Cybercrime has become such a major global issue that many universities are now offering full degrees in the field. Covering everything from corporate security to military cyberwarfare, it’s an area of study that has a lot of students investigating it as a viable career choice.

Many individuals’ knowledge of cybercrimes extends to what they see on popular television shows or movies, but cybersecurity is one of the specialties in which the fantasy and the reality tend to line up fairly well. Unlike shoot-‘em-up action movies in which the heroes get away with insane tactics that would never work in the real world, the computer capabilities required to catch internet criminals are fairly straightforward but still require a complex working understanding of technology.

What makes this area of computer science so appealing is its multipronged approach. Not only is this a career field that is currently in high demand, it’s also one that speaks to a wide variety of backgrounds.

Some students will approach cybersecurity from a law enforcement standpoint, such as forensic investigations of internet crimes, while others will work in the corporate or retail sectors, helping to ensure the safety of corporate assets, consumer information, and more. Even more appealing, it’s a field where the technology is always changing and the “bad guys” are constantly adapting and finding new ways to hack into computer systems, meaning cybersecurity specialists are constantly learning, evolving, and staying on their toes. There’s no such thing as the same old thing when it comes to taking down cryptocriminals.

Since this degree field is so new, many businesses are going directly to the universities with their cybersecurity issues, meaning students in this particular field get hands-on educational opportunities; these opportunities result in real world knowledge and experience, but more importantly, they can result in building a broad networking base before you even graduate.

More importantly, many students who go into cybersecurity fields can see the effects of their work immediately. With identity theft, online fraud, internet black marketing, and even horrific crimes like underground networks of drug and human trafficking continuing to rise, these digital investigators can make a real difference in stopping some of the millions of reported crimes each year.

So where do you begin looking for a reputable university with a highly respected degree program in cybersecurity? The internet, of course.

As with any degree field, you need to do a little homework to ensure that your hard work and investment result in a respected degree that can help open doors to a career. Look for proven track records of employment after graduation, courses taught by well-known experts in cybercrime and computer science, and universities that have ongoing relationships with the corporate and law enforcement sectors.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to consider taking part in the Identity Theft Resource Center’s Anyone3 fundraising campaign.  For more information or to donate please visit http://www.idtheftcenter.org/anyone-3.