Online Cybersecurity Degrees 2021

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Exploring the Right Bachelor’s Cybersecurity Program & Careers

Best Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Badge

A bachelor’s in cybersecurity applies computer science training and web-based technology to protect data and information systems in a variety of settings. As more organizations confront the threat of cyber attacks, the demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to increase. A recent survey by ISACA — a nonprofit for informational security, assurance, and risk management professionals — reports a shortage of technologically skilled specialists to fill cybersecurity positions.

An online cybersecurity degree equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to launch a career in this exciting field. Distance learning formats provide flexible options for students who must work full time or tend to other responsibilities that make it difficult to attend a campus-based program. This guide to the best online bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity compares program features and requirements for the top-ranked accredited schools. It also provides useful information about financial assistance, career possibilities, and salary potential.

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Best Online Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity

Rank School Location
1 Maryville University of Saint Louis Saint Louis, MO
2 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA
3 The University of Texas at San Antonio San Antonio, TX
4 University of Charleston Charleston, WV
5 Mercy College Dobbs Ferry, NY
6 Pennsylvania State University-World Campus University Park, PA
7 Baker College Owosso, MI
8 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
9 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL
10 Dakota State University Madison, SD

How Much Can You Make in a Cybersecurity Career?

While earning a cybersecurity bachelor’s degree online does not guarantee a job, graduates enter a job market characterized by increasing employment growth rates and relatively high salaries. Degree holders acquire the proficiency in math, computer programming, and information technology required to find employment in high-demand fields, such as information security, network administration, operations research, and computer forensics. This chart presents career information, salary, and job growth projections for common careers open to bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity graduates.


  • Information Security Analysts

    Information Security Analysts

    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $95,510

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: 28%

    Job Description
    Information security analysts protect and recover information from computers and other digital storage devices. They monitor threats and implement solutions to data breaches and attacks. They also install and maintain software, such as firewalls and data encryption programs, and they must keep current about IT security developments. These analysts often work with law enforcement in data recovery.


  • Operations Research Analysts

    Operations Research Analysts

    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $81,390

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: 27%

    Job Description
    These professionals employ mathematical and analytical methods to determine the most efficient and cost-effective operations for a company or organization. Their duties include examining information and applying appropriate computer software, statistical analysis packages, simulations, predictive models, and other methods. Many of these analysts specialize in an area of operations, such as finance, marketing, recruitment, or logistics.


  • Forensic Science Technicians

    Forensic Science Technicians

    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $57,850

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: 17%

    Job Description
    These professionals collect and analyze evidence for criminal investigations and cases. At crime scenes, these technicians determine what evidence to collect and how to handle it. They catalog and preserve evidence for transfer to crime labs for further analysis. Technicians working in crime labs perform chemical, biological, microscopic, and data analysis on evidence recovered at crime scenes, as well as report their findings to law enforcement investigators.


  • Computer Systems Analysts

    Computer Systems Analysts

    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $88,270

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: 9%

    Job Description
    Computer systems analysts, sometimes called systems architects, design, create, and install computing systems to improve an organization’s efficiency. Their duties include conducting research on day-to-day operations and information needs, and designing and customizing systems. They select, configure, and install hardware and software using different techniques, including data modeling. They also conduct tests, code, and debug to ensure that systems function optimally and sustainably.


  • Network and Computer Systems Administrators

    Network and Computer Systems Administrators

    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $81,100

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: 6%

    Job Description
    These administrators direct the maintenance of the day-to-day operations of computer networks and systems, including local area networks, wide area networks, intranets, email platforms, and other communication systems. They update and monitor security permissions and evaluate network security. They must be able to diagnose system alerts, mitigate threats, solve problems, and train staff to handle these issues.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts will enjoy a positive job growth through 2026. Career opportunities and salary prospects vary widely depending on the type of industry, geographical area, and required skill levels. The top-paying regions for these professionals include the District of Columbia, New Jersey, and New York. The highest employment rates are in the urban centers around the District of Columbia, New York, New Jersey, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Chicago and its suburbs.


  • Alabama
    Median Annual Salary: $89,320

    Number Currently Employed: 940

    Projected Job Growth: +37 percent


  • Alaska
    Median Annual Salary: $96,390

    Number Currently Employed: 60

    Projected Job Growth: +6.3 percent


  • Arizona
    Median Annual Salary: $88,270

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Arkansas
    Median Annual Salary: $83,070

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • California
    Median Annual Salary: $108,090

    Number Currently Employed: 8,100

    Projected Job Growth: +28.4 percent


  • Colorado
    Median Annual Salary: $103,210

    Number Currently Employed: 2,300

    Projected Job Growth: +33 percent


  • District of Columbia (DC)
    Median Annual Salary: N/A

    Number Currently Employed: 890

    Projected Job Growth: +34.9 percent


  • Connecticut
    Median Annual Salary: N/A

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Delaware
    Median Annual Salary: $103,590

    Number Currently Employed: 260

    Projected Job Growth: +31.7 percent


  • Florida
    Median Annual Salary: $86,630

    Number Currently Employed: 4,830

    Projected Job Growth: +38.3 percent


  • Georgia
    Median Annual Salary: $90,940

    Number Currently Employed: 2,170

    Projected Job Growth: +22.5 percent


  • Hawaii
    Median Annual Salary: $95,700

    Number Currently Employed: 210

    Projected Job Growth: +23.9 percent


  • Idaho
    Median Annual Salary: $84,450

    Number Currently Employed: 520

    Projected Job Growth: +30.3 percent


  • Illinois
    Median Annual Salary: $97,360

    Number Currently Employed: 4,400

    Projected Job Growth: +22.9 percent


  • Indiana
    Median Annual Salary: $77,450

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Iowa
    Median Annual Salary: $79,670

    Number Currently Employed: 1,470

    Projected Job Growth: +34.1 percent


  • Kansas
    Median Annual Salary: $77,720

    Number Currently Employed: 660

    Projected Job Growth: +30 percent


  • Kentucky
    Median Annual Salary: $83,010

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Lousiana
    Median Annual Salary: $76,710

    Number Currently Employed: 760

    Projected Job Growth: +50.3 percent


  • Maine
    Median Annual Salary: $110,080

    Number Currently Employed: 310

    Projected Job Growth: +22.7 percent


  • Maryland
    Median Annual Salary: $107,580

    Number Currently Employed: 3,490

    Projected Job Growth: +7.6 percent


  • Massachusuetts
    Median Annual Salary: $106,520

    Number Currently Employed: 3,330

    Projected Job Growth: +25.5 percent


  • Michigan
    Median Annual Salary: $94,140

    Number Currently Employed: 2,160

    Projected Job Growth: +34.7 percent


  • Minnesota
    Median Annual Salary: $95,930

    Number Currently Employed: 3,680

    Projected Job Growth: +23.8 percent


  • Mississippi
    Median Annual Salary: $75,500

    Number Currently Employed: 300

    Projected Job Growth: +17.8 percent


  • Missouri
    Median Annual Salary: $91,630

    Number Currently Employed: 2,910

    Projected Job Growth: +41.7 percent


  • Montana
    Median Annual Salary: $60,000

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Nebraska
    Median Annual Salary: $80,830

    Number Currently Employed: 680

    Projected Job Growth: +37.7 percent


  • Nevada
    Median Annual Salary: $88,300

    Number Currently Employed: 400

    Projected Job Growth: +25.5 percent


  • New Hampsire
    Median Annual Salary: $100,750

    Number Currently Employed: 370

    Projected Job Growth: +27.8 percent


  • New Jersey
    Median Annual Salary: $120,020

    Number Currently Employed: 3,290

    Projected Job Growth: +21.3 percent


  • New Mexico
    Median Annual Salary: $107,410

    Number Currently Employed: 680

    Projected Job Growth: +37.2 percent


  • New York
    Median Annual Salary: $118,140

    Number Currently Employed: 5,410

    Projected Job Growth: +27.9 percent


  • North Carolina
    Median Annual Salary: $100,650

    Number Currently Employed: 3,540

    Projected Job Growth: +33.2 percent


  • North Dakota
    Median Annual Salary: $75,070

    Number Currently Employed: 210

    Projected Job Growth: +41.3 percent


  • Ohio
    Median Annual Salary: $93,190

    Number Currently Employed: 2,890

    Projected Job Growth: +25.8 percent


  • Oklahoma
    Median Annual Salary: $75,760

    Number Currently Employed: 600

    Projected Job Growth: +19.1 percent


  • Oregon
    Median Annual Salary: $99,480

    Number Currently Employed: 650

    Projected Job Growth: +31.5 percent


  • Pennsylvania
    Median Annual Salary: $94,810

    Number Currently Employed: 3,010

    Projected Job Growth: +25.8 percent


  • Rhode Island
    Median Annual Salary: $107,210

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • South Carolina
    Median Annual Salary: $77,770

    Number Currently Employed: 1,410

    Projected Job Growth: +22.3 percent


  • South Dakota
    Median Annual Salary: $89,200

    Number Currently Employed: 210

    Projected Job Growth: +27.4 percent


  • Tennessee
    Median Annual Salary: $82,720

    Number Currently Employed: 1,270

    Projected Job Growth: +37.4 percent


  • Texas
    Median Annual Salary: $94,970

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Utah
    Median Annual Salary: $82,430

    Number Currently Employed: 400

    Projected Job Growth: +51.5 percent


  • Vermont
    Median Annual Salary: $84,360

    Number Currently Employed: 80

    Projected Job Growth: +6.1 percent


  • Virginia
    Median Annual Salary: $110,450

    Number Currently Employed: 11,730

    Projected Job Growth: +41.5 percent


  • Washington
    Median Annual Salary: $106,040

    Number Currently Employed: 2,390

    Projected Job Growth: +43 percent


  • West Virginia
    Median Annual Salary: $78,680

    Number Currently Employed: 240

    Projected Job Growth: +18.4 percent


  • Wisconsin
    Median Annual Salary: $75,820

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Wyoming
    Median Annual Salary: $72,180

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


What Courses Can be Taken for an Online Cybersecurity Degree?

Requirements for a bachelor’s in cybersecurity differ depending on the program. While some schools offer the degree as a standalone major, others offer cybersecurity as a concentration within a major in information technology, computer networks, or a related field. This list outlines courses commonly offered in a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. Contact each school directly to learn about specific course requirements.

Introduction to Cybersecurity

This course introduces students to risks, threats, attacks, and vulnerabilities associated with internet-connected systems, digital technology, data storage, computer programs, and information systems. Students study applications for individuals, businesses, and governments.

Network Security

Students learn techniques for controlling threats to an organization’s computer network. The course examines the nature of hacking and viruses, and explores preventive measures, such as intrusion detection systems, firewalls, and virtual private networks.

Computer Forensics

Students learn about computer investigations using digital evidence controls. They study data acquisition techniques, email investigations, image file recovery, investigative report writing, expert witness testimony, and how to process crime scenes for legal purposes.

Database Management

This course introduces the fundamental concepts and techniques in database management and development, including knowledgebase and relational database management systems. Topics include data modeling, relational query languages, relational database design, transaction processing, and current technologies.

Ethical and Legal Issues in Cybersecurity

Computer system security impacts individuals, organizations, and society. This course addresses the legal, ethical, and moral issues related to cybersecurity , including free speech, privacy, intellectual property, and professional codes of conduct.

How to Choose the Best Online Cybersecurity Program

Students should thoroughly research online bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity, comparing tuition costs, program requirements, retention and graduation rates, and school rankings. Learners should be sure to choose an accredited school. Accreditation affects eligibility for federal financial aid and private scholarships. It also expands employment and academic opportunities. In this section, we answer commonly asked questions about online cybersecurity degrees.

How long does it take to get an online cybersecurity degree?

While the duration of a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity depends on the school you attend and how many courses you take each term, most programs take four years of full-time study to finish. Programs on a semester schedule require approximately 120 credits, with 180 credits needed for degrees offered in a quarterly system. Some accelerated programs may be completed in 18 months to three years if students maintain continuous full-time enrollment.

Is an online degree regarded the same way as a traditional campus-based degree?

A graduate with an online bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity receives the same diploma as a graduate from a traditional brick-and-mortar program. Your diploma does not indicate where or how you completed your degree. Online and campus-based programs offer the same courses, with identical graduation requirements. The same rigorous standards for assignments, examinations, and grading apply to both.

What should I know about the faculty who teach in an online cybersecurity program?

Accredited programs showcase faculty quality on their websites by providing short biographies, credentials, teaching responsibilities, and research interests. The best programs employ both cybersecurity professionals with considerable practical experience and professors with academic and research backgrounds.

How can I complete an internship if I’m getting my degree online?

Many programs require internships to provide students with hands-on experience in cybersecurity fields. Online programs often help you locate onsite options that fit your schedule. If you must remain close to home, some programs allow you to set up a local site placement or a virtual internship where you connect with your supervisor through video conferencing.

What are the different online delivery formats?

There are several bachelor’s in cybersecurity programs delivered completely online, based on asynchronous courses that students can take at their convenience. Some programs offer synchronous schedules, where the same cohort of students log in at a specific day and hour for lectures and workshops conducted by instructors in real time. Some schools offer hybrid programs requiring on-campus attendance for some courses, in addition to online work.

Scholarships & Financial Aid for Cybersecurity Programs

Bachelor’s in cybersecurity students should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to determine federal aid eligibility. They should also research all possible sources for privately funded assistance. Grants and scholarships, unlike federal and private loans, do not require repayment. Below are examples of need-based and merit-based scholarships for students studying cybersecurity or closely related fields.

CIA Undergraduate Scholarship Program

The CIA Scholarship Program involves a rigorous application process. The scholarship, valued at $18,000 plus a stipend, requires a polygraph test, mental health evaluation, drug test, background checks, high academic marks, and documentation of financial need. Applicants apply in their senior year of high school for undergraduate study. Recipients work at the CIA during summers of their undergraduate experience to prepare for internships in STEM, security, and other related fields after graduation.

(ISC)² Information Security Undergraduate Scholarship

This scholarship for aspiring information security professionals offers up to $5,000 for students planning to study or studying cybersecurity or information security. Applicants may be high school seniors or undergraduate students in their first, second, or third year of study, with a minimum 3.3 GPA. A transcript, resume, personal statement, and letter of recommendation must accompany applications. Applications are scored on three criteria: passion, merit, and financial need.

(ISC)² Women’s Cybersecurity Scholarships

The Center for Cyber Safety and Education awards up to $40,000 to women pursuing or planning to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree in cybersecurity or information assurance. Applicants must attend either an on-campus or online program with full-time or part-time status. They must be U.S. citizens with at least a 3.3 GPA. A transcript, resume, three-page personal statement, and one letter of recommendation must accompany the online application form.

Navy Information Assurance Scholarship

This scholarship is available to service members and civilians attending school in information assurance-related disciplines at the bachelor’s through graduate levels. Recipients receive full tuition and a stipend in exchange for serving one year in civilian or service member roles in the Navy for every year of the reward. The scholarship is restricted to universities designated as Centers of Academic Excellence (CAEs). Scholarships are awarded to students through a grant award to the CAE university.

Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security (SWSIS)

The SWSIS program, administered by the Applied Computer Security Associates and Computing Research Association, promotes the participation of women in information security and related careers. SWSIS provides 10-15 scholarships annually with a maximum value of $10,000 for female students enrolled in undergraduate or master’s degrees related to cybersecurity, information security, and assurance. Applicants must be U.S. citizens enrolled in an accredited U.S. postsecondary institution. Undergraduate students must be in their junior or senior year of study.

Online Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity 2021



See Our Rankings Methodology
  1. Maryville University of Saint Louis
    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    A private college based in St. Louis, Missouri, Maryville offers a bachelor's in cybersecurity, with specializations in defensive and offensive methods. The program prepares students to work as cybersecurity specialists in the corporate, nonprofit, and government sectors. The school also hosts an undergraduate certificate in cybersecurity.

    Maryville's online cybersecurity degree features courses in business, information technology, and cybersecurity foundations. Enrollees gain hands-on training through the school's Cyber Fusion Center, a cybersecurity operations facility where learners can work on real-time issues for local charities and nonprofit organizations. The cybersecurity bachelor's degree typically takes 2.5 years to complete after learners finish general education requirements.

    Applicants must hold a minimum 2.5 GPA and submit transcripts. The school does not require test scores. Maryville is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  2. Kennesaw State University
    Location

    Kennesaw, GA

    Located near Atlanta, Georgia, Kennesaw State offers a bachelor's in cybersecurity degree. The school offers several active cybersecurity clubs for enrollees. Learners also benefit from the program's partnerships with local and national companies.

    The 120-credit online cybersecurity degree features introductory courses on cybersecurity principles, programming, and database administration. Learners also take specialized classes that cover client systems security, perimeter defense, and incident response. The school offers a dual-degree pathway that allows students to enroll in the cybersecurity bachelor's and master's programs simultaneously.

    The school requires a minimum 2.5 GPA for admission. Applicants must submit transcripts and standardized test scores. Students may transfer up to 30 credits toward the program. Kennesaw State is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  3. The University of Texas at San Antonio
    Location

    San Antonio, TX

    UTSA offers an online cybersecurity bachelor's degree that focuses on the business side of this growing field. Students pursuing the cybersecurity bachelor's degree take core courses on business topics like finance, IT management, and marketing principles.

    Specialized classes on operating systems security, cyber law, and information assurance policy round out students' degree plans. This 120-credit program typically takes four years of full-time study to complete.

    Applicants must submit transcripts and meet the school's test score requirements for admission. The school allows students to transfer up to 30 credits toward the degree. UTSA maintains regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  4. University of Charleston
    Location

    Charleston, WV

    A private university located in West Virginia, UC offers a fully online cybersecurity bachelor's degree. The program trains students to operate, maintain, protect, and defend complex information systems. The curriculum follows the National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework.

    Classes introduce learners to network security and cybersecurity strategy. Students also complete a cybersecurity capstone project. Students can optionally minor in fields like business administration and organizational leadership.

    The online cybersecurity degree prepares learners to acquire industry certifications such as Network+ and Cisco certified network associate. Many enrollees complete the program in two years. Graduates can work as information security analysts, network administrators, and computer crime investigators.

    Applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA. Enrollees with prior technology experience may test out of some prerequisites. UC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  5. Mercy College
    Location

    Dobbs Ferry, NY

    Mercy hosts a 120-credit online bachelor's in cybersecurity program. Students learn to monitor security systems, plan disaster recovery, and conduct compliance audits. The program prepares students to take the Certified Information Systems Security Professional Exam.

    The cybersecurity bachelor's degree features a combination of core and specialized course requirements. Foundation courses include introduction to cybersecurity, Linux administration, and discrete structures. Learners also study specialized topics like digital forensics, security policy, and artificial intelligence. The online cybersecurity degree typically takes four years to complete. Students can also pursue a dual-degree that leads to a master's in cybersecurity.

    Learners can transfer up to 75 credits from a two-year college and up to 90 credits from a four-year school toward the degree. Applicants must submit transcripts. Mercy maintains regional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  6. Pennsylvania State University-World Campus
    Location

    University Park, PA

    Penn State offers an online bachelor's in cybersecurity through its World Campus. The program enables students to master foundational cybersecurity skills. The degree's flexible format appeals to working professionals.

    The 126-credit cybersecurity bachelor's degree includes introductory courses on cybersecurity analytics and operations. Cybersecurity majors study topics such as cyber forensics, application development, and malware analytics. Studio courses provide learners with hands-on training in cyber defense and programming. The degree also requires a capstone project. Many enrollees pursue for-credit internships prior to graduation.

    Students must meet the school's math requirements to apply. Additional requirements include transcripts and verification of proficiency in English. Online learners must also possess a working computer, a high-speed internet connection, and access to Adobe Acrobat. Penn State World Campus is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  7. Baker College
    Location

    Owosso, MI

    A private school located in Michigan, Baker College offers an online bachelor's degree in information technology with an emphasis in cybersecurity. Students learn foundational and advanced cybersecurity skills from established IT professionals. The online cybersecurity degree boasts the National Security Agency's National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education designation.

    Learners in the 120-credit bachelor's in cybersecurity program study all aspects of information security and networking essentials. The program also includes specialized classes on Linux, Python, and ethical hacking. Most students take four years to complete the online cybersecurity degree.

    The school requires students to submit official transcripts along with their online application. Baker College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  8. California Baptist University
    Location

    Riverside, CA

    CBU hosts an online bachelor's in cybersecurity through its Riverside, California, campus. The program prepares graduates to work as security engineers, systems administrators, and IT analysts.

    The school's cybersecurity program includes a 48-credit major component. Students take classes on information systems and business IT applications before moving on to advanced coursework. Specialized classes focus on topics like computer and network security, cyber forensics, and network defense. The program also requires a cybersecurity capstone. Students can complete the cybersecurity bachelor's degree in as little as 16 months.

    Students can transfer up to 24 credits from other institutions toward their degree. Applicants must possess a minimum 2.0 GPA. CBU is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

  9. Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale
    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    A private university based in Florida, Keiser offers an online bachelor of science in cyber forensics and information security. The program functions as a degree-completion program for learners with a prior associate degree.

    The program includes 60 upper-division credits. Enrollees learn to manage incidents of cyber crime and collect data on security breaches. Courses focus on network forensics, systems analysis, and security policies. Students also acquire foundational skills in statistics and business processes.

    Application requirements include a high school or GED diploma and transcripts. Keiser maintains regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  10. Dakota State University
    Location

    Madison, SD

    A public university in South Dakota, DSU offers a bachelor of science in cyber leadership and intelligence. This online cybersecurity degree teaches students how to investigate digital security breaches, collect forensic evidence, and manage complex IT systems. Graduates can work as information security analysts, digital forensics investigators, and intelligence officers.

    The 120-credit cybersecurity bachelor's degree includes general education requirements and specialized major courses. Upper-division classes cover topics like networking, cyber ethics, and advanced computer forensics. The program also requires learners to complete an internship or undergraduate research project.

    Military veterans receive discounted tuition rates. All applicants must submit transcripts. The school requires a minimum 2.6 GPA or at least a 950 on the SAT. DSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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