Online Computer Forensics Degrees 2021

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Information security analysts ensure their employers’ digital information remains safe from hackers. Typical job duties include maintaining firewalls, examining breaches’ causes, and keeping up to date with IT best practices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the need for these workers to grow 31% from 2019-2029, more than seven times the median projected growth rate for all U.S. careers.

These professionals enjoy not just a strong job market but also a median salary exceeding $103,000 annually. Learners enter the computer security field by earning a bachelor’s in computer forensics. Fortunately, numerous reputable colleges and universities offer this degree entirely online.

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Explore our featured online programs and find the right match for you today.

Top 10 Programs for Computer Forensics

Rank School Location
1 Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA
2 SUNY at Albany Albany, NY
3 Saint Louis University Saint Louis, MO
4 Austin Peay State University Clarksville, TN
5 Upper Iowa University Fayette, IA
6 Davenport University Grand Rapids, MI
7 McKendree University Lebanon, IL
8 Dakota State University Madison, SD
9 Norwich University Northfield, VT
10 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH

Frequently Asked Questions About Computer Forensics


  • Q. Is there a high demand for expertise in computer forensics?

    The BLS projects strong growth in the computer forensics field from 2019-2029. However, changing economic conditions may affect the need for information security analysts.


  • Q. What is the difference between computer security and computer forensics?

    Although professionals in both fields possess a similar skill set, computer security experts protect networks from hackers. Computer forensics professionals analyze why breaches happened and how to prevent future attacks.


  • Q. What forensic job makes the most money?

    A career offering a high salary includes computer and information systems manager. These professionals oversee other IT workers’ job duties and earn a median salary exceeding $150,000.


Why Get a Degree in Computer Forensics?



An online computer forensics degree offers multiple advantages, such as numerous lucrative career opportunities. A bachelor’s degree also allows students to explore other academic topics, such as the humanities, mathematics, and the natural sciences. These courses help learners develop in-demand transferable skills employers expect applicants to possess. Some degree-seekers with broad academic interests pursue a minor.

Online degrees open up higher education to learners who could not otherwise attend college. Asynchronous learning allows students to schedule assignments and lectures around working full time or raising children. Other advantages include exploring top bachelor’s in computer forensics programs throughout the country.

Online Guide to Accredited Colleges and Universities

How Much Does a Computer Forensics Degree Cost?


Tuition


A bachelor’s in computer forensics’ tuition depends on whether learners attend an in-state or out-of-state public school. Many public colleges and universities charge out-of-state students a much higher tuition rate than in-state degree-seekers. However, some public schools attract applicants by charging all students the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. Typical learners at a private school pay the most for their online computer forensics degree.

Online Learning Benefits


Online learning features many financial benefits, such as not paying for on-campus housing or meals. Learners save money on commuting costs. Students with small children need not hire a babysitter or childcare service while in school, allowing them to put more money toward education-related expenses.

Fees


Some universities charge major-specific fees. Learners identify these fees by researching a school’s undergraduate tuition or a bachelor’s in computer forensics program website. Financial aid advisors, too, provide prospective students with this information while helping them determine their financial aid needs.

Additional Online Student Fees for Computer Forensics

Learners earning an online computer forensics degree need a computer capable of meeting their school’s minimum technology requirements. A laptop or desktop must include a microphone, camera, and enough processing power to run industry-leading software suites. Other technology-related expenses include a stable internet connection.

Other student fees include textbooks. Prospective learners on a budget should research programs offering free textbooks and schools including course materials in tuition costs. Learners should also budget for a graduation fee and industry certifications.

How Much Do Computer Forensics Majors Make?


Salary Influence


Many factors influence salary, including the employer. Information security analysts working for an information, finance, or insurance company earn $2,000-$8,000 more annually than their peers employed by a management or support services organization. However, information security analysts in all industries make more than professionals in computer occupations.

Location


Aspiring analysts should not ignore a geographic location’s role in determining salary. Information security analysts in California, New York, and New Jersey make approximately $20,000 more than their profession’s median salary. Positions in Washington, D.C. and Virginia also pay well. However, professionals in these locations may experience a high cost of living, especially if they reside in a large metropolitan area.

Workers with a bachelor’s in computer forensics increase their salary potential through professional enrichment. Some companies reserve management-level positions for employees with a graduate degree. Other options include earning one or more professional certifications, as they demonstrate mastery of industry best practices.

Courses in Computer Forensics



Online computer forensics degrees emphasize computer ethics, logic and design, information ordering, and digital crime evidence and procedure. Some colleges train students for the job hunt by requiring a career development course. Typical programs conclude with a senior capstone project wherein learners demonstrate their skills and professional growth by developing a product.

The following sample curriculum introduces three typical core courses that degree-seekers take as part of their program’s major curriculum. Please remember that course and graduation requirements vary by college. Speak with an enrollment counselor to learn more about their school’s bachelor’s in computer forensics, the student experience, and graduate outcomes.

Digital forensic analysis introduces degree-seekers to the legal and technical knowledge computer forensic experts must possess. Topics cover evidence handling best practices, different forensic software suites, and forensic image creation. Students implement what they learn in digital forensic analysis in advanced courses and on the job.

This technical course emphasizes Windows and Linux fundamentals, basic programming, and user interfaces. Information security analysts use these skills to monitor computer networks and respond to threats. Other course topics cover backup and recovery, two technologies allowing professionals to preserve data. Typical introduction to operating systems courses do not require prerequisites.

Information security analysts must understand how hackers think and operate. Ethical hacking features coursework in security vulnerabilities and penetration testing. Professionals perform the latter on their company’s servers to evaluate security measures’ reliability. Learning outcomes include the ability to secure data storage and networks from hackers.

How to Become an Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Students interested in this career major in programming, computer science, information assurance, or a related field. Some positions require a master’s degree, such as an MBA with a concentration in information systems.

Top positions require professional experience in addition to a computer forensics bachelor’s degree. Career counselors help students explore their career goals and research relevant entry-level jobs.

Students prepare for a successful job hunt by honing their analytical and problem-solving skills. Some employers ask applicants to demonstrate these skills during an interview, such as by solving a hypothetical problem.

Certifications and Licensure for Computer Forensics



Information security analysts earn certifications to show their value to employers. Typical requirements include possessing relevant experience and passing an exam. Workers maintain their certification by taking continuing education courses. Professionals unsure about which certification may benefit them the most should speak with a supervisor or human resources manager.

Certified Cloud Security Professional


CCSPs use their knowledge and skills to protect their employers’ data and digital infrastructure. Candidates must possess at least five years of paid work experience and agree to a four-point code of ethics. The certification exam features questions on cloud concepts, data security, and cloud security operations.

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Certified Information Systems Security Professional


CISSP appeals to chief information officers, security analysts, and IT managers with at least five years of experience. Candidates prepare for the certification exam by taking a self-paced course covering asset security and security operations. Some candidates purchase additional study materials, such as textbooks. CISSPs maintain their certification by paying an annual fee.

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Systems Security Certified Practitioner


Cybersecurity professionals with at least one year of experience pursue the SSCP. The comprehensive exam assesses candidates’ mastery of access controls, incident response and recovery, and network and communications security. Candidates prepare for the exam by taking a virtual or in-person course. Those who pass the exam undergo a background check.

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Online Bachelor’s in Computer Forensics 2021



See Our Rankings Methodology
  1. Georgia Southern University
    Location

    Statesboro, GA

    Tuition

    $15435

    Students interested in a bachelor's in computer forensics might consider Georgia Southern. Founded in 1906, the school serves more than 27,000 enrollees and supports over 2,000 faculty and staff members. The university offers approximately 140 undergraduate and graduate programs, including a criminal justice and criminology BS with a digital forensics concentration.

    The 124-credit program offers onsite and online coursework. The curriculum includes classes in basic and advanced digital forensics, cybercriminology, and cybercrime against persons and society. The program requires a capstone option of a criminal justice and criminology senior seminar, a justice studies internship, or an honors research project.

    Working with advisors, students focusing their bachelor's in computer forensics enroll in upper-division IT and computer science classes closely supporting their career and educational objectives.

  2. SUNY at Albany
    Location

    Albany, NY

    Tuition

    $15844

    UAlbany offers two-year teacher training programs. The school enrolls more than 17,000 students and features over 200 undergraduate and graduate programs. The College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity offers a BS in informatics with five concentration areas, including cybersecurity.

    Computer forensics bachelor's degree-seekers choose the cybersecurity concentration and pursue the degree completely online. The program includes diverse experiential learning components: internship opportunities, authentic simulations, and applied research training. The cybersecurity concentration offers classes in cryptography, information security and assurance, computer and network security, and web technologies.

    UAlbany partners with government agencies and private corporations to provide onsite research and training opportunities. Online enrollees seeking an internship experience in their region must coordinate with the college for approval and monitoring.

  3. Saint Louis University
    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    Tuition

    Unconfirmed

    Starting out as Saint Louis Academy in 1818, SLU established itself as the first higher learning institution west of the Mississippi River. A Catholic university steeped in the Jesuit tradition, the university enrolls approximately 13,000 students worldwide. The College of Professional Studies offers a bachelor’s in computer information systems with a specialization in cybersecurity.

    Developed for working professionals, the program features six start dates each year and accelerated eight-week terms. Applicants meet eligibility criteria with a high school diploma or satisfactory GED score, three years of relevant work experience, and being at least 22 years old.

    All students enroll in three core classes: principles of data analysis, introduction to programming, and database analysis and design. Enrollees pursuing a cybersecurity specialization take classes in computer forensics fundamentals, cyberthreats and defense, and cybersecurity principles.

  4. Austin Peay State University
    Location

    Clarksville, TN

    Tuition

    $13331

    APSU features 75 programs across six colleges and enrolls over 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The school offers a BS in computer information systems with a concentration in information and assurance security. Students can complete the 120-credit program without any campus visits.

    Major courses include cryptography, principles of information security, systems analysis and design, and computer ethics. Students must complete a total of 33 upper-division credits to graduate. The program offers an elective course leading to certification in information security for students in their final semester.

    Students interested in a bachelor's in computer forensics can focus their study with classes in information security management, secure software development, and information security technical administration.

  5. Upper Iowa University
    Location

    Fayette, IA

    Tuition

    Unconfirmed

    Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University currently enrolls about 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students annually. UIU offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees across three academic schools. The School of Business and Professional Studies offers an online information technology BS with a cybersecurity and computer forensics specialization.

    Online programs at UIU follow eight-week delivery schedules that allow undergraduate students to take two courses each session. An accelerated six-week summer session gives students year-round access to courses.

    Online computer forensics degree-seekers take classes in system security and risks and computer forensics and incident response. Other topics include information assurance and security and advanced computer networks.

    Students pursuing any UIU major can participate in micro-internships. University partners including start-ups and Fortune 100 companies offer paid, professional, short-term assignments. Participation in the program allows students to explore various career paths while earning a modest sum.

  6. Davenport University
    Location

    Grand Rapids, MI

    Tuition

    Unconfirmed

    Davenport University started in 1866 as the Grand Rapids Business College. Davenport offers a 120-credit bachelor of science in cybersecurity that students can complete entirely online, on campus, or as a hybrid program. The Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency designate Davenport as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. Only 13 Michigan schools hold this distinction.

    Computer forensics bachelor's degree-seekers take classes in Windows digital forensics, information security and assurance, data communication and networks, and UNIX operating systems. Candidates must complete an internship or field work experience and a capstone project prior to graduation.

    Cybersecurity majors can apply for full-tuition, school-administered scholarships from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense. They can also participate in the university's Employment Guarantee Program, for which they must meet additional criteria and requirements.

  7. McKendree University
    Location

    Lebanon, IL

    Tuition

    Unconfirmed

    Members of the Methodist Church founded McK in 1828 as the Lebanon Seminary with 72 enrollees, making it the oldest college in Illinois. Today, the university enrolls about 2,200 students annually and offers over 65 programs of study.

    The curriculum for the online bachelor of science in cyberdefense at McKendree University aligns with the suggested National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education guidelines. The designation may appeal to students interested in a bachelor's in computer science.

    The program follows an eight-week delivery schedule. Most students enroll in two classes per eight-week session. The 120-credit program includes courses in cyberdefense networking, cyber risk mitigation and management, and the legal and ethical environment of cyberdefense. Students must complete a practicum experience to graduate from the program. Online enrollees must obtain department chair approval to complete the practicum requirement locally.

  8. Dakota State University
    Location

    Madison, SD

    Tuition

    $16863

    Founded in 1881, DSU currently enrolls an average of 3,300 undergraduate and graduate students every year. Designated a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations, DSU offers a BS in cyberoperations meeting the highest cybersecurity program standards nationwide.

    The curriculum includes coursework in information security management, malware analysis, reverse engineering, and offensive network security. The degree qualifies for the university's 4+1 program, allowing degree-seekers to earn the bachelor's and a computer science master's in only five years.

    DSU administers a full-ride Cyber Corps Scholarship program that comes with an additional $25,000 annual stipend. Cyberoperations students uniquely qualify to apply for this scholarship opportunity.

  9. Norwich University
    Location

    Northfield, VT

    Tuition

    Unconfirmed

    Established in 1819, Norwich University offers a broad array of academic programs across five colleges. The university offers the BS in cybersecurity as a degree completion program that students can do entirely online. Concentrations allow enrollees to focus their bachelor's in computer forensics and vulnerability management or information warfare and security management.

    Enrollees transferring 90 credits from an accredited program usually graduate within two years. Several start dates throughout the year allow students to begin the program at the most convenient time for them. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security designated Norwich University as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.

    The computer forensics bachelor's degree includes classes in cyberinvestigation, malware forensics, and vulnerability testing. The program requires a six-credit capstone course where students present an in-depth analysis on an existing organization's network infrastructure.

  10. Southern New Hampshire University
    Location

    Manchester, NH

    Tuition

    Unconfirmed

    SNHU offers an online cybersecurity BS that follows a curriculum aligned with several industry-recognized standards. The program incorporates Cyber Security Education Consortium and National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education guidelines.

    Students can transfer 90 credits maximum from an accredited school or program or earn credits for certifications, including CompTIA A+, Linux+, or Network+. Courses cover topics such as security risk management, incident response and investigation, and enterprise security. Students can customize their program by concentrating in data analytics or in project management for cybersecurity.

    The National Security Agency designated Southern New Hampshire University as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.

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