Cyber security, or information security, is quickly becoming a popular major for many students. This is not surprising, because according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security jobs are growing “much faster than average” and the median salary is over $100,000 per year.
If you are passionate about technology and enjoy problem solving, cybersecurity could be a great career pathway for you. Keep on reading to learn more about cybersecurity scholarships to pay for your education! We’ve included a variety of cybersecurity scholarships for those studying in undergraduate, graduate, or other certification programs.
Jump ahead to…
- How to win cybersecurity scholarships
- Need-based financial aid for cybersecurity students
- Frequently asked questions
- Explore these additional scholarship categories
How to win cybersecurity scholarships
Now that you’ve got some great opportunities to apply to, it’s time to begin thinking about your applications. While many students will immediately dive into essay-writing, we suggest a different approach. Before you start your essays, you can benefit from taking some time for reflection. Sit down and jot down the first things that come to your mind when you consider the following questions:
- What inspired me to study cybersecurity?
- Which of my accomplishments speak to the skills that would make me an effective cybersecurity professional?
- What career goals do I have in the field of cybersecurity?
- Where do I see myself in my career ten years from now?
- What is my dream job?
Remember, you don’t have to worry about making the answers to these questions readable or succinct. You can even jot them down in bullet points. The point of the exercise is to get some perspective without the added pressures of writing a strong essay. That way, once you have your material sorted out, it’ll be easier to write the essays later on.
Resources for writing a great scholarship essay
- How to write an essay about yourself
- Tailoring your essays to fit 250 and 500 word limits
- How to respond to “Why do you deserve this scholarship?” prompts
- How to start a scholarship essay
Need-based financial aid for cybersecurity students
If you are a current or prospective cybersecurity student, you may also qualify for need-based financial aid through your college or through the government. There are two major financial aid applications you should know about:
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (or FAFSA) which is how students can access financial aid through the government. This financial aid can include federal student loans, Federal SEOG Grants, and Pell Grants. CSS Profile which is how some colleges and universities award institutional financial aid.
You should check-in with your college to see what applications are required for need-based financial aid! If you are enrolling in a certificate program, make sure to contact your school to see what financial aid opportunities are available.
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Frequently asked questions about cybersecurity scholarships
Does Microsoft give out cybersecurity scholarships?
Microsoft has partnered with Last Mile Education to offer a cybersecurity scholarship program. It covers emergency financial assistance or the cost of certification exams. Notably, it is only available for those studying at community colleges or vocational schools; students in a bachelor’s or master’s program cannot apply. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Do I need a college degree for cybersecurity?
You do not need a college degree for cybersecurity. There are a wide variety of cybersecurity jobs out there, some of which only require certificates or a 2-year degree. However, many higher-paying cybersecurity jobs do require a bachelor’s, and some even require a master’s. That being said, you can certainly break into the field without a four-year college degree.
What type of degree should I get for cybersecurity?
Many bachelor’s degree holders who work in cybersecurity major in fields such as computer science, information technology, or cybersecurity. That being said, there is some flexibility, and they can compliment their degree with certificates and other credentials. Many cybersecurity professionals don’t hold a bachelor’s at all, and instead get their credential through a certificate program.
Explore these additional scholarship categories
- Top computer science scholarships
- Top coding bootcamp scholarships
- Easy scholarships to apply for
- Top STEM scholarships
- Top scholarships for women
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