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Computer Science vs Cyber Security: Which One to Choose?

14th Sep, 2023
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    Computer Science vs Cyber Security: Which One to Choose?

    The study of computers and computing falls within the broad “Computer Science” category. "Cyber Security" is a sub-field of computer science that deals with safeguarding networks, programs, and systems against cyberattacks. This article will show is Cyber security harder than computer science or which is better, computer science or cyber securityCyber Security experts rely on their comprehensive knowledge of computers and networks to perform this function. But what is harder, computer science or cyber security? Read on to find out.

    Let’s begin with a question. What is the difference between cyber security vs computer science?

    What is Cyber security?

    The practice of protecting networks, computers, mobile devices, servers, electronic systems, and data from malicious cyberattacks is known as cyber security. It is also referred to as electronic information security or information technology security. The term applies in a variety of contexts, like businesses and mobile computing, and can be divided into quite a few categories-

    • Network security: It deals with securing a computer network from intruders, or opportunistic malware.
    • Application security: This focuses on keeping software applications and devices free of threats. An infected application could provide third-party access to the data it's designed to protect.
    • Information security: Information security helps to protect data integrity and data privacy during both storage and transmission.
    • Operational security: Operational security involves the procedures and choices used to manage and safeguard data assets. This covers the rules governing where and how data may be shared, as well as the permissions that users have when logging onto a network.
    • Disaster recovery and business continuity: This determines how a company reacts to a cyber-security attack or any other situation that results in the loss of operations or data. Disaster recovery procedures specify how the organization restores its operations and information to resume normal business operations. The company's backup plan, if certain resources are not available, is business continuity.
    • End-user education: End-user education deals with the aspect of cyber security that is most unpredictable: people. Those who disregard basic security measures have the potential to accidentally/unintentionally inject a virus into an otherwise secure system. For the security of any firm, it is crucial to teach users to delete suspicious email attachments and to avoid plugging in unknown USB drives and other key teachings.

    Top cyber security courses will help you during the course to get an edge over others.

    What is Computer Science?

    The study of computers and other computational systems is known as computer science. Computer scientists, as opposed to computer and electrical engineers, mainly focus on software and software systems, such as their theory, design, development, and application.

    Artificial intelligence, computers, security, networks, human-computer interaction, vision and graphics, database systems, numerical analysis, programming languages, software engineering, bioinformatics, and computing theory are some of the main fields of study in computer science.

    Although programming is required to study computer science, it is only one aspect of the subject. Computer scientists study the performance of computer hardware and software, as well as design and analysis methods for solving initiatives. Computer scientists face a variety of challenges, ranging from the abstract (determining which problems can be solved by computers and the complexity of the algorithms used to do so) to the concrete (creating programs that run smoothly on mobile devices, are user-friendly, and adhere to security measures).

    Computer Science vs Cyber Security [Comparison Table]

    Cyber SecurityComputer Science
    • Asset Management and identification. 
    • Risk Management. 
    • Access Management. 
    • Threat Management. 
    • Security Controls. 
    • Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity. 
    • Incident Management. 
    • Security Education, Training, and Awareness

    • Computer programming 
    • Computer organization 
    • Data structures and Algorithms 
    • Programming languages 
    • Operating systems 
    • Problem-solving. 

    Job descriptionProtecting systems and data from intrusions.Understanding how computers work and developing software.
    Learning Path
    1. Basics of IT systems and Networks. 
    2. Basics of networking traffic, security, and communication principles. 
    3. Data decryption and encryption. 
    4. Web apps. 
    5. Common security frameworks like OWASP, MITRE ATT&CK, STRIDE, CVSS

    • Programming in any language. 
    • Computer Architecture. 
    • Data Structures and Algorithms. 
    • Math for CS. 
    • Operating Systems. 
    • Computer Networking. 
      • Databases. 
      • Languages and Compilers. 
      • Distributed Systems

    Career options
    • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity. 
    • BS in Information Technology with a Concentration in Cybersecurity. 
    • BS in Computer Science with a Cybersecurity Concentration. 
    • BS in Information Assurance. 
    • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a Focus on Cybersecurity.

    • Bachelor of Engg. (BE) or Bachelor of Technology (B Tech) (4 years) 
    • Bachelor of Science in CS (BSc) (3 years) 

    Courses and Certifications  
    • CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) 
    • GIAC Certified Incident Handler (CIH) 
    • CISA: Certified Information Systems Auditor 
    • SSCP: Systems Security Certified Practitioner 
    • ECSA: EC-Council Certified Security Analyst 
    • GSEC: GIAC Security Essentials 
    • CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) 
    • CompTIA Security+ 
    • CISM: Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

    • Full Stack Web Development course 
    • Python Programming 
    • Machine Learning 
    • Data Analytics 
    • Block Chain 
    • Database Engg. 
    • Cloud certifications 

    • Cybersecurity Fundamentals 
    • Computer Science 
    • Network Fundamentals 
    • Database 
    • Math for cybersecurity

    • Programming 
    • Databases and Operating Systems 
    • Math for computer science 
    • Algorithm Development

    Job roles
    • Security Analyst 
    • Security Auditor 
    • Penetration tester 
    • Security Software Developer 

    • Software developers 
    • Database Administrator 
    • Computer Hardware Engineer 
    • Web Developers 
    • Computer Programmer  
    • Computer Systems Analysts

    SalaryAvg 4.85 LPA (In India)Avg 6.83 LPA (In Inda)
    • Scripting 
    • Controls and frameworks 
    • Intrusion detection 
    • Network security control 
    • Operating systems 
    • Incident response 
    • Cloud 
    • DevOps 
    • Threat knowledge 
    • Critical thinking 

    • Programming skills 
    • Data Structures and Algorithms  
    • Basic web development 
    • Open-source contribution. 
    • Machine Learning. 
    • Make a very basic operating system. 
    • Computer Hardware 
    • Computer networks work. 
    • Basics of security, vulnerabilities, and cryptography

    Ease of getting a jobVery likelyVery likely

    Cyber Security Degree vs Computer Science Degree: Course Comparison 

    Cyber Security Degree

    Students who specialize in cybersecurity will be prepared for internet security, risk compliance, security awareness, taking ethical decisions into consideration, and risk assessment for a particular sector.

    You could take the following cybersecurity courses as part of your degree program:

    • Cyber Policy, Law, and Privacy Compliance: In this course, students learn about the legal guidelines relating to privacy and cyber security as well as how to put these guidelines into practice while creating an organization's security configuration.
    • Database Design and Security: This course often covers database design, which is the foundation of most software, and security, illustrating how defects in a database could result in security breaches.
    • Cryptography: Students take a course on cryptography in which they learn about authentication, public keys, and secure data transfer methods.
    • Network Security: Students will learn how to construct a secure network, including protocols, privacy, and access control, in this course on network security.

    Computer Science Degree 

    Computer science makes students comfortable dealing with applications, software, and computer development.

    Here are some computer science courses that could be part of your course:

    • Introduction to Computer Systems: Students in this introductory course learn the fundamentals of computer hardware and software engineering's, such as virtual memory, threading, and file systems.
    • Data Structures and Algorithms: This course examines the theory and application of algorithms to solve computing problems, including greedy algorithms and search algorithms.
    • Software Engineering: This course allows students to apply their knowledge of computer systems to design and test software systems, frequently covering topics such as information engineering and path testing.
    • Data Analysis: This course covers probability and statistics, with a focus on distributions, hypothesis testing, and modeling.

    Cyber Security vs Computer Science Degree: Responsibilities 

    Cybersecurity is a highly specific field that deals with computer and information security, whereas computer science is concerned with the general study of computers and computational issues. In that cybersecurity is a particular branch of computer science, the fields of computer science and cybersecurity are related.

    Computer scientists research theoretical and abstract computing-related issues. In actual practice, they create, assemble, and manage computer systems and software to address issues and produce particular outcomes.

    Cybersecurity is a branch of computer science concerned with the protection of computers and digital systems. Cybersecurity professionals typically protect company systems, software, and data from online threats.

    Cyber Security vs. Computer Science: Career Options 

    Cyber Security: 

    A bachelor’s degree in cyber security requires 4 years of full-time study. Numerous bachelor's degrees with a cybersecurity specialization are available to students. Below, we compare various bachelor's degrees in cybersecurity.

    • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity: An information security foundation is provided through this degree. Students gain knowledge about how to assess network vulnerabilities, safeguard data from cyberattacks, and comprehend information security law. Information security analysts, chief information security officers, and security administrators are among the professions that someone with a BS in cybersecurity could pursue.
    • BS in Information Technology with a Concentration in Cybersecurity: A cybersecurity-focused BS in IT places a strong emphasis on networking and security. Graduates are qualified for positions like web developer or IT manager.
    • BS in Computer Science with a Cybersecurity Concentration: A bachelor's degree in computer science with a cybersecurity specialization helps students advance their knowledge of programming, data science, and software engineering. Graduates pursue positions like chief information security officer, manager of computer and information systems, and information security analyst.
    • BS in Information Assurance: Graduates of a normal BS in information assurance pursue employment that is similar to those of graduates of a typical BS in cybersecurity.
    • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a Focus on Cybersecurity: This degree's general structure is a program in applied computing with a cybersecurity specialization (about 66 hours) followed by a liberal arts core (about 48–49 hours). Students can anticipate learning cybersecurity fundamentals, digital forensics, and cyber protection in addition to critical thinking and technology ethics.

    After completing a bachelor’s degree, you can pursue a master’s in the same field.

    Computer Science: 

    A computer science bachelor’s degree requires 3 to 4 years of study. The following courses are available for anyone who passed 12th/junior college in India with PCM (Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics) as their subjects.

    • B.E. / B. Tech (4 years): A four-year undergraduate degree called B.E. / B.Tech in computer science offers specializations in computer system technology and programming languages. The goal of the course is to provide candidates with the necessary abilities in the many fields of computer application, research, and development, as well as computer programming.
    • BSc (3 years): The three-year undergraduate BSc Computer Science degree, also known as BSc CS, covers the studies and themes associated with computer science, computer applications, and their services.

    One can pursue a master’s in MSc or M.Tech programs after completing BSc or B.E. / B. Tech, respectively.

    Cyber Security vs Computer Science: Certifications 

    Cyber Security: 

    1. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) 

    The CEH certification evaluates applicants based on the techniques used by IT professionals and businesses. It also provides hands-on experience with security threats and appropriate responses to malicious attacks.

    • Certification Cost(starting): INR 35,000 to 40,000 - EC-Council (CEH)

    2. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) 

    The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification from ISACA signifies knowledge of information security governance, program development and management, incident management, and risk management.

    • Certification Cost(starting): INR 45,700 for members; INR 60,400 for non-members. 

    3. CompTIA Security+ 

    The first security certification a candidate should obtain is CompTIA Security+. It establishes the basic knowledge required for any cybersecurity role and serves as a steppingstone to intermediate-level cybersecurity positions.  

    • Certification Cost(starting): INR 30,500 

    4. CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) 

    The CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) certification is a vendor-neutral credential that validates advanced-level cybersecurity skills and knowledge globally.  

    • Certification Cost(starting): INR 38,100 

    5. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) 

    Earning the CISSP validates your ability to design, implement, and manage a world-class cyber security program. With a CISSP, you validate your knowledge and become an (ISC)2 member, gaining access to a variety of exclusive resources, educational tools, and peer-to-peer networking opportunities. 

    • Certification Cost(starting): INR 60,000 

    6. EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA):  

    The ECSA certification is an initiative that builds on previous certifications such as the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). It is a certification that teaches cybersecurity professionals advanced security techniques and Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT) methodologies. 

    • Certification Cost(starting): INR 40,000 

    7. Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP):  

    Offensive Security's OSCP is an ethical hacking certification. This certification validates a professional's understanding of penetration testing methodologies using tools included in the Kali Linux distribution. 

    • Certification Cost(starting): INR 80,000  

    Computer Science: 

    1. Full-stack web development course 

    It refers to the creation of both the front-end (client side) and back-end (server side) components of a web application.  

    • Certification Cost(starting): INR 40,000 to 50,000 

    2. Python Programming 

    Python is a programming language used to build web and software, automate tasks, and analyze data. Python is a general programming language, that it can be used to create a wide range of programs and is not problem specific. 

    • Certification Cost(starting): INR 5500 to 7000 

    3. Machine Learning 

    Machine learning is a modern innovation that has improved a wide range of industrial and professional processes, as well as our daily lives. It is a subset of artificial intelligence (AI) that focuses on developing intelligent computer systems that can learn from available databases using statistical techniques. 

    • Certification Cost(starting): INR 17,000 to 22,000 

    4. Data Analytics 

    Individuals and organizations can benefit from data analytics. Raw data is typically analyzed by data analysts in search of insights and trends. They utilize a variety of tools and techniques to assist organizations in making decisions and succeeding.  

    • Certification Cost(starting): INR 11,000 to 14,200 

    5. Blockchain 

    Blockchain is a method of storing data that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system. A blockchain is essentially a digital ledger of transactions that is reproduced and distributed across the blockchain's entire network of computer systems. 

    • Certification Cost(starting): Around INR 18,500 

    6. Database Engineering 

    A database engineer is someone who creates and manages databases for a business or organization. This involves designing and building databases for specific purposes. The database engineer is also responsible for installing and configuring the database. The database engineer must ensure that the databases are secure and work properly. 

    • Certification Cost(starting): INR 4700 to 18,000 

    Cyber Security vs Computer Science: Curriculum

    Cyber Security: 

    You can obtain your bachelor's degree online if you currently hold an associate degree in computer security, are employed in the IT industry, or require a flexible learning environment.  

    The cybersecurity curriculums broke down into the following: 

    • Cybersecurity Fundamentals: Understanding the establishment and maintenance of cybersecurity. Learn about the tools, methods, and devices that are used to build a successful "cybersecurity" curriculum. 
    • Computer Science: Knowledge of programming, how computer systems are built, and how to maintain security throughout the software development life cycle. 
    • Network Fundamentals: As a cybersecurity professional, you should understand how networks work, how they are built, and what to look for in networks. Gain a broad understanding of network security. 
    • Database: Working knowledge of how databases work, what they are used for, how to build a database, and how to best secure databases. 
    • Math for cybersecurity: Precalculus, calculus, statistics, and cryptography are all required. 

    Computer Science: 

    Students who major in computer science are prepared to work with applications, software, and computer development. 

    The Computer Science Curriculum is broken down into the following: 

    • Programming: Understanding how various programming languages work, how they are used, and having a working knowledge of the underlying methods for successfully developing programs. 
    • Databases and Operating Systems: How databases work, what they're used for, connecting and utilizing databases, and a working knowledge of how operating systems work and how they're used 
    • Math for computer science: Linear algebra, calculus, analytic geometry, and statistics are all covered. 
    • Algorithm Development: How algorithms work, how they are created, what they are used for, and how to create personal algorithms for specific tasks are all covered. 

    Cyber Security vs Computer Science: Job Roles 

    Cyber Security: 

    1. Security Analyst: Cyberthreat detection and prevention is the responsibility of the security analyst. In a Security Operations Center (SOC), a security analyst frequently serves as an incident responder's subordinate. Security analysts investigate and report on erratic network activity. 
    2. Security Auditor: An individual who examines the reliability and efficiency of security components is a security auditor. Security auditors examine the resources, processes, and structures of an organization to produce a report on the efficiency, compliance, and general security of a system. 
    3. Penetration tester: A penetration tester searches for vulnerabilities in web-based systems, applications, and networks. The main objective of penetration testers is to use legal hacking to assist a corporation in enhancing security. 
    4. Security Software Developer: Security software developers develop, scan, and harden a system's code using secure software development techniques. Developers of security software, sometimes known as "DevOps," are capable of creating programs and implementing the greatest security measures in place for a system. 

    Computer Science: 

    1. Software developers: Software developers are in charge of designing programs that perform specified functions, from the early phases of creation to ongoing software maintenance. The computer programming languages used to write and develop the code are second nature to software developers. 
    2. Database Administrator: They assess, examine, and organize data so that it is understandable and practical for users. Data resources are created, enhanced, and stored by database administrators. 
    3. Computer Hardware Engineer: They design, create, and test physical computer components including circuit boards. Engineers of computer hardware must be enthusiastic learners who design hardware that support the newest applications. 
    4. Web Developers: Web Developers create information-based resources via building websites, as web developers. Web developers create a website's technological framework and maximize users and page views. A web developer may specialize in front-end, back-end, or full-stack developer. 
    5. Computer Programmer: Like software developers, computer programmers create the code necessary to make the software they create work. To increase the quantity and retention of languages learned, computer programmers must comprehend the logic and structure of programming. 
    6. Computer Systems Analysts: They evaluate an organization's computer systems and suggest modifications to the hardware and software. In contrast to business systems analysts, computer systems analysts evaluate a company's computing infrastructure. 

    Cyber Security vs Computer Science: Salary

    Cyber Security Salary in US and India 

    Based on Experience

    • Average cyber security salary in the US - $88,325 to $164,861 per year 
    • Median average cyber security salary in the US - $117,058 per year  
    • The average salary for a security engineer - is $119,981 per year. 
    • The average salary for a senior security engineer - $230,801 per year 

    In India, years of experience are very important in establishing a cyber security engineer's remuneration.  

    An entry-level security engineer can make an average of INR 3.9 Lakh per year, according to PayScale's data. However, a security engineer with more than 10 years of expertise might easily make more than INR 20 lakh per year.  

    A high income of around INR 10 lakh can also be earned by those with intermediate experience. To advance to the desired position and forge a successful cyber security career in India, one needs to possess the necessary years of experience in addition to regularly upskilling and remaining current with industry standards. 

    Based on the job

    JobAverage Salary
    Systems Administrator$79,990
    Programmer Analyst$81,334
    Systems Analyst$81,970
    Security Analyst$92,552
    Network Engineer$100,000
    Security Engineer$119,981
    Chief Information Security Officer$230,801

    Based on Location

    A cyber security analyst's salary largely varies with the location in which they are working. The average salaries of cyber security analysts in some countries are- 

    US LocationAverage Salary per year
    West Virginia$148,500
    New York$124,933
    North Carolina$110,000
    New Mexico$100,213
    Rhode Island$44,000

    Computer Science Salary in US and India 

    1. Based on experience

    The average base salary for a computer scientist in the US - is $106,012 per year 

    • 0–1 year: $68,000 
    • 1–4 years: $78,000 
    • 5–9 years: $100,000 
    • 10–19 years: $110,000 
    • 20+ years: $121,000 

    Your experience will play the most role in establishing your computer science salary in India. Your salary rises in line with your level of experience in this sector. Freshmen in computer science make roughly INR 6 Lakh per year (less than one year of experience). Professionals in computer science with one to four years of expertise make about INR 14 Lakh annually. 

    Your income would significantly increase at this point as you gain experience. The average annual salary for computer scientists with five to nine years of work experience is INR 21 Lakh. With more expertise, you might earn up to INR 30 lakh annually, which is the highest income in India for computer science. 

    Like most professions, experience is a major factor in salary. With enough experience, you might also pursue managerial and leadership positions in your sector. 

    2. Based on the job

    JobAverage Salary per year
    Computer programmers$93,000
    Database architects$98,860
    Computer systems analysts$99,270
    Information security analysts$102,600
    Computer network architects$120,520
    Computer and information systems managers$159,010

    Computer Science vs Cyber Security Skills 

    Cyber security specialists may spend their days researching networks, putting up firewalls, evaluating security systems, and reporting on data breaches. A computer science expert, on the other hand, might concentrate on creating new features for software, database management, or web development. 

    In a Nutshell: 

    Cyber securityComputer Science
    BasicsProtecting devices and data from attackers.Development of software, applications, and systems.
    RequirementsBasics of programming, Web apps, and networks.Basic high school math and science.
    Learning Path
    • BS (3 years) in Cyber Security.
    • Master’s (2 years) is optional.
    • B. Tech (4 years) or BSc (3 years) in CS.
    • Master’s (2 years) is optional.

    Similarities Between Cyber Security and Computer Science

    Graduates from both programs work in rapidly expanding fields. According to the BLS, employment of cybersecurity professionals is expected to grow 32% between 2018 and 2028, while demand for computer scientists is expected to grow 16% during the same period. Both career paths require a high level of technical and computing knowledge in areas such as networks, cloud computing, and mobile computing. 

    Cybersecurity is increasingly becoming a core component of business rather than just an IT responsibility. This emphasis on cybersecurity is due to new factors that can reveal an organization's data, such as employee breaches, insufficient firewalls, third-party data sharing, and external attacks. 

    Benefits of Cyber Security and Computer Science Degree

    Cyber Security degree 

    • Job security. 
    • High pay. 
    • Fast growing as compared to other sectors. 
    • Abundant financial incentives for Cybersecurity Students. 
    • A unique way to make a change in today’s world. 
    • Meaningful and Vitally Important. 

    Check out these Cyber security courses - KnowledgeHut top cyber security courses  

    Computer Science degree 

    • Guaranteed Job. 
    • Good pay. 
    • Choice of field i.e., Web Dev, Software Dev, etc. 
    • Global opportunities. 
    • Develop transferable skills. 
    • More universally accepted. 
    • Unlock your Creative side. 

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    Which is Better - Computer Science or Cyber Security?

    As previously said, of the two degrees, computer science is the more "scalable" and universally "recognized." Computer science has historically included cybersecurity and still does. The concept of "cybersecurity" undergraduate programs has been able to obtain fresh awareness as more undergraduate cybersecurity programs are pushed into the market each year.

    Specific IT Security certifications can replace undergraduate cybersecurity degrees and are frequently more valuable.

    If you learn about I.T., Making the shift to security as an intriguing industry to explore later in your career may be simpler thanks to I.T. security credentials.

    Even while a college education is crucial and will aid in securing the kind of job that best fits your interests, remember that switching careers is always an option, particularly when moving from computer science to cybersecurity.

    In light of this, I advise students to major in computer science unless they have a strong interest in cybersecurity and have used self-teaching as a tool to explore their options.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1Do cyber security jobs pay more than computer science jobs?

    Information security analysts receive a median pay of $103,590, while computer and information research scientists make an average compensation of $126,830, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The annual pay for jobs in computer science and cyber security varies, nevertheless, according to experience, educational background, employer, and location.

    2Is cyber security easier than computer science?

    Global cyber security. Security is a subfield of computer science that you can enter using the technical expertise you acquire from computer science occupations, but you can enter cyber more quickly. It is also more difficult to enter the field of computer science if a computer can be secured.

    3Is a computer science degree necessary for cyber security?

    No. A degree in computer science can also open up a wide range of career options in cyber security, including security engineers, security architects, security administrators, chief information security officers, security consultants, intrusion detection specialists, and penetration testers. But in no way is it necessary for a career in cyber security.


    Yash Shendge


    A Cyber Security Professional and Web Developer, Yash Shendge, holds 3 Years+ of remarkable experience as an author at KnowledgeHut upGrad and Cyber Security Consultant at RamoGnee Technologies. He has been securing and managing more than 100 clients and businesses in the field of cyber security.

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