Author: Kate Wallace
St. Cloud Technical & Community College
Originally posted on: https://www.sctcc.edu/news/12-17-2018/pc-specialist-vs-network-admin-what-do-they-do
You’ve heard the stories about ID theft and data breaches. You’ve probably gotten emails from companies where you’ve used a credit card with the bad news that there was a data breach, so watch your bank account for any fishy activity.
You know what you need to do as a consumer, but what are companies doing to help prevent these cyber crimes?
They’re hiring people with Cyber Security degrees to help keep hackers at bay. The good news is that SCTCC just introduced a Cyber Security AAS. Students take classes such as Network Forensics, Cloud Computing Fundamentals, and Advanced Security Concepts on updated computer equipment and software so they can make sure users have a seamless experience on our digital infrastructure.
Why should you get a Cyber Security AAS?
- The job market is looking good. The job outlook in Minnesota for Information Security Analysts projects almost 24% growth through 2026.
- Technology isn’t just in technology fields anymore. Each industry is working to get digitized (think about how healthcare records are all typed into a computer now). This means that you can put your skills to work in a field you’re interested in.Of course, there are industries that have more need for cyber security, like financial institutions and healthcare.
- Right now there’s a shortage of qualified cyber security professionals. This varies depending on where you plan to live, but if you have a degree in cyber security, employers are looking for you. With an associate degree, you’ll be qualified to work in an entry-level job like a cyber security associate, cyber security penetration tester, or cyber threat analyst. If you decide to further your education and transfer your credits to get a bachelor’s or even master’s degree, or earn industry certifications, the job opportunities open up even more.
- You can make bank. Median wages for Central Minnesota is right around $40/hour for an Information Security Analyst. Even if you take on a network support position, you’re still looking at a median wage of about $28/hour in Central Minnesota.
- There’s a fallback plan: if the Cyber Security degree classes aren’t your favorite thing, you can get your Network Administration AAS from SCTCC. The two degrees have the same classes for the first year, so it’s even a good idea to look into receiving both the degrees and increase your job prospects.
If you like trouble-shooting computers, hands-on work, anticipating problems, and analyzing data, the Cyber Security or Network Administration degrees might be right for you.