The Best Online Schools for Cyber Security
| Staff Writers
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Cybersecurity pertains to the protection of information and technology in electronic systems, computers, networks, and servers from unwanted invasions.
These attacks can affect organizations of all sizes in any industry. Therefore, many employers value the expertise of professionals with cybersecurity degrees.
Graduates with a bachelor's in cybersecurity enjoy a steadily growing career path. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 5% increase in jobs for network and computer systems administrators between 2018 and 2028.
This guide ranks the 20 best online cybersecurity bachelor's degrees. We also cover important information for prospective students, such as common careers and potential salaries for graduates.
|#1||Drexel University Philadelphia, PA|
|#2||Champlain College Burlington, VT|
|#3||Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA|
|#4||Davenport University Grand Rapids, MI|
|#5||Dakota State University Madison, SD|
|#6||California Baptist University Riverside, CA|
|#7||Lewis University Romeoville, IL|
|#8||The University of Texas at San Antonio San Antonio, TX|
|#9||Mercy College Dobbs Ferry, NY|
|#10||Wilmington University New Castle, DE|
Featured Online Schools
The Best Online Bachelor’s in Network Security Degree Programs
Drexel is one of the top 15 largest private universities in the United States. While students can earn their degrees on campus, Drexel also accommodates nontraditional learners through online coursework. In fact, Drexel Online is one of the oldest online postsecondary providers in the country.
The online cybersecurity bachelor's degree at Drexel examines computer system administration and electronic safety. The degree requires 188 quarter credits and includes courses like introduction to computing and security technology, team process and product, computing and informatics design, and introduction to business statistics. The program also offers concentrations in computing technology and computing security.
Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Online courses use an asynchronous format. Students engage with peers and professors through discussion boards, group chats, and email. Assignments include online readings, projects, essays, and exams.
Students can transfer up to 113 quarter credits from accredited institutions toward the degree. Drexel offers transfer credit for prior academic work and IT certifications, such as A+, Oracle 9i DBA, and CCNA. Applicants must submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal essay, and a resume.
Drexel University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Established in 1878, Champlain hosts students from 44 states and 18 countries. The school offers over 150 areas of a study and a 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Champlain's online bachelor's degree in cybersecurity prepares graduates for careers in computer and information systems.
The 120-credit degree includes courses like usability in website and software design, project management standards and behaviors, Linux systems administration, and server-side scripting PHP. Champlain also offers computer and information systems certificates.
Students should plan to commit 10-17 hours each week to assignments, though online courses follow an asynchronous format. Students communicate with professors and peers through discussion forums, group chats, and email. Assignments include group projects, online readings, recorded lectures, and exams.
Champlain provides online tutoring through Smarthinking. Champlain also provides a support team for distance learners, including academic counselors, career advisors, librarian research support, and technical assistance. Admission requires a minimum 2.5 GPA, official transcripts, a resume, and multiple short essays. Champlain accepts up to 90 transfer credits from accredited institutions.
Champlain College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
Founded in 1891, CWU emphasizes practical learning and accessible coursework, offering over 135 degrees, including multiple regionally and nationally ranked programs. Nontraditional learners can access hundreds of online courses and a variety of fully online degrees at CWU.
The College of Education and Professional Studies at CWU offers an online cybersecurity bachelor's degree that examines information technology and administrative management. Courses include sustainable decision-making, integrated computer applications, leadership and supervision, cyberattack and defense, and cybercrime.
The program uses a cohort model, which allows students to build relationships with peers as they move through the program. Online courses typically follow an asynchronous format. Assignments include lecture videos, discussion board posts, essays, and exams.
CWU provides an academic success center, which offers online peer-to-peer collaboration, tutoring, and development assistance. Distance learners can also access online databases, a math center, a writing center, and technical support. Admission requires a minimum 2.0 GPA, ACT or SAT scores, a personal essay, and official transcripts.
Central Washington University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
DU hosts 6,500 students each year, including over 5,100 undergraduate students. Over 78% of DU students complete at least one online class. The school values affordability, offering the lowest tuition rates of all postsecondary institutions in Michigan.
Distance learners can earn a bachelor's in cybersecurity that provides graduates with technological and management skills. The 120-credit program includes 27-28 foundations of excellence credits, 21 foundations of computer information systems credits, 15 specialty area credits, nine foundations of business credits, 17-18 elective credits, and 45 major credits.
Notable courses include systems analysis and design, data structures and algorithms, achieving career and education success, and discrete structures. Specialization options include web and mobile development, programming, database and analytics, and secure software development. DU Global Campus also offers a minor in mathematics.
Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system, following an asynchronous format. Assignments include group projects, online readings, recorded lectures, and exams.
Admission requires official transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and a statement of purpose. Students with professional experience should also submit a resume.
Davenport University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
DSU values continuous improvement, community, and innovation and strives to accommodate diverse learning needs. Students can access a variety of fully online degrees and programs at DSU, and over half of DSU students earn their degrees completely online.
DSU's College of Business and Information Systems offers an online bachelor's in cybersecurity that prepares graduates to use technology to lead the operations of an organization. This program requires 120 credits, including 30 general education credits, 66 major credits, 18 specialization credits, and six elective credits. DSU offers multiple specializations, including application development, business analytics, and project management.
Courses include decision support systems, business intelligence and big data, software development with agile methodologies, and object-oriented design. DSU requires a three-credit internship, allowing students to gain applied experience and network with potential employers. DSU uses the Desire2Learn learning management system to administer distance coursework.
DSU offers e-tutoring in multiple subjects. Students can also connect with peer tutors through web conferencing software. Admission requires a minimum 2.0 GPA.
Dakota State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
CBU is a religious university that offers theologically rooted coursework taught by Christian faculty. The school hosts around 11,000 students annually and offers over 100 degrees, including 80 bachelor's programs. The fully online bachelor's in cybersecurity prepares graduates for careers in computer information technology.
This degree requires a minimum of 88 units, including 40-43 general education units, six lower-division units, 36 upper-division units, and six required units. Courses include foundations in Christian thought, legal and ethical practices in information technology, computer programming in C++, and enterprise architecture.
Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Coursework includes discussion forum posts, online readings, essays, and exams. CBU provides online tutoring through Smarthinking. Online students also have access to an academic counselor, 24/7 technical assistance, online databases, and librarian research support.
Admission requires an essay, official transcripts, a minimum 2.0 GPA, and SAT or ACT scores. CBU offers merit-based scholarships for students with a 2.5 GPA or higher.
California Baptist University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
Lewis offers rigorous, immersive education through a Christian lens. Students can access over 117 programs, including 80 undergraduate majors. Learners interested in cybersecurity jobs can earn an online bachelor of science in information security management at Lewis.
The fully online degree requires 128 credits, including 64 major credits, 37 core credits, and three elective credits. Courses include computer forensics for business applications, survey of operating systems, mobile device forensics, and cybercrime prevention tools.
This degree prepares graduates to sit for professional certification exams like certified information systems security professional, certified ethical hacker, and access data certified forensics examiner. Lewis also offers an accelerated bachelor's-to-master's track that only requires an additional 26 credits.
Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system, and online courses follow an asynchronous format. Students engage with professors and peers through discussion forums and email. Weekly modules include readings, essays, group projects, and exams. Certain courses may require proctored exams at approved locations.
Lewis offers 24/7 technical support, a personal student services coordinator, digital library databases, and online tutoring.
Lewis University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Founded in 1969, UTSA now offers over 155 degrees across five campuses. UTSA promotes diversity and inclusion, with 64% of the student body belonging to marginalized groups. The school's College of Business offers an online bachelor's in cybersecurity that ranks among the top programs in the nation. The Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency recognize this program as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense Education.
The 120-credit program includes courses like digital business communication, introduction to telecommunications for business, management science and operations technology, and Excel for business information systems. Online courses use an asynchronous format, allowing students to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Online learners receive access to enrollment counselors, academic counselors, and technical support.
Admission requires applicants to have graduated in the top quartile of their high school classes. They also need a minimum of 1100 on the old SAT, 1170 on the new SAT, or 24 on the ACT.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Mercy is a private college that offers over 90 programs, including 40 fully online degrees. The school hosts over 6,200 learners annually from 40 states and 49 countries. The Department of Mathematics and Computer Information Science offers an online bachelor's in cybersecurity that prepares graduates for a competitive job market.
This degree requires 120 credits, including 60 general education credits, 45 computer information systems credits, and 15 open elective credits. Students typically earn their degrees in four years of full-time attendance.
Courses may include healthcare analytics and apps, disaster recovery and business continuation, and artificial intelligence. Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Students engage with professors and peers through email and discussion posts. Online students gain access to mental health counseling, career development services, and technical support.
Admission requires high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume. Applicants can optionally submit SAT or ACT scores to bolster their applications. Mercy accepts up to 75 transfer credits from accredited two-year institutions and up to 90 credits from accredited four-year institutions.
Mercy College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
WilmU offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate degrees, including 130 fully online programs. The school values community responsiveness, innovation, and integrity. The online bachelor of science in information systems management prepares graduates for cybersecurity jobs.
The 120-credit program includes 36 general education credits, 18 business and management core credits, 45 information systems management credits, and 21 free elective credits. Courses may include introduction to e-commerce, applied concepts in accounting and finance, principles and practice of information security, and data management. WilmU also offers an accelerated option with a technology project management graduate certificate, which requires an additional 15 credits.
Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Students follow weekly modules to complete essays, exams, and group work. Discussion forums allow students to engage with peers and professors.
Online learners gain access to academic counselors, technical support, and online databases. Admission requires official transcripts and a placement test. WilmU offers a test-optional policy for the ACT and SAT. Students can transfer up to 90 credits toward the degree.
Wilmington University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Founded in 1878, UMFK offers solutions-driven curricula that address issues in rural communities. UMFK also prioritizes affordability, ranking among the most affordable universities nationwide. Students can access multiple fully online degrees, including a cybersecurity bachelor's degree.
Courses include computer organization and assembly language, introduction to information security, computer forensics and investigations, and cyberdefense. In addition to coursework, students complete a three-credit computer applications internship, gaining practical experience in the field.
UMFK delivers online courses through the Blackboard learning management system. Students access weekly modules that include readings, discussion forums, writing assignments, and exams.
Students in need of support can contact the Learning Center, which provides tutoring and career development services. Other resources include a writing center, supplemental instruction, and counseling services. Admission requires a letter of recommendation and official transcripts.
University of Maine at Fort Kent is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
UIS is a small, public school that offers 52 fully online programs. Students benefit from small class sizes that typically do not exceed a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The school's Department of Computer Science offers an online bachelor's in cybersecurity.
The 120-credit degree includes courses like foundations of network security and information assurance, introduction to operating systems, windows network administration, and global awareness. This program also requires a culminating capstone course and an engagement experience.
Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system using a mostly asynchronous format. Students interact with classmates and professors through discussion forums, chats, and email. Other assignments include simulations, digital journal articles, projects, and exams.
Online students receive access to an academic advisor, online tutoring, and technical support. Admission requirements include a minimum 2.0 GPA, two semesters of Java programming experience, prerequisite mathematics courses, and official transcripts.
University of Illinois at Springfield is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
WGU is the only postsecondary institution in the country to offer competency-based degrees. Under this model of learning, students can move to the next course once they display mastery of a topic. Students interested in network safety can earn an online bachelor's in cybersecurity.
The 117-credit degree includes courses in organizational behavior and leadership, implementing and administering networking solutions, cloud deployment and operations, and managing cloud security. This program also requires a written IT capstone project.
Distance learners access coursework through the MyWGU portal. Courses may use an asynchronous or synchronous format. Students engage with faculty and peers through online chats and live webinars. Assignments include reading materials, tutorials, and videos. WGU assigns each student a faculty member, who serves as a mentor throughout the program.
Online resources include a writing center, student success center, the WellConnect work-life balance center, and digital learning communities. Applicants need an associate degree from an accredited institution, two years of professional IT experience, or an official record of IT certification. WGU offers a readiness assessment to help students determine their likelihood of success in this program.
Western Governors University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
WBU is a Christian university that integrates faith and learning. Students can choose from over 65 programs of study, including over 20 online programs. WBU encourages practical, engaged learning, offering research, internship, and service-learning opportunities.
Students pursuing a career in cybersecurity can earn an online bachelor of applied science in cybersecurity that uses an inverted format, meaning applicants can receive credit for work experience or training. WBU also accepts associate degrees from accredited institutions. The 124-credit program includes courses like research writing methods, foundations of technical communication, business ethics, and foundations of technical communication.
Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Online courses typically follow an asynchronous format. Students engage in weekly discussion posts, online readings, essays, and group projects. Certain courses may require proctored exams.
Students should anticipate at least 27 study hours each week. Online students can access digital databases, a writing center, career placement services, and technical support. Admission requires official transcripts and ACT or SAT scores.
Wayland Baptist University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
BU provides affordable, accessible postsecondary coursework. The school hosts 9,000 students annually, representing every state and multiple countries. BU also offers a vast alumni network of over 50,000 members. Nontraditional learners can choose from over 75 online degrees, including an online bachelor's in cybersecurity.
The 127-credit degree includes 36 general education credits, 36 major credits, and 55 elective credits. Courses include structured system analysis and design, information technology project management, hybrid mobile application development, and securing access control.
Students access coursework through the Cyber-Active learning management system. The program uses a cohort model, which allows students to take courses with the same group of peers throughout the program. Courses use an asynchronous format. Assignments include recorded lectures, essays, and projects.
Distance learners receive access to library services, online tutoring, writing assistance, and technical support. Admission requires official transcripts and a high school diploma or equivalent.
Bellevue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Kennesaw State is one of the largest public universities in the country. The school offers over 150 degrees, including 70 online degrees. School values include integrity and academic excellence.
Distance learners interested in cybersecurity jobs can earn an online bachelor of business administration in information security and assurance. The 123-credit program includes 42 general education credits, 18 lower-division business credits, 51 upper-division credits, six business electives, three non-business electives, and three graduation credits.
Courses include directed study in information security and assurance, emerging issues in information security, incident response and contingency planning, and perimeter defense. Distance learners access coursework through the D2L Brightspace learning management system. Courses use an asynchronous format.
Online students can access academic advising, a writing center, an online bookstore, and online tutoring, which is offered through Smarthinking. Admission requires a minimum 2.5 GPA and official transcripts. Applicants with a GPA that exceeds the minimum requirement do not need to submit ACT or SAT scores. Transfer students from accredited schools may apply.
Kennesaw State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Franklin is one of the largest universities in Ohio, offering student-centered learning and accessible coursework. Undergraduate students can choose from 44 degrees, including an online bachelor's in cybersecurity that integrates technology and business.
The 124-credit degree includes 38 general education credits, 24 professional core credits, 26 university elective credits, 24 major credits, and 12 major elective credits. Courses include principles of computer networks, information systems architecture and technology, enterprise-wide electronic commerce, systems analysis and design, and principles of programming.
This network security degree aligns with standards outlined by the Association for Computing Machinery and the Association of Information Technology Professionals. Online courses follow an asynchronous format. Students interact with instructors and peers through discussion boards and group chats. Weekly modules include assignments, online readings, and exams.
Distance learners can access virtual tutoring, an online writing center, librarian research assistance, and technical support. Franklin also pairs students with an academic counselor. Admission requires a high school diploma or GED and official transcripts. About 90% of students transfer credits from another school.
Franklin University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
UMA hosts more than 5,500 students annually through over 30 programs, including 20 undergraduate degrees. The school emphasizes academic excellence, immersive learning, and accessible coursework.
The College of Professional Studies at UMA offers a fully online bachelor of science in computer information systems that prepares graduates for cybersecurity jobs. This degree requires 121 credits, including 87 major credits, 31 program credits, and three general electives. Students need a minimum 2.0 GPA in major courses to graduate. Courses include introduction to visual basic programming, information security architecture, security policy and governance, and introduction to cyberforensics.
UMA uses the Blackboard learning management system to administer distance coursework. Courses typically follow an asynchronous format. Online learners interact through email, discussion posts, and group chats. Online assignments mirror on-campus coursework, which may include essays, projects, and supplemental readings.
Online students can access the VAWLT virtual learning center, which provides research and writing assistance. Students can contact tutors by email, phone, video conference, or live chat. UMA does not charge an application fee. Admission requirements include a high school diploma or GED and official transcripts. Transfer students from regionally accredited universities may apply.
University of Maine at Augusta is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
CityU values flexibility, accessibility, innovation, and relevance, ranking among the top schools nationwide for online undergraduate degree programs. The school hosts nearly 7,000 students through 60 undergraduate and graduate programs.
Students can earn an online bachelor of science in information systems that teaches students to apply technical practices to modern cybersecurity challenges. This degree requires 180 quarter credits, including 90 lower-division credits, 40 preparatory credits, 30 business core credits, 30 technology credits, and 25 systems development and management credits. CityU also requires a five-credit technology capstone course.
Notable courses include quality assurance, interpretation of financial statements, introductions to functions management, and ethics. Graduates qualify for roles such as database specialist, business analyst, and quality assurance manager. CityU delivers online coursework through the Blackboard learning management system, and courses follow an asynchronous format.
Assignments include discussion forums, essays, exams, and group projects. Students can access online tutoring through Smarthinking. CityU pairs distance learners with academic counselors and offers 24/7 technical support.
City University of Seattle is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The cybersecurity program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
UMGC is the largest online public university in the country, offering over 90 online degrees and specializations. UMGC offers no-cost digital course materials, making online learning accessible and affordable.
Aspiring network security professionals at UMGC can earn an online bachelor's in information systems management that emphasizes strategic decision-making, research, and implementation of information technology to meet organizational needs. Graduates qualify for management positions in systems analysis and information assurance. The program requires 120 credits, including 33 major credits, 41 general education credits, and 46 elective credits.
Major courses include business continuity planning, trends and applications in information systems management, business intelligence and data analytics, and enterprise architecture. UMGC uses eight-week sessions. Asynchronous courses provide weekly or bi-weekly assignment due dates, allowing students to complete work when their schedules permit.
Students engage with peers through group work and by contributing to discussion forums. Distance learners receive access to online tutoring and a digital writing center. Admission applications require a high school diploma and transcripts.
University of Maryland Global Campus is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Degree Program Ranking Guidelines
We selected the following degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.
Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.
Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.
While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.
The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.
The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.
Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.
Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology
About Our Ranking Factors
Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.
Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.
We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.
In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.
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What Is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity degrees prepare graduates to protect organizations from illegal hackers and viruses that target sensitive information. The term "cybersecurity" applies to a broad field, including network security, information security, operational security, and application security.
Concentrations vary by program, but cybersecurity students can potentially specialize in areas like web and mobile development, business analytics, database and analytics, and computing technology. Today's digital society allows cybersecurity professionals to find employment in nearly any field, but the most common fields include computer systems design and educational services.
Constant advances in technology pose ongoing challenges and changes; cybersecurity professionals must stay abreast of any changes to maintain relevance and a competitive edge in the job market. Cybersecurity professionals also need integrity and strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
What Is the Difference Between Information Assurance and Cybersecurity?
Information assurance and cybersecurity both refer to the protection of information. However, information assurance refers to the protection of both non-digital and digital information, while cybersecurity emphasizes digital information.
Information security professionals analyze how organizations use and communicate information, identifying possible areas of exposure in order to advise companies. Cybersecurity professionals develop methods of protecting digital hardware, software, and information systems from data breaches or other damage.
What Is a Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Degree?
During a bachelor's in cybersecurity program, students explore computer system administration and electronic safety concepts, learning how to protect digital data, computer systems, and networks from infiltration. Courses may include usability in data structures and algorithms, project management standards and behaviors, Linux systems administration, and server-side scripting PHP.
Some programs offer cybersecurity specializations. Concentrations that focus on the business aspect of the field include project management and business analytics, while field-specific concentrations may include secure software development and mobile development programming.
Students typically earn this degree in four years of full-time attendance. However, online programs may offer accelerated options or modified academic calendars that require shorter time commitments. Admission requirements vary, but applicants usually must submit a resume, letters of recommendation, and SAT or ACT scores. Universities may also require an interview and a minimum GPA.
During a cybersecurity bachelor's degree, students gain soft skills in research, writing, adaptability, and networking. They also gain hard skills, like how to design and assess network architecture, compose custom scripts, and understand anti-malware.
What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Degree?
While most employers seek cybersecurity professionals with a bachelor's degree, an associate degree can satisfy requirements for some entry-level roles, including network security analyst, cybersecurity penetration tester, or cyberthreat analyst. Earning an associate degree also provides students with a strong foundation to pursue a cybersecurity bachelor's degree. In fact, some schools require applicants to hold an associate degree or professional experience before enrolling in a bachelor's program.
Professionals with a bachelor's degree have more opportunities. Potential roles for graduates include information security manager, IT security consultant, information assurance engineer, and ethical hacker.
A master's in cybersecurity provides further advancement opportunities, typically allowing students to specialize in an area like IT auditing or risk management and compliance. Cybersecurity professionals can also earn a doctorate, which prepares them for leadership roles like computer security researcher and developer, computer security system architect, director of information security, or senior security consultant.
The need for highly qualified cybersecurity professionals continues to grow. There are roles that only require an associate degree, allowing graduates to enter the field within two years and begin building professional experience. However, employers more often look for candidates with at least a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity. Several common careers for graduates with a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity are listed below.
Computer systems administrators manage network-related tasks within an organization. These professionals must maintain network transfer performance, review protocols, and develop scripts that enhance networking devices. Other responsibilities include updating computer systems, reviewing software installations, and developing run-times for multiple programming languages.
This position requires analytical, IT, and business skills. Computer systems administrators need to perform well in teams while operating with minimal supervision. Most employers require applicants to hold a cybersecurity bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Employers may also require prior related experience or industry certifications.
Information security analysts improve data safety within an organization. Primary responsibilities include research, data collection, strategy development, and efficiency improvement. These analysts also implement and uphold privacy policies and security guidelines. This role requires constant assessment of enterprise environments, log monitoring, and computer traffic management.
The best candidates can multitask and pay attention to detail. Information security analysts also need problem-solving skills. Employers typically require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and experience in the field.
Network architects create and review network capabilities and needs for their companies. Other responsibilities include providing technical support regarding advanced wireless networks and managing client relationships under the guidance of organizational protocols and standards. These professionals work closely with network administrators.
This role requires advanced organizational skills to prevent detrimental network issues. Network architects must maintain detailed reports of their work to prevent and manage connectivity problems. These professionals also need strong communication skills to stay abreast of changes within the field. Employers typically look for candidates with a bachelor's degree. Some roles may also require prior experience.
Cybersecurity Membership Associations
Technology evolves rapidly, so cybersecurity professionals need to stay updated on changes within the field. Membership organizations help professionals collaborate and share their knowledge. Professional organizations also offer discounted coursework and certification programs, digital databases, and online resources.
Cybersecurity certifications allow professionals to demonstrate specialized knowledge and skills, creating opportunities in a competitive job market. The list below includes highly recognized certifications that cybersecurity professionals should consider pursuing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Digital attacks aim to access, destroy, or change sensitive information in an organization. Cybersecurity protects computer systems from these threats and attacks.
A bachelor's in cybersecurity teaches students how to protect various information systems and data, emphasizing technical knowledge and skills.
While employers may accept applicants with an associate degree for entry-level cybersecurity positions, most employers require a bachelor's degree at minimum. Certifications can provide an additional advantage in the job market.
Students can earn a cybersecurity bachelor's degree in four years of full-time attendance. However, online programs may offer accelerated options, which allow students to graduate sooner.
According to BLS data, network and computer systems administrators earn a median annual salary of $82,050.
Professionals may find limited entry-level jobs with an associate degree in cybersecurity, but most employers require a bachelor's degree.
Cybersecurity salaries vary by location, experience, industry, and title. For instance, professionals who provide educational services earn median annual wages of around $71,990, while information administrators earn median salaries of $88,440.
Cybersecurity professionals typically offer computer systems design services. They may also work in education-related services, finance and insurance, or management.
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