Best Online Master's in Cybercrime 2021

Best Online Master's in Cybercrime 2021

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Cybercrime master's degrees train candidates in math concepts, classroom technologies, research skills, cultural considerations, and the history of cybercrime.

Freshman applicants must submit high school transcripts or GED scores. Some online universities require high school prerequisites, FAFSA results, and standardized test scores. Applicants with college experience should also provide official undergraduate transcripts to receive transfer credit, lower their overall tuition bill, and reduce the time needed to graduate. 

Typical graduation requirements for undergraduates include passing all courses and maintaining a minimum 2.0 GPA. Graphic design bachelor's programs also require advanced coursework leading to a professional portfolio. Students develop a portfolio by creating studio projects emphasizing multiple graphic design techniques and skills.

Top 10 Online DEGREE Programs 2021

#1 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
#2 University of California - Berkeley Berkeley, CA
#3 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
#4 University of South Florida Tampa, FL
#5 New York University New York, NY
#6 Boston University Boston , MA
#7 Villanova University Villanova , PA
#8 George Washington University Washington, D.C.
#9 University of Delaware Newark, DE
#10 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY

The Best Online Master's in Cybercrime Programs

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University of South Florida 

Tampa, FL Apply Now

About this school

University of South Florida (USF) was founded in 1956 in Tampa Bay, FL. While it’s beautiful main campus and sunny location hosts one of the country’s largest student population, USF also hosts many different highly regarded online degree programs, including 28 at the master’s degree level. For aspiring cybersecurity professionals, USF programs benefit from a close relationship and location to U.S. CENTCOM and U.S. SOCOM. Furthermore, the USF campus is home to the Florida Center for Cybersecurity, a new state resource designed to turn Florida into a cybersecurity leader. The center supports research at all levels, builds and fosters partnerships and alliances, and establishes USF as a prime location for cybersecurity employment.

Students in the MS in cybersecurity with a concentration in digital forensics analyze and investigate cybercrime. Other concentrations are available – including cyber intelligence, information assurance, and computer security fundamentals – but only the digital forensics and information assurance are offered online. The 30–33-credit program is delivered within eight-week sessions. USF also offers six different cybersecurity certificates, three of which are available online (digital forensics, cyber intelligence, and information assurance). Each certificate is between 12 and 18 credits.

Successful applicants to the MS in cybersecurity will have a bachelor’s degree and work experience in a technical field. Computer science or computer engineering degrees are preferred. Online students at USF benefit from a host of services and support, including test preparation resources, electronic libraries, tutoring services, counseling, and a career services team that helps with career searches and creates an effective academic pathway.


New York University 

New York, NY Apply Now

About this school

When New York University (NYU) was founded in 1831, it had less than 200 students. Today, with more than 50,000 students worldwide, the institution is one of the largest private universities in the United States and one of the most familiar university names in the world. In order to accommodate students better, NYU introduced online education in nearly all its schools. The Tandon School of Engineering, for example, now offers six online engineering master’s degrees, including the MS in cybersecurity.

The 30-credit master’s in cyber security online features core courses in computer science and security, plus electives in areas such as digital forensics, biometrics, and computer architecture. Students can complete a research project or a thesis option in place of some electives. Both the research project and the master’s thesis can be used independently or applied to a Ph.D. application. At NYU, cybersecurity students can also complete the National Security Agency (NSA) Cyber Operation program, which requires following a specific pathway to earn the designation.

To gain admission to the cybersecurity program, applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer engineering, but applicants with a science or mathematics degree as well as programming and computer experience are eligible. Applicants who lack a computer science and/or programming foundation may enroll in the NYU bridge program. At NYU, online cybersecurity students are part of a large online community. Students gain access to one-on-one mentoring, tutoring, guest speakers, and virtual career fairs. There is even a virtual lab for students to receive hands-on work experience.


Boston University 

Boston , MA Apply Now

About this school

With roots dating back to 1839, Boston University is one of the most prestigious and innovative universities in the world. In 2002 the school first offered its online master of criminal justice degree. Since then, 17 more master’s degrees have been added to BU’s online degree offerings, as well as many more concentrations.

The master of criminal justice degree recently added a concentration in cybercrime investigation and cybersecurity. The 40-credit concentration provides an in-depth look at cybercriminology – including policy, law, and investigative practices – and students are eligible to take forensic examiner exams upon completion of their degree. As part of the program, students are introduced to BU’s large network of industry professionals and alumni.

p>The cyber security master’s degree online program at BU can be completed in as little 20 months. While most of the coursework and lectures are delivered asynchronously, some courses and professors may schedule live meetings. Online courses are contained within accelerated, seven-week sessions to allow students to focus their attention on as few subjects as possible. Students also have a choice between six start dates throughout the year. At BU, the online support staff assists with course registration, ordering textbooks, academic and financial aid, and career services.

Villanova University 

Villanova , PA Apply Now

About this school

Villanova University has been the focal point in the community of Villanova, PA since it was founded in 1842. Today, Villanova remains the oldest and largest Catholic university in the state. Annually, the institution delivers high-quality educations to more than 10,000 students, many of which have the option to take classes online. Online courses at Villanova are delivered in a synchronous format, which lets students participate in real-time with the on-campus students or at their own convenience.

The online MS in cybersecurity at Villanova is one of nine master’s degrees available online from the College of Engineering. The 30-credit degree requires students to complete 10 three-credit courses and conclude their final semester with a capstone paper or project. There is also a thesis available for students interested in research. In addition to the foundational courses and electives, the cybersecurity degree features three different specializations in the areas of systems, policy, and operations. There is also a 15-credit cybersecurity certificate offered fully online.

Students in the online cyber security master’s degree can choose part-time study and complete the program in three years, or full-time study and finish in two years. Part-time students take only one course a semester, whereas full-time students typically take two or three. All online students benefit from the virtual library and extensive online resources at Villanova University. For admission, applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, mathematics, or computer science, though students with significant work experience and a degree in another filed may be considered. Tuition is the same for all students, on-campus or online, and financial aid is accessible for all.


George Washington University 

Washington, D.C. Apply Now

About this school

George Washington University was founded in 1821 as Columbian College. In the early 1900s, the private institution changed its name and relocated to Foggy Bottom, a well-known neighborhood in Washington, D.C., where the main campus still resides today. Over the years, GW has grown immensely – in student body, affiliations, and capabilities. The institution now offers many of its degree programs online, including more than 40 at the master’s degree level.

The 36-credit master’s degree of professional studies degree (MPS) in cybersecurity strategy and information management takes four semesters and concludes with a capstone project that integrates the student’s learning with real-world practice. The cyber security master’s degree online boasts a strong focus on policy development and the incorporation of practical and strategic experience. The cybersecurity program was developed in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security and the Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute, making it well-recognized in the industry.

All online students at GW access the same extensive resources as their on-campus counterparts, including research consultations with the digital libraries, 24/7 tutoring, career services, writing center support, mental health services, and access to the GW student association. Online students also receive benefits that on-campus students do not, such as a lower student-instructor ratio and greater opportunities for one-on-one interaction with instructors and program facilitators.


University of Delaware 

Newark, DE Apply Now

About this school

The University of Delaware (UD) traces its history to 1743 when it was first a private academy. UD is now the largest and most innovative university in the state of Delaware, featuring several online degrees, including 13 master’s programs. UD Online provides students with 24/7 resources such as academic and technical support, access to digital libraries and holdings, and extensive career services assistance.

UD’s online MS in cybersecurity provides students the flexibility to study when and where it suits their schedule, and the asynchronous program fully immerses students in the course material. The program designs hands-on learning opportunities and interactive sessions with classmates and instructors. The 30-credit MS in cybersecurity prepares graduates to protect computer systems while also designing safe and secure systems. The program boasts virtual machine environments that simulate real-world threats, allowing students to problem solve in real-time.

The cyber security master’s degree online is delivered in seven-week sessions. Students can complete the degree in approximately two years. Among other benefits, UD has created the Cybersecurity Initiative (CSI), a program for cybersecurity students that hosts an expert lecture series regarding some of the most pressing issues in the field today. For entrance into the program, applicants must have a BS in computer engineering, electrical engineering, or a degree in a related field – such as mathematics – and a 3.0 GPA.


Syracuse University 

Syracuse, NY Apply Now

About this school

Since its founding in 1870, Syracuse University has pioneered the field of education. Though its main campus in New York draws students from all over the nation, in 1993 Syracuse was one of the first major universities to introduce online master’s degrees. Today, the institution offers several master’s degrees online, including the MS in cybersecurity.

This 30-credit online cyber security master’s degree focuses on five areas: systems design, systems protection, systems assurance, systems analysis, and data mining. Each year of coursework consists of four 12-week quarters, and students complete the degree in 15 months. Recognized by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency, the MS in cybersecurity offers electives in biometrics, machine learning, cryptography, data mining, and computer architecture. Online students also have full access to the career services, digital libraries, and academic support systems at Syracuse.

Online learning at Syracuse combines real-time lectures with interactive coursework that can be completed at any time. Every online degree features a five-day on-campus immersion, in which students participate in collaborative workshops, lectures, and networking opportunities. While the admission standards at Syracuse are demanding, students without the proper mathematical, computer systems, and programming foundations required for direct entry into the program may complete up to two preparatory classes before beginning their degree. Transfer students with previous graduate-level schooling may transfer up to nine credits.


James Madison University 

Harrisonburg, VA Apply Now

About this school

James Madison University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).


University of Maryland - Baltimore 

Baltimore, MD Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1856 with only 34 students, the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) is now a global university with numerous international connections, affiliations, and students. UMB is the flagship institution in the University of Maryland system and is a pioneer in education.

The online MS in cybersecurity law is the first degree of its kind. The 30-credit fully online degree focuses on legal and public policy issues within cybersecurity, such as privacy, internet governance, and cybercrime. Students in the field of cybersecurity also benefit from Maryland being home to the National Security Agency (NSA) and the U.S. Cyber Command. In addition to core courses in cybersecurity law, students take courses in homeland security and counterterrorism, as well as NSA foreign Intelligence.

The online cyber security master’s degree at UMB is delivered asynchronously over four semesters, and is typically completed in 16 months. Online students take part in an interactive and collaborative environment with access to a helpful network of support staff, peers, and mentors. Students have four years to graduate once they begin the degree. While transfer students are welcome, the unique and focused nature of the coursework means that no credits are eligible for transfer.


University of San Diego 

San Diego, CA Apply Now

About this school

The master of science in cyber security operations and leadership at University of San Diego consists of 31 credits that students complete in 20 months, or five semesters. Students take one three-credit course per seven-week term. Each course constitutes 37.5 hours of instructional time, and the university recommends that students spend between 15 and 18 hours per week on each course. The program concludes with a capstone that requires students to create an ePortfolio.

Students graduate with the skills needed for placement at top-level cyber security jobs. As of 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that salaries range from $80,000 to 112,000 for positions in IT and cyber security.

Applicants must demonstrate professional or academic IT experience. The university requires the submission of a resume and either a letter of support from the applicant’s employer or two letters of reference. Applicants must also submit official transcripts, possess at least a 2.75 GPA, and write a statement of purpose. The university encourages candidates who do not meet the GPA requirement to submit scores from the GRE, GMAT, MAT, or LSAT. Prior to entrance into the program, the school also recommends that applicants join InfraGard, a professional partnership between private sector companies and the FBI. Classes begin in the fall, spring, and summer.


University of Dallas 

Irving, TX Apply Now

About this school

Students can earn UD’s fully online master’s in cybersecurity degree on a full-time or part-time basis. Full-time students complete the program in one year. The curriculum covers topics including digital forensics, business and society, and strategic cybersecurity management. During a practicum course, students complete a simulation in a cybersecurity management role.

UD’s cybersecurity advisory board comprises experts in the field who have worked in the private and public sectors. Many courses offer multiple start dates, and students choose to take 12-week, 6-week, or intermester courses. Students have access to a writing coach and the online library.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and a 2.0 GPA. UD students must maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout their studies.


Regis University 

Denver , CO Apply Now

About this school

Regis University’s master’s in cyber security online program combines the study of criminology with the study of emerging cyber threats. The master of science in criminology: cybercrime focus curriculum consists of 12 courses that span 36 credits. Students take nine criminology courses before moving onto the three-course cybercrime focus, tailoring the core courses to a specific interest area.

The cybercrime focus examines the fundamentals of computer forensics and the basics of digital information’s security standards and safeguarding strategies. The final course combines these topics into a risk management evaluation that trains students to analyze an organization’s security systems and defend against threats.

Applicants must provide official transcripts from all attended baccalaureate and graduate institutions, two professional letters of recommendation, a professional resume, and two admissions essays that address professional goals and the applicant’s interest in the program. The university schedules applicants for a faculty interview upon receiving application materials. The university offers all students the same tuition rate irrespective of residency. Additionally, active military and veteran students receive tuition discounts. Students who submit the FAFSA in a timely manner may receive financial aid.


CSU Global 

Greenwood Village, CO Apply Now

About this school

CSU Global offers students a master of information technology management, cyber security specialization entirely online. The cyber security specialization is a 12-credit, four-course sequence. Students study cyber security management; emerging cyber security technology, threats, and defense; enterprise cyber security; and cyber security defense and countermeasures. The knowledge they obtain through this specialization augments and deepens the skill-set they develop through the degree’s main curriculum.

The bulk of the program consists of eight core courses in information technology topics. Courses include fundamentals of quantitative analysis–which explores four research methods: managing virtualized and cloud systems, information technology auditing and assurance, and business continuity and disaster recovery. The program concludes with a capstone project in which students perform a detailed analysis of an organization’s information needs and develop a solutions plan.

Applicants possess a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants provide the admissions office official transcripts, a statement of purpose, and a professional and academic resume. Students pay the same tuition rate whether they live inside of or outside of the state.


Liberty University Online 

Lynchburg, VA Apply Now

About this school

Liberty University is a private, Evangelical Christian University established in 1971 by Jerry Falwell. Liberty enrolls over 75,000 students in a full array of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree and certificate programs. It owes its massive student population to a healthy roster of online programs; 71% and 94% of its undergraduate and graduate students populations, respectively, enroll entirely online. Founded on Evangelical principles, Liberty dedicates its programs to developing students as champions of Christ.

Among its many online options, Liberty University offers a master’s in cyber security online degree program. The program consists of 12 courses that total 36 credit hours, and this online cyber security master’s develops the necessary advanced knowledge and skills for success in cyber security professions. Students engage with courses in areas, such as:

  • Applied Cryptography
  • Digital Forensics
  • Ethical Hacking
  • Security Engineering
  • Web Security

Students also complete a capstone project.

This cybercrime master’s degree utilizes eight-week long courses. The program starts on eight dates per year; this allows students to earn their degree in as little as 18 months of study. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as information systems or computer science that was earned with at least a 3.0 GPA.


George Mason University 

Fairfax, VA Apply Now

About this school

Based in the city of Fairfax, George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public university. Its MS in applied information technology, cyber security concentration prepares graduates for careers in cyber security jobs like intelligence analyst, chief information officer, senior systems administrator, and cyber security consultant.

The 36-credit curriculum consists of three parts, beginning with four core courses in the essentials of algorithms and data structures, data management systems, computing platforms, and information. Following that, students take four concentration courses in cyber security fundamentals, secure software development, network and system security, and incident handling. The program concludes with two elective courses: a thesis or master’s research project or classes in cloud computing security, emerging cyber threats, or identity and access management. Specific requirements vary by course, but students take most courses asynchronously with no campus visits.

Applicants possess a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of at least a 3.0 for the last 60 credit hours from a regionally accredited institution. Complete applications include two copies of allficial transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a professional resume with evidence of IT experience, and a statement of goals. Virginia residents pay discounted tuition.


Lewis University 

Romeoville, IL Apply Now

About this school

Lewis University offers a nationally recognized online cyber security master’s degree. The MS in computer science – cyber security concentration teaches students advanced programming techniques and the requisite skills for monitoring, identifying, investigating, and responding to cyber threats. Students take 14 credits of core computer science courses, 15 credits in the cyber security concentration, and a three-credit thesis course.

The program focuses on hands-on learning projects that include software design, network design, authentication and encryption programming, and digital forensics. By studying digital forensics, students both familiarize themselves with industry tools and learn how to create their own tools, helping them secure well-paying jobs.

Preferred applicants possess an accredited bachelor’s degree in computer science or engineering, electrical engineering, mathematics, or information systems. The university admits applicants without undergraduate coursework in these areas, but these students must take foundational coursework. Candidates with undergraduate GPAs of 3.0 or higher receive full admission. Candidates with GPAs that do not meet this threshold can qualify for provisional admission. Complete applications include official transcripts, a two-page personal statement, two letters of reference, and a professional resume.


Saint Joseph's College 

Brooklyn, NY Apply Now

About this school

SJC offers online certificates and degrees, including a master’s in cyber forensics. SJC offers the 33-credit program in a hybrid format, which is ideal for working professionals in New York.

The curriculum covers topics including ethics and the criminal justice system, software security, and computer forensics investigation and response. The program culminates in a field practicum; depending on their career goals, students complete either a capstone project or an internship. Students complete a 15-credit series of courses in math, CIT, and computer science. Students must fulfill a residency requirement and complete at least 30 credits through SJC.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and should demonstrate substantial professional experience and full-time employment. SJC offers discounted tuition rates for active duty, guard, and reserve service members. SJC accepts transfer credit through its online transfer evaluation system and awards scholarships to transfer students with 24 graduate-level credits and a minimum 2.8 GPA.


Eastern Illinois University 

Charleston, IL Apply Now

About this school

Based in Charleston, EIU offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees, including an online master’s in cybersecurity. EIU’s program is one of the most affordable online cybersecurity master’s degrees available. The core curriculum covers database security and reliability, management of IT, and biometric security.

EIU delivers online coursework through Brightspace by D2L. Courses are primarily asynchronous, but some instructors utilize synchronous learning methods. EIU’s cybersecurity online master’s program requires four days of residency at the end of spring term. Students also spend ten days in residency while completing the team-based capstone course, during which students create a security system for a computer network. Most students complete the 32 required credits in two years.

Applicants should have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75. Applicants with lower GPAs may be admitted on a provisional basis and must earn a 3.0 GPA in their first 12 credits.


Columbus State University 

Columbus, GA Apply Now

About this school

Founded in Georgia in 1958, CSU offers an online master’s of applied science with a concentration in cybersecurity. The program requires 30 to 34 credits and is ideal for working professionals who want to earn their cybersecurity master’s degree online. The concentration includes coursework in computer network and management, software testing and quality assurance, and applied cryptography.

Online coursework is delivered through Brightspace and utilizes applications such as Blackboard Collaborate, Camtasia, and Kaltura. Some online courses incorporate synchronous elements, such as live video conferences and chats. Students have access to online tutoring and an extensive online library of books on cyberdefense.

Applicants must have earned an undergraduate degree and must have either a 2.75 cumulative GPA, a 3.0 GPA in major coursework, or significant professional experience in industrial software development. CSU students must maintain a 3.0 GA and must complete their degree within seven years of enrollment.


Western Governors University 

Salt Lake City, UT Apply Now

About this school

Established in 1997, the private, non-profit Western Governors University is unique because all its undergraduate and graduate degree programs are entirely online. This dedication to online education allows the university to have a massive population of over 98,000 students around the world.

Western Governors University offers a master’s in cyber security online degree program for students who seek advancement in cyber security professions. The flexible online cyber security master’s program consists of nine courses in key areas, such as:

  • Cybersecurity Management
  • Forensic and Network Intrusion
  • Hacking
  • Secure Systems Analysis and Design

Students must also complete a capstone.

Western Governors University embraces a competency-based education model. This means that all the courses in the program are openly available to students and are entirely asynchronous, which allows students to complete the program on their own time and schedule. The program can be completed in as few as six months of dedicated study. Alternately, students may take their time and complete the program in up to 20 months. Students must complete at least one course per six-month term.

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally or nationally accredited institution and must have demonstrable knowledge in IT security.


Nova Southeastern University 

Fort Lauderdale, FL Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1964, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) quickly established a reputation for quality off-campus and distance education programs. NSU is still recognized as an innovator in this area, opening up evening and weekend courses, regional campuses, and fully online degrees. NSU now offers 83 online degrees that are recognized by the Southern Regional Education Board’s Electronic Campus program.

The MS in information assurance and cybersecurity (MSIS) is a 36-credit degree consisting of 12 courses that explore designing and programming cybersecurity systems. While the online degree is delivered asynchronously, there is substantial interactivity and collaboration aimed at including distance students in NSU’s cybersecurity community. Online students have the option of studying full-time and completing the entire degree in one year, or part-time, which typically takes between 16 and 24 months to complete.

Recognized by both the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA), the online cyber security master’s degree hosts sponsored military personnel as they complete a certification or degree. For admission, applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field, a 2.5 GPA overall, and a 3.0 GPA in the bachelor’s degree major. Applicants who do not have the requisite computing and/or programming foundation may be able to take prerequisite courses at NSU during their study period.


University of Detroit Mercy 

Detroit , MI Apply Now

About this school

In 2016, the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security designated the University of Detroit Mercy as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. The school’s online master of science in information assurance with a major in cyber security trains the next generation of professionals for jobs in the cybersecurity space.

Students complete the 30-credit curriculum entirely online in one academic year and graduate with two CNSS certifications: NSTISSI 4011 fundamentals and CNSSI 4012 IA management. The course sequence consists of nine core courses and one elective. As part of the core, students study cyber law, secure acquisition, incident response, and cyber defense operations. Electives include software assurance, ethical hacking, advanced network security, and advanced topics in cyber security.

Applicants possess a bachelor’s degree and need to submit official transcripts along with their application form. The university encourages applicants to provide documents like recommendation letters to enhance their applications. Due to Department of Education regulations, this program is not available to residents of Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Michigan and non-Michigan residents pay the same tuition.


End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Cybercrime Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

What Is an Online Master's in Cybercrime?

An online master's in cybersecurity equips graduates with the skills to detect and protect against cyberattacks. They learn to analyze systems for vulnerabilities and investigate any suspicious or malicious activity. These programs typically take two years to complete, though some schools offer accelerated programs online.

Completing a master's in cybersecurity most often leads to information technology occupations, including advanced positions as computer scientists and management-level professionals. Master's degrees help learners develop expertise in different operating systems, industries, and emerging technologies. Students can specialize their degrees to focus on niche areas like digital forensics, cybersecurity law, or incident management.

Choosing an Online Master's in Cybercrime Program

When choosing an online master's in cybersecurity, students should consider several factors that can impact experience and outcomes. For online programs, learners should pay close attention to program length, tuition costs for in-state and out-of-state students, and residency requirements.

Cybersecurity degree-seekers should also consider each program's curriculum, offered specializations, and practical training opportunities. It's best to choose a program that aligns with your career goals and interests. Try making a priority list and creating your own rankings to help narrow your options.

What's the Difference Between Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, and Computer Forensics?

An online master's in cybersecurity typically provides similar core training and requires the same amount of time as degrees in cybercrime and computer forensics. However, cybersecurity focuses more on establishing protections and thwarting criminal activity, while cybercrime programs focus on analyzing criminal behavior. Computer forensics emphasizes investigative analysis. 

These programs can lead to many of the same cybersecurity careers, such as information security analyst and computer and information systems manager. While each specialization offers unique strengths, online master's in cybersecurity degrees are the most common, so more employers recognize the training.

Accreditation for Online Master's in Cybercrime Programs

Before deciding on a school, students should always check for accreditation. Required by most employers and financial aid organizations, regional accreditation ensures that the program meets necessary educational quality standards. 

Though not always required, cybersecurity programs can also receive programmatic accreditation from ABET. Like regional accreditation, this recognition assures students and employers that the program provides training that meets or exceeds industry standards.

What Can I Expect When Pursuing a Master's in Cybercrime Online?

Each master's in cybersecurity offers a unique curriculum, but there are a few core topics that most programs include. The following section explores the most popular courses in cybersecurity.

Common Courses in Cybercrime Online Programs

  • Information Assurance: This course covers basic concepts for protecting networks, communication, and data, including how to plan, implement, and manage security and system integrity. Students examine the most contemporary approaches to preventing, detecting, and recovering from information loss; fundamentals and applications of cryptography; and security in networks and distributed environments.
  • Digital Forensics Investigation: Enrollees explore investigation practices for uncovering digital crime in computers, networks, operating systems, mobile devices, and other areas of digital forensics. Coursework covers the identification, collection, authentication, preservation, and presentation of digital forensic evidence.
  • Security Risk Analysis and Planning: Degree-seekers receive training in risk analysis, disaster recovery, incident response, security controls, and business continuity. Students examine internal and external partnerships, governance, emerging threats and vulnerabilities, and security capabilities. The course also addresses risks in financial regulations and privacy.
  • Network Security: Students learn to apply defensive measures to secure networks, identify the overall network security posture, and implement basic practices in vulnerability assessment. Topics include data and host security; protocols and analysis; threats and vulnerabilities; and application, access control, and identity management.
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Information Security: Cybersecurity professionals must understand the legal and ethical issues related to the rise of global connectivity and information sharing. Students examine confidentiality, privacy, and local, federal, and international laws. The course emphasizes government regulation, e-commerce, and e-business.

Cybercrime Professional Organizations

Professional organizations provide students and professionals with access to supportive career resources. In the cybersecurity industry, these organizations help members find employment and advance their careers. Some of the most significant professional organizations in the industry are listed below.

  • International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists Established in 1989, IACIS is a leading organization for computer forensic professionals, serving over 2,200 members from more than 60 countries. The association administers certification courses, including the certified forensic computer examiner program. It also hosts a forum for information exchange on emerging cyberthreats.
  • Information Systems Security Association ISSA offers continuing education courses and networking opportunities for its membership of about 10,000 international cybersecurity specialists. Members receive access to professional development training, webinars, and a career center that offers services to employers and job-seekers. The organization also hosts an annual conference that attracts cybercrime experts from around the globe.
  • Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists As one of the few organizations dedicated to the detection and prevention of financial crime, ACFCS offers certification, training opportunities, and networking for financial security specialists. Membership includes access to webinars, bi-weekly newsletters, and daily news briefs. ACFCS also administers the certified financial crime program for financial intelligence specialists who work in regulatory agencies and law enforcement.

Cybercrime Careers

Earning a master's in cybersecurity opens many professional doors. The specialized training equips them for various leadership and computer information technology careers

While graduates usually qualify for the positions listed below, some employers may require additional training or certifications. When considering jobs in cybersecurity, it's best to check with local employers and ask about their employment requirements.

Forensic Science Technicians

Median Salary: $59,150 Job Outlook (2019-2029): 14%

Forensic science technicians collect and analyze evidence for various crimes. They follow proper legal procedures when gathering evidence and then analyze that evidence and information, often in a laboratory. Cybersecurity professionals often work in digital forensics, investigating cybercriminals and cybercrimes, like fraud and identity theft.

Employers typically require a bachelor's degree and specialized investigative training. Technicians pursuing work for police departments may need to become police officers, which requires police academy training. Candidates need strong communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Private Detectives and Investigators

Median Salary: $50,510 Job Outlook (2019-2029): 8%

Private detectives and investigators seek out information on people, activities, and crimes. They research legal matters and personal backgrounds for organizations, lawyers, and individuals, collecting evidence for their clients. 

For employment, investigators usually need a relevant degree and industry experience. To gain experience, many private detectives first work in a legal profession. Most states require licensure for private investigators, and industry certification may help candidates find employment.

Computer and Information Research Scientists

Median Salary: $122,840 Job Outlook (2019-2029): 15%

Computer information research scientists develop new technologies and advancements for existing technologies. They often begin with a problem or inefficiency and then research or develop solutions. They design new computing methods, test their inventions, analyze results, and publish their findings.

These scientists usually need a master's degree in a computer-related field for employment, though some employers accept applicants with bachelor's degrees. Industry certifications can improve a candidate's employability, but employers typically place more value on experience. These professionals need strong analytical, mathematics, and communication skills.

Information Security Analysts

Median Salary: $99,730 Job Outlook (2019-2029): 31%

Information security analysts protect organizations' computer systems from internal and external threats. They establish protections, create backups, test for vulnerabilities, and investigate suspicious activities. If a cyberattack occurs, analysts collect evidence and provide reports to management and the authorities.

While some employers prefer to hire professionals with master's degrees, many bachelor's-level candidates can also find employment. Though not required, information security professionals often pursue industry certifications to add more credentials to their resumes. Employers commonly seek out candidates with experience in leadership or network administration.

Computer and Information Systems Managers

Median Salary: $146,360 Job Outlook (2019-2029): 10%

Computer and information systems managers oversee computer-related activities and personnel within an organization. They ensure that all equipment receives proper maintenance, upgrades, and security. They also assess companies' technological needs and suggest improvements.

Computer systems managers typically need at least a bachelor's degree, though many employers prefer master's degrees. Management roles usually require substantial experience, and industry certifications also help bolster a candidate's credentials.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Get a Master's in Cybercrime?

Many schools offer a master's in cybersecurity or a related discipline, such as cybercrime or computer forensics. Some programs offer cybersecurity and cybercrime as specializations within a master's in computer science.

What Can You Do With a Master's in Cybercrime?

With a master's in cybersecurity, graduates can pursue computer and information technology occupations. BLS data projects an 11% job growth rate in the sector from 2019-2029.

What Are the Top Five Math Careers?

Which math career is the best depends on individual job-seekers. The highest-paid math careers are mathematicians and statisticians; economists; financial analysts; actuaries; and computer systems analysts.

Is It Worth It to Get a Master's Degree in Cybercrime?

BLS projections indicate a 31% job growth rate for information security analysts from 2019-2029, with a $99,730 median annual salary in 2019 — more than double the median annual salary for all occupations.

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