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

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

When you compare  Cyber security vs Computer Science there are more things to look at than ever. That is because computers are basic to almost every organization. Some may use the terms “Info Security” and “Cyber security” for each other. But while Cyber typically covers only information in cyber space. Computer Science tends to have a wider reach.

Comp Sci may be less specific but it is technical like Cyber security. It typically covers much more, though. In fact, even when you concentrate within a program, like software development, there is likely a lot of area to cover.

At the same time, Cyber security has its own perks. There are careers in many cases that may have a higher earning potential. There may be more job options to look into IT departments may employ many Comp Science grads.

Computer programming is one of the building blocks of Cyber Security. So, the two fields have a link to each other on many levels. There’s no way to learn Cyber Security without Comp Science. But it does not go both ways. You may function on a high level in Comp Science without using Cyber security at all. This is very evident when you explore their degree programs.

Computer Science vs. Cyber Security Bachelor’s Degree Curriculum Comparison

Computer Science may help set a base that Cyber security branches from. Students may need Comp Sci basics before they tackle the specifics. Thus, they have many things in common. The differences typically arise when students work to get into a specific field. If they choose Cyber security, the classes veer into that arena’s specifics. Other Comp Sci focus areas may not touch upon Cyber security matters at all.

In many cases, the same basic courses may be taken in order to earn a degree. The changes may not start to occur until upper level courses. The courses that focus on the area of study chosen.


Computer Science vs Cyber security degree programs may start with Communications, Math and Logic coursework. These form the base necessary for these fields. These classes in many cases are taken. What does happen however is most of the course work for Comp Sci may also be needed for Cyber. Almost all majors on a college level may need to have a set level of basic core classes. These are classes that are taken in the first year. This is the norm at many schools.

In the next phase, both fields take more tech courses. The start with classes like Programming, Languages, and Algorithm Analysis. These programs may also have requirements. Basics like Science, Engineering, and Humanities are standard. In many cases, electives may be taken.


A Computer Science degree generally has a broad focus. In Cyber security there is a more narrow focus. Actually, a bachelor’s degree specific to Cyber security is a Comp Sci concentration. Computer science programs sometimes do not even have cyber security courses. This has led to what experts call an “IT security skills gap.” In turn, the growing number of cyber security degree programs seek to fill this gap.

Still, graduates of Comp Sci programs may have a vast spectrum of opportunities in many fields. These include network security, operating systems, software engineering, penetration tester, or using programming languages. They may design computer programs or computer systems. Or they may solve computing challenges through cryptography and cloud computing. Some even invent new ways to use computers.

Computer Science vs. Cyber Security Master’s Degree Curriculum Comparison

Grad programs in both fields may take on both tech and policy views. That is because rapid advancements in information technology and security change daily. As they become more complex these areas may also get more critical to the business. There is a need and demand for both of the course plans. You may find that these programs may lead to other options as well.


Cyber security and Comp Sci Masters students both contain tech classes. This includes network programming as well as wireless, cloud, and mobile. Both programs often include corporate areas too. That means business and cyber law classes in many cases may be taken. There are many classes and areas that do cross over between the two major areas.

In many cases, you may need all of the classes required for a Comp Sci major as a basis for one in Cyber. To protect and secure a business from data breaches, you may need to know how it works. There are also theory courses in digital forensics and ethical hacking that you may need to take in order to complete this program. That’s because as a core component of a business, this work brings responsibility. As is the case with a bachelor degree in either of these programs, you may find similar classes on the lower level.


Security becomes more crucial every day. When the news reports a hack, that company may lose face with its clients. From employee mistakes to weak firewalls or external attacks; danger lurks all over in cyber space. Cyber threats are all around and are more common than ever. The master’s level may work with organization security.

Comp Sci, though, remains only in a company’s IT arena. Comp Sci Masters students may study a range of areas that include information systems and operating systems. They may also deal with program languages such as JAVA, Python, and SQL. Not so much for Cyber security. That concentration locks in on security focused classes. So, for example, classes for Cyber security at the grad level may include systems security, malware and cyber threats. That could also means courses on attack protection and prevention.

Computer Science vs. Cyber Security Career Paths

Some use the terms “Information Security” and “Cyber security” for each other. But Cyber security covers only information in cyber space. Still, those in Cyber security may develop and apply many security measures. These protect computer networks and systems for organizations. So, it is intrinsic to their business security.

This field of cyber security expands as critical, sensitive information online in data structures, or within networks increases. That means career options may increase as well. Cyber security program grads may often work for computer companies. Organizations might also hire them in IT departments, meaning, there may be a variety of potential careers to pursue as cyber security professionals.

Potential Careers with a Cyber Security Degree:

  • Information security analyst 
  • Information technology auditor 
  • Network architect 
  • Information security manager
  • IT security consultant
  • Computer Science Careers

Computer Sci is typically less specific than Cyber security but may still requires a specific skill set. But Comp Sci could also be quite technical as well. Many of the skills may be gained in Comp Sci.  In fact, people often interchange the term “Computer Science” with “Information Technology”. This is where we get the prevalent term “IT”.

Potential Careers with a Computer Science Degree:

  • Software developer
  • Systems analyst
  • Web designer
  • Data Scientist
  • Database administrator
  • Network systems administrator
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Computer programmers

Many of these tech jobs are at solid organizations and may involve project management and problem solving. After all, Computer Science and IT careers are not only for start ups these days. IT skills are a core necessity for many companies with any clout. For instance, O*net found that about a third of Computer Science jobs were in the federal government in 2016. Another perk for this field is the the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts median annual salary of about $122K.

 For instance, Cyber security job growth is projected by the BLS to be 31% between 2019 and 2029, which is much faster than average. Also, the predicted demand for computer scientists sits at 15% in that time frame as per the BLS. Both of these projections reveal much faster job market growth than average.