Why Learning New Skills Is One of the Best Ways to Invest in Yourself

African American woman wearing an orange polka-dotted shirt, sitting at a desk, looking at a computer screen and taking notes in her notebook.

Investing in yourself is one of the surest ways to increase your income and quality of life. 

Rather than investing your money into the stock market, crypto or another asset that could potentially produce income for you—investing in your education to learn new, high-income skills can help increase your salary and satisfaction in life.

During economically challenging times like today, where housing, gas and food prices have increased tremendously, investing in yourself might be your safest bet.

With no apparent safe haven for your money and an increase in the prices of everyday goods, investing in skills that can bring you a higher income might be the right path for you.

If learning new high-paying skills interests you, consider cybersecurity, a field with more job openings than qualified candidates to fill them—and with well-paying salaries to boot.

Salaries in the Tech Industry Continue to Increase, But
So Does the Cost of Living

Tech companies today cannot afford to lose employees because it is difficult to find eligible candidates to replace them.

Between a lack of eligible candidates, the pandemic pushing the world into a more digitized state and the war in Ukraine disrupting tech hubs in Europe, tech companies have been turning to higher salaries and other perks like remote work to lure in and keep their employees. 

Illustration of a wallet with cash and a credit card inside and arrows pointing upwards from out of the wallet.

To make it worse, historic inflation levels have pushed the cost of childcare up by 41%, accounting for up to 20% of family salaries, and the cost of rent by a record 11.3% since last year.

Meanwhile, buying a house is challenging for many, as housing prices are set to spike 22% this year alone.

Add to that an ever-increasing cost of education, and you get many Americans wondering what they can do to bring in more money and offset the rising cost of living.

Cybersecurity: A Lucrative Skill Set, Especially During Times of Uncertainty

During times of economic uncertainty, one of the most valuable things to have is job security and career growth opportunities

Cybersecurity is a field that has both—plus a massive demand for new talent. This year, there was a 650% increase in supply chain cyberattacks. There is a need for trained professionals to defend against cyber threats more than ever before.

According to (ISC)², the world’s leading cybersecurity professional organization, the current workforce needs to grow by 62% to meet cybersecurity demands in the U.S. alone.

Once you’re in the field with some experience under your belt, you can expect to earn a competitive salary. Experienced cybersecurity analysts saw an average growth of 16.3% in their wages in 2020, compared to a 2.3% average salary increase for other major industries in the same year.

Lowering Your Education Cost in the Cybersecurity Field

In the past, the only way to break into the cybersecurity field was through experience and self-teaching. There wasn’t even a four-year degree that covered this topic. 

Today, many universities and colleges offer a four-year degree with a cybersecurity track and even Master’s degrees in this field. 

However, a traditional class schedule can be a barrier for many busy adults who are looking to gain practical cyber skills while juggling other responsibilities like work and family obligations. 

One alternative to a four-year degree is a professional bootcamp, which is a program geared toward busy adults who want to learn these skills quickly without needing a full Bachelor’s degree. 

These accelerated career-prep programs, like the Cybersecurity Bootcamp here at CU Boulder, offer flexibility and competitive pricing—all while equipping you with the real-world experience companies are looking for.

Our 10-month cybersecurity program also includes the support of a career coach who helps you write your resume and find a job—something that could cost you up to $150 per session if you were to pay for it on your own and up to $400 for a professional resume writer.

And keep this in mind: As the tech industry faces a shortage of qualified employees, companies must adjust their expectations for job applicants’ education and experience.

Companies like Google, Apple and IBM no longer require college degrees on job postings. Instead, they seek candidates with equivalent experience—the same kind of hands-on experience gained from our Cybersecurity Bootcamp.

African American man sitting with laptop and notebook on the table in front of him, interviewing a young woman for a job

The Return on Investment from Professional Bootcamps

It’s perfectly normal to be hesitant to invest, especially when the returns are not immediate. That’s why investing in yourself is the safest bet you can make. With our Cybersecurity Bootcamp, you could start bringing in income from your investment in less than a year.

For example, say you’re making $50k in your current role. You choose to invest in your education with the Cybersecurity Bootcamp and land a job as a Cyber Defense Analyst within a year. If the entire bootcamp costs just under $18k, and the average salary for that position is $86k, your return on investment would be $18k in just your first year, with greater returns for years after as you progress in the industry.*

And that’s not the only entry-level role with an excellent starting salary. Below are a few positions in cybersecurity that could be attainable after you invest in your education and complete a Cybersecurity Bootcamp.

  • Entry Level Security Engineer
    • In this role, you would help ensure that the network is protected from unauthorized access, troubleshoot problems with network access and assist in implementing network security policies and procedures. 

Average salary: $91k a year

  • Information Security Specialist
    • In this role, you would help develop best practices for IT security within the organization. You would also protect its computer networks and design, implement and monitor IT security systems.
      Average salary: $85k a year
  • Security Analyst
    • In this role, you would create and implement firewalls and software systems to protect data and networks. Your job would include monitoring, preventing and stopping attacks on private data.
      Average salary: $75k a year

A Cybersecurity Bootcamp is a cost-effective investment that could help you increase your salary and pay dividends for years to come.

Regardless of the route you take, the average salaries in cybersecurity could offset your investment within the first year

*This scenario is hypothetical. Salaries vary based on several factors, including position, location, experience level, skills, as well as work and personal history.

What Cybersecurity Skills Can Do for You

Image of a man working from home on two laptop computers with his notebook open in front of him.

If dedicated to succeeding, anyone can gain the professional skills needed to start earning income in cybersecurity in just ten months. 

The best part? We have your back. At the CU Boulder Cybersecurity Bootcamp, you’ll receive personal, one-on-one career coaching throughout the program—and for up to 6 months after completion.

It includes benefits and holistic support every step of the way, regardless of your educational background or prior experience. Here are just a few of the benefits unique to our program:

  • No experience required

Our program is designed to accommodate all learners, whether you’re looking to upgrade your tech skills or to break into the tech industry for the first time.

  • Personalized career services

Remember the average cost of a career coach and professional resume writer we mentioned earlier? That’s included in our professional program, including networking opportunities, job placement assistance, LinkedIn profile optimization and more. You can receive personalized career assistance for up to 6 months after program completion.

  • Affordable program for busy adults 

We understand that you have time commitments to work and family. Our program offers evening and weekend class schedules, giving you the flexibility you need to take care of your responsibilities while learning new skills. 

Don’t let rising education costs discourage you. The Cybersecurity Bootcamp is an affordable education option that’s tailor-made to help you gain professional skills that will pay off.

How to Finance Your Professional Education

Finance your education at the CU Boulder Cybersecurity Bootcamp in just two easy steps.

  1. Step one: Test-drive the bootcamp with our 30-hour introductory course so you can decide if this is the right path for you before committing to the entire 10-month program. 
  2. Step two: When you’re ready to commit to the complete program, you can choose from three payment options:
0% Interest PaymentsPersonal FinancingPay in Full
Monthly installments with no interest. Available to all learners Learners may qualify for personal or private education loans from lenders.
After completing the introductory course, pay tuition in full before starting your first class.

Need more information on your payment options?

An Admissions Advisor will be able to walk you through your options so you can make the best decision for your future. 

Have any questions? Contact our admissions team at 303-848-2803 to learn more about how you can finance your education today. You can also fill out the form below to get started!