Whether you are looking to pursue a degree while on active duty or are planning to enroll in higher education after your service commitment ends, you might be interested in obtaining education credentials that complement your military experience.
As organizations face increasing numbers of threats, professionals with security training and experience are in high demand, and you can improve your career opportunities in this field by enrolling in one of the following degree programs:
Cybersecurity has become a prominent concern for every organization around the world, from government agencies to small businesses to the U.S. military itself.
At present, the Army’s budget for cybersecurity exceeds $16.6 billion, which is higher than any other Department of Defense service.
The global market for cybersecurity is valued at over $202.7 billion, and experts only predict the industry to grow as cyber threats become more numerous and more sophisticated.
A cybersecurity degree will prepare you with the knowledge and skills to develop security policies and procedures for your employer.
Most likely, you will work in an IT department as a security expert, though you could find work with a security-focused firm or with a government agency focused on cybersecurity.
A career in homeland security is a popular choice for veterans, who tend to retain an interest in contributing to the defense of their nation and thus can apply their experience and passion toward professional success.
Degree programs in homeland security involve courses focused on identifying and mitigating a variety of threats, including natural disasters, terrorism, crime, global conflict, cyberattacks, and more.
Even better, active-duty service members can pursue an online homeland security degree, which might allow students to transfer military credits toward their program.
Many graduates of homeland security programs find work in the Department of Homeland Security itself, which is always interested in hiring veterans with security knowledge and skill.
However, you might also consider career tracks in law enforcement and criminal justice, which also draw upon the experience you will gain through your military service and homeland security degree.
Though related to cybersecurity, the field of information assurance is especially focused on preserving the safety and integrity of data.
Often, information assurance professionals work within IT departments to manage risks associated with the use, storage, processing, and transmission of data, but because some organizations continue to utilize information outside of tech, information assurance professionals can also develop strategies for securing physical records.
It is not uncommon for information assurance professionals to overlap in skill and knowledge with other experts in the field of data science.
Thus, an information assurance degree might be a useful foundation for a broader career in data management, which can be a lucrative path for veteran service members.
Another discipline within the vast field of cybersecurity, network security is focused on the protection of an organization’s underlying network infrastructure.
Usually, this involves securing the network against unauthorized access, preventing misuse of the network, and generally guarding against theft of data, processing power, and other network resources.
Because computer networks have become increasingly complex with the addition of cloud computing and remote tools, organizations are in desperate need of network professionals who understand how best to protect all manner of network assets.
Just as information assurance can lead to data science, a degree in network security might help you develop a career in network architecture. Even better, it is possible to gain the necessary qualifications to work in network security with an associate’s degree, which requires only two years of study.
MBA With Security Focus
For service members who have already earned their bachelor’s degree, a master’s in business administration (MBA) is a popular graduate program.
The MBA is a useful credential for skipping entry-level jobs and launching a career in management, which provides access to higher earning potential and more enjoyable work for some.
Yet, the basic MBA degree provides little that might interest a security-minded service member. Instead, you might find a program that allows you to specialize in security, which will prepare you for a management career in the security sector.
Many service members gain plenty of experience in the field of security, and translating that experience into a civilian career can be lucrative. With the right degree to support real-world expertise, you can find incredible professional success.