The increasing development of new technologies and persistent dangers of advanced cyberattacks have created a strong need for cybersecurity professionals who can protect computer systems and vital information from harmful attacks. As a result, cybersecurity has emerged as one of the rapidly expanding and highly coveted industries. If you are considering a profession in this field, this comprehensive manual will demonstrate the significance of cybersecurity and outline the key motives for learning it.
Importance of Learning Cybersecurity
The importance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated as it thwarts unauthorized access to valuable or confidential information. With the growing significance of technologies like cloud services, smartphones, and the Internet of Things (IoT), it has become imperative to familiarize oneself with cybersecurity. Failure to do so may result in devastating consequences for businesses, including data breaches, financial loss, intellectual property theft, database destruction, and harm to reputation. Therefore, organizations entrusted with protecting sensitive records like national security, health, and financial information must prioritize cybersecurity to uphold the safety and well-being of all.
IBM reported that the global average cost of data breaches in 2022 reached $4.35 million, with the United States alone incurring $9.44 million. These expenses encompass the investigation and resolution of compromised revenue, the loss of operational time, and damage to reputation. Moreover, identifying stolen or compromised credentials proved to be the most time-consuming and expensive, exceeding the average data breach cost by $150,000. Given these severe implications, acquiring knowledge in cybersecurity has become imperative.
Benefits of Learning Cybersecurity
The demand for cybersecurity professionals has risen in various industries due to the increasing necessity to protect organizations from attackers. According to a report by McKinsey, there are currently 3.5 million job openings for cybersecurity globally. As technology continues to advance and our dependence on it grows, the requirement for cybersecurity experts will continue to evolve.
Learning cybersecurity is an enticing prospect due to the attractive job prospects it offers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts can anticipate a 35% job growth rate over the next decade, making it one of the most rapidly expanding professions. Furthermore, a cybersecurity engineer in the U.S. earns an average annual salary of $106,411, as reported by Glassdoor, making it a highly favorable career opportunity. We provide additional incentives to pursue this field, amplifying the already compelling reasons to delve into the world of cybersecurity.
Top 10 Reasons to Learn Cybersecurity
Consider learning cybersecurity with these 10 compelling reasons in mind.
- High Demand
Cybersecurity experts are in high demand. As mentioned earlier, there are about 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings globally, making it an exciting career opportunity.
- Job Opportunities Across Industries
With cybersecurity skills, you can work across many industries, and this includes the government, banking, business, education, and healthcare sectors.
- Great Salary Benefits
Cybersecurity offers fantastic earning opportunities. According to Glassdoor, the highest annual salary for a cybersecurity engineer in the U.S. is $153,865.
- Working with Top Organizations
Many big companies are on the lookout for cybersecurity experts. Mastering the required skill set can make you qualified to work with organizations such as Google, Meta, Apple, and Microsoft.
- Empowering Businesses and Employees
Learning cybersecurity can provide knowledge and skills to secure the organization’s data and reduce potential cyberattack threats.
- Reduced Cost
Investing in cybersecurity courses can help you learn ways to detect and contain data breaches and reduce the cost of damages.
- Reducing Response Time
Human error is one of the main causes of cyber breaches. By learning cybersecurity, you can understand and identify potential threats and contain them on time.
- Retain Customer Trust
Learning cybersecurity will strengthen business security and protect customers’ data. A strong cybersecurity system will promote trust and retain customers.
- Staying Updated with New Threats
As cyberattacks are growing more and more sophisticated, constantly learning and sharpening your skills in the field has become paramount.
- Learn Cybersecurity Any Time
Whether you are a beginner or changing your field, cybersecurity can provide lucrative opportunities to advance your career.
Best Online Cybersecurity Courses of 2023
Coursera provides various distance learning short courses, including several focused on cybersecurity like the “Cybersecurity Specialization” developed by the University of Maryland. These courses aim to deliver the fundamental principles of building secure systems directly to your web browser.
There are five courses in total, all of which may require several weeks to finish. These courses cover topics from Usable Security to a Cybersecurity Capstone Project, indicating that a prerequisite of intermediate knowledge in cybersecurity is necessary.
Alongside the basics, there exist more advanced specializations in cybersecurity, offering additional courses.
While there are no online degrees specifically dedicated to cybersecurity, you can still choose to pursue online degrees in computing and IT or data science, both of which will encompass a substantial portion of cybersecurity knowledge within their curriculum.
Usually, Udemy courses have a price tag, but we have discovered some valuable ones that are affordable.
Taking the “Cyber Security Course for Beginners – Level 01” could be beneficial not just for cybersecurity enthusiasts but also for individuals interested in expanding their knowledge on the topic. Although this specific course provides free video material, it lacks features such as a Certificate of completion, instructor Q&A, and direct messaging.
However, what sets Udemy apart is that it not only provides highly comprehensive courses but also at very affordable prices.
Courses that are worth considering include “Cyber Security Crash Course for Beginners: Learn From Scratch,” but there are additional options to look into, such as “The Data Science Course 2020: Complete Data Science Bootcamp,” which offers a valuable understanding of the complexities of computer science.
The paid courses are extremely comprehensive and intensive, making it important to highlight their value. Although these courses may not offer traditional educational accreditation, they are excellent choices for gaining experience and building a freelance career. Moreover, they provide a highly cost-effective approach.
3. Future Learn
Future Learn provides a diverse selection of concise and complimentary online resources, allowing individuals the option to purchase certificates of participation either at the course level or gain full access to all material for a predetermined cost. The courses are presented in a user-friendly manner, with brief and easily manageable sections that effectively facilitate a straightforward and engaging learning experience.
“The ‘Introduction to Cyber Security’ course provides a complimentary introduction to the field and has received accreditation from the UK Government intelligence agency GCHQ, global accreditation and examination entity APMG International, and The Institute of Information Security Professionals. Nonetheless, there are a limited number of accredited academic programs in IT and computer science, including a master’s degree specifically focusing on cybersecurity.”
Although Future Learn primarily offers general introductory short courses, it also provides paid-for and accredited learning options on its platform.
Two US Air Force veterans who have extensive experience in teaching and training in network engineering and cybersecurity are responsible for the creation of NexGenT.
Experienced individuals who wish to pursue the cybersecurity track have the option to bypass Basic Training, the prerequisite course, by successfully completing a series of tests to demonstrate their proficiency. The cybersecurity track consists of two courses, namely Basic Training and Cyber Security Specialization.
Basic Training is designed to equip you with the necessary skills for obtaining both the Full-Stack Network Associate (FSNA) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certifications. Prior experience is not required, and since the course can be taken at your own pace, you have the flexibility to begin and complete it whenever convenient for you.
The training course called “Cyber Security Specialization” lasts for a period of 22 weeks, providing comprehensive knowledge required to safeguard businesses against cyberthreats. Moreover, it grants students access to NexGenT’s Career Services, aiding them in securing employment opportunities after completing the course.
The Cyber Security Specialization Program has a high initial cost of $10,500 for the base tuition. Alternatively, you have the option of selecting zero-fee tuition and paying only 10% of your salary once you secure a job with a salary of $40,000. Regardless, after a period of seven years, any outstanding debt will be forgiven, even if no payments have been made. This demonstrates the level of confidence NexGenT has in your ability to find employment and support yourself. (However, it appears that the zero-fee tuition option is currently unavailable).
Their confidence is supported by impressive statistics, including over 50,000 students enrolled, 460,000 classes taught, and numerous success stories that testify to the effectiveness of their training.
This course might be the suitable choice for you if you are seeking a reliable and organized path to step into the professional realm of cybersecurity.
5. Open University
The UK’s Open University (OU) has established itself as a frontrunner in the field of distance learning after investing significant time and effort into the development of its courses. Catering to a diverse student body from around the world, the university excels in providing an exceptional online platform for students. The portal presents information in a well-organized manner, with distinct timetables for each module, facilitating efficient learning.
What’s even more impressive is that the courses are designed to cater to individuals of all skill levels and remarkably succeed in gradually introducing inexperienced and unqualified learners to intricate and advanced subjects, while actively ensuring that students don’t feel overwhelmed.
The OU provides a specialized online degree in cybersecurity, among its extensive selection of flexible Computing and IT honors degree programs, allowing you to specialize in various domains, all emphasizing concerns related to security. Additionally, the OU provides a dedicated degree program in Data Science.
The total cost for the 3 year course is approximately $21,500.
The OU offers a significant benefit by providing an internationally recognized computing degree and is inclusive of all learners, who have the flexibility to tailor their own learning journey. Moreover, the option of part-time study allows individuals to complete their degree within a span of 16 years.
Is Cybersecurity Easy to Learn?
Although it can be challenging for certain individuals, cybersecurity professionals require advanced technical knowledge. Nevertheless, if you have a passion for and enjoy working with technology, learning cybersecurity can be an enjoyable and effortless experience. To pursue a career in this field, it is imperative to possess both technical and soft skills. Alongside computer science, platform security, and cybersecurity methods, the ability to excel in a high-pressure setting, problem-solving, and meticulousness are equally essential. Like any other field of study, by dedicating yourself to learning and consistently practicing the coursework, you can become a proficient cybersecurity expert and enter this highly desirable profession.