Cyber Security Degree Programs

cyber security degrees onlineThe increased scope, frequency, and sophistication of cyber attacks is driving record demand for talented security professionals. The U.S. Department of Labor projects cyber security analyst employment to grow by 33% from 2020 to 2030, shattering the 8% average for all occupations and placing it among the nation's fastest growing jobs. There's also a significant talent gap in this field, meaning there are more job openings than qualified professionals to fill them, which has helped drive the median pay for cyber security analysts to $103,590.

Students in cyber security courses and degree programs can learn how to protect vital networks and information systems, secure mobile devices, solve cyber crimes using digital forensics, and manage security operations to prevent, detect, and strike back against attackers.

This page will break down the most important factors when choosing a cyber security program, including:

  • popular cyber security classes and skills you should seek out in a degree program curriculum
  • comparison of cyber-sec degree levels with data like cost, duration & admission requirements
  • breakdown of the important types of accreditation for cyber security schools and programs
  • career paths you can pursue and salaries you can earn at each level of cyber security degree
  • frequently asked questions from prospective students in cyber security training programs

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Popular Cyber Security Classes

The skills you will gain during cyber security classes are paramount when building a learning plan. Here are some of the hard skills, soft skills, and certifications that employers demand, and which you should look for when selecting a degree in cyber security.

Top-Rated Cyber Security Degrees Online

These online degree programs best reflect the cyber security skills and credentials that organizations demand.

Admissions advisors can provide more info about cyber security programs and curriculum, admissions and start dates, distance learning, tuition costs, and personalized financial aid options.

Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security

Students in this program begin with a solid core curriculum featuring STEM and criminal justice, then branch off into a specialized cyber security concentration to ensure they graduate with the most relevant and marketable skills. Choose one of these four cyber security specializations: Network Forensics & Intrusion Investigation, Information Assurance, Cybercrime & Fraud Inspection, and Cyber Operations.

Program Highlights:

  • Includes Certification Preparation for:
    • CompTIA A+, Network+ & Security+
  • Utica College is designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Designated a National Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence (CDFAE) by the Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3)
  • Beyond hands-on technical expertise, students learn vital soft skills inc. critical thinking & communication

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Related degree programs at Utica College:

 

Master of Science in Network Defense

This program provides the skills and credentials to assess, develop and deploy cutting-edge cyber security solutions to protect the information assets of SMBs, enterprises and government agencies.

Program Highlights:

  • Includes Certification Preparation for:
    • EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
    • EC-Council Certified Network Defense Architect (CNDA)
    • (ISC)2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Assess, Improve and Implement InfoSec Programs & Infrastructure
  • Ethical Hacking, Penetration Testing & System Hardening
  • Approved by the National Security Agency (NSA) & Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

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Related degree programs at Capella University:

 

Cyber Security Degree Levels

Cyber security degrees come in various levels, including associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctorate. Typically - but not always - the higher the degree level you achieve, the better your job prospects and earning potential upon graduation. Which type of cyber degree you pursue will depend on multiple factors, including your current level of education, career goals, and the time and money you wish to invest in training.

Here are the most popular types of cyber security degrees along with the cost, length, admission requirements, and possible outcomes for each:

Accreditation for Cyber Security Degrees

When it comes to choosing a cyber security degree, prospective students should be concerned with two main types of accreditation: institutional and programmatic. Here’s an overview of each:

Institutional Accreditation

Firstly, you’ll want to find a cyber security school that’s either regionally or nationally accredited at the institutional level. There are differences between the two, each with advantages and disadvantages, but for our purposes both regional and national accreditation qualify students for federal financial aid and the ability to transfer credits between schools - the two chief benefits of institutional accreditation. If you want to delve deeper into the differences between national vs. regional accreditation, here’s a good article from Drexel University.

Programmatic Accreditation

Like it sounds, programmatic accreditation ensures that specific degree programs from an accredited school meet the accrediting body's rigorous standards for quality and relevance in that field. Popular programmatic accreditations in cyber security include:

  • National Centers for Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C): Managed by the NSA, and designed in partnership with the FBI, DoD, U.S. Cyber Command and others, NCAE accreditation validates that cybersecurity degree programs from that school meet the latest standards in key domains such as cyber defense (CAE-CD), cyber research (CAE-R), and/or cyber operations (CAE-CO). Read more about Centers of Academic Excellence at NSA.gov.
  • National Centers of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence (CDFAE): Managed by the Department of Defense’s Cyber Crime Center (DC3), CDFAE accreditation ensures that degree programs from an accredited school have a well-rounded digital forensics curriculum in key skills areas such as laws and ethics, investigative processes, forensic lab operations, software forensics and more. Read more about CDFAE at DC3.mil.
  • ABET Accreditation: ABET is a leading accrediting body that specializes in science, technology, engineering & mathemetics (STEM) degree programs at the associate, bachelor's and master's levels. ABET recently introduced its cyber security accreditation category and currently accredits more than two dozen undergaduate degrees in cybersecurity and cybersecurity engineering. Read more about ABET's cyber security accreditation at ABET.org.

Cyber Security Courses, Certificates & Degrees

Compare accredited college degrees, professional certificates, and self-paced online courses in cyber security and related fields.

Admissions advisors can provide more info about cyber security programs and curriculum, admissions & start dates, tuition costs and personalized financial aid options.
Got targeted learning goals? Many schools offer individual courses from accredited cyber-sec degrees.

Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity

  • Includes Certification Preparation for:
    • CompTIA A+, Network+ & Security+
    • TestOut Network Pro, Security Pro & Pro PC
  • Gain the Skills and Credentials to Pursue Jobs in Cyber Security and Network Management
  • Information Security Tools and Techniques
  • Design, Build & Manage Secure IT Networks
  • Cyber Security Policy and Risk Management
  • IT Service and Process Management
 

Master of Science in Network Defense

  • Includes Certification Preparation for:
    • EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) & Certified Network Defense Architect (CNDA)
    • (ISC)2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Assess, Develop and Implement Cyber Security Solutions & Infrastructure
  • Advanced Training in Ethical Hacking, Penetration Testing & System Hardening
  • National Security Agency (NSA) & Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Approved
 

Master's in Technology Management

  • Prepare for Leadership Roles in Business and Information Technology
  • Business Intelligence and Data Analytics
  • Cyber Security Threats & Countermeasures
  • Cloud Computing and Virtual Data Centers
  • Globalization and the Modern IT Workforce
  • Computer Systems Analysis Tools & Techniques
  • Wield Emerging Technologies and IT Personnel to Achieve Business Goals
  • No GRE or GMAT Required for Admission
 
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