Although many schools offering cyber security degree programs may offer similar basic classes, it is usually the differences in the curriculum that attract discerning students. These differences reflect the focus and expertise of the particular cyber security school. Students are generally happy with their educational experience when these values are shared.
Cyber Security Education and Curriculum
Many students wisely gauge the value of their cyber security education based on how it will prepare them for advanced certification. Although this is not the goal of every student, advanced certification often leads to better employment.
By asking your cyber security school about the courses that will prepare you for a test like the Global Information Assurance Certification, or GIAC, you will be able to determine whether this is one of the top cyber security schools.
General courses are usually similar from school to school; they usually include:
• Introduction to Security
• Network Security
• Database Management
System Administration courses are also very common. These may include:
• Malware Detection
• Critical Security
• Windows Security
Although the exact courses may have different names, these general courses follow a similar mode of learning and are consistent throughout different educational institutions. The courses that may not be similar consist of classes that directly relate to your specialty. These might be forensic, analytical or legal. Because these courses can vary greatly, depending on your specialization, they may not be offered at every school. This is why it is critical to know which area of expertise you wish to develop prior to enrolling in a cyber security school.
Top Cyber Security Schools
Getting a quality cyber security education can be limited by the entrance requirements of top cyber security schools. Many of these recognized programs are offered by state Universities and qualify for Title IV federal loan programs. These programs tend to standardize their curriculum and often have similar programs, as outlined above.
However, the educational landscape has been changing dramatically in recent years, and private educational programs, including online and distance learning, have been offering courses that are more vocational than those offered through the traditional University system. In these cyber security degree programs, you may not have a core curriculum to follow in addition to the coursework related to your major. This allows for greater concentration on the classes that will lead you to specialize in your chosen area of cyber security.
When assessing different cyber security degree programs, it is helpful to outline your ultimate career objectives. Many employers will list the skills they want in a job application. When you enroll in a school that provides the specific courses and training related to that position, your application and resume will stand out from the crowd.