Online Cyber Security Degree Programs

WHAT IS AN ONLINE CYBER SECURITY DEGREE?

Cyber security deals with how to protect systems, networks and programs from cyber attacks. The goal of these attacks are often aimed at trying to gain access to, change or destroy data. Having the proper cyber sec measures in place is key as there are more devices now than people and as hackers get more creative.

Therefore, the best cyber sec approach has many layers of protection that can be spread across all of the computers, networks or data that it wants to keep safe. So, if this sounds like a field that you’d have an interest in, then an online cyber security degree or certification may be a route that you can take in order to pursue a career in cyber sec.

With cyber attacks real and imminent, pursuing an online cyber security degree may be a worth while goal for you. You can see in the reports by CSO that by 2021, there will be 3.5 million cyber sec jobs. Thus, you are wise to study in areas like Info Sec in order to be prepared to meet this trend. Your trained eye and computer skill set will be in demand by employers.

WHY IS CYBER SECURITY IMPORTANT?

In today’s world, we can all benefit from proper cyber defense programs. The rise in the use of tech has brought with it a rise in cyber crime. For hackers, the possibilities have increased as well as the rewards. A cyber attack can result in identity theft, extortion attempts, or even the loss of data. The fact that cyber crime now permeates every part of society shows why cyber sec is so important. Many places like hospitals, power plants and even finance companies rely on cyber sec.

ONLINE CYBER SECURITY DEGREE PROGRAMS

Have you thought about going into an online cyber security degree program? Here are a few things you should know: Most people that work in Cyber Sec have a four year bachelor’s degree according to O-Net. In fact, about 53% of those employed in this field hold a BA. The thing is, it does not matter how they get that degree. There are a few routes that you can take in order to get your BA or BS degree. Both a BA or BS have equal value. So, it does not matter which one a student gets in order to graduate.

The same goes for the degree along the way. For instance, going to a community college is a way to save money while you are in school. These schools tend to cost a lot less than private campus schools. In fact, as per the NCES, the tuition for 2016 averaged less than 4K a year. These are often geared toward an AS degree. An AS can take about two years. And, after those first few years of courses, you can then transfer into a bachelor’s. That could be online or on campus. Both work well these days.

Many BA and BS degree holders move forward and get a master’s degree as well. Others get a post grad certificate. But, both of these can boost your resume. That’s because Info Sec employers like to see post grad work on your resume. Any degree path that you choose can create your perfect future, though. One reason is that there is much potential in the field. The U.S. BLS reports this job market growth is at a rate of 28%. They say this is “much faster than average” for all occupations.

CYBER SECURITY CERTIFICATIONS

The training for these certs can tie into online cyber security degree programs as well. But it’s fine to get a cert without a degree. In fact, this kind of training can help you with more than a certificate if that is of interest to you. You may want to feel out how much interest you have. The commitment and cost for this is small compared to a degree program. Also, you will get a useful certificate out of it. This means that there is tangible proof of your skill. And, there’s not much to lose. Meanwhile, degree programs are at least a two year commitment and can cost thousands of dollars.

So why don’t most people start out with a cert? Although there’s much to be gained from a cert, it’s not likely to lead to a job in itself. Most of these pros, according to BLS, hold at least a bachelor’s degree. But a cert can help boost that degree in the eyes of employers. They like the proof of skills that a cert can bring. And it’s a short cut in order to show that you are well prepped to meet their needs.

What is the Difference Between a Certificate vs Degree?

A certificate says that you have a certain set of skills. Degrees show a wider breadth of knowledge. Also, cert programs are for short training periods. Often a year or less. And, they focus like a laser beam on the exact certification in order. Many places have more than one in order to serve as a sort of one stop shop for many Info Sec certs. Here are two prime ones:

ISC² is an int’l organization with more than 140K members. They serve as a resource for Info Sec pros

Also, ISC² offers these cert courses:

EC Council serves as an online portal with more than 220K members.

They offer this list of cert training classes: 

  • CND – Certified Network Defender
  • CEH – Certified Ethical Hacker
  • CEH
  • CTIA – Certified Threat Intelligence Analyst
  • EC Council Certified Security Analyst | ECSA
  • ECSA
  • Advanced Penetration Testing (APT)
  • Licensed Penetration Tester | LPT – Master
  • ECIH – EC Council Certified Incident Handler
  • Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator | CHFI
  • Certified Chief Information Security Officer | CCISO
  • CNDA – Certified Network Defense Architect
  • ECES – EC Council Certified Encryption Specialist
  • Advanced Network Defense | CAST 614
  • CSCU – Certified Secure Computer User
  • CASE – Certified Application Security Engineer 
  • Java Certified Application Security Engineer | CASE – .Net
  • ECSS – EC Council Certified Security Specialist

Cyber Security Majors

There are many Cyber Sec majors to study in school. Each is different. But they also have lots in common. For instance, the first year or so of school may have lots of overlap classes among them. That’s because the core program requirements take time to fulfill first. But when it’s time to go into your focus, there are distinctions among these majors.

  • IT Security

    An IT Security degree can protect all the info in a company. A degree in IT Sec can also be called Information Security or Info Sec. These degrees often start in Comp Sci, Criminal Justice, or Business. They differ only in origin, though. The program won’t vary much among them. That’s because they all lead to the same goal, a knowledge and skill to enforce IT Sec at work.

    The program will vary by school, but some of the classes are the same at all schools. They look at the basics in order to prep you for the day to day work of Info Sec. Here are some of the courses:

    • Systems Analysis
    • Database Design
    • History of IT
    • E Commerce
    • IT Control and Audit
  • Cyber Security

    There’s not much difference between IT Sec and Cyber Sec. But the small distinctions are key. This field only covers info sec that pertains to cyber space. So, it’s a key subset of Info Sec. This covers all the networks, applications, and data that cross the Internet.

    Hence, these programs will be a lot like those for Info Sec. In later years Cyber Sec programs may dig deeper into Internet issues. For instance, as a Cyber Sec student, you might delve in to things like malware, viruses and more. They may also focus more on issues like phishing.

    Phishing deals with harmful email attacks under the guise of a company. These can harm the brand and reputation when clients associate them such emails. These pros protect against this with email list methods. Such work is for cyber space and thus special to their purview.

  • Information Assurance

    In our world, information reigns king in companies these days. So, security matters more than ever. Thus, Info Sec, Cyber, and Network Sec are key.

    These have a lot in common because they share the same goals. All three protect and secure info in order to keep a business running. But they each have their own nuances.

    Info Sec protects info. That means physical data such as what you find in a filing cabinet. It also means digital data.

  • Network Security

    A subset of Cyber Sec, Network Sec hones in on the communication by ways. These behind the scenes by ways are where it all happens. So, a lot can go wrong with the info that will pass through. The programs in this field start out with the Info Sec basics. A Cyber Sec program serves these students. Of course, they may also have a field of study like a Network focus.

    That means courses are designed with Networks in mind. So, classes will have these goals in mind:

    • Build reliable and secure code in a network’s system
    • Prevent network security gaps and weakness
    • Create measures that protect data passage on a network

    These are core for Network Sec. The bottom line is to keep a Network safe while working. One of the paradigms of Info Sec is that it is accessible. It’s not only about how to keep info safe. But also to make sure it’s there for those who need it. After all, info is a key factor in every company.

  • Health care Security

    Cyber Sec is more in need now than ever in health care. After all, our medical info can pass through cyber space. What’s more private than that? This part of Cyber Sec may seem niche. But it gets to the heart of what matters. We all go to the doctor and want that info kept secure. Therefore, a degree in Health care Sec can help in order to make this a safer world for this key, personal info.

    This field can starts in a business or master’s degree program. Thus, a student with a BA or BS in Cyber Sec can then focus in Health care for grad school. It could be by combining it with a Health care Admin Master’s degree. Other partner programs are Business and Auditing. Because Health care info remains critical and vulnerable, apps for it are growing.

  • Computer Forensics

    These pros solve cases that deal with computer data. So, these degrees could be ideal for you if you love computers and solving cases. They are like detectives of the digital world. These programs can have many routes. You could start out in either Comp Sci or Criminal Justice. Both paths may lead to Computer Forensics. And, once you decide to take this route your program will get a focus.

    The course work will survey both computers and investigations. Here are some types of classes:

    • Criminal Investigation
    • Foundations of Cyber Sec
    • Malware Forensics
    • Digital Forensic Analysis

    These degrees may give you the skills you need in order to work with law enforcement or other companies. In fact, law enforcement entities now hold Cyber Sec departments for this purpose. These are much like a business’ IT department. Both are places that may hire these pros in order to help their team.

20 BEST SCHOOLS WITH Online CYBER SECURITY DEGREE PROGRAMS

Our top 20 list was created by looking at the number of cyber security grads for the 2018 school year, as well as other data from NCES. All tuition and financial aid information are also provided by the NCES.

1

Colorado Technical University

4435 N Chestnut Street | Colorado Springs, CO 80907

Online B.S. in Cyber Security – Information Assurance   

CTU’s 186 credit program is made in order to help you prepare and work so that you can gain the skills to apply the methods and tools needed in order to secure the public and private sectors’ critical assets and info.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Skill to examine and take measures against hacking, spam, worms, malware and viruses through cyber and evidence gathering
  • Skill to work with tech experts and management in order to evaluate business systems and make suggestions on how to secure key business info.
Tuition & Fees: $11,960
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
74%, Average Amount: $4,270
Federal Loans:
74%, Average Amount: $8,036
2

University of Maryland

3501 University Blvd East | Adelphi, MD 20783

Online Bachelor’s Degree: Computer Networks and Cyber Security

In this B.S. program, you will learn the procedures and tech in order to design, secure, and trouble shoot networks. This program requires 120 credits to complete.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Design, implement, and secure local area (LAN) and wide area networks (WAN) in order to meet goals
  • Resolve IT system problems and meet the needs of end users by using methods in order to trouble shoot
  • Apply policies and methods in order to secure and monitor IT systems
Tuition & Fees: $12,336
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
29%, Average Amount: $3,315
Federal Loans:
19%, Average Amount: $7,927
3

Capitol Technology Unviersity

11301 Springfield Rd | Laurel, MD 20708

M.S. in Cyber Security Online

This online M.S. degree provides the advanced, up to date knowledge that you may need in order to protect companies and gov’t agencies from today’s threats. Also, it preps you for the CISSP exam in the field of IT security. 36 to 39 credits are needed.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Skill needed in order to evaluate diverse points of view and integrate their knowledge in the field across many tech applications.
  • Skill needed in order to consider ethical principles and evaluate solutions and practices for Cyber Sec.
  • Knowledge to use the principles and practices in order to maintain operations in the presence of risks and threats.
Tuition & Fees: $11,178
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
75%, Average Amount: $13,491
Federal Loans:
52%, Average Amount: $6,878
4

Strayer University – Global Region

1133 15th St NW, Suite 200 | Washington D.C. 20005

Online B.S. in Information Technology – Cyber Security

This online B.S. program will teach you to think like a hacker, know how these black hat programmers breach network systems; and will train you on how to implement defense systems that protect data.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Learn how to maintain secure networks and data in a range of environments
  • Know the different types of hacking (both ethical and unethical)
  • Perform pen tests on communication and wireless networks
  • Master the functions and impacts of harmful programs – and their counter measures.
Tuition & Fees: $13,380
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
35%, Average Amount $4,326
Federal Loans:
36%, Average Amount: $10,188
5

Walden University

100 Washington Avenue South, Suite 900 | Minneapolis, MN 55401

Online Doctor of Information Technology – Cyber Security Focus (Track 1)

In Walden’s online DIT program, you will gain knowledge in the field of IT and acquire the skills needed in order to guide companies through IT related issues. This program requires 52 credit hours.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Suggest IT strategies that support enterprise missions and objectives that follow tenets of social, and ethical responsibility.
  • Show the skill to formulate project management, compliance, and sourcing of IT in a company.
  • Conduct research that can contribute to professional and actionable knowledge in an applied environment.
Tuition & Fees: $12,205
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
35%, Average Amount $4,326
Federal Loans:
36%, Average Amount: $10,188
6

Excelsior College

7 Columbia Circle | Albany, NY 12203

B.S. in Cyber Security

Aligned with the requirements for cyber sec set by the NSA and DHS, this 120 credit online B.S. program gives you the skill you need in order to enhance your tech knowledge in cyber sec.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Describe defensive network architecture that use many layers of protection.
  • Analyze tech and processes that monitor, maintain, and protect the data of a company.
  • Conduct risk and vulnerability assessments of existing and proposed security systems.
Tuition & Fees: $6,805
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
14%, Average Amount: $2,968
Federal Loans:
11%, Average Amount: $6,581
7

American Public University System

111 W Congress St | Charles Town, WV 25414

Online B.S. in Cyber Security

This B.S. provides you with both theory and know how that you may need in order to assess, plan, design, and implement cyber sec defense in the public and private sectors. It requires 120 credits with a maximum of 90 transfer credits. The program is online.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Show a knowledge of the processes and goals of cyber forensics cases.
  • Compare and contrast the aspects of cyber sec like the relationship between cyber defense, cyber crime, and cyber law within federal and state laws.
Tuition & Fees: $6,880
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
85%, Average Amount $1,705
Federal Loans:
22%, Average Amount $8,635
8

Arizona State University

University Drive and Mill Avenue | Tempe, AZ 85287

Online MCS Computer Science (Cyber Security)

This MCS program is designed to give students the knowledge and skills in science and engineering for cyber security, including computer and network security, software security, data and info sec,  and computer forensics. The program is online. And, it requires 30 credit hours and a portfolio.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the processes and skills in science and engineering for cyber security, like computer and network security, software security, data and info sec, and computer forensics.
  • Ability to provide restoration of info systems by incorporating protection, detection and reaction capabilities.
Tuition & Fees: $25,160
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
76%, Average Amount $12,060
Federal Loans:
36%, Average Amount: $4,948
9

Indiana University – Bloomington

107 South Indiana Ave | Bloomington, IN 47405

Online M.S. in Cyber Security Risk Management

This 30 credit hour, M.S. program is the first in the nation to bring three top ranked schools together to offer tech, business, and law view points on cyber sec. And you can earn your degree online or choose to take some classes at the IU Bloomington campus—it’s up to you.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Skill to protect privacy and intellectual property
  • Promote info and systems security
  • Address cyber threats to national and global security
Tuition & Fees: $33,271
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
64%, Average Amount $10,960
Federal Loans:
33%, Average Amount $6,344
10

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

600 S. Clyde Morris Blvd | Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Master of Science in Cyber Security & Policy Online

The MSCMP is a 30 credit online degree program for IT and non IT pros who want to move into a leadership role. Grads will emerge from the program with a knowledge of cyber sec and its impacts across the company, along with improved critical thinking and management skills.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Skill to recognize the relationship between cyber sec and your company’s goals
  • Realize the long term impact of a security breach on successful completion of your mission
Tuition & Fees: $7,980
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
39%, Average Amount $3,981
Federal Loans:
14%, Average Amount $10,679
11

George Mason University

4400 University Dr | Fairfax, VA 22030

Online Bachelor of Applied Science, Cyber Security Focus

Mason’s B.A.S. is a unique program made for those who have earned an A.A.S. degree. B.A.S students will develop skills that are recognized by the NIST and NICE as vital to the field. This program requires 120 to 126 credit hours.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Understand the role of IT as a tool of war fare and civil defense
  • Skill to analyze, organize and evaluate info systems
Tuition & Fees: $35,922
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
48%, Average Amount $7,175
Federal Loans:
42%, Average Amount $6,873
12

Fairleigh Dickinson University

1000 River Rd | Teaneck, NJ 07666

Online M.S. Cyber & Homeland Security Administration

The master’s is designed to help you become a leader in the security field. As you work your way through the 36 credit program, you will have the chance to choose from one of three tracks: terrorism and security studies, emergency management, and leadership.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Skill to research well, and apply critical thinking skills to positions of leadership in the field.
  • Skill to conduct effective risk analysis.
  • Proficient in how to manage responses to emergencies and threats.
Tuition & Fees: $23,805
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
53%, Average Amount $22,490
Federal Loans:
44%, Average Amount: $10,017
13

Purdue University Global – Davenport

1801 East Kimberly Road, Suite 1 | Davenport, IA 52807

Online Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security

This online program will give you advanced technical knowledge and skills and prep you for industry certifications in order to propel your career in the fast moving field of cyber sec. Program requires 180 quarter credit hours.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Skill to analyze complex problems to apply principles and other relevant disciplines in order to identify solutions
  • Skill in how to design, implement, and evaluate computing based solutions in order to meet a given set of needs
Tuition & Fees: $14,343
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
67%, Average Amount $4,150
Federal Loans:
: 54%, Average Amount: $6,292
14

Regent University

1000 Regent University Dr | Virginia Beach, VA 23464

Online Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security

If you want an online degree that combines your talent for tech with a desire to serve and protect then you’ve found it. Regent’s B.S. program will prep you to begin or advance your tech and network sec career in gov’t, private, public and not for profit sectors. This program requires 120 credit hours (or more).

Desired Outcomes:

  • Assess cyber security threats, trends and strategies.
  • Identify cyber security principles, methods and tools that aid in the defense of cyber attacks.
  • Decrease system vulnerabilities through integrated security tech.
Tuition & Fees: $18,380
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
84%, Average Amount $7,230
Federal Loans:
81%, Average Amount $9,559
15

Western Governors University

4001 South 700 East Suite 700 | Salt Lake City, UT 84107

Online Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security and Information Assurance

WGU’s online B.S. requires 120 or more credits to complete. It was designed with input from cyber experts and leading IT employers in order to meet the most recent DHS and NSA guide lines.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Identify and implement strategies in order to classify, control access, set permission, configure, optimize, and upgrade basic system security.
  • Look at how confidentiality, integrity, and availability define security needs for a business.
  • Use security principles and cyber defense concepts in order to overcome common security failures.
Tuition & Fees: $6,670
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
27%, Average Amount $2,635
Federal Loans:
45%, Average Amount $3,103
16

Capella University

225 South 6th Street, 9th Floor | Minneapolis, MN 55402

Online B.S. in IT, Information Assurance and Cyber Security

This B.S. in IT degree helps you learn to assess security policies, social engineering, access control, authentication, perimeter security, disaster recovery, and more. 180 program credits are required for this program.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Balance risk and benefits that deal with information assets.
  • Validate accuracy and integrity of info assets through audit, management, and models.
  • Learn how to conduct business impact analyses and disaster recovery plans.
Tuition & Fees: $14,579
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
63%, Average Amount $5,051
Federal Loans:
61%, Average Amount $9,835
17

University of Phoenix – Arizona

1625 West Fountainhead Parkway | Tempe, AZ 85282

Online B.S. in IT with an Advanced Cyber Security Certificate

This 120 credit BS in IT with advanced cert in Cyber Sec will help you to gain the tech basics needed in order to pursue a role in the fast growing field of IT sec while you take courses that align with the CISSP® and EC CSCU cert exams.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Skill to implement cyber sec solutions that comply with global governance best practices.
  • Skill to describe and explain basics of security in a networked environment
  • Apply the key principles of systems analysis and design in order to business processes within the company in order to implement proper info systems.
Tuition & Fees: $9,552
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
82%, Average Amount $3,809
Federal Loans:
58%, Average Amount $8,755
18

Florida Insititute of Technology – Online

150 West University Blvd Melbourne, FL 32901

M.S. in Information Assurance and Cyber Security Online

With this M.S. degree, you will gain expert knowledge on how to protect and secure info from cyber intruders, and will be able to recognize threats and weakness by looking at complex attack models.  33 credits required to complete.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Recognize threats, weakness and security structures
  • Analyze attack models, forensics, operation processes and bio metric tech
  • Explore communications encryption, and apply data mining and machine learning methods to cyber sec scenarios
Tuition & Fees: $12,240
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
77%, Average Amount $5,058
Federal Loans:
77%, Average Amount $9,051
19

Columbia Southern University

21982 University Lane | Orange Beach, AL 36561

B.S. in Information Systems and Cyber Security

This 120 credit program is made for those who want to gain more knowledge in systems security analysis and identify the skills that are needed in order to detect an intrusion and to apply the correct counter measures.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Skill to apply business theory and practice in order to solve info systems security problems
  • Skill in how to evaluate the application of security practices in order to optimize info systems assurance
Tuition & Fees: $5,535
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
84%, Average Amount $1,903
Federal Loans:
30%, Average Amount: $6,821
20

Grantham University

16025 West 113th Street | Lenexa, KS 66219

B.S. in Cyber Security

Through this online degree, you can learn the methods needed in order to help identify risks and thwart breaches by cyber criminals. This online B.S. degree can also help you learn about software updates, security programs and personal methods in order to protect computer info systems from cyber attacks. 120 credit hours to complete.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Analyze a system, and identify and define the security risks and needs for a secure operation
  • Design, implement and evaluate a computer based system, process, component or program to meet security needs
  • Address ethical, legal, security and social issues
Tuition & Fees: $6,540
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
97%, Average Amount $2,982
Federal Loans:
53%, Average Amount $6,330