2019 Best Online Cyber Security Degrees

The 575 online cyber security programs on this page include associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate levels. Students interested in pursuing cyber security degrees should ensure their degrees are accredited. Browse our comprehensive list of all online cyber security degrees, learn about career options, or peruse the 17 best schools, ranked based on tuition costs and salaries of alumni reported by PayScale.

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2019 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in Cyber Security Degrees

Cyber Security-Top Online Colleges-2019-Badge

The 17 schools on this list offer the best online cyber security programs, based on reasonable returns on investment. With affordable tuitions and high reported salaries, these schools stand out from the rest. Top-ranked George Mason University has an annual tuition of $32,520 for its Bachelor of Applied Science in Cybersecurity. Alumni in the field report earning a median salary of $103,200 per year. Kennesaw State University is the most affordable option on this list, with an annual tuition of $7,192 for a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about SR Education Group.

Rank School Annual Tuition Median Salary
#1 #1 $32,520 $103,200
#2 #2 $18,400 $90,400
#3 #3 $9,967 $88,000
#4 #4 $11,400 $84,300
#5 #5 $11,815 $84,000
#6 #6 $11,250 $80,700
#7 #7 $13,500 $77,800
#8 #8 $14,970 $77,200
#9 #9 $17,700 $69,800
#10 #10 $17,020 $66,500
#11 #11 $11,160 $65,600
#12 #12 $12,245 $64,800
#13 #13 $7,192 $58,900
#14 #14 $16,050 $55,200
#15 #15 $11,670 $54,500
#16 #16 $13,280 $54,000
#17 #17 $21,039 $51,500
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo.

Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - Cyber Security Degrees (186)

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Partner School
Partner School
Full List Accreditation Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
Full List (191)
Abilene Christian University SACS COC $33,330 100% (6 reviews)
62 Programs, 1 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Administration - Cybersecurity
American National University DEAC $14,886 0% (2 reviews)
58 Programs, 3 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • Cybersecurity - Bachelor
  • Cybersecurity - Master
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity
American Public University System HLC $6,880 71% (146 reviews)
462 Programs, 11 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Intelligence Studies - Cyber
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity - Wireless and Mobile Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Security - Cyber Intelligence
American University MSCHE $46,615 100% (2 reviews)
54 Programs, 2 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • MBA in Cybersecurity
  • MS in Analytics - Cybersecurity
Angelo State University SACS COC $17,161 100% (1 review)
44 Programs, 3 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • Certificate in Cybersecurity
  • Master of Security Studies in Intelligence, Security Studies and Analysis
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Border Security - Cybersecurity
Arizona State University HLC $15,691 - $27,372 71% (88 reviews)
223 Programs, 2 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • MA in Emergency Management & Homeland Security - Cybersecurity Policy and Management
  • MCS in Cybersecurity
Ashford University WASC WSCUC $10,632 - $13,400 67% (646 reviews)
212 Programs, 2 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • BS/Cyber & Data Security Technology
  • MS/Criminal Justice - Cybercrime and Technology Specialization
Auburn University SACS COC $29,640 100% (2 reviews)
129 Programs, 3 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • E.M.B.A. in Cyber Security
  • Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Engineering
  • M.S. in Cybersecurity Engineering
Baker College Online HLC $9,360 60% (88 reviews)
71 Programs, 4 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • Cloud Security Risk Management - Graduate Certificate
  • Cloud Security Risk Management - MBA
  • Cloud Security Risk Management - MSIS
  • Information Technology and Security - Bachelor
Bellevue University HLC $7,752 69% (58 reviews)
189 Programs, 8 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems - Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems - Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Master of Business Administration - Cybersecurity
Bethel University - IN HLC $28,030 Add Review
34 Programs, 1 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security
Bluefield College SACS COC $24,800 100% (1 review)
28 Programs, 1 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Cybersecurity
Boston University NECHE $52,082 100% (2 reviews)
87 Programs, 4 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity
  • Information Security Graduate Certificate
  • Master of Science in Computer Information Systems - Security
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity
Brandeis University NECHE $53,537 Add Review
13 Programs, 1 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • Master of Science in Information Security Leadership
Brenau University SACS COC $28,510 Add Review
92 Programs, 3 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • Master of Business Administration in Cybersecurity Management
  • Master of Science in Organizational Leadership-Cybersecurity Management
  • Post Graduate Certificate - Cybersecurity Management
California Baptist University WASC WSCUC $32,256 80% (5 reviews)
52 Programs, 1 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • BS: Cybersecurity
California University of Pennsylvania MSCHE $15,326 80% (15 reviews)
108 Programs, 2 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity
  • Professional Science Master in Cybersecurity
Capella University HLC $14,250 65% (582 reviews)
232 Programs, 5 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • BS - Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
  • DIT - Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
  • Graduate Certificate - Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
  • MS - Cybersecurity
Capitol Technology University MSCHE $24,788 100% (1 review)
28 Programs, 7 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • Doctor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Critical Infrastructure
  • Master of Science in Aviation Cybersecurity
  • Master of Science in Critical Infrastructure
Carlow University MSCHE $28,596 Add Review
31 Programs, 1 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Cyber Threat Research and Analytics
Carnegie Mellon University MSCHE $53,910 Add Review
22 Programs, 1 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • Master of Science in Information Technology - Information Security & Assurance
Cedarville University HLC $29,156 Add Review
18 Programs, 2 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Management
  • Master of Business Administration - Cybersecurity Management
Central Michigan University HLC $23,670 67% (3 reviews)
85 Programs, 3 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity
  • Master of Science in Information Systems - Cybersecurity
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Cybersecurity
Central Washington University NWCCU $22,010 100% (1 review)
45 Programs, 4 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Technology & Administrative Management - Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology & Administrative Management - Cybersecurity
  • Certificate in Cybersecurity
  • Master of Science in Information Technology & Administrative Management - Cybersecurity Management
Champlain College NECHE $39,818 100% (3 reviews)
82 Programs, 8 in Cyber Security (view all)
  • Cybersecurity Bachelor's Degree
  • Cybersecurity Certificate
  • Cybersecurity Fundamentals for Business Certificate
  • Enterprise Security Fundamentals Certificate
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2019 Online Colleges in Cyber Security Ranking Details

  • Annual Tuition: $32,520
  • Median Salary: $103,200
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George Mason University offers an online Bachelor of Applied Science in Cybersecurity. This program is only available to graduates of the Virginia Community College system who have an associate degree in Information Tech or Cybersecurity. Applicants must also be 25 or older. The program is designed primarily for people already working in the field, or who want to start careers in cyber security. The overall degree is 120 to 126 credits. Among the courses in the program are Information Security Fundamentals, Computer Crime, Forensics and Auditing, and Security Accreditation of Information Systems. Resident tuition is $377.50 per credit or $1,355 per credit for out-of-state students. George Mason is located in Fairfax, Virginia. Its proximity to the national capital facilitates close relationships with security agencies.

  • Annual Tuition: $18,400
  • Median Salary: $90,400
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Mercy College, located in Dobbs Ferry, New York, features an online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity. This is a 39 credit program, with the degree requiring a total of 120 credits. Freshman admission is holistic and test scores are optional. Transfer students need a 2.0 GPA and may transfer in up to 90 credits. The program's focus is general cyber security, including testing and implementing software, and the protection and recovery of information. A five-year dual degree BS/ MS in Cybersecurity is also available. Courses in the program include Cryptography/ Computer Security, Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking, and Wireless Network Security. Online tuition is $774 per credit. The school is historically associated with Catholicism, but is now nondenominational.

  • Annual Tuition: $9,967
  • Median Salary: $88,000
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Thomas Edison State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity. The program is designed to provide students with the skills to protect cyber infrastructure and information assets. Freshman admission requires a high school diploma or GED, and a minimum age of 21. Transfer students need a 2.75 GPA. The major is 54 credits, with an additional six in a specialty area. These specialty areas include Digital Forensics, Cyber Investigation, Cloud Security and Homeland Security. Up to 90 credits may be transferred, and credit may be awarded for relevant prior employment. Courses include Firewalls and Perimeter Security, Wireless and Mobile Networking, and Ethical Hacking. Tuition is $396 per credit for state residents and $499 per credit for out-of-state residents. The school is located in Trenton, New Jersey.

  • Annual Tuition: $11,400
  • Median Salary: $84,300
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Excelsior College has an impressive number of online Bachelor of Science degrees in Cybersecurity, some as specializations.Two are B.S. programs in Cybersecurity, three in Information Technology, two each in National Security and Nuclear Engineering Technology, and one each in Healthcare Management and Homeland Security. These programs indicate that the importance of cyber security crosses many disciplines. Courses include Cyber Attacks and Defense, and Large Scale Cyber Crime and Terrorism. Excelsior has pioneered these studies by establishing a National Cybersecurity Institute on campus. Most programs take 52 credits. There are no special undergraduate admission requirements, but transfer students should have a 2.0 GPA. Tuition is $380 per credit unit. Excelsior is located in Albany, New York.

  • Annual Tuition: $11,815
  • Median Salary: $84,000
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Southern Illinois University Carbondale offers an online Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Technologies-Cybersecurity. The overall focus is a thorough understanding of information technology, and the cybersecurity specialization concentrates on knowledge and techniques of defending cyber systems. The concentration is 15 credits and the overall degree is 120 credits. Freshman admission requires a diploma or GED. Transfer students should have a minimum GPA of 2.5. The courses include Information Assurance, Wireless Communications and Security, and Information Assurance. Online undergraduate tuition is $315 per credit hour.

  • Annual Tuition: $11,250
  • Median Salary: $80,700
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Norwich University, located in Northfield, Vermont, features three online Bachelor of Science programs in Cyber Security. These are B.S. programs in Cybersecurity, Computer Forensics and Vulnerability Management, and Information Warfare and Security Management. The programs are designed for working adults, particularly for people currently in the field, and take an average of 18 months to complete. Admission requires at least 30 college credits. Up to 84 credits may be transferred. NU has a well-known Center for Advanced Computing and Digital Forensics. The program focuses on strengthening skills in research, analysis, and communication. Courses include Vulnerability Testing, Malware Forensics, and Offensive Information Warfare. Online tuition is $375 per credit, or $250 per credit for military members.

  • Annual Tuition: $13,500
  • Median Salary: $77,800
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Utica College offers six online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity degree programs. Five are B.S. programs in Cybersecurity with specializations in Cyber Operations, Cybercrime and Fraud Investigation, Information Assurance, Network Forensics and Intrusion Investigation. There is also a B.S. in Criminal Justice-Cyber Criminology and Policy. These are degree completion programs and applicants must have either an associate degree or at least 57 credits from a 4-year university. Program completion averages three years and the programs focus on the legal and technical aspects of cyber defense. Courses in the major include Cybertechnologies for Criminal Justice, System Vulnerability Assessment and Cybercrime Investigations and Forensics. Online tuition is $475 per credit. The school is located in Utica, New York, and is military friendly.

  • Annual Tuition: $14,970
  • Median Salary: $77,200
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The University of Maryland Global Campus has two online Bachelor of Science programs in Cybersecurity: the B.S. in Computer Networks and Cybersecurity and the B.S. in Cybersecurity Management and Policy. The Computer Network program focuses on the combination of technical and communication skills. Students choose a focus on Microsoft, Cisco, Network Security or Digital Forensics. The Management and Policy program focuses on managing people and technology to protect information systems. Freshman admission requires a diploma or GED. No tests are required. Transfer students should have a 2.0 GPA and may transfer in up to 90 credits. Typical courses are Digital Forensics in the Criminal Justice System and Evaluating Emerging Technologies. Online tuition is $294 per credit for Maryland residents and $499 per credit for non-residents.

  • Annual Tuition: $17,700
  • Median Salary: $69,800
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The Sage Colleges feature an online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology-Cybersecurity. The program focuses on design and building secure protection for information resources. Applicants are strongly urged to have at least 40 college credits or to have completed an associate degree. Up to 75 credits can be transferred, and at least 45 credits must be completed at Sage. The major requires 51 credits and courses are taught in 7-week modules, with two modules each semester. Courses in the program include Operating Systems and Architecture, Incident Analysis and Response, and National Cyber-Security Policy and Law. Online tuition is $590 per credit. The Sage Colleges are located in Albany, New York. As of fall 2018, no new applications are being accepted. Contact the Sage Admissions Office for the current program status.

  • Annual Tuition: $17,020
  • Median Salary: $66,500
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National University has an online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity with concentrations in Computer Network Defense or Digital Forensics. The program focuses on security analysis, network defense and incident response. Freshman admission requires a high school diploma and a minimum GPA of 2.0, and transfer students should also have a minimum GPA of 2.0. Up to 90 semester hours may be transferred (equivalent to 120 quarter hours); NU is on the quarter system. Courses are taught in four-week segments, one class at a time. Among the courses offered are Security Audit and Assessments, Cloud and Virtualization Security, and Operating System Forensics. Online tuition is $370 per quarter credit. NU's main campus is in San Diego and the school is exceptionally military friendly.

  • Annual Tuition: $11,160
  • Median Salary: $65,600
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Wilmington University, located in Newcastle, Delaware, features an online Bachelor of Science in Computer and Network Security. The program focus is on developing skills to design and maintain security for computers and information networks. The major has 39 credits in security core and 18 in security electives. Wilmington has an open admissions policy and welcomes applications from all interested students. Up to 90 credits may be transferred. An accelerated option is available, which requires 60 previous credits and a minimum GPA of 3.25. A graduate certificate in digital forensics is also an option. Among the courses in the program are Psychology of a Computer Attacker, Data Integrity and Disaster Recovery, and Ethical Hacking. Online tuition for a 3-credit course is $1,116.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $12,245
  • Median Salary: $64,800
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Wayland Baptist University offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration with a Cybersecurity specialization. The program develops managers who are able to assess threats and organize protection to secure information assets. Admission requires a diploma and SAT or ACT scores, and their transfer policies are generous. The specialization is a 24 credit program in cyber security and related courses. The courses include Incident Response and Forensics, Information Systems Security, and Ethical Hacking. Online tuition is $395 per credit hour. Wayland's programs all reflect the school's emphasis on combining Christian ethics and career training. The school is associated with the Baptist Conference of Texas and is located in Plainview, Texas. Wayland is extremely military friendly.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $7,192
  • Median Salary: $58,900
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Kennesaw State University features an online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity. The program focuses on technical skills and information security assurance. Freshman admission requires a high school diploma, minimum 2.5 GPA and SAT scores. Transfer students need a minimum GPA of 2.0 and may transfer in up to 90 credits. Completing the program automatically earns students a minor in Information Technology. In addition, students must choose one of three 9-credit specializations: Systems Security, Network Security or Cyber Crime. Courses include Client Systems Security, Incident Response and Contingency Planning, and Perimeter Defense. The program is an "eMajor" and online tuition is an affordable $199 per credit. With 35,000 students, KSU is Georgia's third largest university. It is located in Marietta, not far from Atlanta.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $16,050
  • Median Salary: $55,200
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The University of Nebraska at Omaha offers an online Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies- Cybersecurity. The 120 credit B.M.S. degree is designed for working adults, transfer students, and military members. Policies on transferring college credits and awarding credit for prior learning and formal training are generous. Applicants must be 21 years of age or older. The program provides a general overview and focuses on the skills of designing and constructing secure systems. Among the courses offered are Security Administration for Windows, Number Theory and Cryptography, and Information Technology Ethics. Online Tuition is $280 per credit for in-state residents and $498.75 per credit for non-residents.

  • Annual Tuition: $11,670
  • Median Salary: $54,500
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Old Dominion University offers an online B.S. in Cybersecurity and an online B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Cybercrime. The BSIS is a degree completion program designed for working adults. ODU recommends that freshmen have a strong science and math background, as well as a diploma and SAT or ACT scores (or the GED). Transfer applicants should have an associate degree or equivalent for the BSIS. The B.S. in Cybersecurity focuses on identifying system issues and the maintenance of secure systems. The BSIS program focuses on aspects of cybercrime such as malware and identity theft. Tuition is $352 per credit for in-state residents and $389 per credit for nonresidents. ODU is located in Norfolk, Virginia and the school is very military friendly.

  • Annual Tuition: $13,280
  • Median Salary: $54,000
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Bellevue University features an online Bachelor of Science and an online Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems- Cybersecurity, and an online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity. The programs center on vulnerability assessment and protection of technology systems. An accelerated program is available that can be completed in 54 weeks; it uses a cohort system. Freshman admission requires a high school diploma or GED. There is an open transfer policy for college credits. Courses include Web, Commerce and Application Security, Cryptography, and Security Access Control. Tuition is $415 per credit. Note that students in all majors must complete the Kirkpatrick Series, three courses in American tradition and values. The school is located in Bellevue, Nebraska.

  • Annual Tuition: $21,039
  • Median Salary: $51,500
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The University of Texas at San Antonio offers a well-regarded online Bachelor of Business Administration in Cybersecurity. The focus is on developing the analytic and technical skills to assess and secure information systems and assets. The combination of the business and cybersecurity programs produces managers with superior information system competencies. The Cybersecurity program is 39 credits of the 120 credits necessary for the degree. Freshman admission requires high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores, or the GED. Transfer students need a 2.75 GPA and may transfer in up to 90 credits. Courses offered in the program include Intrusion Detection and Incident Response, Emerging Network Technologies, and Industrial Control Systems. Undergraduate tuition is $8,100 for part-time students.

Online Cyber Security Degree Overview & Career Information

Online cyber security degrees may open the doors to a plethora of career options for those interested in the field. A two-year associate degree in cyber security will prepare graduates for entry-level positions such as security specialist and applications security specialist. Holding an associate degree is also a base for pursuing industry certifications.

Those who wish to continue in their cyber security studies have many options above an associate degree, including bachelor’s, master's, and doctoral options. Bachelor's degrees typically require four years and 120-credits to complete. Students will gain skills in computer forensics, vulnerability assessment, software assurance, and security compliance. These skills are necessary to obtain a career working as a security software engineer, computer forensics analyst, information security analyst, or an information systems security administrator.

A master's degree will allow graduates to apply for senior-level positions such as security application programmers, penetration testers, security architects, and vulnerability analysts. Studies take two years on average and include a focus on biometrics, cryptology, and digital forensics. Completing a three-year doctoral program will advance graduates' knowledge in reverse engineering, data collection, malicious code analysis, and wireless security. This type of degree will prepare industry professionals for roles in the military, government agencies, intelligence, and law enforcement.

Lastly, undergraduate and graduate certificate programs are available and take between two and three years to complete. These programs are specifically designed for working industry professionals who would like to further their education on a part-time basis in order to receive promotions or higher pay.

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Online Associate Degrees in Cyber Security

An online associate degree in cyber security can prepare participants for a number of career opportunities within the industry. Due to today's computer-driven workplaces work can be found at almost every organization that uses a wireless network. Graduates obtain careers in a wide range of industries advising employee teams of security risks, designing security measures, and performing risk assessments. Participants in a cyber security program will typically graduate with their associate degree in two years, after earning between 60-68 credit hours.

Students will complete general education requirements as well as industry related courses in computer forensics and cyber law, network security and security administration, and database security. Online associate programs also prepare students to pass industry certifications such as CompTIA+, Network+, and even the more complex ISC2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). Aspiring cyber security students must present their high school diploma or its equivalent, such as a GED certificate. Successful grades in math, specifically calculus and statistics are an asset, as well as strong grades in science and proficiency in English. In most cases, a student will have to present passing results of one of these tests: ACT, SAT, ASSET, or COMPASS. There are a wide variety of schools that offer online associate degrees in cyber security including universities, community colleges, and vocational schools.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees in Cyber Security

Students enrolled in cyber security bachelor's degree programs will gain industry relevant knowledge and skills in computer forensics, security compliance, software assurance, and vulnerability assessment. Graduates may go on to jobs as security software engineers, information security analysts, information systems security administrators, and security policy analysts.

Bachelor's programs take four years to complete and are comprised of 120 credit hours. Core courses include Introduction to Computer Security, Computer Forensics I & II, Security Compliance, Security Risk Management, Security Capstone, Software Assurance, and Scripting with Perl. Within the program, students also have the option to learn about specific topics such as ethical hacking, cryptology, and artificial intelligence. Students will also prepare to sit for CompTIA and Network+ certification exams.

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Online Master's Degrees in Cyber Security

Graduates with bachelor's degrees who are looking to further their studies in cyber security may be interested in pursuing a master's degree. Due to the technical nature of these master's programs, applicants should hold an undergraduate degree in cyber security or a related field such as computer science, mathematics, engineering, or statistics. However, those who do not hold an undergraduate degree in the discipline can be considered if they have significant work experience in information technologies including networks, web services, and database development.

Students can expect to graduate with their master's in cyber security within two to three years. Coursework includes Introduction to Operating Services, Computer Networking, Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Web and Internet Information Retrieval, Network Security, and Information Security Management. Master's programs delve deeper into cyber protection and threat analysis than bachelor's program and may give students the skills needed to work as information assurance managers, intelligence analysts, security engineers, enterprise architects, catastrophe risk analysts, IT analysts, and IT consulting managers.

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Online Doctoral Degrees in Cyber Security

Graduates with a solid foundation in computer science may be interested in pursuing a Ph.D. Doctoral program applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in cyber security from a regionally accredited institution of higher education and have a passing GRE score. Doctoral programs in cyber security are highly intensive and take between three and seven years to complete depending on whether a student is full time or part-time. Program participants will complete between 60-64-credit hours of coursework in courses such as Advanced Reverse Engineering, Advanced Software Exploitation, Design Research Methods, Cyber Security Research, Theory of Computation, Advanced Network Hacking, and Wireless Security. Course load varies depending on the student’s chosen dissertation research topic. It is also important to note that students who do not hold a master's in cyber security prior to enrolling in their doctoral program will be required to complete up to an additional 27-credit hours of master's level courses in cyber security.

During their course of study, students must also complete a dissertation. After completing their dissertation, students will take a dissertation defense exam to show, prove, and defend their research and results. Those who hold a Ph.D. in cyber security may find work as professors, researchers for private industry firms, and researchers for federal, state, and local government agencies.

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Online Certificates in Cyber Security

Along with degree options, many colleges and universities offer non-degree cyber security certification courses. There are two types of certifications available: undergraduate and graduate. Undergraduate certification programs are designed for people who want a practical, quick education in cyber security. Students will take up to 16-credit hours of coursework in two years’ time including courses in Computer System Security, Cyber Security Defenses, Cybercrime, and Cyberterrorism. An undergraduate certification can prepare people for jobs as computer network architects, computer security specialists, and computer systems analysts.

Students with a bachelor's degree in cyber security are eligible for graduate cyber security certification programs. Graduate certification programs require 12-16 credit hours of coursework and will prepare students for management-level positions as web developers, computer network architects, and information security managers. Over the course of 1-3 years, students will learn important skills such as cryptographic techniques, designs for network defenses, and identifying potential threats. Specialized certificates include Cyber Law, Advanced Engineering, Homeland Security Management, Healthcare Security, and more. These programs allow for students holding a bachelor’s in cyber security to improve their industry specific skills or prepare for a master's degree. Some programs will also help prepare students for the CISSP certification.

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The Importance of Accreditation

Accreditation is the process used to evaluate higher education institutions on their quality, standards, and efforts towards continuous improvement. These evaluations are conducted by private, non-profit organizations centered on conducting external quality reviews. There are six different regional accrediting organizations operating in the U.S. where they evaluate two-year and four-year schools within their regions. Accreditation comes into play when students are interested in transferring their credits to another institution or apply for graduate programs later on. It is also important to keep in mind that federal financial aid programs are only available to institutions that have been accredited by federally recognized agencies.

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence (CA) program. By promoting higher education in cyber defense and producing professional experts in cyber defense, the program aims to reduce vulnerability in the US national information infrastructure. CA is the major accrediting source for cyber security programs and centers on demonstration of outreach and collaboration, student development, cyber defense faculty, and cyber defense multidisciplinary efforts. Accreditation is important within the cyber security industry because, for many employers, having a degree from an accredited school can be a hiring criterion.

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Careers in Cyber Security

For aspiring industry professionals, a cyber security degree will present opportunities for a variety of careers. Two key job titles include cyber security specialist and cyber security architect. Cyber security specialists work with both public and private organizations to build and maintain a high level of security for their computer information systems. They identify complex issues that may arise with sensitive data and work to keep business running as usual. They will build firewalls, monitor data files, and regulate access to safeguard information to mitigate the risk of cyber crime.

Cyber security architects build and oversee the implementation of network security for an organization. Responsibilities include designing and maintaining corporate security procedures, performing vulnerability testing and security assessments, preparing cost estimates, and upgrading system security as needed. Security architects will also be in charge of a programing team and will oversee their work and progression. Employers of cyber security architects tend to look for applicants with advanced certifications gained from accredited programs. Some key certifications include CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional, CISM: Certified Information Security Manager, CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker, and CSSA: Certified SCADA Security Architect.

References

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