Online Cyber Security Degree

Many online schools offer cyber security degrees to meet industry demand. Cyber attacks are on the rise. Yet there is an acute shortage of skilled staff to fill over 1.8 million new jobs. If you enjoy computers, now may be an ideal time to earn a cyber security degree online.  

A cyber security degree aims to arm you with the knowledge and skills to defend systems, networks and data. As you learn theory and also learn about cyber attacks of all kinds, it is a technical degree. Most cyber security degrees are sub sets of comp sci. You may find them listed under other names too. Of them, Information Assurance and Information Security (Info Sec) are the most common.

One may find cyber security degrees at all levels. Bachelor’s, master’s and PhD. Many schools and private sources also offer cyber security scholarships to offset costs. At each level, you may study tools, techniques and protocols. Like how to prevent attacks, lessen their effects and design strong lines of defense.  

Bachelor’s in cyber security are entry level degrees. They often provide intense training in foundation skills. You tend to learn about policy and audits, IT compliance, network security, and cyber crime. Master’s in cyber security are often for a person midway in their career. And who now want to shift into a manager based role. As such, they cover ways to make data driven decisions, budget and lead. PhD in cyber security are research focused. They often appeal to people who want to direct defense strategy. And those who want to teach, consult and craft policies. 

Bachelor’s Degree in Cyber Security

There are two forms of online bachelor’s programs. Bachelor of Arts (BA) where you study liberal arts. And Bachelor of Science (BS) where you take more comp sci and math courses. Most programs cover a wide range of topics in 120 credits or more. These often take a full time student four years to complete. 

An aim of programs at this level is to prep you to enter the cyber work force. As such, they cover a wide range of basics. Things like how to spot risks, design secure systems and write safe computer codes. You assess and investigate the misuse of data and info systems too. This may help you hone skills as a problem solver.  

To get into an online BS in cyber security program, you need to have a high school diploma or its equal. Plus meet any other standards set by the school. This may mean having a certain GPA. Or a background in comp sci.  

Tuition varies from one school to the next. If you study at a public school and in state, the average cost is $6,600. For out of state private schools, it is about $27,930. 

Master’s Degree in Cyber Security

Most online schools award a Master of Science (MS) in cyber security. There are MBA programs too. These focus more on business skills and how they relate to info sec. The MS and MBA are grad degrees. They presume you have a basic knowledge of computer security. And want to go deeper. To do this, they often cover from 30 to 36 credits. This may take from one to three years depending on your course load. 

These courses often include topics for manager based roles. Things like how to oversee people, IT projects and tactics. Along with this, you may take a slew of computer courses. Networks, intrusion detection, ethical hacking, etc. These courses help you refine technical security skills. And learn to manage complex systems. Many employers today look for these skills to fill advanced roles. 

Aside from a bachelor’s degree, each school sets the bar for admission. You may need to meet a GPA or GRE range. And, have a few solid years in the work force. Tuition varies for online cyber security master’s too. Per recent data the average cost is $11,617 . That’s if you study at a public college.   

PhD in Cyber Security

An online PhD in cyber security is a research degree. Some online schools also offer a Doctor of Computer Science which is more technical. These are the highest degrees you can earn in info sec. They may prep you to form policies for internet and homeland security. Or innovate in AI. 

Most programs cover 60 credits or more. And there may be two ways to enter. One is with a bachelor’s degree. The other, with a MS or MBA. As such the time it takes to complete your PhD may range from three to eight years. Beyond the degree, there are other things you need to get into a program. A statement of research goals for instance. Some programs include student teaching or mentoring as well. This may entail a few brief visits to campus. Called residencies, they provide the potential for hands on learning. And may involve work shops and a chance to network with your peers. 

What can I do with an Online Cyber Security Degree?

This degree may be a gateway to a broad range of niche areas and work roles. Many of them have high growth and salary potential. As careers in this field are changing, there may be jobs for all levels of education. Entry ones usually call for a bachelor’s degree. More manager based and research positions call for a master’s or PhD.   

1. Information Security Analyst 

Info sec analysts plan and put into use security measures. Things like being able to install firewalls which protect networks from breaches. Or being able to encrypt data so it stays secure. Most info sec analysts enter the field with a bachelor’s degree. Often, it’s in an area like comp sci or info sec. To shift into the role of leader, many info sec analysts pursue more education. This can be an MBA, a master’s or a certification like the CISSP.  

2. Computer and Information Systems Manager 

Information Systems (IT) Managers are also project managers. Their task is to take care of a business’ computer needs. And any things that relate such as upgrades. For entry roles, you need at least a bachelor’s in comp sci or info sec. To climb the ladder, you often need an MBA. Then you may shift into a C Suite job. 

3. Database Administrator  

DBA’s use software to organize, store and guard data. Some use their skills to install upgrades or debug systems. Others work in app design. Many DBA’s start their career with a bachelor’s in comp sci or info sec. Then might move into an IT manager role. With job skills and possibly a master’s or MBA

4. Network and Computer Systems Administrator 

Network managers take care of the day to day tasks of computer networks. This includes local area (LAN’s), wide area (WANs), intranet and more. Much of this work means keeping up to date with the latest technology. You also need a bachelor’s degree in a related field. An industry certification does not hurt either.  

5. Computer Information Research Scientist 

Most computer and information research scientists need a master’s degree. In computer science, computer engineering or a related field. These pros are innovators. They work to design new ways to defend systems, networks and data. And strive to solve problems along the way. 

6. Software Developer 

Software developers have a creative mind. They have to bring this to the table to create programs that allow people to perform tasks on hardware and devices. These skills help them build the systems that run the devices. Or that control networks. This means keeping a finger on the pulse of tools and programming languages.  

Is an Online Degree in Cyber Security worth it?

A degree in cyber security may help you secure a bright future. High value cyber security skills may lead to many potential careers in areas with higher earning potential. One reason is that without trained staff, companies face more attacks than ever. And the loss of billions of dollars in revenue. 

Yet there is a short supply of people who can do three vital tasks. Identify threats, design safe software and lessen risk. As such, info sec jobs are some of the fastest growing in the states. And world wide. You may wonder if these jobs will exist later on. Once you have a cyber security degree. Well, no degree is a guarantee. So, let’s look at some data. Companies are eager to hire experts to guard against risks. Reports say there are 2.93 million open roles in the world today. And they predict more of these to come.

1.97 People Work in Information Systems Security  

Many of these roles are for info sec analysts. In fact, those who work in computer systems design face 55% more jobs to 2028. And last year earned an average of $102,620 working in this sector. If you prefer to research and innovate, there are other paths. Info research scientists look for ways to prevent cyber attacks. This field expects 16% growth to 2028. And many earn about $118,370 per year.  

Not all jobs are entry level or in research. There are other options for managers. These often appeal to current pros who want to “get ahead”. Some are corporate roles. These often call for a master’s degree or MBA. And include IT directors, chief technology officers (CTOs) and chief information officers (CIOs). These pros work to ensure security measures meet with company goals. They lead teams and security defense projects.

As more businesses strengthen their defenses, the need for people at this level will rise by 11%. That’s above average growth. And may come with yearly salaries of up to $208,000 plus.  

Cyber Security Degree Jobs & Salary

Occupation Average Salary Jobs
Information Security Analyst $99,730 122,300
Computer and Information Systems Manager $146,360 414,400
Database Administrator $93,750 116,900
Network and Computer Systems Administrator $83,510 383,900

Top States for Jobs as an Information Sec Analysts 

State Jobs Annual Mean Wage
VA 15,010 $114,760
TX 10,430 $108,810
CA 9,200 $114,620
NY 7,120 $121,750
FL 6,630 $91,580

What classes will I take with an Online Cyber Security Degree?

As cyber security is a pretty new field, programs change with trends, tools and tech. Many current study plans feature a menu of IT security and info assurance topics. These classes often help you learn the CIA triad.  

  • Confidentiality: Ways to cipher and encrypt data so it stays private 
  • Integrity: Methods that keep data intact so no one can tamper with it or destroy it 
  • Availability: Frame works that ensure only authorized users have access to data 

Some schools favor classes in programming and probability. Others play up digital forensics and security policy. Then there are programs that follow NSA’s CAE IA / CD criteria. These schools are Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense. And may zoom in on cyber defense, data analysis, scripting and more. As such, you are likely to find a lot of variety between cyber security programs. And will need to find an approach that meets your goals and interests. Here are some sample classes you may find at the bachelors, masters and PhD levels.  

Bachelor’s Degree Courses

Most online BS in cyber security programs share a common goal. To help you detect risks, threats and weak areas. And serve on the front lines of defense. As such, the study plan often melds governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) skills. These look at how computer systems link and work with data. Your courses may cover many comp sci courses as well. Things like operating systems and databases. These classes are popular too. 

Cyber Domain

Students taking a cyber domain course will often learn about how to secure computer info. They may also focus on cyber communication systems. Students in this course may learn about protecting against damage and minimizing unauthorized use. They may also discuss topics such as exploitation. A key part of this type of class is often managing systems with ethics.

Computer Network Defense

This type of course aims to help students learn the fundamentals of creating a computer network defense system. It may include the basics on security threats. It may also discuss vulnerabilities in systems and how attacks happen. They may learn about protocols and devices used to secure networks. Many also could learn security policy design methods and how to implement them.

Compliance Management

This type of course may focus on the area of risk frame works. This may include NIST frame work. Often this is a key area reviewed. Students may learn about how to use the NIST frame work in cyber security outcomes and how to customize it. This may help them learn to manage risk and to apply the right amount of security to these environments. Students may learn many methods to achieve these goals.

Applied Security

An applied security class often teaches cyber security topics. It builds up from basic skills. It may include more advanced network defense courses. Also, it may discuss topics such as physical and network security. Topologies may also be a component. In some classes, students could learn how to scan and protect these networks. They may also learn how to test them for security.

Graduate Degree Courses

Many MS in cyber security programs cover core topics.  Like incident response and reporting. Plus, ways to contain data as well as restore system infrastructure. Aside from the basics, there is usually room to choose a focus. This aims to prep you for a specific industry niche. And may be a perfect way to gain expertise. Apart from some of the sample topics that follow, you may gain soft skills. Leadership, ethics and an ability to make choices based on data are a few.  

  • Cyber Crime Investigations 
  • National Security 
  • Intelligence 

In many online PhD course plans, you will find a few distinct areas. These cover core topics, research classes, strategy. Sometimes, teaching methods too. As a PhD is a research degree, it often asks you to write up a dissertation. For this, you may take writing classes. And learn about research design and methods. Core classes may cover a wide range of theories and their uses. As a result, you may study the IT field in depth while also learning advanced security measures.

Here are a few more to give you an idea. 

Digital Forensic Tech

This type of high level courses aims to teach tools and tech in the area of forensic exams. This type of course also aims to teach students how to use best practices in this area. It may include areas of validating evidence and security evidence. It may include things like digital media and memory. Students may learn how to gather artifacts and analyze them for reporting in reports for civil and criminal needs.

Advanced Cyber Exploitation

This type of course often focuses on intrusion detection. It also aims to teach students how to prevent it form happening. It may also cover topics such as mitigation and exploitation as it applies to the cyber space. Students may learn how to identify and then resolve cyber attacks. They may also learn how to mitigate risks for them. Students may use network security methods for areas of auditing and monitoring.

Prevention of Cyber Attack Methods

This type of course is both theory and practice. The goal is to prevent cyber attacks. It may include insight into how to design, apply, and then check many tech solutions to achieve this. Some of this may include encryption, network access control methods, as well as firewalls. The classes may also teach things like cloud computing security and virtual network.

Cyberspace and Cyber Security Foundations

This advanced course teaches the foundation of cyber security. It may include areas of cyber methods and cyber architecture. Also, it may include components of hardware and software, algorithms, and protocols. Many students will learn about the role of cyber security in business continuity planning. And, they may learn management level aspects of cyber.

Tailor Your Cyber Security Degree with a Concentration 

If you want to gain a certain skill set and know how, you might tailor your degree to fit your interests. Here are a few themes to look for when scouting online schools. 

  • Intelligence: Explores areas like terrorism and cyber conflicts
  • Computer Forensics: Covers ways to investigate cyber crimes as well as cyber defense tools 
  • Cyber Operations: All about data hiding and other defense tactics  
  • Malware Analysis: Takes a deep look at malicious codes and ways to lessen their effects 
  • Electronic Crime: Looks at fraud, risk and compliance  

How long does it take to get a Cyber Security Degree online?

A full time student may earn an online cyber security degree at the bachelor’s level in four years. If you have transfer credits from an associate degree, you may have two years less. Beyond the bachelor’s, a MS in cyber security often takes two years. For a PhD, you may need to study three to four more years. And some schools give you up to eight.

University Level of Degree # of Credits Required Starts Per Year Minimum Months to Complete
City University of Seattle Bachelors 180 4 24
Bellevue University Bachelors 127 4 48
American Military University Bachelors 120 12 48
Utica College Masters 30 Every 16 Weeks 24
University of San Diego Masters 30 3 20
Texas A&M University Masters 30 2 20
Northcentral University PhD 60 Weekly 50
Capella University PhD 90QC Multiple 36
Walden University PhD 64+ Multiple 42

15 Online Cyber Security Degrees

Many online colleges offer cyber security degrees. Here are 15 schools with online degrees in cyber security at all levels.  

  1. City University of Seattle
  2. Bellevue University
  3. American Public University System
  4. Regent University
  5. Post University
  6. Utica College
  7. University of San Diego
  8. Texas A&M University
  9. Norwich University
  10. University of Maryland – Global Campus
  11. Northcentral University
  12. Capella University
  13. Walden University
  14. Nova Southeastern University
  15. New Jersey City University

FIND AN ONLINE CYBER SECURITY DEGREE

Here is a closer look at the online cyber security degrees that these 15 schools have to offer. 

1

City University of Seattle

Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security and Information Assurance 

Fully Online


City U is an NSA CAE / CDE. They offer an online BS in cyber sec and info assurance. It aims to help you learn the tools, processes, and procedures to secure computer networks. You also study GRC.  

Sample courses include:

  • Investigation of Cyber Crime 
  • Homeland Security  
  • Network Security  

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $13,120
Grad $11,430
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$9,628

Average Net Price:
$20,567

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

2

Bellevue University

Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security  

Fully Online


Bellevue is NSA CAE / CDE. And their online BS in cyber sec covers many basics. You study cyber threats of all kinds as well as measures to defend against them. There is also a focus on digital forensics. As such, you may come to understand audits and investigation. 

Sample Courses include:

  • Web, Commerce and App Security 
  • Intro to National Security 
  • Securing Access Control 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $7,851
Grad $11,205
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$6,604

Average Net Price:
$9,635

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

3

American Public University System

Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity  

Fully Online


APU is NSA CAE / CDE. Their BS in cyber security also lines up with the general goals of IACIS certification. In it, you study theory and strategy. As such, you may learn to assess, plan, design and apply cyber defenses. Both in private and public sectors. 

Sample classes include:

  • Biometrics 
  • Cryptography 
  • Data Base Systems Security 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $7,324
Grad $7,005
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$1,705

Average Net Price:
$10,366

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Distance Education Accrediting Commission, Higher Learning Commission

4

Regent University

Bachelor of Science in Cyber and Digital Forensics 

Fully Online


Regent offers an online BS in cyber and digital forensics program. The program aims to help you learn the finer points of digital fingerprints. How to examine, collect, preserve and analyze them. And does so with a Christian value system.  

Sample courses include:

  • Intro to the Bible 
  • Criminal Evidence 
  • Mobile Forensics 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $18,620
Grad $16,952
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$7,230

Average Net Price:
$16,779

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges


Post’s online BS focuses on computer info systems. You can also major in cyber security. As such, you may gain a broad comp sci education and learn to defend networks. The program may also prep you for CompTIA and LPI certs. And you can tailor studies through many electives. 

Courses may include:

  • Hardware Basics 
  • Cloud Computing 
  • Software Engineering 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $16,610
Grad $7,700
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$6,014

Average Net Price:
$9,395

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
New England Commission of Higher Education

6

Utica College

Master of Science in Cyber Security 

Fully Online


Utica is a CAE IA / CD. And is a Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3) and recognized by the EC – Council. Their program covers data theft and cyber crime. There are also five areas of focus to prep you for the niche area of your choice. These are intelligence, computer forensics, cyber operation, electronic crime and malware analysis. 

Classes may include:

  • Cybercrime Investigations 
  • Open Source Cyber Surveillance 
  • National Security  

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $22,110
Grad $22,030
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$9,454

Average Net Price:
$22,991

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, dedicated point of contact, & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education

7

University of San Diego

Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering 

Fully Online


USD’s online MS CSE program stresses the engineering side of hardware and software. It also covers digital and network forensics. And aims to help you gain a robust set of technical skills and the ability to solve complex issues. 

Some courses may include:

  • Applied Cryptography 
  • Secure Systems Engineering 
  • Trusted Systems Design 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $51,186
Grad $27,6762
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$8,450

Average Net Price:
$9,486

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
WASC Senior College and University Commission

8

Texas A&M University

Master of Science in Engineering – Cyber Security  

Fully Online


Texas A & M’s online MS in engineering comes with a focus in cyber security. As such the central aim is to be able to apply engineering skills to improve security systems. The program is also an NSA CAE.  

Some classes may include:

  • Computer Network and Security  
  • Cyber Security Engineering 
  • Data Analytics for Cyber Security  

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $38,602
Grad $22,196
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$8,570

Average Net Price:
$19,118

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

9


Norwich is a CAE / IAE. Their online MS in Info Sec comes with four start dates. There is no need to submit GRE or GMAT scores and you may have your degree in as few as 18 months. Also, if you have an active CISSP cert, you may be eligible for a tuition discount of up to $1500. 

Classes may include:

  • Computer Forensics  
  • Cyber Law 
  • Risk Management 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $41,496
Grad $19,554

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$29,651

Average Net Price:
$26,695

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
New England Commission of Higher Education

10

University of Maryland – Global Campus

Master of Science in Cyber Security Management and Policy 

Fully Online


UMGC’s online MS focuses on management and policy. It also covers emerging topics in compliance and risk analysis. And, may help you to craft cyber security incident response plans. For those without a lot of IT experience, there are basic courses that you can take to prep for success in their program.  

Some classes may include:

  • Cyber Security Governance 
  • Risk Management 
  • Leadership and Problem Solving 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $12,336
Grad $12,132
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,315

Average Net Price:
$13,672

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education

11

Northcentral University 

Cyber Security PhD-TIM 

Fully Online


NCU’s PhD is in Technology Information Management. And comes with a cyber security focus. As such, you may gain a deeper grasp of leadership in IT. Plus, the skills to manage and deploy data intensive systems.  

Learning topics may include:

  • Cyber Forensics
  • Disaster Recovery 
  • Info Sec and Outsourcing Computer Systems  

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $12,474
Grad $18,095
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,239

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission, WASC Senior College and University Commission

12

Capella University 

PhD in Information Assurance and Cyber Security  

Fully Online


Capella is an NSA CAE IA / CD. Their program aims to help you gain quality research and technical skills. And provides a chance to study key areas. These include confidentiality, compliance and risk. You also take a few dissertation research seminars along the way. 

Classes may include:

  • Network Security Advances 
  • Assurance Controls 
  • Enterprise Security  

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $14,540
Grad $15,233
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$5,051

Average Net Price:
$13,387

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

13

Walden University

Doctor of Information Technology  

Fully Online


Walden is an NSA CAE / CDE. And, their online DIT degree program aims to foster skills in tactical leadership. As such, a key focus in on problem solving and analysis. Also, if you enter with a bachelor’s you may be eligible to earn an MSIT degree along the way.  

Classes may include:

  • Enterprise Data Base Design 
  • Systems Architecture 
  • Strategic Analysis 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $12,150
Grad $12,539
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,885

Average Net Price:
$21,276

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

14

Nova Southeastern University

PhD in Cyber Security Management 

Fully Online


NSU’s PhD in Cyber Security Management is part of the CIPhER. Or, the Center for Information Protection, Education, and Research. As such, both NSA and DHS recognize it. Apart from your classes, there are directed study courses. And, you work with a faculty mentor to find your own research topic. 

Some courses may include:

  • Secure Systems Analysis 
  • Info Sec Risk Management 
  • Human Computer Interaction 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $32,110
Grad $21,206

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$17,005

Average Net Price:
$25,867

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges


NJCU’s online CSLMP – DSc is one of the first of its kind. And each year admits from 30 to 35 students into it. The program immerses you in a generalist civil security doctorate. It also uses the three distinct areas recognized by ASIS – International, National, Corporate, and Information Assurance / Cyber Security. 

Some classes may include:

  • Civil Security Leadership
  • Data Analysis for CSLMP 
  • Budget Development 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $22,220
Grad $21,200
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$9,073

Average Net Price:
$12,476

Military Programs:
Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education

*Unemployment Earnings. Sources for school stats and data include the NCES and IPEDS.