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How much can you make with an associate degree in cybersecurity?

An associate degree in cybersecurity can pave the way to many entry-level jobs. Read on to discover the jobs and salaries you may land with the degree.
Written by Melissa Sartore, Contributor

An associate degree in cybersecurity gives you the knowledge and skills to work on the front lines of electronic data safety while taking home a lucrative salary. You can even pursue an online associate degree and still secure a great career. 

The degree also allows you to pursue additional education to increase your earning potential. 

Because so many daily activities rely on technology, an associate degree in cybersecurity opens the door to entry-level positions across industries. As a two-year degree, an associate degree prepares you to work as a computer support specialist, data analyst, information security associate, and more. 

Below, we've rounded up what you need to know about the associate degree in cybersecurity salary and job options.

Jobs for a cybersecurity associate degree

Cybersecurity, defined as the practice of keeping electronic information safe, extends into private and public sectors, through business and education, and across professions. Cybersecurity jobs include entry-level positions such as penetration testers and advanced roles like cybersecurity engineers. 

Cybersecurity job salaries vary by location and job title, as well as your experience, degree level, and other qualifications. Here are some common jobs for individuals with an associate degree in cybersecurity.

Computer support specialist

Median salary (2020): $55,510

Description: Computer support specialists, also known as technical support specialists, assist when technology-related problems arise. They help users and organizations by analyzing, troubleshooting, and fixing problems. Computer support specialists also carry out tests to evaluate system functionality, perform maintenance, and train others how to use software and hardware. 

Next steps: Network and computer systems administrator, software developer, information security specialist

Cybersecurity analyst

Median salary (2020): $76,623

Description: Cybersecurity analysts assess security measures used to ensure the safety of an organization's data. Cybersecurity analysts collect information about security access, intrusion attempts, and potential threats to present to colleagues and other information security professionals. They evaluate threats and help develop processes and standards for protecting networks, systems, and databases.

Next steps: Information security analyst, cybersecurity engineer, information security manager

Information security analyst

Median salary (2020): $103,590

Description: Information security analysts develop and implement security processes and practices to keep an organization's data safe. They monitor networks, systems, and databases for threats, weaknesses, and security violations. 

Information security analysts look for ways to improve information safety, install and carry out upgrades, and research new standards of practice.

Next steps: Information security manager, database administrator

Network and computer system administrator

Median salary (2020): $84,810

Description: These professionals oversee the daily computer operations of an organization. Network and computer system administrators install, maintain, and evaluate networks and computer systems. They assess computer and network systems' functionality and efficiency, implement upgrades to increase performance, and solve problems. 

Network and computer systems administrators often supervise computer support staff and train colleagues how to use software and hardware.

Next steps: Computer network architect, computer and information systems manager, computer hardware engineer

Penetration tester

Median salary (2020): $92,870

Description: Penetration testers evaluate electronic data security by carrying out tests to expose weaknesses in existing technologies. They conduct mock cyberattacks to help organizations identify and address potential vulnerabilities. 

Penetration testers may perform security tests on computer systems, networks, and web-based applications.

Next steps: Information security manager, computer software engineer, senior penetration tester

How can I make more money in cybersecurity?

To advance in the field of cybersecurity, you benefit from experience and education. An associate degree in cybersecurity prepares you to pursue a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity, information technology, computer science, or a related discipline. 

Other cybersecurity training options include the pursuit of industry certifications. To employers, cybersecurity certifications demonstrate your expertise and continued dedication to your position. 

Can you get a cybersecurity job with an associate's degree?

You can get an entry-level cybersecurity job with an associate degree. Common positions include computer support specialist and cybersecurity analyst. 

Is a two-year degree in cyber security worth it?

A two-year degree in cybersecurity is one way to enter the field of cybersecurity. An associate degree builds fundamental knowledge and skills to work as a cybersecurity professional. 

What can I do with an associate in cybersecurity?

With an associate in cybersecurity, you can find an entry-level position in the field. You are also equipped to pursue a bachelor's degree and cybersecurity certifications.

This article was reviewed by Brian Nichols

Brian Nichols, a man with dark hair and facial hair, wears a suit and smiles at the camera.

Born and raised in upstate New York, Brian Nichols began his IT education through a vocational high school where he focused on computer science, IT fundamentals, and networking. Brian then went to his local community college, where he received his associate of science in computer information science. He then received his bachelor of science in applied networking and system administration from a private college. 

Brian now lives in Kansas City, where he works full-time as a DevOps engineer. Brian is also a part-time instructor in cybersecurity. He's passionate about cybersecurity and helping students succeed. 

Brian Nichols is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education freelance review network. 

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