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Online cybersecurity associate degrees give graduates the skills and knowledge they need to compete for entry-level roles focused on addressing computer network security issues.

These two-year programs also prepare students to pursue a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity or a related subject.

Graduates with a cybersecurity degree enjoy strong job prospects. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that network and computer systems administrators made a median annual salary of $82,050 in 2018. The BLS also projects jobs for these professionals to grow 5% between 2018 and 2028.

The Best Online Associate in Network Security Degree Programs

#1 Best Online Associate in Network Security

Dakota State University

  • Madison, SD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Madison, South Dakota, Dakota State University boasts a highly-ranked online associate of science in network security and administration, one of six remote associate programs. The program builds foundational knowledge in network administration, preparing graduates for entry-level careers in the field. Enrollees seeking to advance in study can apply their course credits towards a bachelor's degree.

While enrolled, students can benefit from career services, academic advising, and other success-centered resources. Distance learners can further benefit from virtual services such as library access, writing workshops, and other academic tutoring.

On average, enrollees receive $4,729 in financial aid. Around 93% of incoming degree-seekers receive financial aid awards and around 43% receive student loans.

Dakota State University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public

Location: Madison, South Dakota

Admission Rate: 77%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $7,541

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $10,611

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,541
Out-of-state
$10,611
Retention Rate
66%
Admission Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
3,268
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Best Online Associate in Network Security

Minnesota West Community and Technical College

  • Granite Falls, MN
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Granite Falls, Minnesota West Community and Technical College provides online education across 13 associate programs, including its associate of applied science in information security and assurance. Participants in the information assurance program benefit from industry-relevant coursework, preparing them for future careers in information assurance. Enrollees seeking to advance in study can apply their course credits towards a bachelor's degree.

Students benefit from career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources throughout their studies. They can also access virtual library services and academic tutoring.

The average learner is awarded $5,441 in financial aid, to offset the costs of education. The college reports that 92% of degree-seekers are awarded financial aid, with 24% awarded student loans.

Minnesota West Community and Technical College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public

Location: Granite Falls, Minnesota

Student-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $5,300

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $10,600

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,300
Out-of-state
$10,600
Retention Rate
59%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,421
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Best Online Associate in Network Security

Northern Wyoming Community College District

  • Sheridan, WY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Northern Wyoming Community College District, a public institution, supports eight online associate programs available to distance learners worldwide. Participants in the associate of applied science in cyber security program gain foundational and advanced knowledge relevant to the information assurance field. Enrollees can apply their earned credits towards a bachelor's degree, certificates, and educational credentials.

The college connects information assurance students with career services, academic advising, and other success-geared resources. As part of an online learning community, distance learners can benefit from virtual library services, academic tutoring, and other resources.

The college reports that the average student's financial aid award package is $5,006. The institution reports that 93% of all enrollees receive financial aid, and 12% receive student loans.

Northern Wyoming Community College District at a Glance:

Type of School: Public

Location: Sheridan, Wyoming

Student-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,970

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $8,910

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,970
Out-of-state
$8,910
Retention Rate
60%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,347
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Best Online Associate in Network Security

Hinds Community College

  • Raymond, MS
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Hinds Community College, located in Raymond, Mississippi, supports 14 online associate programs, including an associate of applied science in computer networking technology. Program participants prepare for a career in information assurance through relevant coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Students can transfer their course credits to a four-year college in pursuit of a bachelor's degree or other educational endeavors.

Degree-seekers can access numerous college resources, such as career services and academic advising. Distance learners benefit from virtual library services, academic tutoring, and other resources.

The institution reports the average financial aid award as $5,557. The school reports that 89% of all enrollees receive financial aid, and 33% receive student loans.

Hinds Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public

Location: Raymond, Mississippi

Student-Faculty Ratio: 18-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $3,200

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,250

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,200
Out-of-state
$6,250
Retention Rate
60%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
11,827
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Best Online Associate in Network Security

Lake Superior College

  • Duluth, MN
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Distance learners seeking flexible study in network security should consider Lake Superior College's online associate of applied science in network administration and cybersecurity. Students can build their knowledge of the field through coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Individuals seeking to advance in further studies can apply their credits towards a bachelor's degree.

While enrolled, degree-seekers benefit from institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising. The online learning community connects students with virtual library resources and academic tutoring.

Typically, learners are awarded $4,541 in financial aid. Prospective applicants can expect to receive financial aid or loans, as 77% of enrollees are awarded aid, and 27% receive loans.

Lake Superior College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public

Location: Duluth, Minnesota

Student-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,549

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,549

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,549
Out-of-state
$4,549
Retention Rate
59%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
5,230
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 Best Online Associate in Network Security

MidAmerica Nazarene University

  • Olathe, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Olathe, Kansas, MidAmerica Nazarene University provides online education across four associate programs, including its associate of applied science in cyber security. The program prepares graduates for the demands of the information assurance field through foundational and advanced coursework. Students seeking to advance in further studies can apply their credits towards a bachelor's degree.

While enrolled, information assurance degree-seekers can access career services, academic advising, and other success-centered resources. Online enrollees can receive further guidance through virtual library services and academic tutoring.

Typically, 99% of all learners receive financial aid, with 59% receiving loans. Prospective applicant can reach out to the financial aid office to see what funding opportunities they may qualify for.

MidAmerica Nazarene University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private 

Location: Olathe, Kansas

Admission Rate: 55%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 13-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $31,036

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $31,036

Average Tuition
In-state
$31,036
Out-of-state
$31,036
Retention Rate
72%
Admission Rate
55%
Students Enrolled
1,909
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Best Online Associate in Network Security

Harford Community College

  • Bel Air, MD
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Harford Community College, located in Bel Air, Maryland, supports five online associate programs, including an associate of applied science in information assurance and cybersecurity. The program equips graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in a network security-specific career. After graduation, students can apply their college credits towards a bachelor's degree or other educational endeavors.

The college connects program participants with career services, academic advising, and other success-geared resources. The institution also provides online enrollees with virtual library services and academic tutoring resources, including writing tutoring.

On average, learners receive $4,306 in financial aid. Approximately 57% of all incoming degree-seekers receive financial aid, with 11% receiving student loans.

Harford Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public

Location: Bel Air, Maryland

Student-Faculty Ratio: 18-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $5,427

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,664

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,427
Out-of-state
$7,664
Retention Rate
70%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
5,705
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#8 Best Online Associate in Network Security

St. Petersburg College

  • Clearwater, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

St. Petersburg College offers 15 online associate degrees, including a network security program. The associate of science in cybersecurity is one online program that prepares participants for the network security field through comprehensive coursework. Graduates can apply their course credits towards further study, such as a bachelor's degree.

Students benefit from career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources throughout their studies. As part of an online learning community, remote enrollees can benefit from virtual library services, academic tutoring, and other resources.

The institution reports the average financial aid award as $8,559. The school also reports that 73% of all degree-seekers receive financial aid, and 25% receive student loans.

St. Petersburg College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public

Location: Clearwater, Florida

Student-Faculty Ratio: 22-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,943

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,774

Average Tuition
In-state
$1,943
Out-of-state
$7,774
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
28,853
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#9 Best Online Associate in Network Security

Community College of Allegheny County

  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Community College of Allegheny County, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, boasts 12 online associate programs, including its highly ranked associate of science in cybersecurity and IT support specialist. Participants in the cybersecurity program prepare for the demands of the information assurance field through instructive study and industry-relevant coursework. Students can apply their earned credits towards a bachelor's degree, certificates, and educational credentials.

Enrollees benefit from career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources throughout their studies. They can also access virtual library services and academic tutoring.

Learners benefit from financial aid opportunities, receiving an average of $5,253 in awards. Approximately 63% of all incoming students receive financial aid, with 16% receiving student loans.

Community College of Allegheny County at a Glance:

Type of School: Public

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Student-Faculty Ratio: 18-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $6,960

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $10,440

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,960
Out-of-state
$10,440
Retention Rate
58%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
16,031
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#10 Best Online Associate in Network Security

Central Texas College

  • Killeen, TX
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Killeen, Central Texas College boasts a highly-ranked online associate of applied science in cyberdefense – information assurance program, one of 26 online associate degree options available at the school. Information assurance students prepare for a career in the field through relevant coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Individuals seeking to advance in study can apply their credits towards a bachelor's degree.

Participants in the information assurance program can access numerous college resources, such as career services and academic advising. The institution also provides online enrollees with virtual library services and academic tutoring resources, including writing tutoring.

Online learners can expect to receive an average of $4,922 in financial aid awards. Typically, 72% of all degree-seekers receive financial aid, with 9% receiving loans.

Central Texas College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public

Location: Killeen, Texas

Student-Faculty Ratio: 24-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $3,390

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,050

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,390
Out-of-state
$7,050
Retention Rate
56%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
16,719
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
64% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Best Online Programs

Online Associate in Network Security Programs Ranking Guidelines

We selected the following associate degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity focuses on ensuring the safety and security of internal and external computer networks and systems.

How Much Do You Make in Cybersecurity?

What Is a Cybersecurity Associate Degree?

A cybersecurity associate degree is a foundational postsecondary program that prepares learners to pursue entry-level cybersecurity jobs or enroll in a bachelor's degree program.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Cybersecurity Degree?

Full-time learners typically complete a cybersecurity associate degree in two years.

Where Will a Cybersecurity Associate Degree Take Me?

A cybersecurity associate degree prepares students to pursue entry-level jobs or further study through a bachelor's degree. Many graduates with an associate degree can complete a four-year bachelor's degree in only two years of additional study. The following list outlines several common bachelor's degree majors for graduates with an associate degree in cybersecurity.

Bachelor's in Cybersecurity

Bachelor's in cybersecurity programs build on the foundational skills and knowledge students gain in an associate degree program by covering more advanced concepts in the field. Classes typically explore cybertechnologies for criminal justice, cybercrime law and investigations, software foundations for cybersecurity, and computer hardware and peripherals. Many programs also require degree-seekers to participate in an internship to apply their skills to professional settings.

Bachelor's in Cybercrime

Bachelor's in cybercrime programs focus on how to protect individuals, families, and groups from security compromises that affect the safety of themselves and their information. Common classes include cybercrime investigations and forensics, payment systems and fraud, information assurance risk and compliance, and fraud prevention and detection technologies. Graduates can pursue careers in healthcare security and privacy, computer forensics investigation, vulnerability assessments, and law enforcement.

Bachelor's in Information Technology

An online bachelor's in information technology can lead to diverse careers in industries like cybersecurity, computer programming, software development, and mobile app development. Many of these degrees offer concentrations that allow students to tailor the program to their interests and goals. Common concentrations include business management, data analytics, project management, and cybersecurity.

Students typically take courses in the fundamentals of information technology, information technology operations and systems planning, introduction to computer networks, and computing as a service. Most programs also require an internship.

Bachelor's in Computer Science

Bachelor's in computer science programs prepare students for a variety of jobs, such as computer information systems manager, data scientist, or computer systems analyst. These programs often offer concentrations in data science, software engineering, high-performance systems, or artificial intelligence.

Common courses include computer organization and systems, introduction to probability for computer scientists, data structures and algorithms, and principles of computer systems. Students may complete an internship or a thesis to culminate the degree.

What Is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is a rapidly expanding field dedicated to ensuring computer information and internal/external networks remain safe from security compromises. The field heavily intersects with criminal justice, forensics, computer science, and information technology, allowing cybersecurity professionals to pursue careers in those areas as well.

Cybersecurity is a rapidly expanding field dedicated to ensuring computer information and internal/external networks remain safe from security compromises.

Cybersecurity professionals need a keen attention to detail, the ability to work independently and collaboratively, and a commitment to ongoing learning. They often develop strategies to keep data, hardware, and software secure; implement security measures to respond to developing threats; create firewalls; and educate staff on safety protocols. They may also hire ethical hackers to look for security weaknesses.

What Is a Cybersecurity Associate Degree?

Online associate in cybersecurity programs typically take two years of full-time study to complete. Admission requirements vary by institution, but they typically include an application fee, a high school diploma or GED, and transcripts from any schools previously attended. More competitive programs may also require letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose.

Courses vary by program, but they often cover industrial applications and software, information security fundamentals, computer security ethical and legal foundations, and computer forensics and incident response. Some programs may also include a practicum or capstone, though these requirements are more common at the bachelor's level. Aside from classes focused on cybersecurity, degree seekers also take general education courses.

Graduates can pursue entry-level employment or further study through a bachelor's program.

Related Articles

Cybersecurity Jobs

Graduates with a cybersecurity associate degree can pursue entry-level jobs in diverse fields. We cover several common jobs for graduates below.

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

These professionals ensure a company's computer and network systems run smoothly and efficiently. They identify the software and hardware needs of companies, provide necessary maintenance and repairs, identify ways to optimize network performance, and teach employees how to use computer systems. They also ensure all internal and external networks remain safe and secure from breaches.

Some network and computer systems administrator roles require only an associate degree, but most require a bachelor's degree. The position does not require a license, but many employers prefer candidates to hold certification in the products they use.

Median Annual Salary

$82,050

Projected Growth Rate

5%

Information Security Analysts

Information security analysts keep an organization's networks and systems safe from security compromises. They continually monitor the network to identify any breaches, making adjustments as needed. They also install firewalls and data encryption programs to help detect suspicious activity. Most of these professionals hold a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity, computer science, programming, or a related field. Many employers prefer candidates with certification.

Median Annual Salary

$98,350

Projected Growth Rate

32%

Network Architects

These professionals build an organization's networks and intranets. They typically work in house for a single company, but they may also work as consultants for a variety of organizations. Network architects must develop data communication plans, keep up with hardware and software upgrades, and stay abreast of changes in networking technologies. Most network architects need a bachelor's degree, though some employers may accept associate degree-holders who have substantial experience.

Median Annual Salary

$109,020

Projected Growth Rate

5%

Cybersecurity Membership Associations

Cybersecurity students and professionals can take advantage of membership associations, which offer benefits such as networking opportunities, awards and funding, and certification programs.

Information Systems Security Association International

ISSA provides local chapters, learning opportunities, awards, and a fellows program. The group also offers cyberexecutive forums, chapter events, and web conferences.

Women in Cyber Security

WiCyS brings together female cybersecurity experts in academia and industry to support them with meaningful member benefits. Benefits include an annual conference, a career support portal, and industry news.

ISACA

Members of ISACA can access career support and credentialing opportunities. They can also access in-person and online training, an annual conference, and in-house publications.

(ISC)²

This professional association offers industry-recognized certifications in security administration, cloud security, authorization, and software security. The group also provides continuing education opportunities, online and in-person communities, and exam preparation materials.

SANS

The SANS Institute serves more than 165,000 cybersecurity professionals worldwide. Members can access more than 45 online and in-person courses in addition to several continuing education programs. The institute also hosts webcasts, a blog, several newsletters, and a reading room.

Cybersecurity Certifications

Cybersecurity certifications help professionals demonstrate specialized expertise to employers. While not industry mandated, many employers look for candidates with at least one type of certification. The following list outlines several common certifications for cybersecurity professionals.

CompTIA Security+
This foundational certification demonstrates basic cybersecurity skills. The exam helps individuals advance from entry- to mid-level jobs, assessing knowledge and skills in areas such as technologies and tools, architecture and design, and risk management.
GIAC Security Essentials
This cybersecurity certification demonstrates advanced knowledge and skills in areas like cryptography concepts, security policy and contingency plans, web communication security and virtualization, and active defense.
Certified Ethical Hacker
Designed for professionals who want to help individuals and businesses identify weaknesses in their networks, the ethical hacker certification demonstrates expertise in footprinting and reconnaissance, social engineering, evading firewalls and honeypots, and hacking web servers.
Certified Information Security Manager
This ISACA-backed certification demonstrates proficiency in risk management, information security governance, and incident management. The organization provides exam prep materials and continuing education for certification maintenance.

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