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Woman holds up UTSA's sign as she crosses the stage at commencementHow Will a Degree Help Me Launch a Cyber Security Career?

Thanks to the constantly evolving technology and the increasing amount of digital information today, cyber security is a critical component of any industry and organization. With the high demand for cyber security professionals in a wide variety of specializations, a career in the field can be exciting, meaningful, and lucrative.  

How can a degree prepare you for a cyber security career, you ask? After all, there are multiple ways to pursue a career in cyber security. In fact, with 3.5 million unfilled positions in the field in 2023, demand for specialists from a variety of backgrounds has never been higher.

At the same time, the field is becoming increasingly competitive.  At UTSA Online, we’re here to help you understand how to use your degree to find the best route into the workplace. You can learn more about UTSA’s Cyber Security program through the link below. You can also hear from UTSA’s faculty experts on the Cyber ‘Runners podcast.

Learn More About UTSA Online's Cyber Security Program

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is the practice of protecting digital systems, servers, networks, devices, and programs from attacks. Cyber attacks can target critical systems and sensitive information. By proactively defending against cyber threats, you can help protect organizations, their employees, and their assets.

A career in cyber security requires a vast skill set that often includes:

  • Network engineering
  • Scripting/programming
  • Problem-solving and research
  • Incident response and risk management
  • Threat hunting
  • System administration 

In addition to these specialized skills, perhaps the most important attributes you can have are a passion for learning new tools/techniques, persistence, and attention to detail. These characteristics will carry you through a lifelong career, no matter what subspecialty you pursue! 

Cyber security specialists can have a wide variety of responsibilities as they work to prevent and defend against attacks. The NICCS Career Pathways Tool outlines many of these roles and their requirements, ranging from cyber defense analysts to digital forensics analysts to incident responders, and more.

Benefits of Obtaining a Degree in Cyber Security

Earning a degree provides you with a straightforward path to a cyber security career because you’ll gain both foundational skills and theoretical knowledge that can applied across the industry.

Some benefits of obtaining a degree in cyber security include:

  • Hands-on skills that demonstrate your technical ability to employers
  • Direct access to educators, researchers, and industry professionals who can share their real-life experiences and insights
  • Collaboration and networking with other aspiring cyber security professionals
  • Connections with companies and organizations that recruit interns and employees

For many higher-paying positions, earning potential increases if you’ve acquired a degree. For example, according to Cyberseek, a tool that provides data about the industry, a lower-paying role, like a cyber security specialist, pays $92,901 on average, with 80% of openings preferring a bachelor’s degree or higher.

A cyber security manager has an average earning potential of $150,943, with 88% of openings preferring candidates with a bachelor’s degree or more. Having a bachelor’sMan in suit studying degree improves your chances of earning a position in a higher-paid role. You can explore additional career opportunities and salaries here.

When you consider the benefits of a better salary, the cost of obtaining a degree is well worth it—the return on investment for earning a degree in Cyber Security means you could break even on the money spent on your education after just one year in the field. After 20 years, you could receive a return on your investment 20 times higher than what you paid for school, making a degree even more worthwhile.

With these benefits, having a degree in Cyber Security makes obtaining a career in the field easier because it provides graduates with a firm foundation to start from.

At UTSA Online, we offer a 100% online Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Cyber Security. Our program will give you the skills you need to help defend our digital infrastructure all through a flexible schedule that can be planned around your lifestyle.

And with our degree in Cyber Security, you’ll have the added benefit of earning a diploma from a prestigious, accredited, and award-winning program. You’ll take the same courses from the same faculty as our in-person students, and you’ll earn the same quality degree, built around your schedule.

Enhancing Your Degree

While pursuing your degree, it’s important to engage in other learning opportunities to maximize your chances for employment, as many employers look for extracurricular activities and certifications in addition to a degree. 

  • Certifications – Most employers today prefer students with a Security+, or CYSA+ certification, as well as specialized certifications in your area of interest. However, too much time spent on numerous certifications may hinder your job hunt. Employers want to know you’re engaging in hands-on work, not merely taking exams.
  • Practical Experience – You may gain hand-on experience in the security field by working at an entry-level IT position or a technology-related internship.  Volunteering at a security-related project or shadowing a professional can also provide great learning experience.
  • Self-study – You can learn numerous topics and skills through readily available online tutorials and articles. Security professionals bookmark their favorite podcasters, You Tubers, and blog writers. For example, you can listen to the Cyber ‘Runners podcast.

Keep in mind that regardless of the route you choose, most employers like to see both a baseline certification and hands-on work that demonstrates your expertise. Maintaining and polishing a portfolio throughout your degree program is one sure way to impress an interviewer.

If you’re ready to energize your path to a cyber security career, then pursue a 100% online B.B.A. in Cyber Security here at UTSA Online. Contact our UTSA’s Online Enrollment Team at 210-458-4000 or

Interested in UTSA Online’s Cyber Security Program?

If you are ready to start your path to a Cyber Security career and begin the enrollment process, contact UTSA Online’s Enrollment Team at 210-458-4000 or

If a credit-earning 100% online program is not the right fit for your needs, UTSA Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE) has additional not-for-credit programs, courses and Boot Camps available to professional learners. Consider UTSA’s Cyber Security Boot Camp. Learn through immersive instruction and lab environments in this part-time, 24-week virtual program.

Learn More About UTSA Online's Cyber Security Program