With great salaries, high market demand, and opportunities to work in an ever-growing industry, computer science represents an excellent career choice. The profession is a pivotal part of the modern digital landscape and includes work with big data, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and advanced IT services.

Due to being a highly desirable vocation, computer science is quite a competitive field. That’s why it’s essential to learn the basics about the profession, particularly what to expect from BSc Computer Science jobs and salary.

This article will serve as an overview of the job profile and share the most important details. If you’re asking “Is BSc Computer Science worth it,” the answer at a glance is: yes. Let’s take a deeper look at the subject and see why.

BSc Computer Science Salary per Month

Getting info about BSc Computer Science salary is relatively easy. And the data is quite impressive: An average computer scientist in Germany earns more than €3,700 monthly. In Denmark, the salary is over €4,800, while French computer scientists earn just shy of €4,200.

The above numbers describes the average income of all computer scientists. When it comes to BSc Computer Science jobs salary, the mean figure is somewhat lower, but still nothing to scoff at.

Work experience is a massive factor here, so the pay will be lower for BSc Computer Science jobs for freshers. Salary averages in those cases are in the range of €3,000-€3,800 on a monthly level.

Moving away from general averages, a bachelors in computer science salary can vary significantly depending on numerous factors. The following is an overview of the crucial elements that may determine how much this job pays.

Factors Affecting Monthly Earnings

Salaries for BSc Computer Science jobs change according to four common variables that influence wages in every profession:

  • Location
  • Company Size
  • Experience
  • Industry

1. Location

It’s not surprising that the same job pays differently depending on location. Certain states offer higher salaries for computer scientists, with Switzerland, Denmark, and Norway being the leaders.

On the other hand, the lowest-paying countries for this profession include Ukraine, Poland, and Russia. The differences are staggering, particularly between specific areas.

For instance, if you work as a BSc computer scientist in Switzerland, you’ll likely earn double compared to your colleagues in Finland or Ireland. But if you’re in Ukraine, your salary will be about 60% lower than the German counterpart.

It’s worth noting that higher salaries account for living costs, which are higher in areas that offer a better monthly pay.

Of course, remote work has opened up more opportunities. As a BSc computer scientist, you can live in a low-cost area but earn your pay in a high-salary company.

2. Company size

Company size impacts employee salaries in every walk of life. Working as a computer scientist in Apple or Adobe will pay more than doing the same job in a startup or a small business.

Furthermore, a smaller company might not have the budget to fill all of the necessary IT roles. In such cases, a single employee might perform multiple tasks, sometimes acting as a one-person department.

In other words, a job in a small company could mean not only a smaller paycheck, but more work, too.

3. Experience

The number of years spent in a certain profession usually determines salary height, and this is no different when it comes to computer science. A computer scientist with over two decades of experience will likely fulfill a senior role and may earn, on average, a third more than a beginner.

4. Industry

Salary averages for BSc computer scientists don’t vary too much across industries. The highest overall pays are in high-profile IT companies like Adobe.

Interestingly, the National Institute of Health has a better average pay range, although the top wages here are about a sixth lower than in Adobe. However, the lowest salary in the institute is higher than its counterpart in the tech giant.

Jobs & Salary for BSc Computer Science Graduates

A BSc Computer Science graduate may take on several common job roles, regardless of the industry. Let’s review some of the most widespread jobs for this profile.

1. Software Developer

The job of a software developer is precisely what it sounds like: developing apps for computers and mobile devices. In addition, software developers also test existing apps.

For these BSc in computer science jobs, salary averages are about €4,500 monthly. Counted among the best jobs in the market, the software developer position is often described as a rewarding profession with high job satisfaction.

2. Systems Analyst

A systems analyst is tasked with analyzing an existing computer system and coming up with ways to improve it. The profession is also known as a system architect.

On average, systems analysts earn around €3,800 per month. These professionals reportedly work in pleasant environments and under satisfactory conditions. Thus, it’s no wonder that working as a system analyst comes with a higher job satisfaction.

3. Network Administrator

Network administrators have a vital role in every company. They’re tasked with installing and maintaining computer networks, which are often the foundation of a business.

The average monthly pay of a network administrator is similar to a systems analyst’s, in the neighborhood of €3,700. This job comes with relatively low stress and ranks higher in terms of job satisfaction.

4. Database Administrator

The responsibilities of a database administrator include systematic data organization and ensuring easy access to the said data. The job has cybersecurity elements, as well.

Database administrators are, on average, paid similarly to software developers, i.e., about €4,600 per month. While pay satisfaction is high, professionals in this field report a relatively low career satisfaction.

5. IT Consultant

An IT consultant is involved in various IT-related roles. They often build the complete IT structure, resolve immediate issues, and provide crucial advice on IT use.

The average monthly pay for this profession is nearly €3,300. Although the salary is slightly lower than other computer science roles, IT consultants are overwhelmingly satisfied with their job positions.

Course Benefits of BSc Computer Science

Is BSc in Computer Science good as a career choice? Undoubtedly. But to start working such a lucrative and often satisfactory job, you’ll need to get educated in the field.

Here’s what you can look forward to when enlisting into a BSc Computer Science course.

Acquiring In-Demand Skills

One of the most important benefits of a BSc Computer Science course is that you’ll learn the essential skills of the profession:

  • Working with the most in-demand programming languages
  • Understanding computer algorithms and data structures
  • Getting a grip on computer network architecture
  • Learning how to manage different databases

Industry Relevance and Adaptability

A quality course for BSc Computer Science will give you industry-relevant skills. With a wider knowledge about computer science, you’ll be able to adapt to different roles and find your place in the market more easily.

Opportunities for Further Education and Specialization

Attaining a BSc in Computer Science will make you eligible for further academic progress. While you can find great work opportunities as a BSc, you’ll also have the option of continuing your studies towards a PhD or specializing for a specific branch of computer science.

If you’re interested in these venues of progress, there’s no need to question “is BSc Computer Science a good course.” For your purposes, it’s the best. Read on to find out what a typical course entails.

Course Duration and Structure

Job prospects for computer scientists look pretty appealing. But if you want to become a BSc Computer Science, how many years would you need to devote to studying?

These courses last for three years, usually encompassing six semesters. That’s not a very long time to become qualified for one of the most wanted professions. Better yet, there are fast-track options that last only two years.

Overview of Course Structure

Core subjects of BSc Computer Science courses differ from one term to the next. During the first term, you’ll learn about computer architectures and networks, the principles of programming and ICT, and technical English.

The second term contains web development, foundational math, OS introduction, data structure, and project management. The third term will introduce you to databases, cloud computing, AI, and business strategies. You’ll also delve deeper into programming paradigms here.

The fourth term deals with software engineering, machine learning, cybersecurity, digital marketing, and cloud development.

The fifth term is where you can choose between elective subjects:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Machine learning
  • Application of complex networks
  • Automated cloud computing
  • Front-end programming
  • AI ethics
  • DevOps

The final term is reserved for your thesis project, which will serve as proof of the skills you’ve acquired so far.

It’s worth noting that the course can have a level of flexibility, allowing you to customize your schedule and select a particular curriculum. This may come in handy for working students and those who wish to pursue a specific path in the field.

Fresher’s Job Potential

Since computer science professionals are in high demand, the market has plenty of job opportunities for freshers. You’ll likely be able to find work as an application, network system, or software developer. Additionally, software engineer and IT support roles are widely available.

Industry leaders like IBM, Microsoft, and Google count among the top recruiters. However, landing a job with such giants won’t be straightforward. Here’s how to maximize your chances.

Tips for Securing a Job

1. Build a network

Finding the perfect job is often a matter of not only what, but who you know. Expanding your network might open up better opportunities.

2. Gain experience

The best way to launch a successful career is to build it up, so gaining initial experience will be crucial. You can start as an intern or an employee in a smaller company and work your way up from there. When looking for your first BSc Computer Science jobs for freshers, salary won’t be the main consideration.

3. Build a good portfolio

You’ll need a strong portfolio to progress in your computer science career. It’s often best to start small and progress to more high-profile jobs and demanding roles. When you submit your application to Google or Apple, you’ll want to have a CV full of great references.

4. Keep up with industry trends

The IT sector evolves and shifts very often. To make the most of your skills, keep expanding them according to the particular industry you’re working in.

Generally speaking, this last tip will relate to your overall career. Develop your skillset beyond the basics and keep learning. You’ll have an easier time growing the career you want.

Start a Rewarding Computer Science Career

With more than competitive salaries and enticing job opportunities, there’s little not to like about a career in computer science. A relatively small investment in time and effort can help you enter one of the most promising and rewarding job markets in the world.

If you’re ready to pursue a career in computer science, there’s no better time than today. Enlist in a quality course and start building for the future.

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Cyber Threat Landscape 2024: Human-Centric Cyber Threats
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
Apr 17, 2024 9 min read

Human-centric cyber threats have long posed a serious issue for organizations. After all, humans are often the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain. Unfortunately, when artificial intelligence came into the mix, it only made these threats even more dangerous.

So, what can be done about these cyber threats now?

That’s precisely what we asked Tom Vazdar, the chair of the Enterprise Cybersecurity Master’s program at the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT), and Venicia Solomons, aka the “Cyber Queen.”

They dedicated a significant portion of their “Cyber Threat Landscape 2024: Navigating New Risks” master class to AI-powered human-centric cyber threats. So, let’s see what these two experts have to say on the topic.

Human-Centric Cyber Threats 101

Before exploring how AI impacted human-centric cyber threats, let’s go back to the basics. What are human-centric cyber threats?

As you might conclude from the name, human-centric cyber threats are cybersecurity risks that exploit human behavior or vulnerabilities (e.g., fear). Even if you haven’t heard of the term “human-centric cyber threats,” you’ve probably heard of (or even experienced) the threats themselves.

The most common of these threats are phishing attacks, which rely on deceptive emails to trick users into revealing confidential information (or clicking on malicious links). The result? Stolen credentials, ransomware infections, and general IT chaos.

How Has AI Impacted Human-Centric Cyber Threats?

AI has infiltrated virtually every cybersecurity sector. Social engineering is no different.

As mentioned, AI has made human-centric cyber threats substantially more dangerous. How? By making them difficult to spot.

In Venicia’s words, AI has allowed “a more personalized and convincing social engineering attack.”

In terms of email phishing, malicious actors use AI to write “beautifully crafted emails,” as Tom puts it. These emails contain no grammatical errors and can mimic the sender’s writing style, making them appear more legitimate and harder to identify as fraudulent.

These highly targeted AI-powered phishing emails are no longer considered “regular” phishing attacks but spear phishing emails, which are significantly more likely to fool their targets.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there.

As AI technology advances, its capabilities go far beyond crafting a simple email. Venicia warns that AI-powered voice technology can even create convincing voice messages or phone calls that sound exactly like a trusted individual, such as a colleague, supervisor, or even the CEO of the company. Obey the instructions from these phone calls, and you’ll likely put your organization in harm’s way.

How to Counter AI-Powered Human-Centric Cyber Threats

Given how advanced human-centric cyber threats have gotten, one logical question arises – how can organizations counter them? Luckily, there are several ways to do this. Some rely on technology to detect and mitigate threats. However, most of them strive to correct what caused the issue in the first place – human behavior.

Enhancing Email Security Measures

The first step in countering the most common human-centric cyber threats is a given for everyone, from individuals to organizations. You must enhance your email security measures.

Tom provides a brief overview of how you can do this.

No. 1 – you need a reliable filtering solution. For Gmail users, there’s already one such solution in place.

No. 2 – organizations should take full advantage of phishing filters. Before, only spam filters existed, so this is a major upgrade in email security.

And No. 3 – you should consider implementing DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) to prevent email spoofing and phishing attacks.

Keeping Up With System Updates

Another “technical” move you can make to counter AI-powered human-centric cyber threats is to ensure all your systems are regularly updated. Fail to keep up with software updates and patches, and you’re looking at a strong possibility of facing zero-day attacks. Zero-day attacks are particularly dangerous because they exploit vulnerabilities that are unknown to the software vendor, making them difficult to defend against.

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Nurturing a Culture of Skepticism

The key component of the human-centric cyber threats is, in fact, humans. That’s why they should also be the key component in countering these threats.

At an organizational level, numerous steps are needed to minimize the risks of employees falling for these threats. But it all starts with what Tom refers to as a “culture of skepticism.”

Employees should constantly be suspicious of any unsolicited emails, messages, or requests for sensitive information.

They should always ask themselves – who is sending this, and why are they doing so?

This is especially important if the correspondence comes from a seemingly trusted source. As Tom puts it, “Don’t click immediately on a link that somebody sent you because you are familiar with the name.” He labels this as the “Rule No. 1” of cybersecurity awareness.

Growing the Cybersecurity Culture

The ultra-specific culture of skepticism will help create a more security-conscious workforce. But it’s far from enough to make a fundamental change in how employees perceive (and respond to) threats. For that, you need a strong cybersecurity culture.

Tom links this culture to the corporate culture. The organization’s mission, vision, statement of purpose, and values that shape the corporate culture should also be applicable to cybersecurity. Of course, this isn’t something companies can do overnight. They must grow and nurture this culture if they are to see any meaningful results.

According to Tom, it will probably take at least 18 months before these results start to show.

During this time, organizations must work on strengthening the relationships between every department, focusing on the human resources and security sectors. These two sectors should be the ones to primarily grow the cybersecurity culture within the company, as they’re well versed in the two pillars of this culture – human behavior and cybersecurity.

However, this strong interdepartmental relationship is important for another reason.

As Tom puts it, “[As humans], we cannot do anything by ourselves. But as a collective, with the help within the organization, we can.”

Staying Educated

The world of AI and cybersecurity have one thing in common – they never sleep. The only way to keep up with these ever-evolving worlds is to stay educated.

The best practice would be to gain a solid base by completing a comprehensive program, such as OPIT’s Enterprise Cybersecurity Master’s program. Then, it’s all about continuously learning about new developments, trends, and threats in AI and cybersecurity.

Conducting Regular Training

For most people, it’s not enough to just explain how human-centric cyber threats work. They must see them in action. Especially since many people believe that phishing attacks won’t happen to them or, if they do, they simply won’t fall for them. Unfortunately, neither of these are true.

Approximately 3.4 billion phishing emails are sent each day, and millions of them successfully bypass all email authentication methods. With such high figures, developing critical thinking among the employees is the No. 1 priority. After all, humans are the first line of defense against cyber threats.

But humans must be properly trained to counter these cyber threats. This training includes the organization’s security department sending fake phishing emails to employees to test their vigilance. Venicia calls employees who fall for these emails “clickers” and adds that no one wants to be a clicker. So, they do everything in their power to avoid falling for similar attacks in the future.

However, the key to successful employee training in this area also involves avoiding sending similar fake emails. If the company keeps trying to trick the employees in the same way, they’ll likely become desensitized and less likely to take real threats seriously.

So, Tom proposes including gamification in the training. This way, the training can be more engaging and interactive, encouraging employees to actively participate and learn. Interestingly, AI can be a powerful ally here, helping create realistic scenarios and personalized learning experiences based on employee responses.

Following in the Competitors’ Footsteps

When it comes to cybersecurity, it’s crucial to be proactive rather than reactive. Even if an organization hasn’t had issues with cyberattacks, it doesn’t mean it will stay this way. So, the best course of action is to monitor what competitors are doing in this field.

However, organizations shouldn’t stop with their competitors. They should also study other real-world social engineering incidents that might give them valuable insights into the tactics used by the malicious actors.

Tom advises visiting the many open-source databases reporting on these incidents and using the data to build an internal educational program. This gives organizations a chance to learn from other people’s mistakes and potentially prevent those mistakes from happening within their ecosystem.

Stay Vigilant

It’s perfectly natural for humans to feel curiosity when it comes to new information, anxiety regarding urgent-looking emails, and trust when seeing a familiar name pop up on the screen. But in the world of cybersecurity, these basic human emotions can cause a lot of trouble. That is, at least, when humans act on them.

So, organizations must work on correcting human behaviors, not suppressing basic human emotions. By doing so, they can help employees develop a more critical mindset when interacting with digital communications. The result? A cyber-aware workforce that’s well-equipped to recognize and respond to phishing attacks and other cyber threats appropriately.

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Cyber Threat Landscape 2024: The AI Revolution in Cybersecurity
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
Apr 17, 2024 9 min read

There’s no doubt about it – artificial intelligence has revolutionized almost every aspect of modern life. Healthcare, finance, and manufacturing are just some of the sectors that have been virtually turned upside down by this powerful new force. Cybersecurity also ranks high on this list.

But as much as AI can benefit cybersecurity, it also presents new challenges. Or – to be more direct –new threats.

To understand just how serious these threats are, we’ve enlisted the help of two prominent figures in the cybersecurity world – Tom Vazdar and Venicia Solomons. Tom is the chair of the Master’s Degree in Enterprise Cybersecurity program at the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT). Venicia, better known as the “Cyber Queen,” runs a widely successful cybersecurity community looking to empower women to succeed in the industry.

Together, they held a master class titled “Cyber Threat Landscape 2024: Navigating New Risks.” In this article, you get the chance to hear all about the double-edged sword that is AI in cybersecurity.

How Can Organizations Benefit From Using AI in Cybersecurity?

As with any new invention, AI has primarily been developed to benefit people. In the case of AI, this mainly refers to enhancing efficiency, accuracy, and automation in tasks that would be challenging or impossible for people to perform alone.

However, as AI technology evolves, its potential for both positive and negative impacts becomes more apparent.

But just because the ugly side of AI has started to rear its head more dramatically, it doesn’t mean we should abandon the technology altogether. The key, according to Venicia, is in finding a balance. And according to Tom, this balance lies in treating AI the same way you would cybersecurity in general.

Keep reading to learn what this means.

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Implement a Governance Framework

In cybersecurity, there is a governance framework called ISO/IEC 27000, whose goal is to provide a systematic approach to managing sensitive company information, ensuring it remains secure. A similar framework has recently been created for AI— ISO/IEC 42001.

Now, the trouble lies in the fact that many organizations “don’t even have cybersecurity, not to speak artificial intelligence,” as Tom puts it. But the truth is that they need both if they want to have a chance at managing the risks and complexities associated with AI technology, thus only reaping its benefits.

Implement an Oversight Mechanism

Fearing the risks of AI in cybersecurity, many organizations chose to forbid the usage of this technology outright within their operations. But by doing so, they also miss out on the significant benefits AI can offer in enhancing cybersecurity defenses.

So, an all-out ban on AI isn’t a solution. A well-thought-out oversight mechanism is.

According to Tom, this control framework should dictate how and when an organization uses cybersecurity and AI and when these two fields are to come in contact. It should also answer the questions of how an organization governs AI and ensures transparency.

With both of these frameworks (governance and oversight), it’s not enough to simply implement new mechanisms. Employees should also be educated and regularly trained to uphold the principles outlined in these frameworks.

Control the AI (Not the Other Way Around!)

When it comes to relying on AI, one principle should be every organization’s guiding light. Control the AI; don’t let the AI control you.

Of course, this includes controlling how the company’s employees use AI when interacting with client data, business secrets, and other sensitive information.

Now, the thing is – people don’t like to be controlled.

But without control, things can go off the rails pretty quickly.

Tom gives just one example of this. In 2022, an improperly trained (and controlled) chatbot gave an Air Canada customer inaccurate information and a non-existing discount. As a result, the customer bought a full-price ticket. A lawsuit ensued, and in 2024, the court ruled in the customer’s favor, ordering Air Canada to pay compensation.

This case alone illustrates one thing perfectly – you must have your AI systems under control. Tom hypothesizes that the system was probably affordable and easy to implement, but it eventually cost Air Canada dearly in terms of financial and reputational damage.

How Can Organizations Protect Themselves Against AI-Driven Cyberthreats?

With well-thought-out measures in place, organizations can reap the full benefits of AI in cybersecurity without worrying about the threats. But this doesn’t make the threats disappear. Even worse, these threats are only going to get better at outsmarting the organization’s defenses.

So, what can the organizations do about these threats?

Here’s what Tom and Venicia suggest.

Fight Fire With Fire

So, AI is potentially attacking your organization’s security systems? If so, use AI to defend them. Implement your own AI-enhanced threat detection systems.

But beware – this isn’t a one-and-done solution. Tom emphasizes the importance of staying current with the latest cybersecurity threats. More importantly – make sure your systems are up to date with them.

Also, never rely on a single control system. According to our experts, “layered security measures” are the way to go.

Never Stop Learning (and Training)

When it comes to AI in cybersecurity, continuous learning and training are of utmost importance – learning for your employees and training for the AI models. It’s the only way to ensure all system aspects function properly and your employees know how to use each and every one of them.

This approach should also alleviate one of the biggest concerns regarding an increasing AI implementation. Namely, employees fear that they will lose their jobs due to AI. But the truth is, the AI systems need them just as much as they need those systems.

As Tom puts it, “You need to train the AI system so it can protect you.”

That’s why studying to be a cybersecurity professional is a smart career move.

However, you’ll want to find a program that understands the importance of AI in cybersecurity and equips you to handle it properly. Get a master’s degree in Enterprise Security from OPIT, and that’s exactly what you’ll get.

Join the Bigger Fight

When it comes to cybersecurity, transparency is key. If organizations fail to report cybersecurity incidents promptly and accurately, they not only jeopardize their own security but also that of other organizations and individuals. Transparency builds trust and allows for collaboration in addressing cybersecurity threats collectively.

So, our experts urge you to engage in information sharing and collaborative efforts with other organizations, industry groups, and governmental bodies to stay ahead of threats.

How Has AI Impacted Data Protection and Privacy?

Among the challenges presented by AI, one stands out the most – the potential impact on data privacy and protection. Why? Because there’s a growing fear that personal data might be used to train large AI models.

That’s why European policymakers sprang into action and introduced the Artificial Intelligence Act in March 2024.

This regulation, implemented by the European Parliament, aims to protect fundamental rights, democracy, the rule of law, and environmental sustainability from high-risk AI. The act is akin to the well-known General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) passed in 2016 but exclusively targets the use of AI. The good news for those fearful of AI’s potential negative impact is that every requirement imposed by this act is backed up with heavy penalties.

But how can organizations ensure customers, clients, and partners that their data is fully protected?

According to our experts, the answer is simple – transparency, transparency, and some more transparency!

Any employed AI system must be designed in a way that doesn’t jeopardize anyone’s privacy and freedom. However, it’s not enough to just design the system in such a way. You must also ensure all the stakeholders understand this design and the system’s operation. This includes providing clear information about the data being collected, how it’s being used, and the measures in place to protect it.

Beyond their immediate group of stakeholders, organizations also must ensure that their data isn’t manipulated or used against people. Tom gives an example of what must be avoided at all costs. Let’s say a client applies for a loan in a financial institution. Under no circumstances should that institution use AI to track the client’s personal data and use it against them, resulting in a loan ban. This hypothetical scenario is a clear violation of privacy and trust.

And according to Tom, “privacy is more important than ever.” The same goes for internal ethical standards organizations must develop.

Keeping Up With Cybersecurity

Like most revolutions, AI has come in fast and left many people (and organizations) scrambling to keep up. However, those who recognize that AI isn’t going anywhere have taken steps to embrace it and fully benefit from it. They see AI for what it truly is – a fundamental shift in how we approach technology and cybersecurity.

Those individuals have also chosen to advance their knowledge in the field by completing highly specialized and comprehensive programs like OPIT’s Enterprise Cybersecurity Master’s program. Coincidentally, this is also the program where you get to hear more valuable insights from Tom Vazdar, as he has essentially developed this course.

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