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Graduate Certificate vs Masters in Cyber Security

As the number of cyber-attacks increases, so will the importance of Cyber Security practices in all industries. The education sector has responded by offering new postgraduate cyber security study pathways to boost the number of skilled professionals. When it comes to your cyber security education, there are now multiple pathways towards upskilling. Professional certifications have quickly become an essential requirement in this growing industry landscape. 

It’s important to understand the difference between different cyber security qualifications so you can make an informed decision about whether a Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security or a Master of Cyber Security will meet your professional goals. So, when it comes to comparing a graduate certificate vs masters in cyber security, what are the key distinguishing features?

Features and Benefits of the Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security

Course key purpose

Our Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security Online is designed to broaden your vocational skills, keep your industry knowledge up to date and demonstrate your ability to boost organisational resilience against cyber criminals. A graduate certificate can also act as an entry point to higher learning such as a masters program. 

Who is this course for?

A graduate certificate gives professionals with experience in the Cyber Security field an opportunity to upskill or gain specialised knowledge in fields such as risk management and security engineering. 

“The Graduate Certificate is designed for working Cyber Security professionals with existing qualifications, who want to gain additional knowledge and advanced leadership skills.” – Siyakha N Mthunzi, University of Adelaide Cyber Security Subject Matter Expert.

What is the study focus?

This program covers key cyber security principles, theories, and methods in different areas. There’s a strong emphasis on practical learning, showing how principles can be applied to specific tasks or problems. 

How long will this course take?

Our Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security online will have you workforce ready in eight months part time. The flexible structure ensures you can keep working as you study part time online. 

Commitment level

A graduate certificate level program requires a more modest investment of time and resources when compared to a masters degree. This part time program will equip you with transferrable skills that can be directly invested in all areas of professional life, with the need for only eight months of study. 

Career outcomes

A Graduate Certificate in cyber security will help you launch or progress your career as a cyber generalist. Once you graduate, you will be qualified to work as a: Data Security, Information Security, Business or Risk Analyst; Cyber Policy Maker; Cyber Security Administrator or Advisor; or System Security Engineer. It’s important to note that some organisations require at least a masters level qualification for management and above roles.

 

Features and Benefits of the Master of Cyber Security

Course key purpose

Choose our Master of Cyber Security Online to lay the groundwork for a future as a Cyber Security leader. This program is designed to help you gain mastery of your field, enhance your reputation within the industry and hone your skills in preparation for a leadership role. 

Who is this course for?

Undertaking a masters program is a high impact move which will put you on the path to a higher paying and senior role. Many cyber security management roles, especially in the public service, require at least a masters level qualification. A Master of Cyber Security can also act as a steppingstone into academia or a PhD program. 

What is the study focus?

This program aims to develop in-depth critical and comprehensive knowledge across specialised areas of cyber security. A combination of coursework and research is involved to prepare students for leadership roles in the field.

“What students learn in a masters can extend to other areas of professional practice like independent research, project work and dissertations.” – Siyakha N Mthunzi, University of Adelaide Cyber Security Subject Matter Expert.

How long will this course take?

Our Master of Cyber Security Online typically takes two years to complete on a part time basis. 

Commitment level

Undertaking a masters program is a significant investment of time and resources, however with greater commitment comes greater opportunities. A masters degree from a Group of Eight university will help you forge an industry reputation as a Cyber Security Specialist. 

Career outcomes

With a Master of Cyber Security, you will be qualified to work as a cyber security team manager or in a strategy and architecture role. Your hands-on practical skills will also suit a technician or compliance type function too. The government, healthcare and private sectors all are looking for candidates with leadership, technical, research and business skills, all of which you develop through our masters level cyber security program. 

 

The key differences between cyber security qualifications 

Overall, the key differences between the graduate certificate vs masters in cyber security relate to overall commitment level and career goals. The graduate certificate will help upgrade your skills in just eight months, while the masters require a longer commitment of two years. While the graduate certificate will refresh your industry knowledge, the master will give you the skills and the necessary qualifications to take on a leadership role. 

 

Progress your career by studying online

Reports suggest that companies are giving more recognition to the value of cyber security in the business world, in response to  record high numbers of corporate cyber-attacks in recent years. 

The cyber security industry is growing, making now an optimal time to embrace this opportunity by adding a new qualification to your resume. Expand your skills to accelerate your career with a Master of Cyber Security or a Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security. These courses run entirely online with assessments rather than exams, so you can work and study at the same time. 

Book a call with one of our expert advisors today to learn how upskilling in Cyber Security can open doors for you. 


 

Siyakha N Mthunzi (PhD, MACS CP, FHEA) is a Cyber Security Subject Matter Expert for the University of Adelaide. His areas of speciality include Cyber Warfare, Cyber Security, Digital Forensic & Incident Response and Emerging Tech. He has had numerous academic pieces published that draw on his extensive research within the cyber field.