R26
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#1
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Hi all

I am reall interested in studying cyber security at university however none of my three A levels that i am studying have anything to do with science, maths or technology.

I know there are some universities for which this is not a problem however, would I be bitting off something I can't chew here in that going from no experience in learning science, technology or maths at A level to studying a cyber security degree would be something that isn't sensible.

Any responses would be appreciated.
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username3079870
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You don't need to be a maths whizz to do some areas of Cyber Security. Cyber Security is a pretty broad field. In fact depending on what area you get in to, you might not need to code that much either (network security would be an example).

That said, there are certain areas like cryptography where you will be expected to understand some fairly tricky maths. It's not impossible for someone without an A-Level in Maths to learn, but it will be trickier and take extra work.

I'll say this about Cyber Security... with many areas it's a bit of a bubble IMO. Many of the cyber security problems we see today are down to 3 big reasons

1) Much of the technology we use today for things like the Internet (e.g the OSI model) were never originally built with security in mind. Hence we kinda have to shove security on top of it, which doesn't always work well.

2) Security was for the longest time seen as an (un)necessary evil by many companies, and still is (I'm looking at you, Talk Talk). Hence there wasn't a lot of resources poured in to it. It's only with the real ramp up in cyber crime in the last decade or so that Cyber Security has become a sexy subject. So we've a lot of leaks in a lot of ships at the moment.

3) Humans are the weakest part of any system, but more and more solutions are coming in to play to educate or modify behaviour regarding human awareness of threats (e.g. Insider threat detection or Whitehat phishing).

Now in about 10-15 years, a lot of those issues will be fixed. Sure there might be some new problems (e.g. quantum computing destroying secure algorithms we've used for decades in the time it takes to make some beans on toast) but once we have replaced old paradigms with new secure ones and automated security solutions, we won't need as many Cyber Security Grads. That's in the long term.

If I can ask, why do you want to do Cyber Security in particular?
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R26
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(Original post by jestersnow)
You don't need to be a maths whizz to do some areas of Cyber Security. Cyber Security is a pretty broad field. In fact depending on what area you get in to, you might not need to code that much either (network security would be an example).

That said, there are certain areas like cryptography where you will be expected to understand some fairly tricky maths. It's not impossible for someone without an A-Level in Maths to learn, but it will be trickier and take extra work.

I'll say this about Cyber Security... with many areas it's a bit of a bubble IMO. Many of the cyber security problems we see today are down to 3 big reasons

1) Much of the technology we use today for things like the Internet (e.g the OSI model) were never originally built with security in mind. Hence we kinda have to shove security on top of it, which doesn't always work well.

2) Security was for the longest time seen as an (un)necessary evil by many companies, and still is (I'm looking at you, Talk Talk). Hence there wasn't a lot of resources poured in to it. It's only with the real ramp up in cyber crime in the last decade or so that Cyber Security has become a sexy subject. So we've a lot of leaks in a lot of ships at the moment.

3) Humans are the weakest part of any system, but more and more solutions are coming in to play to educate or modify behaviour regarding human awareness of threats (e.g. Insider threat detection or Whitehat phishing).

Now in about 10-15 years, a lot of those issues will be fixed. Sure there might be some new problems (e.g. quantum computing destroying secure algorithms we've used for decades in the time it takes to make some beans on toast) but once we have replaced old paradigms with new secure ones and automated security solutions, we won't need as many Cyber Security Grads. That's in the long term.

If I can ask, why do you want to do Cyber Security in particular?
Thanks for the detailed info there. If I'm honest, I'm only going to university if I fail in an application to the Police and out of all the courses I've looked at, this is the one that interests me the most and that may have some relevance to a future career.

Thanks.
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JP298
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(Original post by R26)
Thanks for the detailed info there. If I'm honest, I'm only going to university if I fail in an application to the Police and out of all the courses I've looked at, this is the one that interests me the most and that may have some relevance to a future career.

Thanks.
That's good that it interests you. If you do not initially get in to the police then I encourage you to keep trying. Cyber security personel/Digital Forensics are in high demand within the police force, so there are opportunities there if you want to look at them.
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