Online Cyber Security Degree

By Brandon Mario D`Souza

Updated March 16, 2024

Brandon Mario D’Souza

Brandon is a registered social worker with Social Work England. He obtained his master’s in social work (personnel management & industrial relations) and used it in fields such as water treatment, construction, software, and education. Then he transitioned to the health and social care sector with an M.Sc. in health psychology. Brandon loves to write, cook, and play musical instruments (piano, guitar, melodica, ukulele, and kazoo) and enjoys the calmness and serenity of nature.


Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.

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Cyber security experts use cutting-edge tools to monitor networks for malicious activity and prevent intrusions from occurring. As more businesses rely on technological infrastructure for routine tasks, there is a greater demand for trained individuals to ensure the security of computer systems and other networks that store sensitive data. An online cyber security degree gives individuals hands-on training as well as the knowledge and skills needed to carve a career for themselves in this expanding field. This guide deconstructs the online cyber security bachelors degree, covering topics like curriculum, specializations, certifications, accreditation, career opportunities, and more.


Best Online Cyber Security
Degree Programs

Almost all students want to further their education at a prestigious university. However, finding the best colleges for a bachelor’s in cyber security degree program can be difficult because several factors must be considered when ranking them. These factors include the reputation and infrastructure of the school, the curriculum, accreditation, affordability, and so on. FBD teams used a proprietary formula and methodology to identify and list some of the best schools offering online cyber security degrees: *

Champlain College is a private college in Burlington, Vermont, funded in 1878. It offers on-campus and online undergraduate courses, along with online certificate and degree programs in over 80 subject areas.
Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
Champlain College 163 S Willard St, Burlington, Vermont 05401 $42,984 68%

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

What to Expect from the Online Cyber
Security Degree Program

Online cyber security degree programs focus on fundamental IT and computer skills while emphasizing information security, data analytics, and risk mitigation. A bachelor’s degree in cyber security typically requires about 120 credits, which can be completed in four years by full-time students. Students will have hands-on experiences in their programs in addition to the expected coursework. The online program delivery option that many colleges offer is best suited for students with additional responsibilities, such as child or family care, in addition to their work and class schedules. Read the Guide to Bachelor Programs for more information on undergraduate degrees.

The online cyber security degree program teaches students how to assess risk, solve complex problems, respond to cyber threats, and use cutting-edge security techniques through the knowledge and skills they gain from the specific courses cybersecurity majors take. Although these courses vary by program, a typical curriculum will include courses such as:

Network Security

Students in this course will learn about common network-based attacks and how to defend against them. They investigate the use of intrusion detection and prevention technologies, as well as information flow controls, to safeguard networked systems. Students will learn about security issues concerning virtual systems and networks.

Security Assessment and Auditing

This course teaches students how to use structured approaches to assess and audit information systems, determine compliance gaps, identify security vulnerabilities, and make recommendations for corrective actions. They learn how to communicate findings and recommendations to organizational stakeholders effectively.

Enterprise Security

In this course, students learn how to create and put into action a comprehensive plan to protect an organization’s assets from potential adversarial and environmental threats. They learn to use fundamental project management techniques to meet milestones, align resources, and foster collaboration with stakeholders.

Operating System Security

Through this course, students discover the techniques and strategies used to safeguard modern operating systems by using best practices to provision operating system components and services in a secure manner. They learn how to reduce the risk of system compromise and troubleshoot insecure settings.

Some other courses one can expect in the online cyber security degree are:

  • Cyber Defense
  • Network Defense
  • Fundamentals of Information Technology
  • Computer Networking
  • Security Risk Management
  • Incident Response and Investigation
  • System and Communication Security
  • Cybersecurity Foundations
  • Introduction to Scripting
  • Digital Forensics
  • Legal Issues in Cybersecurity and Ethical Hacking
  • Foundation in Application Development
  • Computer Operating Systems
  • Introduction to Computer Networks
  • Application Security

Degree Types for Online Cyber Security
Degree Programs

Prospective students can choose from two types of cyber security to pursue their undergraduate studies – the Bachelor of Arts in Cyber Security (BACS) and the Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security (BSCS).

Bachelor of Arts in Cyber Security

The Bachelor of Arts in Cyber Security or BA Cyber Security program is designed to familiarize students with the field of cyber security by providing them with a foundation in the field’s core principles, techniques, and methodology, in addition to a broad liberal arts and humanities education. The course aims to educate students on the interconnected nature of cyber security with other disciplines such as business, law, and science.

Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security

The Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security, also known as a BS in Cyber Security (BSCS), is a degree that concentrates on research while also covering various cyber security theories and techniques. After receiving their bachelor’s degrees, a significant number of BSCS students immediately begin working in the cyber security field.

There are numerous degree options and variants available in the cybersecurity field. A BS in cybersecurity, a BS in IT with a cybersecurity concentration, a BS in information assurance, and a BS in computer science with an IT concentration are some examples. Despite their similarities, these degrees frequently emphasize different skills and areas of knowledge. Students should select the degree type that best fits their career objectives.

Areas of Specialization in Online Cyber
Security Degree Programs

Specializations are a great way to study a specific topic within a subject domain. The online cyber security degree program offers students a variety of specializations from which to choose, allowing them to focus their academic efforts on specific subject areas that particularly interest them, each of which has a clear path to employment. Here are some examples of online cyber security degree specializations:

Degree SpecializationDescriptionCareer Options
MSCS Executive Leadership in Information AssuranceThis specialization focuses on teaching students the fundamental skills required to comprehend global leadership concepts, bringing together all the components required for a C-Level information security position, and teaching students how to manage IT security projects to improve the success rate for both organizations and IT managers.Information security manager, project manager
MSCS Digital ForensicsThis specialization focuses on demonstrating the skills required of a computer forensic investigator. Through this specialization, candidates who want to become digital forensics experts will learn about various aspects of digital forensics, such as investigating network intrusions and mobile forensics.Computer forensic investigator, digital forensic investigator, cybercrime analyst
MSCS Security AnalystThis specialization focuses on testing methods and techniques for identifying and mitigating infrastructure risks while providing application and network-based security and encryption using industry-standard protocols.Cyber security analyst
MSCS Project Management FundamentalsThis specialization teaches students the tools and methods required to lead successful projects. They will create project plans based on real-world scenarios and learn to work within time, cost, and scope constraints.Project manager, information security manager, IT auditor
MSCS Incident Management & Business ContinuityThis specialization focuses on dealing with and responding to various security incidents, identifying vulnerabilities, and implementing appropriate countermeasures to reduce the risk of information failure.Cyber security incident handler, cyber incident responder
MSCS Cloud Security ArchitectThis specialization focuses on the design, planning, analysis, configuration, testing, implementation, maintenance, and support of an organization’s cloud security infrastructure.Cloud security architect
MSCS Data Analytics FundamentalsThis specialization teaches students about the importance of data analysis within organizations. They will gain experience by working on real-world problems requiring critical data technologies, methods, and tools to produce actionable results.Data analyst, data security specialist

Why should I do an Online Cyber
Security Degree?

Online cyber security degree programs prepare students for lucrative careers in IT and computing. Some potential advantages of earning a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity are gaining technical know-how, earning a respectable income, and having job security.

The cyber security bachelor’s degree helps students acquire the technical skills they need to prevent and respond to cyberattacks. They gain knowledge of risk-management techniques, security risk identification, and programming languages. Cybersecurity experts are in high demand as more and more businesses and industries rely on computer networks and communication. Organizations need information security professionals to protect their data as more operations move online. Therefore, jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity typically pay well. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for information security analysts was $102,600 in 2021, with projected job growth of 33% from 2020 to 2030.

The online cyber security degree provides students with the necessary knowledge and skills to become security professionals and essential defenders to protect sensitive data from malicious attacks and cyber threats. At the end of their programs, graduates would have acquired the ability to:

  • use the most recent methods, abilities, and resources needed for organizational cyber defense;
  • satisfy business requirements, secure a computer-based system, procedure, element, or software;
  • build secure software systems of various levels of complexity by applying design and development concepts;
  • work well as a team to achieve a common objective;
  • determine the security risks and requirements necessary for a problem’s solution after analyzing it;
  • describe the obligations and professional, moral, legal, security, and social challenges associated with computers;
  • clearly communicate technical topics in both written and conversational form to a broad audience;
  • utilize the theoretical underpinnings of mathematics, algorithmic design, cryptography, and computers to model and create security solutions for software or system architecture;
  • analyze the effects of computing on people, organizations, and society both locally and globally;
  • protect a system or organization when it is the target of a cybersecurity assault by gathering evidence and formulating a suitable defense; and
  • acknowledge the necessity of, and an aptitude for, engaging in ongoing professional growth.

Free Courses for Online Cyber Security
Degree Students

Although numerous free courses are available on the internet, most are non-credit and unaccredited. They can, however, be useful in preparing for exams or providing additional input for assignments. Here are a few platforms where online cyber security degree students can find free courses:

CourseDescriptionProvided by
Topics Related to Cyber SecurityedX, the popular online learning platform, offers courses such as Cybersecurity Fundamentals, Penetration Testing – Discovering Vulnerabilities, Cyberwar, Surveillance and Security, and more from popular universities worldwide.edX
Topics Related to Cyber SecurityMIT OpenCourseWare has over 350 undergraduate courses that relate to several topics within cyber security, such as GPS: Where are You?, Computer System Engineering, Effective Programming in C and C++, etc.MIT OpenCourseWare
Topics Related to Cyber SecurityFrom Web Security and Cyber Security Social Engineering to Python Hacking and Cyber Security Awareness, Udemy offers a variety of courses, many paid and some free.Udemy

How to get into the Online Cyber Security
Degree Program?

Before enrolling in an online cyber security degree program, applicants should have a background in IT security or computers. Most schools expect that candidates must have completed geometry, elementary analysis, algebra, calculus, physics, computer science, and higher-level math in high school. Having such a background might make entrance and program participation easier. Aside from this, some of the typical online cyber security admissions requirements are as follows:

  • Admission or Application Form with its prescribed fee.
  • Official Academic Transcripts.
  • A High School Diploma or General Education Development (GED) Certificate.
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.8 or more.
  • American College Testing (ACT) / Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) Test Scores
  • Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose (varies by school)
  • 1 to 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Proof of English Proficiency (if the native tongue is or education was not in English)

Note: Admission requirements vary depending on the school and program. Students should always check with the admissions office at their selected school for precise criteria.

How Long does it take to complete the Online
Cyber Security Degree Program?

An online cyber security degree typically takes at least 120 to 130 credits, which may be finished in roughly 4 years if attended full-time. This would, of course, depend on the program, college, and core and elective courses required. Some institutions offer part-time programs for working adults that take between 4 and 6 years to complete, sometimes even longer. Here’s a quick rundown of the duration of the program:

  • Time to complete full-time online cyber security degree program: about 4 Years.
  • Time to complete part-time online cyber security degree program: between 4 and 6 years.
  • Typical number of credits: 120 to 130 (average range; varies by program)

Accelerated Online Cyber Security
Degree Programs

It is unusual to find a cyber security online degree that may be completed in less than the four years required. Nonetheless, some students use a variety of strategies to reduce the amount of time they spend in school. Transfer credits, work experience credits, accelerated course schedules, and other tactics are commonly used to expedite and streamline the degree process in accelerated online cyber security degree programs. Those who have earned an associate’s degree in cyber security, on the other hand, can complete their bachelor’s degree in cyber security in about two years.

During the second semester of their junior year, undergraduate majors at several universities can apply for admission to a master of cybersecurity degree program. If accepted, a specified number of senior-year classes would credit toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. In fact, the combined bachelor’s and master’s degrees in cyber security can be completed in 4+1 years rather than the customary 4+2 years. Bellevue University, The University of Rhode Island, and Missouri State University are examples of universities that offer such combination programs.

Accreditations for Online Cyber Security
Degree Programs

Cyber security is a rapidly growing global industry. Hiring managers want to invest in dependable, skilled employees. No company wants to hire a cyber security professional with a bogus or unrecognized degree; instead, they prefer a candidate with an accredited degree. As a result, selecting an accredited college that offers an online cyber security degree program is critical. Colleges can be accredited by independent agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which include the six regional accreditation agencies:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Some cyber security programs may be programmatically accredited in addition to the college being accredited. Accredited cyber security degree programs may bear the seal of accrediting bodies like the National Security Agency (NSA), which keeps a list of Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE). Read the Guide to College Accreditation to learn more about accreditation.

How to Pay for an Online Cyber Security
Degree Program?

Finding a low-cost education in the United States has become difficult. Even though online students save on campus-related costs like transportation, food, and housing, the program’s tuition fee may still be very high and out of reach for many. For this reason, it makes sense for students to look for ways to fund their degrees. A few common funding mechanisms to explore are:


Scholarships are popular because the money awarded does not have to be repaid. They are usually given to deserving and meritorious students who have excelled academically or demonstrated skill and talent in art, sport, or music.


Grants are similar to scholarships in that they do not require repayment. Awardees typically have greater financial need than those who receive scholarships, which are given out primarily for academic merit.

Work-Study Programs

Part-time employment through a work-study program assists students in covering some of their educational expenses. These positions are related to the student’s studies or extracurricular activities. Work-study programs provide students with valuable work experience in addition to money.

Student Loans

Students who require additional funding can apply for a student loan. Several banks, financial institutions, and the federal government are involved in the distribution of student loans. It should be noted that taking out a loan may significantly increase the cost of college because loans incur interest and must be repaid on time. Learn about Donors for Student Loans and Grants for Student Loans to learn how to apply for loan forgiveness and avoid repaying student loans


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA is an application for federal financial aid that all prospective and current college students must complete to check if they can receive federal aid and get the best financial aid package possible. The FAFSA Student Aid guide explains more.

Read about What is Financial Aid? and find out everything there is to know about college funding in the How to Pay for College guide.

Scholarships for Online Cyber Security
Degree Students

Scholarships are a fantastic source of financial support for college. Having access to unrestricted finances makes it simpler for students to put off taking out loans and graduate without carrying any debt. Students can apply for scholarships from a wide variety of institutions, groups, and people. Here are a few examples to consider:

Scholarship Description Amount/AwardApplication Deadline
(ISC)² Undergraduate Scholarships(ISC)² and its Center for Cyber Safety and Education encourage and support students pursuing a degree focusing on cybersecurity, information assurance, or a similar field.Between $1,000 and $5,000 x 20 awardsFebruary 20, 2024
Snort ScholarshipThe Snort Scholarship is available to students seeking a degree in computer science, computer networking, cyber security, information technology, or a substantially related field of study.$10,000Closed for 2023 | TBA for 2024
The Stokes Educational Scholarship Program (NSA)The Stokes Educational Scholarship Program is open to senior high school students who have exhibited skills in computer science and electrical engineering and want to study them further.Up to $30,000 a yearTBA
Scholarship For Service (SFS)The Scholarship For Service (SFS) program offers scholarships for up to 3 years of funding for undergraduate and graduate (MS or Ph.D.) cybersecurity students. In exchange for their scholarships, recipients must promise to work for the U.S. government after graduation in a cybersecurity-related role for the duration of the scholarship.VariesVaries

FAQs Related to the Online Cyber Security
Degree Program

What is a major in cyber security?

As a major in cyber security, students will investigate the security risks that organizations and individuals face in today’s technologically driven world. They will be prepared to solve complex problems, respond to cyber threats, assess risk, and apply cutting-edge security techniques with courses like Application Security, Network Security, and Incident Response and Investigation.

Can I do a cyber security degree online?

What can you do with a cyber security degree?

How long is a cyber security degree?

Is a cyber security degree worth it?

How hard is a degree in cyber security?

Is cyber security a good career?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after an
Online Cyber Security Degree

As cyber data threats evolve and move toward new frontiers of information technology, cyber security specialists and professionals play a critical role in ensuring computer network integrity. There is a high demand for cybersecurity professionals because they assist organizations in adapting to technological changes, responding to increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks, and operating more efficiently. Graduates in cyber security are well prepared to begin careers in a wide range of roles, including:

  • Cyber Incident Responder
  • Information Assurance Technician
  • Information Systems Security Administrator
  • Information Assurance Manager
  • Information Systems Security Manager
  • Security Operations Center Analyst
  • Security Administrator
  • Cyber Security Analyst

According to Payscale, a cyber security analyst’s annual base salary is $77,253 on average. The list below details typical job roles that cyber security graduates may take. It is noteworthy that specific roles may require experience, additional qualifications, and, in some cases, certification.

OccupationJob DescriptionSkills RequiredMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2030)
Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and TestersSoftware developers create computer programs that allow users to complete specific tasks, as well as the underlying systems that power devices or control networks. Software quality assurance analysts and testers design and execute software tests to identify problems and learn how the software works.Interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills, analytical skills, communication skills, detail-oriented, creativity$110,14022% (much faster than average)
Computer Systems AnalystsComputer systems analysts, also known as systems architects, analyze and develop new computer systems and processes for organizations. In the process, these analysts increase the company’s productivity.Communication skills, business skills, analytical skills, organizational skills, creativity, detail-oriented$99,2707$ (as fast as average)
Computer and Information Systems ManagersComputer and information systems managers, also known as information technology (IT) managers or IT project managers, plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities within an organization. They assist in determining an organization’s information technology goals and oversee the implementation of those goals through computer systems.Organizational skills, communication skills, analytical skills, business skills, decision-making skills, leadership skills$159,01011% (faster than average)
Information Security AnalystsInformation security analysts create and implement security safeguards for a company’s computer networks and systems. They create security standards and test computer and network systems for vulnerabilities.Creative skills, problem-solving skills, analytical skills, communication skills, detail-oriented$102,60033% (much faster than average)
Computer and Information Research ScientistsComputer and information scientists create new applications for existing and emerging technology. They research and develop solutions to complex computing problems in science, medicine, business, and other fields.Problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills, reading skills, writing skills, imagination$131,49022% (much faster than average)

Certifications and Licensing for Online Cyber
Security Degree Students

Degrees in cyber security are a good place to start, but professional certifications add depth and breadth to one’s knowledge. Such advanced cyber security certifications are intended to demonstrate mastery of a specific subfield of cyber security. Many corporations and professional organizations offer generic, vendor-specific, and vendor-neutral (third-party) certifications to those with a bachelor’s degree in cyber security. It is worth noting that in some cases, additional qualifications and work experience may be required to be certified. Here are a few cyber security certifications to explore:

GIAC Certifications

GIAC Certifications creates and manages world-class professional cybersecurity certifications. Numerous certifications are available in intrusion, defense, cloud security, etc. Examples include:

GIAC Certifications provide the most rigorous assurance of cyber security knowledge and skill to industry, government, and military clients worldwide.

NICCS Certifications (Catalog)

Through its cyber security certifications, the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (NICCS) provides the tools and resources needed to ensure that the nation’s workforce has the necessary cybersecurity training and education. NICCS has compiled a list of well-known industry certifications useful for anyone working in cybersecurity. Some from the list include:

In almost all instances, licensing is not required to work as a cybersecurity specialist, except in defense, where the concerned department’s training and credentialing lead to automatic licensure.

Additional Resources for Online Cyber
Security Degree Students

Connecting with other IT and cybersecurity professionals is critical for advancement. Membership in a professional organization allows graduates and professionals to access journals and publications, learn about new discoveries, inventions, and cyber threats, and network with peers to find solutions to potential threats. Here are a few resources for online cyber security degree graduates to consider:

International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)

The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) is a resource for professionals who want to advance their careers by helping their organizations manage risks and protect their data. It is the world’s largest and most comprehensive global information privacy community.

National Cybersecurity Society (NCSS)

The National Cybersecurity Society (NCSS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing cybersecurity education, awareness, and advocacy to small businesses. The NCSS helps small businesses assess their cybersecurity risk, disseminates threat information to business owners, and advises on the services needed to stay safe online.

Information Systems Security Association (ISSA)

The Information Systems Security Association, Inc. (ISSA) is a non-profit international organization of practitioners and professionals in information security. It provides its members with publications, educational forums, and peer interaction opportunities to help them improve their knowledge, skills, and professional growth.

Center for Cyber Safety and Education

The Center for Cyber Safety and Education, formerly known as the (ISC)² Foundation, is a charitable non-profit organization dedicated to making the internet safer for everyone. The organization ensures that people worldwide have a positive and safe online experience through educational programs, scholarships, and research.

International Association of Computer Science and Information Technology (IACSIT)

The International Association of Computer Science and Information Technology (IACSIT) uses various strategies to promote and influence computer science and information technology advancements. It is a registered international scientific association of computer science and information technology scholars to promote and carry out collaborative interdisciplinary research in cutting-edge methodologies and technologies within its areas of expertise.

Author Bio:

Brandon Mario D’Souza

Brandon is a registered social worker with Social Work England. He obtained his master’s in social work (personnel management & industrial relations) and used it in fields such as water treatment, construction, software, and education. Then he transitioned to the health and social care sector with an M.Sc. in health psychology. Brandon loves to write, cook, and play musical instruments (piano, guitar, melodica, ukulele, and kazoo) and enjoys the calmness and serenity of nature.


Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.


The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners.