A computer science degree has become one of the more popular courses of study in the past decade due to the push for industries to go online and the need for technology to conduct their businesses.
The development of software programmes to aid businesses, ranging from logistics to healthcare to banking, has become a priority. However, while this aspect of online technology has developed, so has another concerning aspect — cybersecurity, the practice of protecting critical systems and sensitive information online from digital attacks.
The increasing need to keep critical information online safe has led to a demand of capable graduates with a cybersecurity degree. This makes it a great option for students looking to pursue a career in this specific area of information technology (IT).
What Is A Cybersecurity Degree?
According to the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), ‘cybersecurity’ is defined as the art of protecting networks, devices, and data from unauthorised access or criminal use and the practice of ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.
This definition of cybersecurity is also supported by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), the leading Australian Government agency for information sharing on cybersecurity. The agency advises that all businesses should adhere to the four cybersecurity principles — govern, protect, detect, and respond — to protect their organisational systems and data from cyber threats.
A cybersecurity degree focuses on equipping students with these principles. It involves the study of information technology and a focus on cybersecurity-related knowledge including, but not limited to:
- Understanding cybersecurity events and how to identify any incidents;
- Identifying security risks and mitigating them once detected;
- Responding to cybersecurity incidents and helping to recover from such attacks;
- Being proactive in implementing methods for supporting online infrastructures and systems to prevent and/or reduce security risks; and
- Developing an awareness of ethical and social responsibility regarding the field of cybersecurity in real-life practice.
What Does A Cybersecurity Degree In Singapore Involve?
A cybersecurity degree in Singapore will typically comprise several modules across 6 trimesters — four subjects per trimester — that teaches the basic principles of information technology (including system administration, software and mobile application development, among others) and cybersecurity best practices.
These core subjects often include subjects which are fundamental to Information Technology studies, such as:
- Operating systems and shell scripting
- Web design and development
- Mathematical foundations
It will further narrow down into those specific to cybersecurity including, but not limited to:
- Cloud Security
- Machine Learning applied to Cybersecurity
- Ethical Hacking
- Cybersecurity Infrastructure
An emphasis on professional ethics and professionalism is also stressed upon through the course of a cybersecurity degree.
How Do I Qualify For A Cybersecurity Degree?
To qualify for admission into a cybersecurity degree, a prerequisite period of study is required to enter this bachelor's program. Although entry requirements tend to differ from country to country or from different universities, James Cook University requires that a student complete at least 12 years of study prior to admission. Completion of the James Cook University Foundation Program satisfies these requirements, although a comparable result in pre-university studies such as successful graduation from Foundation studies in other institutions or an A-Levels or Matriculation program will also be sufficient.
Other course prerequisites include command of the English language. For applicants who are from a non-English speaking background, English language proficiency standards must be met. This means a score of no lower than 6.0 in the IELTS English Language Test, or a score of 74 with no component recording less than 18 in the TOEFL test, or a score of 52 with no component less than 52 in the Pearson PTE Academic test. Successful completion of the English Language Preparatory Program (ELPP) at James Cook University, Singapore will also make a student eligible for further tertiary study in a cybersecurity degree. For those who have completed other English language tests from other institutions deemed equivalent to Australian standards within the past two years, it may also be considered as proof of successfully fulfilling the English requirements. Contact [email protected] to find out if your English language test results meet those requirements.
What Are the Best Reasons And Benefits Of Taking Up This Degree?
Students who choose to take up a cybersecurity degree do so for a variety of reasons, ranging from social contribution to future career opportunities! Among the main reasons why more and more students are taking up this degree include:
- Growth of future career opportunities
With technology developing in ways that you would never have thought possible a decade ago (think blockchain, cryptocurrency, and even NFTs!) the need for new roles to be filled in the workplace has increased exponentially. Cybersecurity professionals are increasing in demand — The (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study reports that there is a workforce gap of 2.7 million in 2021, and that APAC employers are struggling to find qualified, skilled professionals in the cybersecurity field.
- Flexibility of job options
The COVID-19 pandemic in recent years has made many industries realise that working from home (WFH) can be just as effective as an in-office job. The future of WFH will be something that carries on, especially in fields that give you the ability to work from anywhere that has a screen and Internet, such as IT. Candidates who are looking for flexibility in their working hours will find that a degree in cybersecurity can make it easier to find roles that allow for WFH.
- Ability to make a difference in society through non-traditional ways
Aside from volunteering your time at nursing homes or engaging your efforts in promoting charities, cybersecurity work is a way for you to make a difference in the online world, which can be just as important as our physical reality. With more people safeguarding their assets online and with private information being kept on cloud computing services, this work has become vitally important for keeping the population safe from cyber threats.
At James Cook University, our Bachelor of Cybersecurity degree can be taken on campus in Singapore as a 2-years full-time course or as a 3-years part-time option. This local degree allows you to graduate with the same globally-recognised degree as students who study at James Cook University in Australia, with similar access to a full range of facilities on campus such as computer laboratories, study facilities, and a library to support your learning needs. We also encourage our students to experience university as a whole and not just purely as an academic pursuit! There are a variety of Student Clubs available for learners to engage in which covers a wide array of common interests such as yoga, dance, or music, and helps them to find a community that they can forge friendships with throughout their years of study.
If you have any further enquiries regarding this course, feel free to direct any of your questions to us through email to [email protected], or through a phone call to +65 6709 3888 and one of our friendly representatives will get back to you!