5 Best Online Cybersecurity Degrees
In the past decade, the world of computing has become a diverse and lucrative industry, encompassing a variety of different fields and drawing interest from many different types of people. One area of the craft that is receiving particular interest is cybersecurity, the field dedicated to protecting data and systems from malicious hackers and other cybercriminals.
This evolution of the craft has led many graduates and professionals to consider changing career paths, with some choosing to learn from home, while others dive back into full-time education in pursuit of their newfound passion.
One alternative that some people overlook, however, is online degree programs. These programs essentially offer the best of both worlds, giving you the opportunity to earn an accredited qualification from the comfort of your own home. This option has become rather popular for those that have other commitments, as it allows them to obtain valuable skills and credibility, without needing to give up their job or relocate.
In this guide, we will be discussing the best online cybersecurity degrees available and comparing their topics and entry requirements. Before we get into all fo that, however, lets first take a look at why a cybersecurity degree is worth pursuing.
If you are already aware of the benefits of having a cybersecurity degree, feel free to skip ahead. However, if you are still unsure if a degree is right for you, or you simply want some more information as to why you should obtain one, it is worth reading through the next section to get yourself up to speed.
Why pursue a Cybersecurity Degree?
Cybersecurity has become one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. With technology advancing at an unprecedented rate and business’ becoming increasingly connected the demand for keeping data safe and secure is at an all-time high. This has caused many organizations to begin setting up their own cybersecurity divisions, as well as work with cybersecurity agencies to hire dedicated professionals capable of protecting their assets.
For many individuals, the only way to break into this field is by obtaining a degree. This is more or less the norm for those still in formal education. However, older people such as adults with family commitments can easily be put off by this requirement.
Fortunately, many universities now offer online degrees, which can be completed at home. This allows individuals to obtain the necessary qualifications needed to work in cybersecurity, without needing to make any extreme sacrifices such as relocating or giving up a reliable income source.
Having a degree not only shows that you have received high-quality training, but also that you are a committed individual willing to put years into honing your craft. A degree can also put you in a position to demand a higher salary, making it a lucrative investment once any student loans are paid back.
Best Online Cybersecurity Degrees
Now that we have briefly covered the core benefits of having a cybersecurity degree, let’s take a look at some of the best online options that are currently available.
|Syracuse University||MS in Cybersecurity|
|Bellevue University||BS in Cybersecurity||High school graduate|
|Arizona State University||BS in Applied Computing (Cybersecurity)|
|University of Illinois–Springfield||BS in Information Systems Security|
|Penn State World Campus||BS in Security and Risk Analysis|
1. Syracuse University
Syracuse University is widely regarded as one of the best online degree providers in the world. Its master’s program in cybersecurity is particularly esteemed ranking #19 out of all graduate information technology programs. This makes it one of the best in class compared to the competition, meaning you can trust that you are making a reliable investment if you choose to enroll.
On the degree, you can expect to learn how to design secure computer systems and how to protect various systems from attack. You will also be taught about systems assurance using mathematical logic, as well as how to analyze and detect malware and other anomalies. Data mining is also covered in the program, giving you an insight into how machine learning and other advanced computing techniques.
The requirements to be accepted onto this program include a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as cybersecurity or computer science, as well as a minimum GPA of 3.0. This is fairly standard for most masters programs, which will make it rather difficult to enroll on if you don’t have a relevant degree.
Some cybersecurity programs will accept individuals with degrees in mathematics and physics, however, so it may still be worth applying if you are a graduate in any of these subjects. Certain engineering graduates could also have a chance of being enrolled. However, you will want to check with the university before applying to make sure.
For more information on this degree visit: https://engineeringonline.syr.edu/graduate-programs/cybersecurity/
|MS in Cybersecurity|
2. Bellevue University
Bellevue University provides a well-rounded bachelor’s program in cybersecurity, which covers an extensive number of topics, both theoretical and practical. The course has also received multiple top 10 ratings by various reviewers, making it a solid addition to our list.
The course covers a vast array of topics including cyber threats, network security, and access control. Other modules include advanced cybersecurity concepts, cyber threats, assessments and audits, operational security, operating systems and mobile security, web application security, and database security. Forensic computing is also covered, teaching you how to conduct cyber investigations.
The requirements to be considered for a place on this course are rather simple. You need to pay an application fee of $50 and prove that you are a high school graduate. This can be done through the submission of various documents and the university is very reasonable with which documents they accept.
For more information on this degree visit: https://www.bellevue.edu/degrees/bachelor/cybersecurity-bs/
|BS in Cybersecurity||High school graduate|
3. Arizona State University
Arizona State University offers a variety of online degrees, including a bachelor’s program in Applied Computing. This program is more generalized than many of the other options in this guide. However, the course is still heavily focused on cybersecurity, making it a great option for anyone who wants to learn both cybersecurity and regular computing skills.
As this program isn’t solely focused on cybersecurity, many of its topics are instead geared towards teaching you how to write software and set up computer networks. The curriculum does cover secure coding concepts as well as network security though, so you are essentially being taught how to create software and build networks with the perspective of a cybersecurity professional.
To be considered for a place on this course, you will need to graduate in the top 25% of your class, while also achieving a minimum GPA of 3.0. You will also need to provide ACT scores of at least 22 or 24 if you are a nonresident and SAT scores of 1120 or 1180, again, if you are a nonresident.
These are pretty reasonable requirements for a university to ask for. However, it should go without saying that the better you do, the higher your chances are of being accepted. For this reason, we recommend you simply try to achieve the highest scores you possibly can, rather than only aiming to meet the minimum requirements asked of by the university.
For more information on this degree visit: https://students.asu.edu/cybersecurity
|BS in Applied Computing (Cybersecurity)|
4. University of Illinois–Springfield
The University of Illinois-Springfield offers an online bachelor’s program in information systems security. The course is a well-rounded option covering a variety of different topics, making it a good choice for someone who isn’t sure which career path they wish to take within the world of cybersecurity.
Some of its main modules include networking and network security, as well as information security and information assurance. The course also covers systems security as its name suggests, and even more advanced topics such as cryptography.
The course is also one of the easier to get onto, requiring a minimum GPA of only 2.0, as well as prior experience in various topics associated with the course. This makes the course a decent option to consider if you don’t have a particularly high GPA. However, you may struggle to get a place if you have little experience in Java programming or mathematics.
For more information on this degree visit: https://csc.uis.edu/information-systems-security-bachelors-degree
|BS in Information Systems Security|
5. Penn State World Campus
Penn State World Campus prides itself on its online degree programs, ranking in the top 10 for online bachelor’s degrees by U.S. News and World Report. It’s bachelor’s program in security and risk analysis is, therefore, a worthy addition to this guide, comprising all of the best aspects Penn State has to offer with a comprehensive and extensive curriculum that covers many major areas of cybersecurity.
In this course, you can expect to learn about the organization of data, the laws and regulations surrounding cybercrime and computer misuse, decision theory and analysis, and applied statistics. There are also modules on network security, computer forensics, information security management, and of course, security risk and analysis.
To get enrolled onto the course, you will need to be a high school graduate and have completed either the MATH 022 course, the MATH 026 course, or an alternative higher-level math course offered by Penn State. This makes the course somewhat easier to get onto compared to many of the others in this guide. However, you will still want to excel in each of your subjects to boost your chances of being accepted.
For more information on this degree visit: https://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/security-and-risk-analysis-bachelors/overview
|BS in Security and Risk Analysis|