skills in business and technology, work with experts in whatever field most interests you, improve your chances of being hired, and increase your networking opportunities.
Online PhD Degree in Cybersecurity (PhD)
Students interested in earning their doctorate or PhD in Cyber Security can find options within the state, though you might want to consider a program from outside the state if what you find doesn’t meet your requirements or align with your specific interests. One program in Nevada allows students to work closely with cyber security professionals in Las Vegas, and all PhD holders benefit from the possibility for more career opportunities.
Most graduates from PhD programs are hoping to expand a career in academia or to be seen as a subject matter expert in their field. This may lead to leadership or research opportunities, depending on the type of program you complete and your career path up to now. No matter where you hope to end up, you will need to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in this or a similar field and cybersecurity work experience or certifications to be considered for a program at this level. Students are often required to maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher and they must choose a research topic which is related to issues with cybersecurity within the industry.
Become a Cyber Security Professional in Nevada
Unlike some fields, such as nursing or cosmetology or counseling, those who work in cyber security are not required by their state to hold licensure or certification. However, there are many certifications available under the umbrella of computer science and in cyber security specifically, and many companies have certification requirements for their open jobs. This may only require a certain programming language or experience with a certain brand of software, but it will become more and more important for you to gain certification as you progress in your career.
Students who have earned technical certificates in their degree programs should recognize that these are different from professional certifications. Here are just some options available in the field, though you’ll need to choose the right ones for your career objectives.
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- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) offer this certification program. Professionals must pass the CISA exam before beginning this certification process - they also need at least five years of experience in auditing, control, or security of information systems.
And they’ll need to study and know five practice domains:
- Governance and managing IT
- Auditing information systems and knowing the process
- Information systems operations
- Protecting information assets
- Acquisition, development and implementing information systems
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
This certification is on the list of top paying, highly popular, and most-pursued certifications. But, first, you’ll need five years of experience in information security.
- GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)
This certification specializes in information security for cybersecurity professionals. They will learn more about cryptography; IT risk management, security policy development, and contingency planning; defensible network architecture, protocols, and networking security; web communication security; active defense, control of access, and password management; as well as Linux security.
- Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
This is another poplar, well-paying certification. Once professionals have earned this certification, they should have a deeper understanding on how IT risks impact an organization. It’s designed for technicians with three years of information security program management experience at the enterprise level.
Potential Careers for Cyber Security Graduates
- Information Technology Management
An Information technology (IT) director is responsible for the business and technology of the IT department. They supervise every technology operation and evaluate them based on established goals; they also create and finalize IT policies and systems, which support the launch of strategies decided upon by upper management.
- Cloud Information Security Engineer
This professional analyzes cloud cyber security architecture and ensure the architecture complies with federal regulations and policies. They must know the best commercial practices connected to cloud security.
This engineer evaluates and responds to both alerts and events from security tools in use - this includes tuning the configuration to lessen false positives, developing event response documentation and processes for security operations center response for future event actions, and escalating issues to the correct teams for event response.
- Information Security Analyst
This professional handles a variety of duties: they monitor the organization’s networks, looking for security breaches and investigate those that happen; use and maintain software, data encryption programs, and firewalls to protect the organization’s sensitive information; look for vulnerabilities in both computer and network systems; and research the newest IT security trends.
They may also write reports which note general metrics and attempted attacks or breaches, create security standards and best practices, and recommend security enhancements for the organization.
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- Security Software Engineer
This professional analyzes software designs and launches from a security viewpoint. They do this to find and resolve security issues. Their work should include the correct security analysis, defenses, and countermeasures at each level of the development lifecycle. The security software engineer should have a strong technical background and strong skills in security threat prevention.
- Security Architect
This professional helps design, build, test, and launch security systems in the organization’s IT network. They should have a full understanding of their IT systems so that they are able to anticipate security risks, find areas of weakness, and respond to potential security breaches.
- Cyber Penetration Tester
Penetration testers carry out tests to deliberately try to exploit or break into computer systems and software. They do this to find and correct weaknesses in the system. It is also called “ethical hacking”, which requires the pen tester to be imaginative, creative, and have a rigorous understanding of tech systems. Once they have completed their testing, they develop recommendations and carry out solutions to increase the strength of their organization’s IT systems.
- Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
A CISO has to understand an organization's security operations and challenges, both what they currently are and what they may be in the future. Knowing this allows them to ready employees with the tools, resources, skills, and capabilities to protect the organization against information security risks. The specific duties of a CISO rely on the organization’s size, compliance regulations, and industry. They may include disaster recovery, security operations, documentation, security finance management, compliance, HR management, and program onboarding.