Leahmitch
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Hello just wondering if anyone would be able to help me in regards to doing a cyber security degree

So I’ve recently dropped out of my forensic science course and plan on returning back to uni this year however I can’t find a degree that interests me except fashion and forensics however I don’t think they’d get me a job straight after graduating. I’ve been asking around and I’ve heard cyber security is a good degree if you want the money.

Some of my questions
- Since I’ve never done anything to do with computers or ICT should I do a foundation course?

- is a cyber security degree hard?

- is there an overall university that is best for studying this degree?

- are my employability chances decreased as I am a female?

- are there any cons and pros to doing / cyber security degree?
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ONatusch
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The first thing I'd say is that you definitely want to be studying something you enjoy. Perhaps look at a few universities that offer a cyber security degree and see if they have any videos or module descriptions to see if they pique your interest. While money is important in life, it isn't worth being miserable if you don't actually enjoy the job after.

If you are interested in forensics, I'm sure the police always need forensic staff all around the country, so I can't imagine it would be impossible to get a job.

Most IT or Computing based courses typically teach from the start if not otherwise stated, so not having a background in IT shouldn't be too big of an issue.

Any degree will have it's difficult moments and it's easier moments, so I don't think it's possible to simply say whether the degree will be easy or hard. Similarly, the university choice isn't always about rankings (often rankings are a load of rubbish) as you need to feel comfortable and happy at the university itself. Usually I would encourage going to an open day, but with current restrictions that's a bit difficult - perhaps look on YouTube and see if there are any past or present students that have talked about their experience to try and get a feel for how it is.

Legally, your sex cannot decrease employability chances. As long as you have the same qualifications as someone else, you have the same chance as them and would just have to prove your worth.

As for pros and cons, clearly cyber security is a highly important field currently and there will always be jobs. As for doing a specific cyber security degree, it may limit your career choices compared to perhaps doing a computer science degree as it is solely based on one field.

I would recommend having a look at the GCHQ cyber security apprenticeship degree as this may be a better option to study, work and get paid.

Sources: 3rd Year Computer Science student conducting research into Cyber Security, GCHQ Careers page, family relations in cyber security field.
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Leahmitch
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(Original post by ONatusch)
The first thing I'd say is that you definitely want to be studying something you enjoy. Perhaps look at a few universities that offer a cyber security degree and see if they have any videos or module descriptions to see if they pique your interest. While money is important in life, it isn't worth being miserable if you don't actually enjoy the job after.

If you are interested in forensics, I'm sure the police always need forensic staff all around the country, so I can't imagine it would be impossible to get a job.

Most IT or Computing based courses typically teach from the start if not otherwise stated, so not having a background in IT shouldn't be too big of an issue.

Any degree will have it's difficult moments and it's easier moments, so I don't think it's possible to simply say whether the degree will be easy or hard. Similarly, the university choice isn't always about rankings (often rankings are a load of rubbish) as you need to feel comfortable and happy at the university itself. Usually I would encourage going to an open day, but with current restrictions that's a bit difficult - perhaps look on YouTube and see if there are any past or present students that have talked about their experience to try and get a feel for how it is.

Legally, your sex cannot decrease employability chances. As long as you have the same qualifications as someone else, you have the same chance as them and would just have to prove your worth.

As for pros and cons, clearly cyber security is a highly important field currently and there will always be jobs. As for doing a specific cyber security degree, it may limit your career choices compared to perhaps doing a computer science degree as it is solely based on one field.

I would recommend having a look at the GCHQ cyber security apprenticeship degree as this may be a better option to study, work and get paid.

Sources: 3rd Year Computer Science student conducting research into Cyber Security, GCHQ Careers page, family relations in cyber security field.
Thank you so much. Sorry for the late response also. Another question I have if you don’t mind me asking. When picking a university, should I be looking for one where the cyber security course is recognised or accredited by GCHQ. Hope that makes sense
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ONatusch
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(Original post by Leahmitch)
Thank you so much. Sorry for the late response also. Another question I have if you don’t mind me asking. When picking a university, should I be looking for one where the cyber security course is recognised or accredited by GCHQ. Hope that makes sense
Of course a GCHQ accredited course would be great, but I can't imagine it will be imperative to getting a job. At the end of the day, it is a degree in the subject of Cyber Security, so the topics are going to be broadly similar across universities. I would say look at each course at each university and the modules they offer, see what you find interesting as you will have to study it and do well, so if you don't enjoy the topics then you may struggle.

I'm not sure how many accredited degrees are out there, but I would definitely recommend looking into it!
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Leahmitch
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(Original post by ONatusch)
Of course a GCHQ accredited course would be great, but I can't imagine it will be imperative to getting a job. At the end of the day, it is a degree in the subject of Cyber Security, so the topics are going to be broadly similar across universities. I would say look at each course at each university and the modules they offer, see what you find interesting as you will have to study it and do well, so if you don't enjoy the topics then you may struggle.

I'm not sure how many accredited degrees are out there, but I would definitely recommend looking into it!
Would you say doing a course that could be 12 months instead of going to university would still be a good way of become cyber consultant or analyst in the future. Would employers still take me on?
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ONatusch
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(Original post by Leahmitch)
Would you say doing a course that could be 12 months instead of going to university would still be a good way of become cyber consultant or analyst in the future. Would employers still take me on?
With all honesty, I couldn't say. I know some workplaces require degrees, so you may see reduced employability, but if Uni isn't for you then it might be a really good option!
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CarnageKeith
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I've done a Cyber Security Degree (final year) and its been OK. I personally got more out of the 'uni experience' than the degree itself but I think that's a huge part of it. We didn't do too much security specific content (maybe one or two modules a year) until final year which is all security modules. First and second year involved a lot of general it, database, java development and web development as well as information security and handling.

There is work in the industry, but you can also gain experience by doing qualifications yourself online without university which will get you to the same place as graduates (there's a really useful subreddit that has all the info called AskNetsec). Its not better or worse, its another option: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskNetsec/
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blmacablove
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Be aware cyber sec is still a competitive industry
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Leahmitch
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(Original post by blmacablove)
Be aware cyber sec is still a competitive industry
What would you need to succeed? Also do you think the boot camp/12 month course route is as good as going to uni?
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Leahmitch
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(Original post by CarnageKeith)
I've done a Cyber Security Degree (final year) and its been OK. I personally got more out of the 'uni experience' than the degree itself but I think that's a huge part of it. We didn't do too much security specific content (maybe one or two modules a year) until final year which is all security modules. First and second year involved a lot of general it, database, java development and web development as well as information security and handling.

There is work in the industry, but you can also gain experience by doing qualifications yourself online without university which will get you to the same place as graduates (there's a really useful subreddit that has all the info called AskNetsec). Its not better or worse, its another option: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskNetsec/
Thank you. I have to apply for university by 6pm tomorrow (29th jan) but wasn’t too sure whether I wanted to go back or just do a course myself
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Leahmitch
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(Original post by ONatusch)
With all honesty, I couldn't say. I know some workplaces require degrees, so you may see reduced employability, but if Uni isn't for you then it might be a really good option!
Thank you. Hopefully more workplaces are more open to self taught courses rather than university
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