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What is Cyber Security?

It can be important to understand the large industries in a state where you plan to work after graduation. Understanding this can help you plan your future career more clearly. In Ohio, one area of the state relies heavily on plants devoted to auto assembly and fabricating auto parts. This industry is projected to experience a growth of 19% in automotive jobs before 2028.

The state also has its food production industry, which is vital to the state’s economy. This industry contributed $105 billion toward its overall economic output in 2010. Like the automotive industry, the food production industry experienced a 14% increase in employment. Other big industries in the state include professional and business services, contributing $77.3 billion to the GSP and real estate, rental and leasing, contributing $73.7 billion.

A cyber security professional usually earns a college degree in computer science or information technology. These degrees might be earned through a college of engineering or just a computer science department at any community college.

After graduation, they put their knowledge and training to use in helping to block cyber-attacks and ensuring that an organization’s data stays secure; sometimes, the threat may come from within the organization, but often it comes from outside actors who wish to hold systems for ransom, find data they can sell to the highest bidder, and generally make a nuisance of themselves.

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Online Cyber Security Education in Ohio

Every one of these industries, plus many others not mentioned, rely heavily on the protection of their data, confidential customer or patient information, and the stability of their computer networks. Cybersecurity can help these organizations to potentially avoid attacks and lose revenue.

Indeed, even electric vehicles can be as vulnerable to cyber-attacks as any computer network. And, by 2030, it’s estimated that more than 125 million electric vehicles will be on the road. They are just another part of the economy that needs to have sufficient cyber protection. Info assurance teams exist to ensure that products are safe for consumers and that client and customer data, as well as the data of the company, is safe from intrusion.

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Online Associate Degree in Cyber Security (AS)

Future students wanting to earn an online cyber security degree may be interested in earning an associate’s before they consider a bachelor’s. One option is an Online Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security or Computer Science major. However, there are many options available, and more are being added to school catalogs all the time. There are Associate of Science and Associate of Arts degrees both that have a focus in computer science with access to electives that will teach you what you need to know about cybersecurity to give you a leg up in the field.

These programs can be designed to align with the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education’s (NICE) Cybersecurity Workforce Framework. This alignment offers students with the basic tools they need to successfully defend security protections for organizations. Any student who is serious about earning a cyber security focused degree but wants to aim for an associate so that they can get out into the field and start earning experience should strongly consider a program with this type of programmatic accreditation.

Students benefit from these associate degrees because an affordable school program helps students to quickly prepare for placement in the workforce. They may also be more than ready for success when they earn cyber security certifications which are nationally recognized.

Graduates should be able to fill entry-level positions in cybersecurity, computer forensics, information security analysis, as well as other roles.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Cyber Security (BS)

At this level, you can expect to earn a degree that will gain you access to a professional career in a STEM field and assisting businesses who might now be struggling to find and employ qualified cyber security professionals. A bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity is, after all, the most looked for credential in this field, even for entry-level positions.

Many of these online degree programs are designed to attract both traditional-age students (18 to 22) and mid-career professionals who want to expand their knowledge and expertise. So, if you already earned an associate degree, this might be the perfect time to earn a higher degree. And cybersecurity degree providers of all kinds, colleges and universities, provide a huge range of specialties within the field. These degrees might also be accredited by the National Centers of Academic Excellence program created by the NSA, which is one of the largest employers of cybersecurity professionals and created this accreditation to ensure that cybersec professionals they employed finished their degrees with all the knowledge they would need to succeed.

The Department of Labor has predicted that the demand for cybersecurity experts will continue to grow by 31% by 2030. This growth rate is much higher than those for other occupations. And qualified professionals can earn a median salary of around $104,000 by their mid- to late career.

Students in these programs will maintain a security focus in each of their core classes. They will learn digital forensics, computer network configuration, computer networking forensics, computer network and data security, and network intrusion prevention and detection, among other subjects.

Online Master's Degree in Cyber Security (MS)

Some students may choose to earn a Master of Cyber Security (MCS) while they work to become a cyber security analyst. Or they might choose an MBA degree program with a focus on cyber security. Both options are equally useful and each one equips graduate students with the experience and knowledge they need to accept job offers from organizations that badly need their expertise. In fact, some businesses might be willing to help you with tuition if you choose to earn one of these degrees while working for them. Be sure to check with your current employer if they have any tuition assistance programs.

Both master’s and MBA programs usually take around two years to complete, though you may be able to find a program with an accelerated time frame that will allow you to finish your degree in one year to 18 months. Even so, accelerated programs are difficult to complete because they take so much time out of your schedule. If you already have a full-time career, you may even need to attend part-time.

Online PhD Degree in Cyber Security (PhD)

These degrees can be found in some of the best cyber security schools in Ohio. A PhD is a Doctor of Philosophy, which can be focused on a huge number of fields, but there are some available in computer science or cybersecurity. The aim of these programs is to prepare graduates to support the common good, using both information security and computing innovations.

These programs are meant to lead to better computing, the development of rigorous business intelligence solutions, the crafting of better policy legislation, improvements in healthcare and education, and the removal of threats.

Doctorate students should be prepared to look ahead, anticipate, and stop incoming threats to infrastructure or businesses from all over the world. Secure system administration is the primary goal of those earning a doctorate to build on their professional degrees, and they will do so by having access to the newest immersive technologies in computing. The application-oriented security skills they gain will let them work as consultants or wherever else they wish, since they will have given themselves a whole other level of expertise in the field. They will be ready to create new methods of communication, economic growth, and education, which can benefit all areas of society.

For those who are not looking to earn a professional degree, they can focus on research and teaching tools. With a degree focused in these areas, graduates will be ready to train the next generation of cybersecurity specialists.

Become a Cyber Security Professional in Ohio

The good news is that there are no state licensure requirements for those who wish to work in cyber security. Other than the requirements of specific companies looking to fill open positions, there are zero requirements on any computer science worker.

As of 2022, the job market in the U.S. holds nearly 600,000 openings waiting for qualified cyber security professionals. The jobs are there, but a stubbornly long-standing shortage of cyber security professionals means that some of these positions are still going unfilled. While this isn’t good for the economy as a whole, it does provide continuing opportunity for those who are already in the field and a world of opportunity to those who are looking to enter the field.

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This is because, those workers who are already in the field, and those who are entering the field, continue to have a wide-open range of options when it comes to where they wish to work. Either by carefully planning your original education, or by earning certifications in certain fields, you can end up wherever you wish. Both certifications and post-degree professional certificates can help you get into your first-choice field, or help you shift from one field to another. Perhaps you started out in healthcare informatics and you want to move into cybersecurity because of the greater long-term benefits and the huge amount of openings. You can do so with the right certifications. For those who are working to enter this field, certifications can be the key to employment. Here are just some certification options for those who are looking to add a boost to their resume.

  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
    This is an intermediate-level certification offered by the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants. Certified ethical hackers are also known as penetration testers or pen testers. This certification program offers a revised course, which aligns with the NIST/NICE framework to protect and defend job category.
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
    This certification is a good fit for managers who are creating security best practices for their organization. The ISACA made this certification available to IT security professionals in 2003 and it is intended for those who work to control, audit, and secure information systems. It offers professionals the skills they need to work in enterprise-level security management processes.
  • CompTIA Security+
    This vendor-neutral security certification requires certification candidates to have a minimum of two years of experience in network security. These professionals might want to earn the Network+ certification first. Those who earn this certification have experience in cryptography, threat management, identity management, security risk identification and reduction, security systems, security infrastructure, and network access control.

Careers for Cyber Security Graduates

  • Security Analyst

    These professionals are responsible for working with other cyber security professionals to develop and maintain security standards organization-wide. They may also create and implement security systems to protect computer networks against cyber-attacks.

    Other areas of their job include monitoring the organization’s computer networks, looking for security issues; installing up-to-date security software; and documenting any security breaches they find. They investigate cybersecurity incidents and security breaches, assess any damage security breaches may have caused, and work with the security team to test for network vulnerabilities.

  • Security Engineer

    Security engineers ensure that an organization’s security systems are running as intended. They may implement and test new features, plan both computer and network upgrades, and troubleshoot and respond to cyber-attacks. Depending on the organization’s industry and size, their responsibilities and tasks may vary. These include responding to security incidents, identifying the appropriate security measures to improve their response to incidents, coordinating this response across teams, carrying out security assessments and code audits, researching recent attack vectors and creating threat models, creating technical solutions to vulnerabilities, and automating security improvements.

  • Information Technology Manager

    This manager oversees the implementation and maintenance of the organization’s computing needs. They make sure all computer systems, applications, software, and hardware operate securely and effectively, as well as choosing and buying new replacements for these when needed.

    They should have a deep knowledge of best practices in the industry and they also need to show a professional track record of effectively managing technology, information analysis, and a full understanding of computer hardware and software systems.

  • Information Security Manager

    This professional has to protect the company’s data, computers, and networks against cyber-threats. These threats include security breaches, cyber-attacks, and computer viruses, which can all interrupt an organization’s technology systems or lead to the loss of confidential information, which may include customers’ financial data or patients’ medical information depending upon the nature of the organization. After such an attack, the organization may lose revenue. They may also be fined by regulatory agencies for not protecting the data in their systems.

    This professional does not do all the work themselves; as a manager, they lead a team that ensures the organization’s systems are safe and send reports regularly to the information security manager, who decides how to move forward when incursions or weak points are found.

  • Cloud Information Security Engineer

    This engineer is responsible for building and maintaining cloud networks; they also make upgrades and ensure the system is frequently improved for users of the cloud system. The engineer installs, then maintains and upgrades cloud computing environments and the main infrastructure for the organization.

  • Information Security Analyst

    This security analyst handles software installations, including firewalls. This software is intended to protect an organization’s computer networks.

    They stay on top of the computer network, monitoring and reporting any security breaches. When a breach takes place, the analyst investigates it. They also look for any vulnerabilities in the network and computer systems. The write reports noting attempted attacks and breaches and keep an eye on the metrics the system is expected to meet.

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