Big Dreams! Part 2: Cyber-Security Ninja

Cyber Security

Does your teen already know what they want to do when they grow up?  They can probably make a career out of something that interests them now, but most teens I’ve worked with didn’t research different careers and degree requirements until they were almost finished with high school. If they didn’t take the right classes, they may feel like the career of their dreams might not be an option.  It’s easier to work a little harder when we have a clear goal, right? 

In this Big Dreams! blog series, I’ll pull together some basic information about interesting careers and the math courses a student will need to take in high school and college if they want to go for a Big Dream! career.

Does your child enjoy computer programming?  Are they curious, persistent, have a sense of duty, and care about justice?  Are they fascinated by those characters in movies and television shows that are hackers or security professionals saving the day?


They might have the right stuff to be a cyber security professional, too!

 Math Needed in High School:

They will need a high school diploma that includes successful completion of algebra 1, geometry, algebra 2, and another upper level mathematics course that has algebra 2 as a prerequisite.


Math Needed in College:

They will need a 4-year degree.  I found some degree programs for cyber security specifically, other programs that were called “completer” programs requiring students to have completed an associates degree or transfer credits from a 4-year college program. 

The mathematics required will vary depending on the university they attend.  It’s likely they will need to take a College Mathematics class which is probably a review of their algebra 1 and algebra 2 classes from high school.  Some programs may require a calculus class designed for non-math majors and a statistics class.  They may also need a class called Discrete Mathematics.  Discrete mathematics is an umbrella topic that includes the math of networks.    (Click here to see a list of the top schools for a cyber security degree.)


Potential Income & Job Growth

  • In 2017, the median income was reported to be $95,510 or $45.92 per hour.
  • The job growth until 2026 is estimated to be 28%. 


When I started researching these degree programs, I found that a student could choose a course of study designed for work in the cooperate world or could choose a degree program geared more towards law enforcement. 

Here is a list of different careers in cyber security:

  • Chief InfoSec Officer
  • Cryptographer
  • Forensics Expert
  • Incident Responder
  • Penetration Tester
  • Security Administrator
  • Security Analyst
  • Security Consultant
  • Security Director
  • Security Engineer
  • Security Manager
  • Security Software Developer
  • Security Specialist
  • Source Code Auditor
  • Vulnerability Assessor

In college, a cyber security major might take courses like these:

  • Computer Networks
  • Systems Programming
  • Network Security
  • Security Operations
  • Cultural Diversity Courses


This would be a challenging program and students will need to be disciplined,focused, have a strong work ethic, and a willingness to face and overcome obstacles.  These are skills learned in high school math courses, especially when the content becomes challenging. 


If your child is frustrated because they can’t figure out why they aren’t doing as well in math as they do in other classes, they probably have learning gaps in math.  This is normal and very common.  I can find and close those gaps.

 If your child is bored because they learn faster than the pace of their class,  I can design a program that will challenge them and deepen their understanding of the concepts to prepare them for upper level math courses.

Let’s help them make their Big Dreams a reality!




If you’re wondering if I might be the right tutor for your student in algebra 1, geometry, algebra 2, trigonometry, precalculus, or calculus, check out my FAQs, read a few testimonials, and contact me to see if I can help.  I’d love to talk with you about what’s going on and your hopes for your child this school year.

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