WHAT IS AN ONLINE CYBER SECURITY DEGREE?
Online cyber security degree program teaches students how to protect information systems, networks and programs from cyber attacks. These attacks may be often aimed at gaining access to, changing or destroying data. Having the proper cyber security measures in place is key to protecting individuals and companies from data breaches. Consider looking at the United States Department of Homeland Security to get information. An online cyber security program may cover these types of courses:
- 1Cyber Basics –Learn to detect, protect and prevent an attack
- 2Digital Forensics –How to track and collect this evidence
- 3Cyber Law –Study policies related to privacy, incident response and computer crime
- 4Certified Ethical Hacking –Learn to carry out a penetration test and how to take counter actions against data breaches
Degree Level Options
As a two year degree option students may find it is a flexible option to get into the field quickly. Many courses provide a basic understanding of cyber security topics.
Cyber Security bachelors degrees come in two basic types. There are Bachelor of Arts (BA) and of Bachelor of Sciences (BS). There are many variations on actual degree program names. In some cases, it may affect the specific core elements of the degree.
Programs look at advanced topics like ethical hacking and digital forensics. Further customize your education by choosing a focus based on your goals and interests.
This type of PhD is a research degree, and the highest level of award in this field.
WHY IS CYBER SECURITY IMPORTANT?
Cyber attacks are real and imminent, and it’s estimated that by 2022 the skills gap may reach over 1.8 million cyber security professionals. This leaves critical tech infrastructure vulnerable.
The rise in the use of tech has brought with it a rise in cyber crime. For hackers, the people and places that could be attached have increased and so have the rewards. A cyber attack may result in identity theft, extortion attempts, or even the loss of data. The fact that cyber crime now typically permeates every part of society shows why cyber security is so important. Many places like hospitals, power plants and even finance companies need to protect their users data.
As such, a good security approach has many layers of protection that could be spread across all of the computers, networks or data that need protection. This means that there may be various different ways someone interested in this type of career path could focus on.
Online Cyber Security Degree Programs
Chances are, you could earn an online cyber security degree from one of your local colleges. For instance, enrolling your local community college may help to save money while you are in school. As an added bonus, earning the degree online may allow you to have a flexible schedule. 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 associates degree or a certificate.
Your local 4 year college likely also offers bachelors and masters options. Any degree path that you choose may help you to create your perfect future! The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the information security analyst job market is predicted to grow at a rate of 31% to 2029. This is much faster than average for all occupations.
Types of Cyber Security Majors
There are many Cyber Security major options to choose from. Each is different. But they may 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 are very similar. But when it’s time to go into your focus, there may be distinctions among these majors.
An IT Security degree may protect all the info in a company. A degree in IT Sec could also be called Information Security or Info Sec. These degrees often start in Comp Sci, Criminal Justice, or Business. They may 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 may vary by school, but some of the classes are the same at all schools. They often look at the basics in order to prep you for the day to day work of information security.
There’s not much difference between IT Sec and Cyber Sec. But the small distinctions are key. This field only covers information security that pertains to cyber space. So, it’s a key subset of Info Sec. This may cover all the networks, applications, and data that cross the Internet.
Hence, these programs may be a lot like those for Information Security. 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 that affect operating systems. They may also focus more on issues like phishing.
Phishing deals with harmful email attacks under the guise of a company. These could harm the brand and reputation when clients associate them such emails. These pros often protect against this with email list methods. Such work is for cyber space and thus special to their purview.
In our world, information reigns king in companies these days. So, security matters more than ever. Thus, Information Security, Cyber, and Network Security are key.
These may have a lot in common because they share the same goals. All three aim to protect and secure info in order to keep a business running. But they each may 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.
A subset of Cyber Sec, Network Sec hones in on the communication by ways. These behind the scenes by ways are typically where it all happens. So, a lot could go wrong with the info that may pass through. The programs in this field start out with the Info Sec basics. A Cyber Sec program typically serves these students learning computer security. 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 may 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.
Cyber Sec is more in need now than ever in health care. After all, our medical info could 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 could help in order to make this a safer world for this key, personal info.
This field could start in a business or master’s degree program. Thus, a student with a BA or BS in Cyber Sec could 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 typically Business and Auditing. Because Health care info remains critical and vulnerable, apps for it are growing.
These pros solve cases that deal with computer data. So, these degrees could be perfect for you if you love computers and solving cases. They are like detectives of the digital world. These programs could 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 may get a focus.
These degrees may give you the skills you need in order to work with law enforcement or other companies like the Department of Homeland Security or the National Security Agency. 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 TOP 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.
Colorado Technical University
Online B.S. in Cyber Security – Information Assurance
CTU’s program is typically made in order to help you prepare and work so that you could gain the skills to apply the methods and tools needed in order to secure the public and private sectors’ critical assets and info. They have bachelor’s programs.
- 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.
University of Maryland
Online Bachelor’s Degree: Computer Networks and Cyber Security
Online students in this program, you may learn the procedures and tech in order to design, secure, and trouble shoot networks. This program requires course work to complete in computer networking.
- 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
Capitol Technology University
M.S. in Cyber Security Online
This online program typically 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. They usually offer undergraduate degree and upper level degree options.
- 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.
Strayer University – Global Region
Online B.S. in Information Technology – Cyber Security
This online program typically teaches you to think like a hacker, know how these black hat programmers breach network systems. It may train you on how to implement defense systems that protect data through problem solving.
- 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.
Online Doctor of Information Technology – Cyber Security Focus (Track 1)
In Walden’s online program, you may gain knowledge in the field of IT and acquire the skills needed in order to guide companies through IT related issues. You may learn info on computer systems as well. Credit hours vary by level.
- 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 could contribute to professional and actionable knowledge in an applied environment.
B.S. in Cyber Security
Aligned with the requirements for cyber sec set by the NSA and DHS, this online program typically gives you the skill you need in order to enhance your tech knowledge in cyber sec.
- 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.
American Public University System
Online B.S. in Cyber Security
This program usually 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. This program may allows transfer credits. The program is online.
- 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.
Arizona State University
Online MCS Computer Science (Cyber Security)
This program is typically 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.
- 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.
Indiana University – Bloomington
Online M.S. in Cyber Security Risk Management
This 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 could earn your degree online or choose to take some classes at the IU Bloomington campus—it’s up to you.
- Skill to protect privacy and intellectual property
- Promote info and systems security
- Address cyber threats to national and global security
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
Master of Science in Cyber Security & Policy Online
This is a online degree program for IT and non IT pros who may want to move into a leadership role. Grads may emerge from the program with a knowledge of cyber sec and its impacts across the company, along with improved critical thinking and management skills.
- 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
George Mason University
Online Bachelor of Applied Science, Cyber Security Focus
Mason’s is a unique program. Students may develop skills that are recognized by the NIST and NICE as vital to the field. This program requires varying credit hours.
- Understand the role of IT as a tool of war fare and civil defense
- Skill to analyze, organize and evaluate info systems
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Online M.S. Cyber & Homeland Security Administration
The program is designed to help you become a leader in the security field. As you work your way through the program, you may have the chance to choose from one of three tracks: terrorism and security studies, emergency management, and leadership.
- 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.
Purdue University Global – Davenport
Online Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security
This online program may 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.
- 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
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 may have found it. Regent’s program typically preps you to begin or advance your tech and network sec career in gov’t, private, public and not for profit sectors.
- 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.
Western Governors University
Online Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security and Information Assurance
This online cyber security degree program was designed with input from cyber experts and leading IT employers in order to meet the most recent DHS and NSA guide lines.
- 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.
Online B.S. in IT, Information Assurance and Cyber Security
This IT degree program typically helps you learn to assess security policies, social engineering, access control, authentication, perimeter security, disaster recovery, and more.
- 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.
University of Phoenix – Arizona
Online B.S. in IT with an Advanced Cyber Security Certificate
This IT program with advanced cert in Cyber Sec may 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.
- 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.
Florida Insititute of Technology – Online
M.S. in Information Assurance and Cyber Security Online
With this degree program, you may gain expert knowledge on how to protect and secure info from cyber intruders, and may be able to recognize threats and weakness by looking at complex attack models.
- 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
Columbia Southern University
B.S. in Information Systems and Cyber Security
This program is made for those who may 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.
- 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
B.S. in Cyber Security
Through this online degree, you could learn the methods needed in order to help identify risks and thwart breaches by cyber criminals. This online B.S. degree may 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.
- 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
Paying for Your Cyber Security Degree with a Cyber Security College Scholarship
Cyber-Security.Degree is offering a scholarship worth $1,000 to eligible students seeking one of these degrees. We hope to help offset the costs associated with earning a degree.
When awarded, the recipient can use the $1,000 tuition voucher for any cost associated with his or her school bursar’s office (some restrictions may apply based on the school).
In order to apply to our Cyber Security College Scholarship, you must submit a 250 word response to this essay question:
Why have you chosen to enter the field of cyber security?
The deadline to submit your application is July 15, 2021.
Apply for the scholarship now!
Scholarship Eligibility Requirements
This contest is open only to those legal residents of the 50 United States and DC who are 18 years of age or older at the time of application. And, who are currently enrolled, or will be enrolled no later than the fall of 2021. Students must be going to an accredited school such as a college, university, or trade school. Students must also have declared a major in a cyber security program.
Please refer to our Official Scholarship Rules for more info.
CYBER SECURITY CERTIFICATIONS
A certificate may be a great option if you want to pursue work in the field quickly and at a lower cost. You may want to feel out how much interest you have. The commitment and cost for this is small compared to a degree program. While not a degree, earning a certificate could serve as a tangible proof of your skill.
So why don’t many people start out with a certificate? Although there’s much to be gained from a earning one, it may not lead to a job on its own. According to the BLS, many pros in the field hold at least a bachelor’s degree. The good news is, a cert may help boost that degree in the eyes of employers. They like the proof of skills that a cert could bring as it may show that you may be well prepped to meet their needs.
What is the Difference Between a Certificate vs Degree?
A certificate indicates that you may have a certain set of skills. Degrees may show a wider breadth of knowledge. Also, certificate programs are usually for short training periods. Often a year or less. And, they often focus like a laser beam on the exact certification in order. Many places offer more than one in order to serve as a sort of one stop shop. Two such places are the ISC² and the EC Council.
ISC² is an int’l organization with more than 140K members. They typically serve as a resource for Info Security pros and offer these certs:
- CISSP Certified Information Systems Security Professional
- SSCP Systems Security Certified Practitioner
- CCSP Certified Cloud Security Professional
- HCISPP HealthCare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner
- Certified ISSP – ISSAP Information Systems Security Architecture Professional
- CISSP – ISSEP Information Systems Security Engineering Professional
EC Council serves as an online portal with more than 220K members. Here are a few of the options they typically offer:
- CND – Certified Network Defender
- CEH – Certified Ethical Hacker
- CTIA – Certified Threat Intelligence Analyst
- EC Council Certified Security Analyst | ECSA
- Advanced Penetration Testing (APT)
- 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
- CASE – Certified Application Security Engineer
- ECSS – EC Council Certified Security Specialist