What's it like for students at WGU?
At WGU, your experience is our obsession! You're in charge of your college education—but you're never alone.
Find out how different WGU is about personalizing and supporting your education.
Part of Western Governors University
Learn more about the B.S. Cybersecurity and Information Assurance degree, and see why it could be the right fit for your future.Learn More
As technology gets more advanced and sophisticated, so do the cyber attackers who want to steal your information and invade your privacy. Cybersecurity professionals are vital in helping keep data secure for individuals and companies around the world. These professionals need specific training and education in order to be prepared for the advanced attacks and threats ahead. A B.S. in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance can go a long way in preparing you for an exciting future in data privacy.
Jump to career:
Cyber Security Analyst
A cybersecurity analyst’s job is to watch out for cyberthreats coming to an organization, and implement changes to increase security. They manage and configure tools to monitor network activity, analyze reports to check for unusual behavior, identify network vulnerabilities through pen testing and vulnerability scans, and apply security patches to increase protection. Many organizations have cybersecurity analysts to help keep their company and its data safe.
The average annual salary for cyber security analysts is $99,000. This is well above the national average salary in the U.S., which is $56,000, making it a great career choice. Entry-level salaries are around $42,000 per year, with the top 10% earning more than $152,000 per year. Salaries for this kind of position will vary based on your location, the organization where you are working, and the specific kind of work you are doing. Your educational experience can also have a great impact on salary levels.
Most cybersecurity professionals need at least a bachelor’s degree, and a cybersecurity and information assurance degree can be a great stepping stone for this career. Most cybersecurity professionals will have experience in other areas of IT before moving into cybersecurity, so knowledge of IT fundamentals is key before advancing to specific cybersecurity knowledge.
Cyber security analyst positions are expected to grow 32% by the year 2028, over five times faster than the national average for job growth. This is because as technology advances, the need for professionals who know how to secure data and increase privacy are increasingly vital.
job growth by 2028
Cyber Security Engineer
Cybersecurity engineers create a system for an organization to keep it safe from cyber threats. They focus on fixing and updating systems and staying up to date on tech to help everything stay secure. Cybersecurity engineers and IT teams work closely to have emergency plans in place in case of a cyber attack. They create new solutions to solve existing problems, increase security capabilities, implement corporate security policies, install firewalls for the organization, respond to problems, and supervise any changes in software, hardware, and user needs.
Cyber security engineers can make an average of $95,500 per year, with entry-level engineers earning around $64,000 per year, and the top 10% earning more than $136,000. The amount of money you can make will vary based on the location of your job, the amount of education and experience you have, and the company you work for.
A degree in cybersecurity will help you get started on the journey to a career as a cyber security engineer. You'll learn IT basics, as well as crucial skills in the security realm, from hacking prevention, vulnerability testing, cyber law and ethics, and more. These courses and skills will be vital in helping you prepare for a future as a cyber security engineer.
Employment of cyber security engineers is expected to grow 12% by 2026. This is twice as fast as the national average, showing that more organizations are recognizing their need for better security of their data and network systems. There are plenty of job opportunities for those earning a cybersecurity degree.
job growth by 2026
Vulnerability Assessment Analyst
In the IT world, hackers try to get into computer networks and systems to steal information and data. To combat this, vulnerability assessment analysts work to find vulnerabilities for an organization before bad hackers do. Then they help the organization implement software or security practices to keep bad hackers out. Vulnerability assessment analysts are vital to increasing the security of an organization and their data.
The average annual salary for vulnerability assessment analysts is $84,000. Those just starting out in the profession will earn an average of $58,000, while the top 10% earn over $135,000. The amount of money that vulnerability assessment analysts can make is greatly dependent on the location where they work and their years of experience. Certain security organizations based in certain areas will have higher pay due to their clients and location. Education and experience are also a huge factor in salary.
A cybersecurity degree is a great option for someone looking to become a vulnerability assessment analyst. A cybersecurity degree will help dive into the potential vulnerabilities of a system, the best tools to strengthen systems and how to increase security on a daily basis. These kinds of skills are vital for a vulnerability assessment analyst in their daily work.
Vulnerability assessment analyst jobs are expected to grow 18% in the next several years, which is much faster than the national average for jobs. This is largely due to more organizations understanding the need for security, and a desire to identify vulnerabilities before they become major problems.
job growth by 2028
Cyber Security Architect
Like a regular architect, cybersecurity architects are responsible for building—but it’s not a house or a skyscraper that they create. Instead, they are responsible for building and maintaining the entire network security architecture of a company. They need a comprehensive idea of what the organization will need on a technological level. They use their understanding to create a security structure that protects the entire company. Cybersecurity architects utilize vulnerability testing and risk assessments to figure out what their organization needs in their architecture.
Cyber security architects are known for being high-paid cybersecurity professionals. The average annual salary for this job is around $123,000. The entry-level annual salary is $86,000 and the top 10% earn more than $161,000. This is a higher-level position in an organization, which means you can expect to have higher salaries with this job title.
In order to be qualified for a cyber security architect position, you will have to have a bachelor's degree. You may also need to have a master's degree in order to be competitive. Experience plays an important role in being qualified for a job as a cyber security architect. Cyber security architects need to understand vulnerability assessments, network development, penetration testing, hacking, and more.
The BLS predicts that security architecture careers will grow 6% in the next ten years. This is on par with the national average for job growth in the United States. Cybersecurity is a continually growing and expanding field as professionals are working to meet the security needs of organizations around the world.
job growth by 2028