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How Hard Is It to Learn Cyber Security?

Medinah Aina - November 11, 2022

Most businesses, particularly those in the technology industry, require cyber security in order to protect data and information. This makes it an intriguing and promising career path to pursue, and learning cyber security is the first step. It’s natural for anyone interested in the field to wonder, is cyber security hard to learn?

In this guide, you will learn whether cyber security is hard, the different learning paths you can choose, and tips to help you along your learning journey. No matter how hard cyber security is to learn, the information below can help you start a successful career in this field and land a job in cyber security .

​​What Is Cyber Security Used For?

Cyber security is majorly used to protect the data and information of individuals and organizations. It helps to protect this information from malicious threats and can be divided into various categories. You can find the different uses of cyber security below.

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  • Data protection . Cyber security can be used to secure the privacy of data stored within a system or database from cyber attacks and criminals. This is vital for organizations that deal with sensitive information.
  • Network protection and security . Network security helps to protect the integrity and confidentiality of computer networks and all network-related databases from external access, intrusion, and attacks.
  • Software protection . This is used to prevent unauthorized access to an organization’s software. Cyber security allows you to protect your software using tools, libraries, and technologies.
  • User protection . Also known as end-user protection or security, this is an aspect of cyber security that protects individual users of software systems, digital systems, and computers rather than a whole organization. It allows them to protect themselves from malware and other cyber security threats.
  • Business protection . This involves the protection of the entire system of a given organization or business. It includes protecting the business systems from malware, phishing, and other cyber attacks. It also involves the organization’s response to cyber attacks and the operating capacity of the computer systems.

How Hard Is Cyber Security to Learn?

Cyber security is hard to learn, but it is totally possible if you are willing to put in the required effort and time, like any other field. It doesn’t involve advanced math, making it easier to navigate than most other fields. If you have problem-solving skills, technical experience, and other requisite skills, you will be able to become a cyber security professional.

One of the aspects that makes cyber security difficult to learn is maintaining continuity, as you will need to continue learning and staying updated with cyber security industry trends regardless of your experience level in order to stay competitive. However, cyber security will be easier to learn and practice if you have a passion for the field and enjoy the thrill of new and ongoing challenges.

How Hard Is a Cyber Security Degree?

How hard a cyber security degree is can vary depending on the school, program, and specialization you choose. A cyber security degree is hard if you have no technical background, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t find success in this field if you start from scratch. If you have strong critical thinking skills and stay committed, you are sure to find success.

Is Cyber Security Harder Than Programming?

Cyber security can sometimes be more difficult than programming because it includes many different elements, including programming itself. As a cyber security analyst , you must understand how to code, infiltrate code, and prevent infiltration. This is one of the most difficult aspects of cyber security.

What Makes Cyber Security Hard to Learn?

So, why is cyber security so hard to learn? There are many aspects to cyber security that can make it challenging to learn. Keep reading to learn about three factors that influence how hard it is to master this tech field.

A Wide Variety of Tools Is Needed

Part of the reason why cyber security is so hard is that it requires you to master a wide variety of tools, techniques, and software in order to successfully do your job. Cyber security covers a wide scope, so you’ll have to spend time consistently upgrading your skills and mastering new tools.

Technology Evolves Constantly

Another aspect that makes cyber security hard is the fact that technology is in constant evolution, meaning you need to spend a significant amount of time staying up to date with the latest trends and developments in tech.

Threats Can Come From Anywhere

As new software and strategies are created to keep information safe, so are new forms of cyber attacks. This means that all cyber security professionals need to stay up to date on the latest trends in hacking and on top of any new vulnerabilities that might arise in the systems they’re trying to defend.

How Long Does It Take to Learn Cyber Security?

It takes about a year or two to fully understand and grasp cyber security concepts. In contrast to programming fields, cyber security requires more time and cannot be fully understood in three months. The length of time is also heavily influenced by the educational path you choose and whether you already have technical knowledge.

If you attend college, it will take you four to five years to earn a bachelor’s degree and two years to earn a master’s degree . A cyber security coding bootcamp could take anywhere from six months to a year to complete. If you choose the self-taught path, it could take at least two years to fully understand enough to land a job in the cyber security space.

How to Learn Cyber Security: Tips to Become a Cyber Security Expert

  1. Enroll in a program . If you’re wondering how to learn cyber security, enrolling in a program is an obvious first step. Whether you opt for an online course, a coding bootcamp, or a college degree in cyber security, this is how you can start your journey and learn the basics of cyber security best practices .
  2. Practice the skills you learn . Every step you take in your cyber security education must be followed by continuous practice. This is to help you understand what you’ve learned and ensure that you can work independently and remember your skills. You can accomplish this by working on individual cyber security projects .
  3. Utilize online resources . Online resources can be extremely beneficial when learning cyber security, and you should take advantage of them. If you’re wondering how to study cyber security on your own to improve your skills, there are plenty of tutorials, videos, books, and courses to help you.
  4. Get professional help . You should not hesitate to seek professional help if you are stuck or confused. Cyber security isn’t overly technical, but it can be difficult. Getting assistance from an experienced cyber security specialist will help you learn more quickly.
  5. Earn a certification . Cyber security certifications demonstrate your technical skills in a particular area of cyber security. Keep an eye on the latest trends so you can determine what to learn for a cyber security certification.
  6. Get experience . Nothing helps you learn faster than real-world experiences. You can get this by applying for internships or cyber security apprenticeships , where you will work on real projects for real clients, significantly improving your hard and soft skills.

Where to Learn About Cyber Security

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Cyber security is hard to learn, but you can make it easier for yourself by taking advantage of online resources.

An important question to ask yourself is where to learn cyber security. If you’re a high school graduate, a cyber security degree program might be appropriate for you. However, if you’re transitioning from a different career, or don’t want to invest in a four-year degree, then you can learn through a coding bootcamp, online courses, or free resources. These are all efficient ways to learn cyber security.

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Cyber Security Coding Bootcamps

Cyber security coding bootcamps are designed to teach you the relevant skills to start a cyber security career. They are short, intense programs designed to equip you with the in-demand skills that employers seek. They teach students by utilizing hands-on experience, industry experts, and real-world projects to assist them in developing a portfolio that can be shown to potential employers.

Cyber Security Online Courses

Online courses are another excellent way to learn cyber security. There are numerous online programs that can help you gain the necessary skills as a new or experienced cyber security analyst. If you decide to pursue this educational path, you can begin with beginner-level courses and progress from there. Some of these courses also include hands-on training and certificates of completion.

Cyber Security Degree Programs

Cyber security is a hard major, but also highly rewarding. You can study computer science, computer engineering, information technology, or any other IT-related degree program to start a career in this field. A college program will teach you all of the concepts you’ll need to start a career in cyber security. You can also choose to pursue a graduate degree after that.

Cyber Security Free Resources

If you’re wondering where to learn cyber security for free, rest assured that there are many resources to help you at no cost. Technology fields are known to have endless resources on the Internet that can be used to learn the skills required to start a career or advance your skills. These include free tutorials, videos, articles, books, and online forums and communities where you can connect with other learners.

Is It Hard to Get a Job in Cyber Security?

It is not hard to get a job in cyber security because it is an important aspect of most businesses today. You can work in various industries, including financial institutions, manufacturing, communication, retail, government, and healthcare. There are also numerous job opportunities available in this dynamic field.

Jobs You Can Get With Cyber Security Skills

  • Information Security Analyst . Also known as security analysts, these professionals install, test, and monitor security systems on computer systems and networks. They also document the security process and write reports on the progress and safety of entire networks. Information security analysts earn an annual average salary of $102,600 , according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Network Security Engineer . These professionals secure network systems from cyber attacks, cyber threats, bugs, and malware. They test and configure digital networks to detect threats and prevent them. According to PayScale, network security engineers earn an annual average salary of $92,856 .
  • Security Architect . Security architects design, install, test, and implement security protocols and solutions for organizations. They review an organization’s security systems and make recommendations to improve their efficiency. Security architects earn a median annual salary of $130,726 , according to PayScale.
  • Cyber Security Consultant . Security consultants are professionals who review, analyze, and assess an organization’s security system to detect potential breaches or threats and provide solutions. According to PayScale, the average cyber consultant earns $82,769 per year.
  • Security Administrator . These cyber security experts work to install, administer, and troubleshoot the security solutions of an organization. They develop privacy policies, measures, and training documents to help employees of an organization understand security solutions. Security admins have average salaries of $67,576 , according to PayScale.

Is Cyber Security Worth Learning?

Yes, cyber security is worth learning. Cyber security is hard to learn, but if you have a passion for it and are willing to put in the required time and dedication, you will surely find success in this lucrative and growing field.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth for security analysts is 35 percent over the next decade, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This means you have a great chance of landing your dream job once you develop your skills and gain some experience.

FAQ: Is Cyber Security Hard to Learn?

Does cyber security require a lot of math?

Yes, cyber security does require math. However, the level of math required can vary depending on your chosen specialization. For many entry-level positions in the tech field, high school math and algebra might be enough. The more highly technical your job, the more complex math is required.

Is cyber security hard for beginners?

Yes, cyber security is hard for beginners who have no prior knowledge or experience in tech. However, there are many ways for beginners to quickly gain the skills to break into cyber security, including coding bootcamps, online courses, and degree programs.

How long will it take to learn cyber security?

It could take anywhere between six months and two years to learn cyber security. This depends on your educational path, as some require more time than others. Coding bootcamps, for instance, could take between six months and a year, while college could take up to five years.

Is cyber security harder than computer science?

No, cyber security is not harder than computer science. In fact, computer science covers a much wider range of topics and can sometimes require higher-level skills in math, making it harder than cyber security, which is narrower in scope.

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Medinah Aina

About the author: Medinah, a certified Career Coach by the International Association of Professions Career College, is an expert copywriter and web designer, helping people learn more about education and careers in technology. She values in-depth research and providing accurate, helpful information. Medinah holds a BSc in Social Work from the University of Lagos and an Eduonix Certification in copywriting.

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