Best Online Cybersecurity Degree Programs
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Completing an online bachelor's in cybersecurity can provide students the training they need to land in-demand roles that offer above-average salaries and opportunities for quick advancement. Completing one of these degrees can qualify individuals for a wide range of careers and help them gain many transferable skills.
The cost of an online bachelor's in cybersecurity can vary substantially based on whether students attend a public or private institution. Additionally, learners who decide to study online can typically avoid many of the campus-based fees associated with parking, facilities, and other in-person services.
Graduates can look forward to a robust job market, with the vast majority of positions in this field anticipated to expand in the coming years. Recent graduates earn above-average salaries, while more experienced professionals can earn six figures.
Keep reading to learn about the top online schools for cybersecurity, common courses, job opportunities, and continuing education options.
Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Programs
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- 4 years
- Online + Campus
CityU's bachelor's in cybersecurity program lets transfer students earn a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity in as few as two years. The program offers work experience through an internship and a capstone at the end of the program.
Students learn networking protocols, coding, and how to secure networks. They gain experience using Python and C++ programming languages. Courses focus on operating systems, web design, network communications, data security, and data mining and machine learning.
Graduates have found careers in data security, cybercrime, risk analysis, and corporate investigations.
Grand Forks, ND
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
UND's online bachelor's in cybersecurity, offered through the College of Engineering and Mines, features interdisciplinary studies and cybersecurity research opportunities.
Online learners build a foundation in electrical engineering through courses in circuit analysis, signals and systems, and computer-aided measurement and controls. They can also take electives that include cognitive psychology, cybersecurity law and investigations, and physics from other departments.
Coursework takes place online with the opportunity to work at UND's Secure Cyber Physical Energy Systems and Data Sciences Laboratory.
Online learners can access tutoring at the UND Writing Center and research resources through the Chester Fritz Library.
Saint Louis, MO
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Maryville's bachelor's in cybersecurity degree features concentrations in offensive cybersecurity, general cybersecurity, and defense cybersecurity.
The program combines business and cybersecurity disciplines with classes in macroeconomics and microeconomics, financial accounting, cybersecurity principles, and database design. After completing the general education requirements, online learners can graduate in 2.5 years.
Students train in virtual labs and gain the skills to earn credentials that include CompTIA Security and Certified Ethical Hacker.
First-time freshman applications need a high school diploma or GED certificate. Transfer students need at least a 2.0 GPA. Admissions does not require standardized tests.
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Immaculata's College of Adult Professional Studies division offers an accelerated bachelor's in cybersecurity degree with a Christian perspective.
Most students enter the program having completed prerequisites. The major courses cover software design and programming, vulnerability assessment and penetration, research and analysis, network and infrastructure, open source intelligence, and Christian faith in action.
Some 94% of the graduates in 2020 found jobs or entered graduate school within nine months of graduating, according to Immaculata.
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Baker's online bachelor's in cybersecurity degree prepares students through work experience to secure careers in platform security, networks, and operating systems. Students complete 150 hours of work experience over 10 weeks.
Baker Online allows students to complete assignments and classwork on their own time. Online learners have the option to take a mix of classes live online or on campus.
The program's requirements also include a senior project and courses in CISCO networking, Linux, VPN firewall, ethical hacking, and computer forensics and investigation.
San Antonio, TX
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
UTSA's bachelor's in cybersecurity degree features an emphasis in business with concentrations in information technology project management and cyber analytics.
Students learn programming languages, such as Scripting and Java. They also take Common Body of Knowledge courses in accounting, business and professional speech, and marketing.
Graduates have found jobs at USAA, HEB, and Valero.
Freshman applicants need at least an SAT score of 1170 in reading and math or an ACT score of 24. Transfer candidates must have at least a 2.5 GPA.
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Drexel features a self-paced online bachelor's in cybersecurity degree with concentrations in computing technology and computing security.
Students take core courses in network administration, information technology security, and servers and open servers. Coursework takes place over four 10-week quarters. The computing security concentration covers computer forensics, access control and intrusion detection, networking security, and information technology security policies and audits.
Drexel accepts up to 90 transfer credits. Transfer students need at least 24 college credits.
Saint Leo, FL
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Saint Leo's bachelor's in cybersecurity degree gives students professional development opportunities.
The program's courses cover network defense, penetration testing, and disaster recovery. Students apply their knowledge in two computer labs and during internships. Saint Leo's also offers networking and professional development opportunities through its Computing Club and Computer Security Club, and the Upsilon Pi Epsilon student chapter.
Companies, such as Bisk Technologies, Tampa Electric, Verizon, and the University of South Florida have hired graduates.
Rolling admissions allows students to apply at any time with six start dates.
- 4 years
UMGC, which has offered remote learning since 1997, features a flexible online bachelor's in cybersecurity degree with no set course times.
The interdisciplinary curriculum combines management, law, science, business, technology, and psychology. Students study network security, ethics in information technology, and practical applications in cybersecurity management.
The degree prepares graduates for credentials as Certified Information Privacy Professionals, Certified Information Systems Security Professionals, and for certifications through CompTIA Network and CompTIA Security.
UMGC's accepted up to 90 transfer credits. All courses function online, but students can choose a hybrid format with some on-campus options.
Moon Township, PA
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
RMU's online bachelor's in cybersecurity degree combines business and cyber technology curriculum with two optional concentrations: cybersecurity and digital forensics.
Major credits teach students operating system concepts, Python programming language, database management systems, and project management. RMU students can attend internships at the Washington Center in Washington, D.C. to gain work experience in media, politics, and cybersecurity.
Eligible applicants need at least a 2.75 GPA. Submitting SAT and ACT scores is optional for freshman applicants.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Program?
Individuals drawn to cybersecurity degrees and careers are typically analytical, detail-oriented people who enjoy problem-solving. They typically enjoy working independently but can also work on a team as needed.
The majority of full-time online bachelor's in cybersecurity programs consist of 120 credits and take four years to complete. In addition to general education and core coursework requirements, some schools also offer concentrations to help students build nuanced skills in specific areas. These vary from program to program, but common options include:
- Cloud-based Security
- Computer Forensics
- Software Security
- Mobile App Technology
- Information Warfare and Security Management
- Ethical Hacking
Some online bachelor's programs also require students to participate in a semester-long internship, as this allows them to build real-world skills and start networking with other professionals prior to graduating. Other schools may not require students to complete internships but make them optional for learners who want to participate.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Degree Programs.
Featured Online Degree Programs in Cybersecurity
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Program?
This introductory course, typically taken in the first year, acquaints students with the tenets of cybersecurity and provides the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in more advanced courses.
Introduction to Programming
Students taking this course learn about various programming languages and begin designing basic algorithms that can translate into programs. Students learn how to problem-solve and design programs that have real-life applications.
This course provides the training needed to use penetration testing and other forms of ethical hacking to look for security vulnerabilities. Students work with volunteer clients to look for ways of strengthening their networks.
With a focus on electronic evidence identification and collection, this course teaches students the skills they need to gather important evidence related to cybercrimes so they can be properly litigated. Special emphasis is placed on how digital forensics is used in criminal and civil courtrooms.
Typically completed in the junior or senior year of studies, internships provide an opportunity for students to put their learning into action through a semester-long placement. In addition to gaining real-world experience, learners also have the opportunity to network with other professionals.
What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Program?
Admission requirements for online bachelor's in cybersecurity programs vary by school, making it important that students carefully review the information provided by each institution. In addition to the components outlined below, some programs may require applicants to participate in interviews.
Most schools allow prospective students to submit their completed applications online. However, a few may still allow for mailed applications. These forms typically ask for basic demographic information such as the applicant's full name, mailing address, date of birth, and citizenship status.
At the undergraduate level, it's common for schools to request ACT or SAT scores from incoming first-years. That said, some schools are phasing out this requirement or making it voluntary. Be sure to review each prospective school's individual requirements.
Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation play an important role in the admissions process, as they help schools better understand how others view candidates. Recommendation letters usually come from former or current teachers, supervisors, mentors, volunteer managers, or faith leaders.
Essays provide an opportunity for students to share, in their own words, what makes them stand-out candidates and what they can bring to the table. Most schools supply prompts or questions to help applicants frame their answers. Be sure to follow all directions carefully and fully.
Official transcripts help admission officers verify stated GPAs and ensure students took all the required high school prerequisites needed to gain admission. Transfer students submit transcripts so registrars can determine how many transfer credits they've earned.
What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Degree?
Earning a bachelor's in cybersecurity degree can lead to a stable, well-paying career. With more and more companies and individuals depending on these professionals to keep their information safe, cybersecurity graduates are projected to be in demand. This degree will likely continue to be popular.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for information security analysts will grow by 33% between 2020-2030, leading to the creation of more than 47,000 new jobs.
Because so many industries rely on cybersecurity professionals, graduates of these programs can find jobs in many sectors — including at corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies. Keep reading to learn about some of the best jobs for those with bachelor's degrees in cybersecurity.
Career Paths with a Cybersecurity Degree
Information Security Analysts
These individuals work in professional settings to keep networks safe from cybercrimes. In addition to installing firewalls and using data encryption services, information security analysts also look for weaknesses and keep up with cybersecurity industry trends. They also teach other employees best practices for security.
Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $102,600
Computer and Information Systems Managers
Working in leadership positions, computer and information systems managers oversee the technical needs of their organizations. In addition to maintaining the hardware and software needs of their companies, these professionals also upgrade existing technologies. They may also train other employees on how to use certain services. Some companies may require computer and information systems managers to have a master's degree in a related subject.
Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $159,010
Working in both freelance and in-house roles, database administrators spend their days designing databases that meet specific needs and maintaining existing databases. In addition to creating systems to prevent data loss, these professionals use security systems to keep confidential and sensitive information safe from cybercriminals.
Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $98,860
Network and Computer Systems Administrators
Network and computer systems administrators manage the day-to-day operations of intranets, local area networks, data communication systems, and wide area networks for their companies. In addition to keeping up with new hardware and software needs, these professionals also create security permissions based on user levels.
Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $80,600
Ethical hackers use their in-depth knowledge of security protocols, weak points, and malware to identify problem areas for their clients. Using penetration testing skills, these professionals detect vulnerable points of entry in various databases and intranets. They report these findings to their clients and suggest ways of addressing the problems to prevent other intruders.
Average Annual Salary (April 2022): $79,100
Cybersecurity Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.
After completing an online bachelor's in cybersecurity and working in the field for a time, some professionals may decide they want to return to school and earn an advanced degree. Several universities now offer in-person and online master's in cybersecurity degrees focused on building deeper knowledge and skills.
Completing a master's in cybersecurity can help students build the qualifications to take on more senior leadership roles that typically pay higher wages and allow for more responsibilities. Most master's programs take about two years to complete, and many schools now make them available online.
How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Program?
The cost of a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity can vary substantially based on whether learners attend a private or public school, making it important that they understand true program costs before enrolling. Applicants should also compare costs between online and campus-based programs to see which option is more cost-effective.
In the case of online bachelor's in cybersecurity programs, students can generally choose between asynchronous and synchronous learning formats. Synchronous programs have set meeting times, while asynchronous programs allow students to complete lessons at their own pace. Most schools also typically provide both part-time and full-time options to support different scheduling needs. Some programs even provide accelerated degrees for motivated learners.
Location can play an important role in choosing a program, even for online students. Even an online bachelor's in cybersecurity program may have some campus-based requirements. If so, students may want to be within driving distance of the campus.
When looking at a bachelor's in cybersecurity, students can find options with both programmatic and institutional accreditation. At the programmatic level, cybersecurity programs can be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology's Computing Accreditation Commission and the National Centers of Academic Excellence. Students should also ensure any college they attend holds proper institutional accreditation.
Colleges provide support services to ensure learners get the academic, social, and professional support needed to thrive. The best schools provide access to professional mentors as well as top-tier internship sites. Many schools now provide specific services to online students to ensure they feel supported as well.
Frequently Asked Questions About Online Cybersecurity Programs
Is a bachelor's in cybersecurity worth it?
Deciding whether an online degree is worth it involves considering the pros and cons of both distance and in-person learning. Many online programs are rigorous, and careers for cybersecurity graduates are projected to be increasingly in demand in the coming years.
As more individuals and businesses live their lives online, cybercrime is likely to increase. Possessing the skills needed to work against hackers can prove valuable for years to come.
What can I do with a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity?
There are many job options for graduates with a bachelor's in cybersecurity. Many graduates decide to pursue jobs as information security analysts, working either in consultative roles or in-house for a single entity. Others may decide to work directly with networks or databases, both to build them in secure ways and to protect them when in use.
Individuals interested in problem-solving and testing may decide that ethical hacking best suits their needs. In these roles, ethical hackers look for weakened points of entry for their clients and provide reports on areas that need to be addressed.
Are cybersecurity majors in demand?
Cybersecurity majors are in demand and likely will be for years to come. The BLS projects jobs for information security analysts to expand by 33% between 2020-2030, leading to more than 47,000 new jobs by the end of the decade.
According to Cyber Seek, there are currently nearly 600,000 cybersecurity job openings in the U.S. California alone has more than 63,000 openings. If you're looking for a high-paying, in-demand career, cybersecurity may be a great fit.
How much money can I make with a bachelor's in cybersecurity?
New cybersecurity graduates usually make between $70,000 and $80,000 annually, while experienced professionals can earn six-figure salaries. According to the BLS, network and computer systems administrators earned a median annual salary of $80,600 in 2021, while the top 10% of earners brought home more than $130,830 in the same year.
Many factors can affect how much a bachelor's in cybersecurity graduate earns, including their level of experience, title, location, and employer.
What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in cybersecurity?
After gaining some experience, those with a bachelor's in cybersecurity can earn salaries well over $100,000. According to the BLS, computer and information systems managers earned a median annual wage of $159,010 in May 2021. Because these positions require applicants to possess at least five years of experience, recent graduates will not qualify.
The top 10% of computer and information systems managers earned more than $208,000 in 2021. Those who earn master's degrees in cybersecurity can take on managerial or administrative positions and earn even more.
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