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We have everything you need in order to find out about colleges that provide cyber security and computer science programs. We explain entrance requirements and potential occupations, based upon different majors within the field that students choose to pursue.

Cyber Security - An Emerging Field of Study

Ever since the beginning of the internet, cybercrime has been an issue. What is cybercrime? Have you ever gotten a virus, or even gotten hacked? These are very common cybercrimes. Cyber criminals hack into networks, create virus, and can even steal your financial information. Though we are all aware that this is a possibility when housing our information on computers, we often think that it will never happen to us.

Though cybercrime could potentially be financially devastating to the average person, it is possible to cause catastrophic repercussions by political extremists that could misuse the Internet for acts of cyber terrorism. What exactly is Cyber Terrorism? It is when a person or persons use the anonymity and global reach of the internet for their own personal gain, such as, terrorist attacks on U.S. information infrastructure in attempts to seal money, identities and classified data. They can also use the internet as a tool to find like-minded extremists to help them attempt to hack their way into corporate and/or government networks.

Michael Alcorn, Branch Chief in the State Department's Office of Anti-Terrorism Assistance had this to say about cyber terrorism, "The problem we're all facing is a global borderless problem, where attacks can occur anywhere in the world and originate from anywhere else in the world."

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Though he said this in 2005, it still rings true today. Attacks could happen at any time, in any location, against any person or institution. The only way to combat this is to have individuals that have a cyber security edu which are specialized in fighting against cyber terrorism and cyber criminals. These people are known as cyber security professionals.

What does a cyber-security professional do? They coordinate an organization's information security preparedness, educate users on computer security, respond to sophisticated cyber-attacks, gather data and evidence to be used when prosecuting cybercrimes such as credit card fraud, auction fraud, intellectual property theft, pedophilia, terrorism, hacking and they monitor the network for any security breaches. Normally they are employed by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. At times cyber security professionals may be called on to engage in computer crime investigations this is known as Cyber Forensics. This is an emerging field, and because of technology advances, this filed will ways be changing along with technology. Cyber security professionals must keep up to date with changes and technology and be lifelong learners within their field.

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Careers in Internet Security

There appears to be no indication that Internet crimes are going away in the near future. In fact, experts are quick to predict that they will become more complicated, more sophisticated and certainly more damaging in the days to come. Every day, a new capability of information technology is created and while this could be beneficial to most people, it can also become a detriment when used for illegal purposes. As online crimes are expected increase, so does the need for cyber police.

Internet crimes are technically defined as any illegal action that proceeds from a computer or ends in a computer. These can be anything from phishing to hacking, online sexual predation and every other type of crime that is made possible with the use of a computer owned by either the perpetrator or the victim or both. The growing rampancy of these crimes should raise awareness among people about the need for cyber policing in order to beef up efforts in fighting these crimes from detection, investigation, analysis and all the way to prevention.

Due to the growing seriousness of these crimes, cyber justice experts are, in fact, calling on the public to consider cyber security degrees and computer forensics to help battle cyber criminals. It appears that people may have considered responding to this call but have been hesitant to do so due to the wide misconception that a university degree in Information Security is necessary. Although that would be of significant value in assessing the capabilities of an aspiring cyber cop, any four-year university degree is usually enough to begin a career in cyber justice.

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What would, in fact, be the most important thing is for the candidate to have solid education and experience in information technology which is the backbone of the Internet. Mastering the technical framework of the web as well cryptography and cyber security management will be the primary requirement for anyone seeking a career in this field.

Contrary to the perception that cyber security is limited to the computer, it, in fact, covers areas way beyond the machine. Careers are actually available for experts in the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. There is a wide range of available positions from cyber security analysts and cyber test engineers to cryptanalysts and others that work mainly with decoding and analysis of web-transported information for evidence-collection purposes.

The urgency of the need for cyber crime specialists has made careers in cyber justice highly in demand. Of course, as with any career, education and experience are what define a successful candidate for any position. The fact that established professionals in the field are receiving very attractive compensations and benefits makes these careers all the more lucrative.

Cyber-Security Consultants: Who Are They and What Do They Do?

A cyber-security consultant usually has a background in either computer security or information security standards. The kind of expertise required is highly specialised and currently not particularly widespread. The services provided by cybersecurity consultants can make a real difference to an organisation's overall security posture, and may prevent or at least mitigate future incursions by hackers or real-world fraudsters.


Cyber security education is just one part of the wider field of information security, which also covers physical assets and threats, and people-related factors. However, in the current context of growing threats to critical national infrastructure (such as power plants) from certain countries, it is the "cyber" part of the term that is taking an increasingly high profile. It is true that most organisations will not be at risk from incursions by state-sponsored agents. However, they may still be the target of an opportunistic amateur hacker, and it is here that cyber-security consultants can play a part.


The consultant may audit the organisation's existing level of IT security, pointing out areas where there are high-risk vulnerabilities (for example, web pages where a username and password are transmitted unencrypted). Many vulnerabilities stem from old software that has not been updated to the latest patch level. In this case, simply updating the software will resolve the situation. In other cases, while the software may be completely current with the latest security patches, there may be a need to reconfigure it to change the settings. The vulnerability scans and penetration tests carried out by cyber-security consultants will unearth these situations and more, enabling the organisation to fix the vulnerabilities before they are discovered by hackers.

A cybersecurity consultant can offer a great deal more than vulnerability assessments, offering also highly specialised consultancy services to develop a plan for overhauling an organisation's information security. This kind of service is fully tailored to the client rather than relying on off-the-shelf methods and documents, and takes into account the client organisation's attitude to risk and business priorities. It can include not only computer security, but also education and awareness measures to raise the profile of security among employees or partners. Many cyber-security consultants can also assist in the process of certification to ISO 27001, the international information security standard.

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Insight on Making a Career As a Cyber Security Professional

The information technology revolution has changed the way many corporations and governments operate. In recent times many businesses and nations have rapidly shifted the control of essential processes in manufacturing, banking, and communications to networked computers. Every business process has become online and almost every industry is turning out to be more techno oriented. Nevertheless, with the increase in the development of online technology the ratio of scams and cyber security has also increased radically.

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These days every big or small organization including government are spending big amount on security to protect their trade secrets, financial data, and some sensitive or critical data. Today all sensitive information or database is regularly stored on a computer. In fact, recent research from the nonprofit U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit indicates that the destruction from a single wave of cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure could exceed $700 billion, which might be equivalent to 50 major hurricanes hitting the U.S. soil at once. Ultimately, there is a need for an information infrastructure safety. As a result, cyber security is one of the few solutions that have gained high preference and meet the demands of present scenario.

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Cyber security education involves protecting information by preventing, detecting, and responding to attacks. The professionals involved in this profession not just protect systems but data in networks that are connected to the internet. They create a security policy for an organization and perform ethical hacking into a company's network and find security loopholes that need to be rectified. Over the past few years, many companies in the United States are recruiting them in large numbers to maintain a proper network as well as online security. So, if you are looking forward to making a career in cyber security, there are many colleges and universities that offer cyber security distance learning programs.

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These distance learning courses and programs not just give you an idea but an in-depth study in IT Infrastructure Security. During this distance learning program, you get exposed to most important facets of computer security, including cyber-law, cyber-terrorism, viral activity, compliance issues along with hardening the operating system. With a distance learning degree in cyber security, you get a hold of the knowledge to be on the front lines and safeguard the crucial organization infrastructures from cybercrimes and virus attacks.

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The course even prepares you for security management of LAN and WAN environments, including national information infrastructure. In addition to this, it is also one of the few courses that provide a well-built foundation in cryptography, intrusion detection, and firewall devices. Once you complete this distance learning program, you will be able to install, maintain and monitor existing security software for both private and public companies.

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Securing a Higher Cyber Security Salary by Meeting The Demand

Ideally, a career in cyber security is one of the most sought-after career paths in the tech industry, as the demand for the position is outpacing other IT jobs. In looking to get into the field of network security, there are certain certifications that are needed to fit the high-end range of cyber security salary. Demand for cyber degrees education is higher than it's been in the last five years, and individuals that can supply good cyber security skills have the earning potential to make a good cyber security salary. According to reports the profession has grown almost 4 times faster than other IT jobs in the past few years, and more than 10 times as fast compared to other jobs. There is currently a shortage of jobs, and the demand far outweighs the supply of IT security professionals.

The Demand for Cyber Security Professionals

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Starting from the bottom, the entry-level cyber security salary is obtained with a year of experience or an Associate's degree if certified in at least one of the most important certifications. Knowledge is the main attribute that is sought from employers, even outweighing experience. Security is sometimes specific to the industry, and as security breaches are dynamic they are dependent on people that possess the skills necessary to work in different environments.

Having the certification, is a sure way of determining qualifications for the job. Many of the hiring staff report problems with finding individuals with the right skills to help out in information security. These shortage of computer security jobs include those that work in manufacturing, government, retail/wholesale, financial services, and healthcare settings. The large amounts of sensitive information and data, doesn't surprise officials for the inherent need to secure data. With the demand increasing, the average network security salary is reported at around $115,000 a year or over $50 per hour. That is nearly triple the national average income for salary and wage workers. In order to reach this salary however, individuals must obtain the required skills.

Other Ways to Secure a Higher Cyber Security Salary

Not all professionals will have these certifications starting out, it requires knowledge and training. The required training includes certain certifications that make you an expert in your area of interest, such as in CEH/CISSP/CCNP, at least an Associate's degree, and years of experience. For those that are just starting out, your main focus is to acquire several international and national cyber security certifications as possible. Individuals should choose the desired industry, and get specialized certifications and training on the expected systems.

Effective Cyber Security Job Career Development: Small Federal Contractors

It is a fact that small businesses, not large businesses, create the overwhelming majority of jobs in this country and many analysts look to find out why this is true. This is particularly true in the world of Federal Contracting.

For technical expertise such as Cyber Security Degrees, no matter how hard the government tries, it has failed to recruit the required number of Cyber warriors. The government is just too slow and inefficient to respond to the rapidly changing needs of the marketplace. The resulting shortage of qualified workers must be filled by contractors - large and small.

It is a common myth that, when it comes to career development, large Federal Contractors, by virtue of their size only, guarantees stability and employee career development. This is not universally true and an examination of current federal contracting patterns show that small federal contractors that pursue defined strategies often offer better career paths and stability than their larger counterparts.

In these troubled days with restricted federal budgets, stability is now becoming a major career consideration and those companies that can provide stability based on continuous work flow will have an advantage.

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Other important career considerations include compensation and benefits, growth opportunities and a professional work environment.

One factor is emerging in this distressed marketplace: Large size does not ensure employee career stability and often the reverse is true: large federal contractors with heavy overhead and administrative burdens are reducing payrolls at a rapid rate and the trend of moving employees to new jobs without the proper credentials have sacrificed performance on key programs.

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