Cybersecurity Student Resources, Scholarships, and Support Services
From student services at your school to big private scholarships, learn where to get key support for your cybersecurity degree and future career.
Last Updated: 11/25/2020
Students studying cybersecurity enjoy a positive job outlook in an industry that continues to see growth. Enrolling in an accredited program is a great way to launch your career, but you still need solid support and financial aid to graduate on time and get into the job market.
Designed for current or prospective cybersecurity students in need of assistance, this guide details where to find direct support and viable financial aid. It looks at professional networking and career advancement opportunities, recommends study tools and other resource guides, and lists more than 15 scholarships available to cybersecurity students. With information like this at your fingertips, you’ll be on your way to a fulfilling career where you can make a difference.
Campus and Online Support Resources for Cybersecurity Students
Finishing college and starting your cybersecurity career can be challenging, but there are a number of useful tools out there if you know where to look. Most schools offer support resources designed to help on-campus and online students before, during, and after their studies. This section looks at some of those resources and discusses how you can leverage them for academic and professional success. Learn where to find the support you need, when you need it.
University Student Support Centers and Services
School and program-based resources are the first place to look. They tend to provide the most effective forms of assistance because they tailor their services to meet the demands specific to the program. The schools listed below do this through campus student centers, cybersecurity student support services, academic advising and counseling, and assistive technology. These resources are available to students at any time during their studies and even after graduation. Taking full advantage of these services can ensure that your cybersecurity studies get you on the cutting edge.
Green River College
California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB)
Articles, Videos, and Podcasts for Cybersecurity Students and Professionals
Day in the Life of a Cybersecurity Student This short YouTube video details a typical day for students studying cybersecurity. It offers a useful glimpse into study habits, class schedules, peer interaction, and other program specifics.
Risky Business Delivered weekly since 2007, this podcast delves into industry news, commentary, and other cybersecurity developments. Episodes include interviews with experts, discussions of new technology, and timely topics such as ransomware and recent hacks.
Security Now Hosted by tech experts Leo Laporte and Steve Gibson, this award-winning podcast looks at internet security, information safety, and other concerns related to cybersecurity. Access the vast archive and or the new episodes posted each week.
What Can I Do with a Cybersecurity Degree? Our guide looks at some of the professional possibilities for graduates with a degree in cybersecurity. It lists common career paths, discusses industries in need of cybersecurity professionals, and links to additional resources.
Why Study Cybersecurity? Published by Rasmussen College, this article examines some of the top reasons to enter the cybersecurity industry. It also details job outlook data, education options, and cybersecurity specialties for students to consider.
Cybersecurity Professional Associations and Student Organizations
Center for Internet Security This organization advances internet security and threat assessment, with a goal of making the connected world safer. It maintains local and regional affiliates, gathers cutting-edge research, and keeps an extensive database of videos and webinars.
Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) An international nonprofit founded in 1982, the ISSA advances individual growth in cybersecurity through networking, collaboration, and education. Members access local and international meetings, seminars, e-newsletters, and journals to stay up to date. Student membership is available.
National Cybersecurity Alliance This organization empowers professionals in their efforts to create a safer digital world. Major efforts include Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Data Privacy Day, and a campaign called Stop. Think. Connect.
National Cybersecurity Student Association (NCSA) With hundreds of local chapters across the country, this association supports cybersecurity students through webcasts, internships, conferences, competitions, and other events.
SANS Institute A major training and certification resource, the SANS Institute has a massive repository of education resources and provides professional development programs. Its resources can be used to supplement traditional courses of study.
Cybersecurity Social Media and Online Communities
Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, SaaS, Data Centre and Virtualization Group Over 580,000 LinkedIn users gather in this space to discuss cybersecurity issues and expand their professional network. Recent discussion topics include new data protection and information safety challenges, technology architecture, and edge computing.
CSIAC Cybersecurity Forum Sponsored by the Cybersecurity & Information Systems Information Analysis Center, this forum focuses on discussions of scientific and technical information. . It includes over 2,000 actively updated threads on current issues.
Cybersecurity Facebook Group With nearly 60,000 members, this group centers on industry discussion, job openings, informational videos, and other resources. Many of the threads deal with certifications available to cybersecurity professionals.
NCSA on Twitter The National Cybersecurity Student Association maintains this Twitter account to disseminate recent news and research. You’ll find links to useful resources, such as digital events, coding opportunities, and data privacy techniques.
r/Cybersecurity This subreddit has over 190,000 active users who discuss cybersecurity education, career prospects, and the future of the field. Recent threads cover resume advice, network modeling, expert interviews, and professional certification.
Support Resources for Students in Online Cybersecurity Programs
As online learning continues to grow, more and more student resources crop up for cybersecurity students. Program listings, training tools, new technologies, and research techniques can all support your online educational progress. They can also help you deepen your competencies as a cybersecurity professional, making you an even more valuable employee. Learn more as you explore the resources below.
Ten Netiquette Needs for the Online Classroom In this piece we discuss online learning with an emphasis on students new to the environment. The guide looks at some resources to support your learning and popular tools and technologies that can help you be successful.
CERIAS Tools and Resources Purdue University’s Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security maintains this resource repository. It includes a number of training tools for students, including open-source software models and an extensive software archive.
CompTIA Cybersecurity Portal CompTIA administers certifications to cybersecurity and information assurance professionals. This portal houses resources that detail core concepts, popular career options, and key credentials often required by employers.
Cybersecurity Research Guide The University of Maryland hosts this comprehensive research guide for cybersecurity students. With links to important databases, background literature, and eBooks, cybersecurity students will be equipped to dive into many pertinent topics.
Guide to Online Cybersecurity Degrees and ProgramsLoaded with data, our guide looks at what to expect from a typical online program in cybersecurity and lists popular course offerings. It ranks top schools, outlines different degree types and certificates, and details common learning objectives.
College-Sponsored Scholarships in Cybersecurity
Tuition and other college-related expenses can add up, leaving many students to wonder how they will finance their cybersecurity education. Financial aid can help offset the costs, with scholarships being particularly useful. Unlike loans, scholarships do not need to be repaid.
Below we highlight two schools that offer scholarships to cybersecurity students. Many schools offer similar opportunities. Your best bet is to contact your school’s financial aid office or cybersecurity program director. These school-based scholarships are the best place to begin your hunt for financial aid because they are specific to the program in question and usually have smaller applicant pools.
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Western Governors University
Private Scholarships for Cybersecurity Students
A number of cybersecurity scholarships are available beyond school or program-based awards. Nonprofits, businesses, government agencies, and other organizations are in need of well-qualified cybersecurity professionals, and scholarships are a good way to attract those future employees. Because these awards often see a larger pool of applicants, they tend to be more competitive than school-based scholarships.
How to Win a Cybersecurity Scholarship
Finding solid cybersecurity scholarship opportunities is only the first step of the process. You still need to submit a persuasive and competitive application package. Each award will ask for different requirements but most selection committees look for similar strengths and characteristics. Follow these tips to improve your chances of landing a scholarship.
- Tip #1: Proofread
Nothing is less desirable than a scholarship application riddled with typos and errors. Double- and triple-check everything before you submit. Ask a friend or family member to help you review the application and look for errors you miss.
- Tip #2: Locate solid recommenders
Effective letters of recommendation speak volumes. Try to locate recommenders who can assess your readiness for cybersecurity study and reach out to them early. Former teachers, mentors, and industry professionals will make the best candidates.
- Tip #3: Submit early
Try not to work right up to the deadline. Submitting your cybersecurity scholarship application early not only puts your mind at rest, but it also shows clear initiative and punctuality. This is especially true for scholarships with rolling deadlines.
- Tip #4: Assess your social media presence
This practice enhances your standing while also giving you a chance to practice key cybersecurity skills. Assume that scholarship committees will search for your social media profiles, so make sure your presence is appropriate and professional.
- Tip #5: Play to your strengths
If the scholarship asks for a personal essay, take that requirement very seriously. Be authentic and use it as an opportunity to describe what you bring to the table and how the award will help you achieve your goals.
More Ways to Get Help Paying for College as a Cybersecurity Student
Scholarships are the most effective and lucrative forms of financial aid. However, if you have a few scholarships but still need to cover other expenses there are additional opportunities available for cybersecurity students. Pursue these options with the same enthusiasm that you’re putting into your studies. Those diligent and careful efforts will pay off.
We discuss some of these other financial options in our comprehensive financial aid guide. They include student loans, tuition reimbursement (depending on your employer), and research fellowships or work-study placements (depending on the school and your education level). If you plan to put your cybersecurity degree to work in public service, you may qualify for student loan forgiveness in some cases. Delve into these guides to see what your options are.