Degree vs. certification: Mid-career cybersecurity engineer


Everyone loves the versatility of a jack of all trades. Be it the functionality of a Swiss Army knife, the variety of an all-you-can-eat buffet or the flavor diversity of an “everything” bagel, the concept of one thing applying to the proverbial “all of the above” is an attractive option. This idea extends into cybersecurity careers and is perfectly embodied by the cybersecurity engineer role. 

This role wears many, if not all, of the hats on a security team and is currently a very in-demand job, to the point that it is hard to fill. Like many other cybersecurity roles, this one can be reached via two general paths — by earning a degree or earning certifications. This article will detail both paths and conclude with a well-founded recommendation for which path you should take.

What is a cybersecurity engineer?

Going back to that everything bagel I mentioned above — it is a truly appropriate comparison for the role of cybersecurity engineer. Just as the bagel has a taste of nearly every savory bagel flavor, the role of cybersecurity engineer touches on about every sub-discipline within the cybersecurity field. From network and system security to troubleshooting information security breaches and penetration testing, this role will require a well-rounded, comprehensive cybersecurity skill set. 

Some have held this role to be best placed in the advanced-career stage of the cybersecurity career path, but this is an inappropriate categorization and the numbers prove it. 24% of those in this role are at the mid-level of their career (which is the career level preceding advanced career).

Degree path

Let’s be up front about one thing: it would be almost unheard of to obtain this role without a degree of some kind. Below is a breakdown for which degrees are requested by (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Infosec Resources authored by Greg Belding. Read the original post at: