Recently we explained what you can do with a degree in cybersecurity, including what jobs you can get with a bachelor’s degree.
Here, we’re going to explain whether or not cybersecurity requires a lot of math, the types of math most commonly used by industry professionals, and finally, why it’s worth getting a degree in the field.
This post will give you all the details you need to prepare yourself for launching a successful, lifelong career as a cybersecurity expert.
After you’ve learned everything you need to know about launching a career in cybersecurity, fill out our information request form to receive additional details about our 100% online Bachelor’s Degree in Cybersecurity.
If you’re ready to get started, submit your application today.
Does a Degree in Cybersecurity Require a lot of Math?
Cybersecurity is a technical field that you could consider to be a specialty niche in computer science, and potential job seekers will definitely want to develop strong analytical and math skills, especially if they aim to achieve the best jobs in the industry..
Entry-level cybersecurity jobs don’t typically require strong math skills, however as you move up the ladder and the work gets more complex, you'll need to get more comfortable using specific math-based disciplines.
Specific mathematical concepts allow cybersecurity experts to interact directly with information systems, which can then help them solve real-world challenges, and this becomes increasingly important for advanced cybersecurity practices.
Being able to understand mathematical concepts and utilize math to program or analyze an organization's cybersecurity systems allows cybersecurity professionals to better protect a company from various potential cyber-attacks.
What Kind of Math Is Needed for Cybersecurity?
While entry-level jobs in cybersecurity may not require a strong knowledge of mathematical concepts, the better, higher-paying jobs in the industry are more likely to require more math.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common mathematical disciplines that advanced cybersecurity professionals may need to utilize.
Computer programming relies on algorithms to tell a computer what to do.
Programmers can use variables, constraints, and logic in their work. Understanding mathematical logic helps programmers understand how a computer will interpret a particular bit of code. In network security, professionals can analyze computer code to find weaknesses and build solutions to prevent weaknesses.
Cryptography is a mathematical science used to provide data confidentiality. These programs use algorithms designed around computational complexity theory, which finds difficult-to-solve problems and applies them to sensitive data.
In the cybersecurity industry, these cryptographic computations revolve around algorithms used by hackers trying to solve complex equations that allow them to gain access to secured systems.
Cryptography is also used by cybersecurity experts attempting to preserve an organization's information and systems.
Boolean math is a subsection of algebra that expresses information in a series of "false" and "true" values. This mathematical concept incorporates the binary values of 0 and 1, as well as several other modern programming languages like Python to express decisions and responses.
Hackers can use a boolean exploitation technique to extract information about the tables in a database of a web application, helping them to gain access to systems that should be protected.
Cybersecurity professionals who understand and can apply boolean logic are better prepared to prevent such cyber breaches from happening.
Simply put, binary math is the heart of all computer programming.
An understanding of binary math helps cybersecurity analysts understand and create unique programs, applications, and systems that keep networks safe by identifying weaknesses and loopholes.
An extension of boolean values and binary math, hexadecimal math expands the options from 0 or 1 to any digit up to 16 places (0-15). Number strings are represented as single-digit numbers up to 9, followed by letters A-F for the remaining placements.
Hexadecimal math allows for more creativity and optionality when compared to binary math, giving cybersecurity professionals more ways to secure systems and databases.
Linear algebra is used to design and build computer systems and programs, such as graph visualizations, dashboards, cryptography, and more. It is also used to speed up machine learning and create different neural networks.
Machine learning and specific computer programs can be used by both hackers and cybersecurity professionals. By understanding linear algebra you can spot vulnerabilities and identify, then stop potential breaches before they happen.
What Else Do You Need to Learn to Get a Job in Cybersecurity?
To become a cybersecurity professional, you’ll need to know much more than just mathematical concepts, as cybersecurity professionals are responsible for many other complex and challenging job functions, including:
- Documenting security breaches and assessing the damage they cause.
- Working with various departments to perform system tests and uncover network vulnerabilities.
- Fixing detected vulnerabilities to maintain a high-security standard.
- Staying current on Information Technology (IT) security trends and best practices.
- Developing company-wide best practices for IT security.
- Performing penetration testing.
- Assisting colleagues in installing security software and understanding information security management.
You can develop these skills and abilities by enrolling in a degree program that covers the critical concepts and technology used by cybersecurity professionals, like CSU Global’s online B.S. in Cybersecurity.
Through the course of your cybersecurity program, you’ll learn how to handle these tasks, and others, allowing you to eventually assume the full responsibilities of a working cybersecurity professional, including:
- Evaluating compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards.
- Installing, managing, and updating various security software, such as firewalls and encryptions to ensure that systems are up to date.
- Conducting internal and external security audits, as well as risk assessments to evaluate vulnerabilities and determine the readiness of security systems.
- Assessing attacks or unauthorized access to identify the cause and origin of security breaches.
- Performing vulnerability testing and risk analysis functions to evaluate current security threats and identify where improvements could be made.
- Designing, implementing, and evaluating computing-based solutions to meet a given set of requirements.
While you should expect there to be a bit of a learning curve for developing these skills and abilities, it’s nothing that can’t be overcome with dedication and serious coursework.
Once you’ve developed your capacity for handling these duties, along with a solid understanding of specific mathematical concepts, you’ll become an incredibly valuable asset at nearly any organization.
Is a Cybersecurity Degree Hard?
There are a few reasons why some people might consider cybersecurity a difficult field to study or work in, including:
- Protecting an organization from cyber criminals sounds extremely challenging
- Cybersecurity professionals require a wide range of knowledge and skills that seem difficult to master, especially for someone without any technical experience in the field
- Cybersecurity professionals have a high level of responsibility, to the teams they work with, their supervisors, and upper management, which may be scary at first thought
But while cybersecurity is indeed a challenging and complex field to navigate, and while there is a lot to learn in preparation for a successful cybersecurity position, that doesn’t mean this is a subject you should avoid.
If you’re interested in becoming a cybersecurity professional, then you should consider pursuing a degree in the field, as this is the best way to develop the knowledge and skills you’ll need to succeed in the industry.
Because virtually every organization needs a cybersecurity expert, you may be able to find a position in nearly any industry, from hospitality to healthcare to technology. Each industry will present its own set of challenges, but as a well-educated cybersecurity professional, you’ll have the ability to meet and overcome them.
The best way to ensure a successful career in cybersecurity is to learn about cybersecurity best practices and strategies in an official academic setting through an accredited degree program.
With proper instruction from a qualified educational institution, you will find that the challenges mentioned above will turn out to be less of a concern than you might have originally expected.
Is a Degree in Cybersecurity Really Worth Getting?
In truth, there's never been a better time to get into the cybersecurity industry.
In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of information security analysts, one of the most popular job titles in cybersecurity, is projected to rise 35% between 2021 and 2031, which is much faster than the average rate of growth for all occupations.
If you have any interest in utilizing mathematical concepts to help protect an organization's information and systems, then you should certainly think about completing a degree program in the field.
Getting your degree in this field is the best way to prepare yourself for a successful career in this challenging, complex industry, where you’ll be tasked with protecting sensitive data, computer networks, and technical systems from cyber attacks.
While you may be able to land an entry-level job in the field without a degree, cybersecurity personnel play such a critical role in the modern economy that it may be difficult to get a good job without academic credentials.
Getting your degree won't just prove that you can bring value to potential employers, but it will also ensure that you’re prepared to overcome the complex challenges cybersecurity professionals face on a daily basis.
Where Should I Go to Get My Degree in Cybersecurity?
CSU Global’s online cybersecurity program will prepare you for a successful, lifelong career in this challenging, but lucrative industry, no matter what niche you choose to specialize in.
All our cybersecurity faculty have recent industry experience, while the program’s curriculum is aligned with professional certification exams that employers demand for cybersecurity professionals, including:
- (ISC)2 Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
- (ISC)2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)
- EC-Council Certified Encryption Specialist (EC-Council ECES)
- EC-Council Certified Incident Handler (EC-Council ECIH)
- CompTIA A+, Network +, Security+, and Project+
Completing our 100% online cybersecurity program will provide you with competence in the areas associated with the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) exam, preparing you to deliver great results from your first day in the office.
This program is also widely recognized as one of the best programs in the industry, as it currently holds several excellent rankings, including:
- A #3 ranking on Top 10 Online Cyber Security Undergraduate Certificate Programs for 2021 from Security Degree Hub.
- A #10 ranking on Best Online Cyber Security Degree Programs of 2022 from Intelligent.
And CSU Global itself also recently earned several important and prestigious rankings of its own, including:
- A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges & Schools in Colorado from Best Accredited Colleges.
- A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges in Colorado from Best Colleges.
- A #10 ranking for Best Online Colleges for ROI from OnlineU.
Finally, to help save you time and money on the costs of your degree, we offer competitive tuition rates and a Tuition Guarantee that ensures your low tuition rate won’t increase from enrollment through graduation.
For additional details about our fully accredited, 100% online Bachelor’s Degree in Cybersecurity, please give us a call at 800-462-7845 or fill out our Information Request Form.
Ready to get started today? Apply now!