Should I Major in Computer Science or Cybersecurity Engineer?

There is no denying that the cybersecurity sector is one that is very much taking off at the moment. However, if you are going to make the most of this, you need to carefully consider what sort of path you are going to go down. There are more degrees created all of the time to cater to the fact that there is a skills shortage in cybersecurity. While this is a good thing, it can be a bit overwhelming because you may not know what is going to be right for you. One decision a lot of people struggle to make is whether they should go for a degree in computer science or one in cybersecurity engineering. With that being said, continue reading to find out more about these options and the pros and cons that are associated with them. 

So, first, let’s explain the differences between the two fields of study…

What is computer science?

Computer science is an exceptionally large field of study. It is a degree that is going to contain learning about a lot of different applications. Computer scientists will often develop different ways to use technology, solve computing problems, and design new software too. 

What is cybersecurity engineering?

A cybersecurity engineer is a person that will perform many different functions, so again, this is the sort of degree that is going to cover a lot of information. Essentially, you will learn all about the design, development, and implementation of secure network solutions that are designed to defend against persistent threats, hacking, and advanced cyberattacks. 

Choosing what degree is going to be right for you

Now you have an understanding of what you will learn on each course, it is important to figure out what degree is going to be right for you. There are a number of different things to consider here in order to make your decision. Let’s take a look at the types of careers people tend to move into and the average salary. According to Maryville University, the median salary for someone who does a degree in cybersecurity is $92,600 per year. The types of careers these people tend to have include becoming an IT security consultant, information security manager, network architect, information technology auditor, and an information security analyst. On the other hand, the median salary for someone who does a degree in computer science is $111,840 per annum. The types of careers these people tend to have included becoming a network systems administrator, database administrator, data scientist, web designer, systems analyst, and software developer. 

You also need to look at the key differences between both when making your decision. You can expect computer science to have a broader focus than a degree in cybersecurity will. A degree that is specific to cybersecurity is going to provide you with a much more comprehensive overview of that field. Moreover, while the median salary may be lower for cybersecurity graduates, it is important to point out that there is generally a higher earning potential. Moreover, in the 100 Best Jobs report, which was compiled by U.S. News & World Report, becoming an information security analyst was ranked number eight on the list. In contrast, being an IT manager was ranked art number 21. 

Both paths, though, can lead you to an exciting career in the domain of information technology. Nevertheless, a cybersecurity degree is better suited to those who are interested in protecting data from attacks, eliminating vulnerabilities, and digital defense in general. If you know that you want to be involved in technology but you’re not sure that you particularly want to be involved in the security side of things, computer science is likely to be better suited to you. 

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the differences between computer science and cybersecurity engineering. There is no denying that these are two fields of study that are very much in demand at the moment. However, they clearly have some distinct differences and so it is important to consider this carefully when deciding what path to go down. After all, there is no right or wrong answer; it is all about figuring out what is going to be most appropriate for the sort of career you have your sights set on.

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