cybersecurity or computer science

Cybersecurity Or Computer Science?

So you’re ready to pursue a tech degree? That’s great! Many people are asking which degree is better, cybersecurity or computer science. Find out here. 

Investing in a college degree is a wise one. It is true that you can find good cybersecurity jobs without possessing a degree. However, having at least a Bachelor’s degree raises your value on the job market and usually qualifies as work experience. 

Moreover, a degree is typically a requirement for high-level positions and better pay. In fact, some employers do require a degree. For instance, the United States federal government won’t hire anyone for IT-related positions without at least a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. 

Here is the big question: which degree is for me, cybersecurity or computer science? This article discusses some of the differences between the two. 

Computer Science requires advanced math classes

Many students view math as the scariest thing about computer science degrees. Some IT professionals complain that they never had to use calculus once in their entire professional career. But on the other hand, you’ll find CS graduates who swear calculus helped them solve a critical programming problem. 

Depending on the educational institution, CS students are required to take related math classes as an introduction to discrete structures. Moreover, keep in mind that a lot of schools view calculus classes as a way to weed out the best among the rest. 

Meanwhile, cybersecurity students don’t have to worry about high-level math at all. You’ll just need to complete a general education math class and it is likely that you never have to look at another logarithm in your life. 

Cybersecurity frequently requires a solid understanding of network systems.

By now you’re probably thinking that you should stay away from CS. Is cybersecurity the winner over the question, “cybersecurity or computer science”? Think again. Networking is a core part of cybersecurity degrees, and it is as complex as calculus. If you’re a cybersecurity student, you need to understand how computers talk to each other over a network. 

Understanding how networks function is a must because exposure to the internet is a huge security vulnerability. This is a requirement regardless of the level of your job.

Like calculus, a networking class requires a massive amount of time. It is not something that you can pass with just a few hours of extra study. 

Computer science has a lot of theory 

Are you interested in how computers work and why? If yes, computer science is for you. It introduces you to the basic building blocks of computers. Meanwhile, cybersecurity typically concentrates only on computer vulnerabilities and how to defend those vulnerabilities.

As a CS student, you must know how stacks work in memory and have a solid understanding of how to communicate with computers. 

Cybersecurity students need to know Linux

Whatever area of cybersecurity you are in, understanding Linux is a must. As a beginner, you will familiarize yourself with using a Command Line Interface. Thus, cybersecurity students will spend more than one semester studying Linux. On the other hand, the need to know Linux is not quite so intense for CS students. 

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