Is it smart to get a second bachelor's degree in Information Technology?
Hi. I'm Amy - I go by Gabe. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in public administration . I am in the process of changing career paths into information technology and am particularly interested in moving into a cyber security role, maybe in cloud security. I have an AWS Cloud Practitioner certification and am working on the CompTIA Security+, with plans to learn linux and go for the RHCSA afterwards. I have the opportunity to do a second bachelor's degree - an accelerated information technology degree, self-funded, because I have not had any luck breaking into the field just yet. It is only 39 credits. I know that a degree is not necessary to get into the industry, but it is for upward mobility. Is it a smart idea to obtain this second bachelor's in IT now given the current economic climate and cyber (cloud) security outlook? #information-technology #technology #computer-science #cyber-security #programming
That's a great question. Security is corner stone of modern technology infrastructure. It is pervasive in every solution that is deployed by business. Knowledge of security would perfectly compliment your bachelors & masters degree. You could look at professional roles involving user privacy, policy definition, risk management etc.
While security in itself is a vast field, knowledge of app security, cloud security and infrastructure security are the most sought after skills. Courses from Cisco, Amazon would be a good way to start your journey in this domain
I commend your choice to go into cyber security. It's a hot field now and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
In general, here are a few things you may want to consider:
If you can, I would recommend you connect with someone who is already in the security field so you can get more focused mentoring and guidance. Doing a quick search it looks like Orlando has cyber security and cloud computing meetups. Until you've built some trust with prospective mentors, always do your own research and verify that you agree advice others give you.
You may want to look at LinkedIn profiles of people who have the job you want and check out their job history and education. This will help answer what education is needed, but also look at what career path people took that resulted in them landing jobs in security.
Consider taking a role in the short term that is not security, but is a sold step towards the role you want (Linux Administrator for example which could pretty easily turn into security later). It will give you a chance to apply what you've learned in the certifications and build your resume. Ideally do this at a company that has the security role you want and encourages people to grow in their careers. Even better if the employer will pay for you to take classes and more certifications.
To your actual question about whether you should get an IT bachelors, I would think carefully about whether the extra degree will strengthen your resume enough to be worth the dollar and time cost. Your current education covers the process side of a security role and you're closing the technical gap with certifications.
Very interesting!! Since you already have a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in cyber security. You won't need a second degree for Information Technology (IT) like how you are thinking but if you want to pursue it and it is a accelerated program that is offer to you, it is your choice plus you say it will be for upward mobility. All I know you need to do is to complete some related course work and you will be fine with working in cyber security role, maybe in cloud security. Since you have an AWS Cloud Practitioner certification and working on the CompTIA Security+, with plans to learn Linux and go for the RHCSA afterwards, I recommend taking related coursework but if someone is paying for it not bad to use it to help you save money plus for learning advancement opportunity and building more foundation for yourself offering from the company.
Hope it helps.
Cyber security is doubly important in an environment where many people are conducting company operations over weak home networks while under quarantine. With the current geopolitical climate, there’s more demand than ever before.
That said, I would personally hold on to cash right now and instead go for affordable online learning or accelerator course type of studies. You never know when an emergency might hit and you need cash on hand right now. In IT, degree credentials don’t matter as much as skills. Just my two cents.
Alternatively, taking a few classes at a community college for a year that are technical (coding, computer science, etc.) and add that to your resume after you list the degrees you have. It shows that you are willing to learn a new skill and that you have a solid foundation.
I support your idea of getting deeper into technology and cybersecurity. In the mean time trying to combine that with internships at key government or public policy entities with a lot of involvement with data and analytics could be a potential path, later on moving internally into more technical/analytics strategic areas .
A degree can help you find a job in the field, however certifications are key to starting out. A degree in IT will certainly help in future career advancement into IT Management and may even be required.
I think obtaining a third degree would not make a difference. The IT field is loaded with people that are self-taught. Cybersecurity is an expansive field and with some of these certification you mentioned, You should definitely be able to break in the Field.
Actually, I took the certification path and then went back and get my degree in Business Administration.
A key to security is a curious mind, and the ability to think about what might go wrong, and how you could avoid that. Sure, there are fundamental security practices to learn, but the mindset and thought process have proven much more important to me.
Find some public groups to join. Experiment with free cloud development resources. Read, consume, and discuss. The security community is active and always interested in new people, so it shouldn't take long to make some valuable connections.