The best online degree in cybercrime programs allow you to elegantly merge your interests in criminal justice and cutting-edge information technology into a single degree program. As evidenced by more recent issues relating to the hacking of medical and financial databases and the use of internet to infiltrate and steal information from government bodies across the globe, cyber security is an increasingly relevant and rapidly growing sector. As computer networks become more and more complex, breaches in security require more specialized knowledge of information systems in order to apply legal principles towards the resolution of criminal cases. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, positions in the cybercrime field, such as information security analyst, are projected to grow up to 18% by 2024, an extremely high increase. This article provides an overview of the field, including a listing of the best online degree in cybercrime programs in the United States today.
Choosing a Program
Cybercriminology is an interdisciplinary, highly specialized subfield of the broader field of criminal justice. (Interdisciplinary means that the field draws from a variety of disciplines often treated separately by academic institutions.) Grounded in technology, the nature of the field demands constant change, alteration, and advancement. In turn, cybercriminology is unique in its focus on an actively evolving technological standard, and programs may vary in elements such as what programming languages they offer and in their ability to leverage relationships with governmental bodies.
Most cybercriminology programs feature a programming and data architecture focus, and learners can assume that all accredited programs are fluent in current issues and hot topics within the field, such as computer fraud and financial crime, or firewall and intrusion-detection. Example concentrations include data security for global organizations, data-network administration, and security consultation for small business-owners. While most criminal justice programs that specialize in internet-based securities offer a comprehensive array of current standards within the field, some online degree in cybercrime programs may have additional ties to exciting internship programs that speak directly to your specific interests and goals.
Accredited Online Bachelor's in Cybercrime Programs
Colorado State University Global
|Greenwood Village, CO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 69%||
A member of the Colorado State University system, CSU Global is one of the fastest-growing online universities in the country and boasts an enrollment of approximately 18,000 students. All CSU Global programs are designed for working adults and take place entirely online through asynchronous classes, enabling students to pursue degrees on their own schedules.
CSU Global offers two 120-credit bachelor's degree programs with a specialization option in cybersecurity: information technology, and management information systems (MIS) and business analytics. Learners in the IT degree program take 30 credits of core courses in topics like basic programming, database management, and network enterprise solutions. Students pursuing the MIS degree take 36 credits covering topics such as data mining, cloud computing, and business analytics.
The online cybersecurity degree specialization adds 15 credits of courses covering ethical hacking, digital forensics, and legal issues of information security. The specialization prepares students for careers in network administration, security analysis, and system architecture.
Prospective students apply online and submit unofficial transcripts for evaluation. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent credential. They must also demonstrate two years of full-time work experience or have earned 12 college credits with a minimum 2.3 GPA. All undergraduate learners pay the same tuition rates with no out-of-state fees and can transfer up to 90 credits from accredited institutions. CSU Global holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
|Virginia Beach, VA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 61%||
Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson founded Regent University in 1978 as a nonprofit, Christian-focused institution of higher learning. Regent serves approximately 11,000 students in more than 130 programs on its Virginia Beach, Virginia campus and through distance learning. U.S. News & World Report rates the online degree programs at Regent among the nation's best.
The school's bachelor of science degree in cyber and digital forensics provides students with knowledge and skills for careers in a variety of IT security-related fields. Learners in the approximately 120-credit online cybersecurity degree program take 49 credits of general education courses, including U.S. history, economics, biblical topics, and Christian leadership. To fulfill the natural science requirement, students choose either an on-campus biology class or online origins of the cosmos course.
The 52-credit core curriculum covers information systems technology, criminal justice, cyber and digital forensics, and mathematics. The program adheres to standards set by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency.
Prospective students age 24 or older complete an online application and questionnaire. They also must submit a copy of a government-issued ID and unofficial transcripts indicating a high school diploma or equivalent credential. Younger learners should contact admissions counselors for details on application options. The university does not charge out-of-state fees to online students. Regent holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
George Mason University
|Fairfax, VA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 71%||
Located in Fairfax, Virginia, George Mason University was named for the founding father who authored the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the principles of which informed the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. Mason is the largest public research school in Virginia, educating more than 37,000 learners across its 10 colleges and online programs.
The school's online cybersecurity degree is available to students who are transferring from Northern Virginia Community College or Lord Fairfax Community College. Learners with an associate degree of applied science in either cybersecurity or information systems technology enroll in this program to earn their bachelor's degree in applied science with a cybersecurity concentration.
The program is designed to help meet the shortfall of skilled cybersecurity professionals in the federal government. The curriculum focuses on critical knowledge and skills identified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Core topics include computer crime, forensics, and auditing; information security principles; and IT in the global economy. All classes are available entirely online and most are asynchronous. Graduates earn 120 credits for the degree: 63-66 credits at Mason plus transfer credits from their community college.
Prospective students complete an online application and send official transcripts for all institutions attended. Candidates must have a minimum 2.85 GPA. Submission of an essay and resume is encouraged. Nonresident online students pay out-of-state tuition.
George Mason holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
|Albany, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
Established in 1971 as the Regents External Degree Program, Excelsior College is a private, nonprofit online university based in Albany, New York that offers more than 30 degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Excelsior boasts an enrollment of more than 28,000 students and has graduated over 170,000 students worldwide.
The school offers an online cybersecurity degree with credentials from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology's Computing Accreditation Commission. Students earn a bachelor's degree in information technology with a concentration in cybersecurity. The 120-credit curriculum includes courses in computer systems architecture, object-oriented programming, computer forensics, organizational information security, and business continuity. Sixty of the credits come from general education requirements in arts and sciences. Students personalize their degrees with 12 elective credits.
Prospective students complete an online application. Excelsior welcomes learners at every point in the education process; a high school diploma or equivalent credential is not an admission requirement. However, Excelsior enrollees must fulfill any precursory requirements to be eligible for graduation. Applicants with transfer credits in technology-focused classes must send course descriptions or syllabi with their transcripts. Excelsior accepts up to 117 credits of transfer courses. Degree candidates earn credit for work in the military and professional experience as well.
Excelsior holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
|Philadelphia, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 71%||
With approximately 25,000 students, Drexel University is one of the largest private universities in the United States. Since its founding in Philadelphia in 1891, Drexel has been a leader in scientific research and technology innovations. The university established its distance learning program in 1996 and today serves nearly 4,700 online learners.
Drexel offers an online cybersecurity degree designed for students who currently work in information technology or who have at least two years of college experience. The bachelor's in computing and security technology curriculum includes classes in network administration, data science, social aspects of information systems, and software project management. Learners choose from concentrations in computing security and computing technology.
All courses in the 188-credit program utilize asynchronous methods. Learners watch lectures, take quizzes, and turn in assignments on their own schedules. Students with certifications in information technology topics like Oracle 9i DBA, A+, CCNA, or Windows 2008+ earn credit toward the degree.
All prospective students submit an online application, official transcripts, and ACT or SAT scores. First-year applicants must be two years removed from a high school diploma or equivalent credential and have no more than 23 college credits. Transfer students must hold 48 credits or an associate degree from an accredited school. Drexel does not charge out-of-state fees for students who live outside of Pennsylvania.
Drexel holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
|Bellevue, NE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 17%||
In operation since 1966, Bellevue University is a nonprofit college that boasts more than 50,000 alumni around the world. BU is composed of four colleges and offers 80 programs on its campuses in Bellevue and Omaha, Nebraska and via distance learning.
The university's Center for Cybersecurity Education works with the Committee on National Security Systems, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the National Security Agency to create its information technology-related offerings, including an online cybersecurity degree. The core of the 127-credit curriculum focuses on ensuring the security of data, networks, access controls, online commerce, applications, mobile devices, and operating systems. Learners also choose electives such as cryptography, security for healthcare, and IT project management.
Students can choose to enroll in an accelerated cohort track where they take classes in a specific order with the same classmates, gaining from the shared experiences of the group.
BU offers open admission to anyone who meets the basic requirements. Candidates must hold a high school diploma or GED. The university has no GPA requirements; however, a one-year wait is required for prospective students who left their previous institutions involuntarily. Transfer credits are based on Council for Higher Education Accreditation criteria. BU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
|San Antonio, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 53%||
Established in 1969 as Hallmark Aero-Tech, Hallmark University offers accelerated degree programs that allow learners to earn bachelor's degrees in approximately two years while experiencing real-world scenarios in the classroom setting. Hallmark offers a variety of programs in aeronautics, business, nursing, and information technology on its campus in San Antonio, Texas and online.
Students interested in an online cybersecurity degree can enroll in the university's bachelor's in information systems program with a concentration in cybersecurity. The curriculum, created through academy partnerships with Microsoft, Cisco, and others, includes core courses in networking, database management, computer virtualization, and other IT topics. The cybersecurity concentration adds classes in risk management, asset security, security engineering, and advanced Linux for security professionals. Each course in the 120-credit program takes eight weeks to complete, with full-time students graduating in as few as 28 months.
Prospective students submit an online application and proof of a high school diploma or equivalent document. Admitted students take college-level placement exams to determine any math and English courses required as part of their undergraduate program. Hallmark charges all learners the same tuition rate per credit, regardless of residency status. Hallmark holds national accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
Old Dominion University
|Norfolk, VA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
Old Dominion University is a public research institution with more than 24,000 students. The university offers approximately 120 undergraduate and 130 graduate programs on its campus in Norfolk, Virginia. ODU also provides over 100 distance learning programs and boasts more than 30 years of experience in online education.
The school's online cybersecurity degree is an interdisciplinary degree-completion program focusing on both criminal justice and digital forensics. Learners complete the program entirely online through both asynchronous and synchronous courses.
The curriculum consists of nine credits of interdisciplinary studies, 12 credits of cybercrime studies, 15 credits of criminology, and 15-17 credits of technical studies. Students take courses in areas such as cyber law; the criminal justice system; cybersecurity, technology, and society; and social research. Degree candidates also choose an internship or an entrepreneurship class.
The program emphasizes the legal side of cybersecurity, preparing graduates for careers as compliance managers, criminal investigators, and government property inspectors.
Prospective applicants submit an online application after conferring with an admissions coach. The program offers only junior- and senior-level courses, so learners must complete all lower-division classes before applying. Students can transfer up to 90 credits toward the degree. ODU holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of Maryland - University College
|Largo, MD||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 9%||
University of Maryland University College was founded in 1947 with a primary mission of providing educational opportunities to working professionals and U.S. military service members. With facilities, classrooms, and testing centers across the country and worldwide, this online state university offers more than 90 degree plans and concentrations.
UMUC's online cybersecurity degree emphasizes technical skills and operational procedures in a bachelor of science in computer networks and cybersecurity program. Students learn every aspect of corporate networks, from design and administration to security and troubleshooting. The 120-credit curriculum includes general education classes as well as courses in networking fundamentals, Linux systems administration, ethical hacking, and interconnecting Cisco devices.
Learners also take three elective classes providing in-depth knowledge in digital forensics, network security, Cisco IP networks, or Microsoft servers. Some courses in the program prepare graduates to earn industry certifications such as CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, certified ethical hacker, and certified computer examiner.
UMUC offers all required courses online. Some classes are available in a hybrid format, combining distance learning with classes on the Largo, Maryland campus.
Prospective students submit an online application and transcripts. Applicants qualify for admission if they hold a high school diploma, a similar credential, or a diploma from another institution of higher learning. The university does not require learners to submit ACT or SAT scores. Degree candidates can transfer up to 90 credits from accredited colleges and universities. UMUC holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
City University of Seattle
|Seattle, WA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 49%||
City University of Seattle educates students at more than 20 centers around the world and through its distance learning programs. CityU is composed of six colleges and divisions focusing on management, education, arts and sciences, technology, applied leadership, and languages. The private, nonprofit university offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates, both on-campus and online.
CityU's fully online cybersecurity degree provides a 180-credit program of self-paced classes that students can complete in as little as two years. The curriculum blends classes in both criminology and technology, including core courses in subjects such as the investigation of cybercrime, applied criminology, enterprise risk management, and IT compliance. Degree candidates learn technical skills in classes like network communication, data management communication, information systems, and information security. Students also take a capstone course in bureaupathology to better understand how management and policy affect organizations.
Prospective students apply online or mail their completed application and transcripts to CityU. Candidates qualify for admission by holding a high school diploma or equivalent credential. Learners can transfer credits from other regionally accredited schools. The school's prior learning credit program allows some degree candidates to earn credit for work and military experience. CityU holds regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
The University of Texas at San Antonio
|San Antonio, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 37%||
The state's legislature opened UTSA in 1969 as a new part of the University of Texas system. In a relatively short period, the school grew to become the largest in the San Antonio area, with more than 32,000 learners. UTSA continues to grow and aims to educate over 45,000 students per year by 2028.
UTSA offers one of the best online cybersecurity degrees for learners interested in business. The program culminates in a bachelor of business administration with a concentration in cybersecurity. The curriculum includes courses in application development, object-oriented programming, and systems analysis. Students also choose between two tracks: IT project management and cyberanalytics.
Students in the IT project management plan take classes in the essentials of technology management, agile project management, and preparing for certification. Meanwhile, the cyberanalysis track includes courses in applied big data with machine learning, cloud computing, malware analysis, and digital forensics analysis.
Degree candidates can take this program completely online, on campus in San Antonio, or through a hybrid format. Online courses use asynchronous learning techniques, which allow students to complete their projects and watch lectures on their own time with set deadlines.
UTSA features competitive admission requirements. First-year candidates must submit high school transcripts and scores from either the SAT or ACT. Transfer students must submit transcripts and proof of at least a 2.25 GPA.
Metropolitan State University of Denver
|Denver, CO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 28%||
MSU Denver's 90,000 alumni boasts professionals who lead in their fields, like award-winning novelists, Fulbright scholars, and innovative scientists. The school welcomes learners from all backgrounds and believes each student can improve their skills through education. In an effort to make college more accessible, MSU Denver offers lower tuition rates than other public universities in Colorado. The school also boasts small class sizes, more than 85 undergraduate majors, and partnerships with employers in the area.
One of MSU Denver's newest offerings is the online cybersecurity degree. Two departments teamed up to provide this program: Criminal Justice and Criminology, Computer Information Systems and Mathematical and Computer Sciences. As such, graduates demonstrate skills in digital investigation, evidence recovery, cybercrime prevention, and the prosecution of digital criminals. Students gain these skills through classes in cyberlaws and regulations, forensics, information systems security, and network security.
First-year college students younger than 20 must submit high school transcripts or GED results alongside SAT or ACT scores. First-year students over 20 can send exam results; however, the university does not require them. Additionally, more than half of the university's new learners come from other higher education institutions. MSU Denver's admissions counselors help candidates understand which credits may apply to their new programs.
|Naples, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 27%||
Hodges University is a workforce-driven school with innovative education solutions. The school offers customized programs that allow learners to study what they want in hybrid, online, or in-person formats. Furthermore, the four-week minimesters allow degree candidates to take just one course at a time and graduate quickly. Hodges boasts a military-friendly campus in Naples, Florida, strong connections within the community, and opportunities for certifications embedded in their bachelor's programs.
The college offers a bachelor's in information technology with a concentration in cybersecurity and networking. This online cybersecurity bachelor's degree includes information technology core courses such as Java programming, A+ Hardware, and web design. Students learn more about cybersecurity in classes such as ethical hacking, system and network security, policy and administration in information systems, and computer forensics.
During the program, degree candidates gain the knowledge to earn CompTIA Network+, Linux+, A+, and Security+ certifications; Cisco certified network associate certification; and Cisco certified entry networking technician credentials. These credentials allow learners to work in the field before they earn finish their programs.
Because Hodges upholds many start dates throughout the year, the university accepts applications on a rolling basis. Candidates must complete an online application, meet with an adviser online, and send any required documents. These documents may include transcripts and entrance exam scores.
Central Washington University
|Ellensburg, WA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 52%||
CWU boasts awards for its dedication to diversity, valuable programs, and online offerings. The public university educates more than 12,000 learners each year, most of whom attend courses online. These students can choose from over 135 programs with an average class size of just 20 learners. Learners who live near the Ellensburg campus or any of the school's 30 partner institutions can take courses in a hybrid or on-campus format. Learners worldwide enroll in the university's online classes, including degree candidates from 30 foreign countries.
Students with associate degrees in applied science transfer their credentials to a bachelor's program in information technology and administrative management. The associate degree can come from any applied science area, including healthcare, accounting, welding, and information technology.
The program delivers four specializations, including cybersecurity. The accredited online cybersecurity degree includes core courses in sustainable decision-making, IT management career planning, project management, and financial analysis. Students then build cybersecurity skills in specialization courses such as introduction to cyberwarfare, IT risk management, and digital forensics. Most of the courses take place completely online. However, learners must complete summer internships, which they can do in their own communities.
Applicants must hold an associate degree in an applied science that includes at least 40 credits in applied areas. First, candidates complete the application to CWU. Then, they apply to declare themselves as information technology and administrative management majors. All online courses boast asynchronous learning, which allows for maximum flexibility.
Saint Leo University
|Saint Leo, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 48%||
Saint Leo is the oldest Catholic higher learning institution in Florida and prides itself on its diverse student body. The college also welcomes learners from all faiths and backgrounds. Learners from 44 states and more than 80 foreign countries attend Saint Leo online or on campus.
The college offers its online cybersecurity degree through the school of business. The curriculum includes courses in network defense, computer forensics, disaster recovery, and homeland defense. Learners can complete all of the coursework online or participate in some hands-on learning opportunities on campus. For example, degree candidates may take internships with businesses like Verizon near Saint Leo. Local students may also visit the high-tech computer lab and join the school's computer security club.
Applicants must hold high school diplomas or its equivalent and submit all official transcripts. Candidates must also submit proof of any other training that may count toward their degrees, including military service, AP exams, or CLEP results. After acceptance, students complete a self-paced course that prepares them for online learning and take placement examinations.
Saint Leo charges lower tuition rates than many private universities, and learners do not pay additional fees for living out of state. The school also accepts education benefits from employers, FAFSA, and the military.
Eastern Florida State College
|Cocoa, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 39%||
EFSC offers courses online and at four campuses throughout Eastern Florida. 15,000 students enroll at the university each year and choose from over 100 programs. Although many students take advantage of the guaranteed transfer program and earn their associate degrees at EFSC, the school also offers four-year degrees, including the bachelor's of applied science in cybersecurity.
The online cybersecurity degree requires applicants to hold associate degrees in either an arts or science field from regionally accredited schools. Students with associate of arts degrees sometimes need to complete additional general education classes before starting the core courses for this major. Cybersecurity courses in this program include subjects such as network security defense, Microsoft server operating systems, object-oriented programming, and cybersecurity fundamentals. Learners complete 60 credits and take two years to graduate, which may vary depending on their previous education.
Students in their final semesters of associate programs can apply to this program. Furthermore, learners with fewer credits can finish their associate degrees as EFSC and then apply to the cybersecurity program. The college allows students to transfer upper-division courses on a case-by-case basis.
EFSC charges residents of Brevard County, Florida significantly lower tuition rates than nonresidents. However, learners from other areas may find the out-of-county rates at EFSC are still lower than other schools. Students choose between online, on-campus, and hybrid courses with evening meetings.
The Sage Colleges
|Albany, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 56%||
Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage founded The Sage Colleges in 1916 to honor her late husband and empower women through education. Today, the private, nonprofit school educates over 3,500 students who connect with 39,000 alumni. Russell Sage Online serves as the school's distance education division.
The department boasts an online cybersecurity degree and ensures that learners continue to build their skills throughout the program. This design starts learners with fundamentals in areas like data communications, operating systems, project management, and database design before moving on to higher-level courses. Classes include subjects such as national cybersecurity policy and law, data communication and network essentials, IT project management, and cybercrime investigation and digital forensics.
Coursework prepares graduates to take certification exams in areas like CERT, Cisco, ISACA, CompTIA, and Certified Ethical Hacker. These certifications combined with the diploma make candidates especially appealing to employers in this competitive field. Students also complete either a capstone course or an internship that gives them hands-on learning experiences and builds their portfolios.
The college features rolling admissions, so learners can apply year-round. Candidates must complete the application, submit official transcripts, and write essays about their interests in the program. Typically, learners receive admissions decisions within two weeks of completing each of these steps. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education regionally accredits The Sage Colleges.
Indian River State College
|Fort Pierce, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 37%||
Indian River State College primarily serves learners in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie counties in Florida but welcomes learners from around the world. IRSC gives each student individualized attention and services based on their needs. IRSC earns regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The school's online cybersecurity bachelor's degree is one of 14 programs that IRSC offers entirely online. The 120-credit program includes courses in systems analysis and design, security essentials, database design and administration, network technologies for information professionals, and network security and cryptography. At the end of the program, degree candidates complete capstone classes that bring together all of their skills and build their portfolios.
Students can use IRSC's 2+2 program for this plan, which allows them to earn associate degrees and work in the industry on their way to earning their bachelor's degrees. While classes take place mostly asynchronously, each course requires at least one proctored exam. Students do not need to visit campus for these exams. Instead, proctors monitor the test through web cameras. All online courses meet standards that Quality Matters sets for distance education.
IRSC boasts open admissions, which means first-time learners only need high school diplomas or GEDs to earn spots. Transfer students must meet the same requirements and also send official college transcripts. Candidates should pay special attention to application deadlines because IRSC does not use rolling admissions.
|New York, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
Pace primarily serves as an online learning provider that delivers degree completion programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Pace also features campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York. The school serves about 13,000 learners each year and provides robust support for both students and educators. Pace earns regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Pace's Seidenberg School offers a bachelor's in professional technology studies with an emphasis in computer forensics. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security designate the school as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. This ensures learners that Pace sticks to the highest standards in the field and that they will gain skills that cybersecurity employers seek in candidates.
The rigorous curriculum helps learners with at least 56 college credits earn their bachelor's degrees. Candidates transfer up to 64 credits and must earn the rest at Pace for a total of 120 credits. Students take 20 credits in foundational IT courses such as global networking technology, database management, and web authoring and digital media. They also complete 20 career-focused credits in subjects like forensic investigation, crime and public policy, mobile device forensics, and terrorism and society.
Pace maintains five start dates per year and allows learners to apply up to one month before their preferred start dates. The school promises admissions decisions within two weeks of receiving all paperwork. Learners without 56 transferable credits can complete the school's associate program before applying to online cybersecurity degree programs.
|Utica, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 49%||
Utica College is a private, independent, and nonprofit school located in Utica, New York. The school provides undergraduate and graduate degrees along with certificates online. Students enjoy immersive online classrooms with interactive labs and projects, including cyber forensic exercises. Middle States Commission on Higher Education gives Utica regional accreditation for its high educational standards.
One of the areas of study that earns Utica the most praise is cybersecurity. The school's online cybersecurity degree receives approval from the Department of Homeland Defense, National Security Agency, Academic Center for Excellence, International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts, and National Center for Digital Forensics Academic Excellence. The core curriculum includes courses in computer hardware and peripherals; information systems threats, attacks, and defenses; mathematics for cybersecurity; and professional ethics.
Learners also choose between four specializations: network forensics and intrusion investigation, information assurance, cybercrime and fraud investigation, and cyber operations. Utica partners with industry giants like CompTIA to ensure graduates possess the skills they need to succeed. Learners can take certification exams for CompTIA's Network+, A+, and Security+ credentials and earn significant discounts on the exam fees.
Students must complete internships in this program, which they can do in their local areas. The coursework portion of the internship takes place online like the other classes in this program. The school's new streamlined admissions process means that candidates fill out the online application and the school takes care of the rest. They order official transcripts and even call references on each student's behalf.
What Else Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Cybercrime Program?
The complexities of internet-based security continue to grow, and are as relevant in as many contexts as there are computers. Students can expect to gain expertise in the use of technology to help develop a practicum and precedent for future criminal investigatory bodies, as well as the ability to gain professional specializations according to their desired focus of study. While those specifics may vary according to an individual program's concentration, students can expect programs to place an emphasis on a working familiarity with the many applications of cybercrime theory. Topics covered include subjects as diverse as cyberbullying, sexting and minors, malware, and virus attacks.
CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN CYBERCRIME
Before you decide on a particular bachelor's in cybercrime online program, it's important to consider the fact that individual programs may differ significantly from one another. For example, some universities may demonstrate a greater level of expertise in certain areas, while others may feature a focus unsuited to a potential candidate's projected use of a criminal justice degree track. To gain an idea of what a course for an example online bachelor's degree in cybercrime may look like, consult the following list.
- Computer Forensics: The study of computer forensics is essential to gain the ability to efficiently gather evidence admissible for use in the court of law. Most cybercrime programs include one or more courses in forensics and attendant computer technology systems (storage and GPS systems, for example).
- Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure: This course provides with students a foundational understanding of critical data points and computer system sectors within the context of Homeland Security. Once students gain a basic understanding of system components, the course provides instruction on how to best catalogue threat risks and potential vulnerabilities in existing counter-terrorism technological standards.
- Information and Network Security Class: In addition to covering methods for identifying security risks, most online bachelor's degree in cybercrime programs include courses that survey basic computer security, such as firewalls, virus protection, network protection, cryptography, and digital signatures.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN CYBERCRIME?
All online degree in cybercrime programs require that students complete a set number of particular courses for graduation. The length of time that a student may need to complete that program may differ according to the circumstances of their application and pace of learning. For example, some students may transfer in coursework from an accredited institution of higher learning they previously attended.
Students can expect to encounter anywhere from a eight week to 12-week course lengths, depending on the academic lens of their cybercrime education and on potential training involving certain advanced technical specializations. Some programs require that students enter a degree course in a cohort, which allows for a synchronized discussion and online forum format. Whether a program caters to an individual course of study or a cohort model may also affect a student's application date. Generally speaking, students can expect to complete a 120-credit online bachelor's degree in cybercrime program in about four years of full-time study.
Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in Cybercrime Degrees
Accreditation plays a crucial role in maintaining a high standard of education at institutions of higher learning. There are two varieties of accreditation of which you should be aware: regional accreditation and national accreditation. In both instances, a third party organization awards educational institutions accreditation only when institutions have met their inspection and evaluation standards. Regional accreditation is generally considered to be the more prestigious. Beyond the two accreditation varieties, there is currently no specific accreditation requirement specific to cybercriminology, but some programs work directly with governmental bodies (which a program will proudly proclaim) and some programs may also offer exclusive internship opportunities.
The Department of Education (ED) is a federal agency established by the federal government of the United States in 1979 to regulate schools, coordinate federal assistance for education, gather data about schools, and enforce federal laws associated with education. The ED has no direct hand in the accreditation process itself. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation and similar bodies work to maintain educational standards, keeping universities throughout the United States competitive with colleges and schools around the world. When considering a school, potential students should look for accreditation by one of the several Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions schools. The ED hosts a list of universities that hold national accreditation.
Employment Outlook for Bachelor's in Cybercrime Graduates
A bachelor's degree in cybercrime opens up an array of potential occupational and career paths for graduates entering the job market. Students who graduate with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete for a position in this new and exciting field stand to gain a significant leg-up in terms of their earning potential. Most occupations that require a degree in criminal justice with a concentration in internet security systems provide a generous salary. Derived from data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the table below provides some potential job placement in terms of which states boast the highest employment figures for an information security analyst position in cyber-security.
|State||Employment||Hourly Mean Wage||Mean Annual Wage|
BACHELOR'S IN CYBERCRIME SALARY
Drawing on data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (dated May 2016), the chart below provides a sample of average annual wages for an information security analysts employed in top industries across the United States. Like most other specialized fields, pay grade is established in a competitive economic environment and corresponds to the perceived value of the data or systems under protection.
|Professional Field||Median Annual Salary|
|Management, scientific, and technical consulting services||$101,440|
|Computer systems design and related services||$93,490|
|Depository credit intermediation||$92,580|
|Management of companies and enterprises||$87,510|
BACHELOR'S IN CYBERCRIME CAREERS
Particularly rewarding for professionals who excel at detail-oriented and technical work, a career in computer systems and security protocols is an exciting and valuable way to participate in professional business life. A relatively new field, both large companies and individuals require solid cybersecurity, and that demand is only likely to increase. A job in cybercrime allows for a high degree of customization in addressing the needs of a company. The following list details a few potential positions within the field:
- Information Security Analyst: Information security analysts are responsible for planning and carrying out the security measures deemed necessary to protect a given organization's computer systems and data network. As the prevalence of cyberattacks continues to rise, this is one of the most in-demand positions within the field.
- Computer and Information Systems Managers: An IT manager or an information systems manager plans, coordinates, and directs all maintenance and performance analysis related efforts within an organization. Employing a specialized skill set, IT managers help to determine what IT goals an organization may have and work to meet them.
- Computer Network Architects: Whether for local area networks, intranet systems, or wide area networks, a network architect is responsible for designing and building the data and communication network systems of any given project. Networks that computer network architects construct range from complex cloud infrastructure for a number of clients to small connections between two businesses.
- Web Developers: Cybercrime often begins with vulnerabilities in organization websites. As a professional web developer, your task is to engage with other members of a team to design, build, and maintain a secure, attractive, and fully functional web presence for an organization.
- Computer Programmers: A computer programmer takes the designs created by software development teams and software engineers and creates the raw instructions for computer hardware to execute a desired set of commands. Highly valued among many companies, professional computer programmers understand the rapidly changing nature of the IT industry.
|Position||Mean Annual Salary||Projected Growth Rate|
|Information Security Analyst||$92,600||18%|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$135,800||15%|
|Computer Network Architects||$101,210||9%|
Organizations in the field of information security and cybercriminology offer a world of potential networking opportunities, trade conferences, and hands-on development. Specialized employment opportunities are often available directly through an existing security company. Conferences on data security are usually conducted through convention center networks, and happen at least once annually in most major metropolitan areas. Below are a few examples of notable organizations within the field of cybersecurity.
- Information Systems Security Association (ISSA): The ISSA is an international not-for-profit organization focused on professional information security. Founded in 1984, the ISSA provides a multitude of resources for professionals in the field.
- International Security Forum (ISF): The ISF is one of the most trusted voices on cybersecurity is another great resource, actively updating a wealth of independent research, valuable webinars, and writing by business leaders. Working collaboratively with its members, the ISF strives to deliver guidance on ongoing security challenges.
Financing Your Online Bachelor's in Cybercrime
In order to understand funding opportunities like scholarships, grants, loans and work-study, students should do their research on FAFSA loans. Many low-interest rate funds exist with banks and lending partners in education. Certain employers may also furnish the potential to complete your degree if you have an existing academic history. Some college programs are eligible for tax breaks and some military organizations (such as the ROTC) cover the cost of education in exchange for service.
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