At its most basic, cryptography is the study and creation of codes that secure and protect sensitive information. Sure, its name looks a little spooky at first glance, but this field is much more fascinating than frightening. It’s an essential tool for safeguarding data transmitted online and elsewhere — data that you want to keep out of unauthorized hands. By translating these data into a different format that’s difficult for outsiders to decode — a process called encryption — cryptographic methods work to ensure that only the intended recipients can access and translate those data. Understanding cryptography is integral in the field of cybersecurity and other computer science interest areas.
With so much of our communication taking place digitally these days, deepening your understanding of cryptography is an effective way to understand communication as a whole in a more comprehensive way. It’s also an essential concept to dig more deeply into if you’re curious about internet security or are thinking about pursuing a career in that field. Even the simplest tasks on your digital to-do list, like checking your email inbox or bank balance, involve cryptography — it’s a process that’s hard at work behind the scenes in your daily life. Gaining more insight into what it is and how it works equips you with a better understanding of the technological processes that keep you safe online — an essential in this day and age.
You’ll find a variety of career opportunities at your fingertips when you study cryptography, including becoming a cryptographer. In this role, you’ll design algorithms and codes that help encrypt data on websites to keep this information (and the users it comes from) safe. You might also opt to become a cryptanalyst, using your skills to crack the ciphers that secure data to pinpoint weaknesses in encryption systems. It’s like working as a codebreaker for the digital age, with fresh opportunities to solve problems and the satisfaction of overcoming security challenges around every corner.
Cryptography becomes much less of a cryptic concept when you enroll in online courses that make it easy to discover this exciting area of study. From learning the basics of how cryptographic systems operate to using number theory and encryption to solve real-world problems via skill-building projects, taking classes online brings this world of internet security to life — and provides you with a thorough understanding of it — right in your own home (or anywhere you access your coursework). You can earn credits from online cryptography courses to put towards a degree in computer science, advance in your career as a cybersecurity analyst and do so much more with new skills and discoveries gained through the freedom of taking classes when it’s most convenient for you.