Cyber Security vs Computer Science: What’s the difference?

By : TechnoEdge Learning July 4, 2022

In a world full of technology, choosing a career is a much bigger decision than it used to be. There are hundreds of new job opportunities thanks to computers and software, and since the industry is advancing and changing by the minute, the options are truly endless when it comes to learning new software skills. As our entire lives rely on technology, you will never go wrong with advancing your computer skills. The tricky part is narrowing down the choices of what to specialize in. What is the difference in different tech industries? Is a long four-year degree a path you want to take, or are there other options to skip that amount of school and still gain a valuable education? What else can you do to learn transferable skills to use in the workforce? The good news is that there are a lot of other options out there that are not as costly or time-consuming, such as specialized courses that you can start immediately, which teach you similar and more direct skills in the same industry.  

Let us start by comparing two shared areas of technology, Computer Science versus Cyber Security. Technically a more specialized field of IT, cyber security focuses on cyber-crimes, digital attacks, and security software. This is a growing problem in our world and an important aspect of computer science. Learn more about the details of both below. 

Computer science: 

Definition: The study of principles and use of computers and computing. This includes methods of processing information in digital computers, hardware and data, theoretical and algorithmic foundations, and applications and software. More information here. 

Education: The study of computer science is overly broad and involves a lot of information and aspects. There is more emphasis on the programming side of IT. Typically a four-year degree program, this is a universally recognized degree giving an entry-level knowledge base for any computer scientist. A good basis, but would be best paired with further specialization to grow in the industry. 

Curriculum: A mixture of computer programming courses, theory, discrete mathematics,  operating systems, computer architecture, networking, security, user experience design, software engineering, artificial intelligence, databases, etc. 

 Job options: Common jobs you can get with a Computer Science degree include: 

  • Computer programmer 
  • Software Developer 
  • Database Administrator 
  • Web Developer 
  • Computer Systems Analyst 
  • IT Project Manager 

Cyber Security: 

Definition: Cyber security is a system for information technology or IT that is designed to protect sensitive information and critical systems from digital threats and attacks by foreign software or hackers. As technology is used every day down to our home security systems, saved passwords, or personal banking, we are always at risk for digital security breaches. Cyber security is what keeps sensitive information and network systems and applications safe. More information here. 

Education: Cybersecurity is a critical component of computer science and an integral constituent of the function and protection of all computer software. Understanding the fundamentals behind computing and IT development is the basis of understanding cybersecurity. Cyber security is more specialized than computer science, and many people with a computer science degree end up getting certified anyway. There are no pre-requisites for most Cybersecurity courses, and certification can land you a job within the industry. 

  TechnoEdge has three different partnerships specializing in different areas of cyber security: CompTIA Courses, PECB Courses, and Arcitura Courses. When considering which route might be the best choice for you, this blog post is extremely helpful in explaining what skills you would get from each. 

Curriculum: Completely online-based, cybersecurity courses are manageable for anyone with little to no knowledge in the field. The courses offered at TechnoEdge Learning are flexible self-paced cyber security and IT courses that will maximize your engagement and create measurable results. Our educational leaders are knowledgeable professionals in their fields, and the skills in these courses prepare students to pass certification exams and level up their careers. 

 Job options: There are many types of careers in cyber security, such as: 

  • Information Security Analyst 
  • Network or Systems Administrator 
  • Cyber Security Engineer 
  • Penetration Tester 
  • Read more here 

Similarities and Differences 

Among the two high-demand computer technology areas, computer science is the general study of everything IT-related and gives a broad knowledge of computer programing, and cyber security is the art of protecting networks, data and devices from unauthorized access or criminal behavior, teaching you how to navigate security systems and networks. Both project a high rate of employment in the future with the option of corporate careers, although there is a potential of a specialized position paying more. You will end up going to school longer for a broader education in computer science, and a find shorter more narrowed learning experience with cyber security. They both offer exciting in-demand careers. 

At the end of the day, you must consider how much time you want to spend on schooling, what type of flexibility you need to make the courses work with your lifestyle, the cost, and what you eventually want to end up doing with it. If you already know that you feel a specialization is where you want to end up, it is worth considering a course associated with that to kick start the learning as soon as possible to propel you towards that career. 


Written by Ashley Fazekas 


The information contained in this post is considered true and accurate as of the publication date. However, the accuracy of this information may be impacted by changes in circumstances that occur after the time of publication. TechnoEdge Learning assumes no liability for any error or omissions in the information contained in this post or any other post in our blog.

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