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Computer science, information technology students weigh in on cybersecurity certificate

Cybersecurity managers in New Jersey and elsewhere in the United States are looking for certain skills in prospective employees. Rutgers offers cybersecurity certificates to help students develop these skills. 

Katie Zhang, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, said the different certification skills are applicable to different careers.

“I think that it really depends on the job position. Some jobs may require certain certifications while others may not, but it would be a good plus to have and set you apart from other candidates,” Zhang said. “I think campus resources can provide information on certain certifications, but you could probably also research it online or talk to someone who is in the career of your choice.” 

Skyler Lee, a School of Engineering senior, said the different skills needed show the diversity in the job market for cybersecurity.

“The certifications would definitely include knowledge in things like computer science, computer engineering, networking security, things of that nature,” Lee said.  

Lee also said fields such as cryptology or data science are all important to cybersecurity as well, and different jobs offer extra benefits such as working for the government and obtaining security clearance. 

Jonathan Chao, a Rutgers alumnus, said the specific certifications are not as important as the degree itself.  

“In the tech field, most employers don't look for certain certifications beyond (a) bachelor's degree. Most students have access to a plethora of classes or certifications but they don't reach out to their academic advisors about it, which they totally should,” Chao said. 

Lillian Chen, a Rutgers alumna, also said students should make the most of the resources at the University.

“Have the students take a few cybersecurity classes at Rutgers and ask their professors for advice on what certification is best and most useful in the work field,” Chen said. “A lot of the information security professors have a lot of experience in the workforce and can definitely give good advice and steer one in the right direction.” 

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