Why Skipping a Cybersecurity Degree is Good for Your Career and Pocket Book

September 16, 2019 posted by

– If you want to work for a
large bureaucratic organization or the U.S. government, you can
skip the rest of this video. It’s not really applicable to you. Large corporations and
the U.S. government, they care more about what
you look like on paper versus the value you
bring to the organization. They are simply looking
for check marks in a box like do you have a degree, check. Do you have this, check. They don’t really care
about you as a person or what you bring to the organization. If you’re clear on what you wanna do, if you know you want to
go into cybersecurity, then spending four years
on a college degree is a waste of your time and your money. You can learn everything
you need to know for free on the internet, or if
you wanna go to college, you can spend four years
learning a bunch of stuff that is irrelevant to
you and your career path. I mean, do you really need to
know like political science, history, art appreciation,
all these core classes, are they really gonna help you
with a cybersecurity career? I realize the idea is to
make you well-rounded, but with cybersecurity,
if you know the direction you wanna go, specialized knowledge is often more important than well-rounded. It’s also possible to be so
well-rounded, you have no point. You may be thinking, well
what about this skills gap, the skills shortage, I’ve
heard there’s gonna be three gazillion cybersecurity
job openings by 2025. Whatever, a lot of that is a bunch of B.S. The reason we have the skills gap is antiquated hiring procedures. Those large corporations, the government, they wanna hire people that have a degree, have experience and have certifications. And they wanna hire people
with those three criteria for entry-level positions. I mean if you’re gonna look at
logs in a security operation center or a SOC, do you
really need a degree? No, do you really need experience? No, somebody could teach you what to do. Do you really need a certification? Not really, it is preferable,
but you don’t really need it. But we’re adhering to this
standard that we have to have all these criteria, which is
why we have this shortage. Because we don’t have enough people that meet all three of those criteria for an entry-level cybersecurity position. But what’s going to happen is employers will start shifting
their hiring procedures and looking at what value people bring to the organization versus
checking those check boxes. Some of you may be wondering,
well the only reason I’m talkin’ about that
degrees don’t matter is because I don’t have a degree myself. That’s not true, I have
a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree and
actually started a PhD, but I’m an ABD, as they
say, all but dissertation because I dropped out of the PhD program because as I was going
through it, I realized that what I was learning
was really academic. And it wasn’t applicable to reality. So I took a step back and I thought, you know what, this is not
serving me in my career. It may look good on paper. It maybe look cool to be called a doctor. All this other garbage,
but the reality was the stuff I was learning
was not really applicable to cybersecurity and the path I was on. Also, with my Bachelor’s
and Master’s degree, I probably use less than
5% of what I learned. And I spent four years on a Bachelor’s and two and half years on a Master’s. So, to only use 5% of that
is not a good investment of my time to get those degrees. There’s four areas I’d like to focus on on why skipping a
cybersecurity degree is good for your career and your pocketbook. Reason number one, or
the first area is time. If you wanna get a Bachelor’s degree, it takes you roughly four years. Imagine, rather than
spending those four years going to college and learning
like the core subjects like political science, art
appreciation, all that garbage. Imagine if you started out on year one with your career in cybersecurity, at the end of those four
years, how much money would you be making versus how much money you owe a university or a college. So, time is the first thing. The second one is money. According to US News, the
average four year degree costs around $80,000. That’s quite a bit of money. Again, if you go back
and look at the time, over a four year period,
if you’re simply spending $80,000 and not makin’ any money, you’re gonna come out in that
four year period way in debt. But if you started out on
year one with a career, you would make more that
$80.000 over that four years instead of spending the $80,000. Also, let’s just say, let’s just assume the $80,000 is a expensive college degree. Let’s cut that in half, so
it’s $40,000 or $10,000 a year. $10,000 a year is still
a massive investment. Rather than going to
college and spending $40,000 over four years, if you spent
that $10,000 of year one and get four cybersecurity certifications, because roughly each
cybersecurity certification’s gonna be about $2,500, with
the bootcamp, the exam voucher, all the books, all the
materials, so $2,500 or four certifications for $10,000, you would certainly come
out ahead because you could easily get a job with four certifications. If you got the Security Plus,
the Certified Ethical Hacker, maybe the Certified Cybersecurity Analyst, and maybe the CISP Associate,
you would certainly get a job much quicker than waiting four years to get a college degree. And then, even after you go to college, you still have to get the certifications. So you spend $80,000
or $40,000 on college, and then when you graduate,
nobody’s gonna hire you because they want a college degree and the certifications, typically. Or you could look for the
more progressive companies that value a certification
over a college degree and spend that $10,000 that I mentioned getting four certifications. You don’t even have to spend $10,000. You can spend $5,000 and
get two certifications. Or you don’t even have to spend
any money taking a bootcamp. You can just do it on your own and simply pay for the
exam voucher which is around three to $400,
depending on the voucher. The third area is value. I kinda talked about this a little bit. We’re talking about money. But to add value to get
employed, you need to have the cybersecurity certifications as well. They add more value to your resume than a degree in most circumstances. The fourth thing I wanna
talk about is leveling up. I know some of you are probably thinking, I need to have a degree. My parents have a degree. I feel like I won’t be
respected without the degree. I must have a degree. So to level up and get that degree, and I think it’s a great idea
if you have that ambition. Once you get your foot in
the door and start a career, a lot of employers offer
tuition assistance. So, the money is not all
yours that you’re spending towards the degree, some of
it’s your employer’s money. So maybe consider that. Also, it’s beneficial if you’re working in an industry that when you take a class, you can see the gap a lot clearer than taking this class by
itself because you’re going to school full-time and then when you get into the career field, you wonder like, wait a minute, it doesn’t
quite work like academia. Having the experience,
then taking the class is very useful versus
the other way around. My intention with this
video is to illuminate some of the different areas
you may not have considered. Is it really worth spending
four years of your life and going into massive
debt, when there’s possibly an alternative where you
can start making money almost immediately with a
little bit of investment versus a big investment for college?

1 Comment

One Reply to “Why Skipping a Cybersecurity Degree is Good for Your Career and Pocket Book”

  1. Syed Nizam Fateh says:

    Good thank you for your advice.

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