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CAREER GUIDE Bachelor of Science, Cybersecurity & Information Assurance

WGU degree programs correspond with careers that promise continued growth. Start on your path today.

Career guide: cybersecurity professionals.

Cyberattacks. Identity theft. Security breaches. Flip on the news today, and you're bound to hear stories about high-tech threats and the increasing urgency to protect society from computer-related crime. Cybersecurity is a growing career field, and the demand for highly skilled IT professionals with the knowledge and expertise to protect networks and information systems has never been higher.

Career paths in cybersecurity and information assurance are varied and diverse, but they all require professionals who understand how to use software analysis techniques, web engineering, cloud management, and networking strategies to prevent, detect, and mitigate cyberattacks. Security consultants and engineers, computer forensics experts, and software developers—these are just a few of the roles critical to the success of today's businesses, law enforcement, and government agencies like the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA).

If you are an established IT professional looking to move into a field with enormous upside, the best way to lock down your next opportunity is to polish your résumé with a combination of a degree and industry-recognized credentials that prove you know your stuff. IT certifications like Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) and Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) will catch the eye of recruiters in the cybersecurity field and put you in position for an exciting professional challenge.

Job listing growth 2016–2026.

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Career opportunities.

Too many security breaches, not enough IT experts with the knowledge and skills to protect our computer networks and systems. That's the job market in a nutshell for IT professionals who have specialized skills in cybersecurity and information assurance. Cyberattacks constitute some of the greatest threats facing our economic, political, corporate, and individual security. Career-focused Tech professionals are earning security-focused IT degrees and adding industry-recognized certifications to their résumés to take advantage of an unprecedented (and still growing) range of opportunities in critical areas like business continuity, disaster recovery, incident response, and data recovery.

Positions in the field.

  • Cybersecurity response specialist
  • Cybersecurity engineer
  • Cyber threat analyst
  • Security operations specialist
  • Information assurance analyst
“WGU has had an immediate and profound impact on my life. Today I am an analyst at one of the largest healthcare companies in the country. None of this would have been possible without the education I received from WGU.” David Hall
B.S. Information Technology

Job market forecast.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 28 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The urgency is due to a dramatic growth in the frequency of cyberattacks, and skilled IT professionals are needed to devise innovative solutions that prevent hackers from stealing critical information or creating problems for computer networks.

Job growth 2016–2026.

Work environment.

Your career in data science can go in just about any direction you want it to. No matter what industry you choose to pursue, you'll work in a technology-rich environment helping your organization translate information into smart business decisions. Chances are, you'll work in collaboration with others who could include everyone from product managers and database administrators to IT project managers and administrative personnel, so soft skills like creativity, communication, and teamwork will also come into play on a daily basis. 

Professional organizations.

There are many organizations that can help you prepare for a future in data management and data analytics. Check out these links to learn more about growing opportunities and the education and training required to take advantage of them.

Job search resources.

The search is on for IT professionals with proven skills to acquire, prepare, analyze, and present data that supports decision-making. With the right education, training, and industry-recognized certifications, you can take advantage of open positions across the country and around the world. Start making some connections!


Salary stats.

Depending on the industry in which they work, salaries for data scientists can fluctuate, but the numbers add up to a lucrative career if you have the right expertise and professional certifications. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that in May 2017, the median annual wage for operations research analysts was $81,390. The number jumps to $111,570 for those with the same credentials who work in the federal government, so start crunching those numbers, and get ready for your next big career move!

Average salary of jobs with related titles.


Summary.

So much valuable data, so many chances for an increase in cyberattacks. Information security is a national priority, and if you really want to lock down future career opportunities throughout the IT job market, it's time to lock up the kind of credentials recruiters and employers are looking for. With relevant IT certifications and an advanced understanding of hot-button topics like digital forensics and hacking countermeasures, you'll have what it takes to help prevent, detect, and mitigate cyberattacks. 

Next Start Date

Jan 1

Start the 1st of any month—as soon as you complete enrollment!

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Your career’s next step: Earn a degree.

Ready to jump-start your career in Cybersecurity & Information Assurance? The next step could be earning your B.S. Cybersecurity & Information Assurance. Accredited, competency-based WGU offers this degree online for at a surprisingly affordable flat-rate tuition. Flexible enough for a working adult’s schedule with the option to accelerate, your degree may be closer than you think!