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With demand projected to grow 32% by 2032 and salaries that regularly reach six figures, the information systems security field will surely provide a lucrative, rewarding career in tech. As cyber threats continue to evolve, organizations across industries seek skilled professionals capable of protecting digital assets and infrastructure.Online bachelor’s programs in information systems security are designed to equip students with the requisite knowledge and practical skills to be successful in this field. Typically spanning four years for full-time students, these programs delve into network security, digital forensics, and risk management. While completion times may vary based on enrollment status and specialization, the average cost of these programs was $25,910 for the 2020-2021 academic year.

How to Choose an Online Bachelor’s in Information Systems Security Program

Choose your area of study

Many students choose an area of study, also known as a specialization or concentration, to align their studies with their interests and career goals.

For those pursuing a career in information systems security, this may include options like cybersecurity management — ideal for those aiming for leadership roles while focusing on organizational security strategies and risk management — or network security — suited for those interested in protecting computer networks. Students passionate about investigating cybercrimes and emphasizing data recovery, evidence analysis, and incident response may opt for a specialization in digital forensics. Meanwhile, those keen on offensive security, penetration testing techniques, and vulnerability assessment may prefer to concentrate on ethical hacking.

Research schools and programs

Once you have identified your intended specialization, conducting thorough research on schools and programs is essential.

Begin by verifying accreditation, ensuring that each institution meets educational standards and will be respected by future employers. Next, evaluate the program’s delivery format. Many online programs offer asynchronous learning, which offers a flexible timeline and is often self-paced, while others provide synchronous learning involving real-time classes and instruction. You’ll also want to consider whether part-time or full-time enrollment aligns with your schedule and intended pace.

Additionally, research faculty profiles to determine relevant industry experience and review course offerings to determine their relevance to your specialization.

Prepare for tests and applications

After narrowing down a list of prospective schools, it’s time to prepare for tests and applications. Familiarize yourself with standard application requirements like transcripts, recommendation letters, resumes, and statements of purpose written specifically for each institution.

Don’t hesitate to contact admissions counselors for each institution, as they can offer necessary guidance and verify requirements that may differ between schools.

Select your program

Once offers of admission arrive, you may have a significant decision to make. Prioritize the program’s reputation and alignment with your career goals. Generally, you can consider the faculty’s expertise, available industry connections, and alumni success as indicators of program quality. Additionally, evaluate overall tuition costs and explore any available financial aid opportunities.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Figuring out how to finance your degree without acquiring a significant debt burden requires a strategic approach.

Start by pursuing scholarships, as they offer funds that don’t require repayment. Next, explore grants, typically need-based aids that further reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Federal loans can provide additional support, but it’s vital to prioritize subsidized options to minimize interest accumulation.

Consider work-study programs for on-campus employment opportunities that offer income and professional experience. If you’re currently employed, you might find some success in an employer tuition reimbursement program. Many organizations offer this benefit to upskill employees.

Best 50 Accredited Online Bachelor’s in Information Systems Security Programs

Best Online Bachelor's in Information Systems Security Programs badge

Western Governors University

Bellevue University

Dakota State University

University of Maryland Global Campus

Champlain College

Robert Morris University

Liberty University

Drexel University

Immaculata University

Penn State World Campus

Saint Leo University

University of Maine at Augusta

Davenport University

University of Nebraska Omaha

Charter Oak State College

University of Maryland

Park University

Wilmington University

Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology

Mercy College

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How We Rank Schools

This list covers undergraduate computing and information systems programs focusing on cybersecurity, digital forensics, networks, and other related subjects. Computer science and information systems undergraduate programs typically lead to a Bachelor of Science degree. We’ve included both online and blended learning degrees in our list.

The programs we’ve included in this list are accredited by various industry-focused bodies, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. We also included some programs accredited by state or regional bodies. Choosing an accredited school makes it easier to transfer credits should a student decide to pursue a master’s degree at a later date.

What Can You Expect From an Online Bachelor’s in Information Systems Security Program

An online bachelor’s in information systems security program provides future tech professionals with comprehensive knowledge and skills to navigate cyber threats. Students can expect a curriculum combining theoretical foundations with hands-on experiences in network security, cryptography, and risk management. Courses often cover topics such as ethical hacking, digital forensics, and security policies, and many programs offer exposure to real-world case studies, simulated cyber-attacks, and innovative technologies.

These programs generally span four years, similar to traditional on-campus degrees. With the marketable ability to gain expertise in securing information systems — critical for protecting organizations against cyber threats — this degree prepares students for a lucrative, rewarding career in a growing industry.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online bachelor’s in information systems security program

  • Network Security Fundamentals: This course introduces students to the core principles of securing computer networks. Topics include firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and virtual private networks. Students learn to identify vulnerabilities, implement protective measures, and analyze network traffic patterns to thwart cyber threats preemptively.
  • Cryptography and Data Protection: This course delves into encryption techniques, cryptographic algorithms, and data protection strategies. Students learn cryptographic protocols and mechanisms, enabling them to design and implement robust systems for safeguarding sensitive information against unauthorized access.
  • Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing: This course educates students on ethical hacking techniques to identify and rectify system vulnerabilities. Participants learn to conduct penetration tests, simulate cyber-attacks, and employ ethical hacking methodologies. The emphasis is on ethical and legal aspects, ensuring students develop skills for securing systems responsibly.
  • Digital Forensics and Incident Response: This course equips students with skills in digital forensics and incident response. Learners analyze digital evidence, reconstruct cyber incidents, and implement strategies for mitigating and recovering from security breaches. Practical exercises may involve using forensic tools to investigate simulated cybercrime scenarios.

Online Bachelor’s in Information Systems Security Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online bachelor’s in information systems security degree program?

To apply for an online bachelor’s in information systems security degree program, follow these general steps, recognizing that specific requirements may vary across programs:

  1. Check eligibility criteria, as programs often have specific prerequisites. These may include having a minimum high school GPA or prior work experience in IT.
  2. Prepare necessary documents, including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a resume highlighting relevant experience.
  3. Complete the online application form for your chosen programs, providing accurate and detailed information.

Communicating with an admissions counselor through the application process is crucial to ensure you meet all criteria and understand any program-specific nuances — like standardized test scores or essay requirements.

How much does an online bachelor’s in information systems security degree cost?

The cost of an online bachelor’s in information systems security degree varies, with significant differences between public and private institutions. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average 2021-2022 academic year tuition was $19,374 at public schools and $45,920 at private schools. This stark contrast is primarily due to public schools receiving funding from the state government, allowing them to offer lower tuition rates.

Beyond tuition, it’s also essential to consider the additional costs associated with earning an online degree — typically including online course or distance learning fees, books and materials, and other technology requirements.

How long does it take to earn an online bachelor’s in information systems security degree?

Typically, online programs mirror the traditional four-year structure for full-time students. However, online flexibility and your course load each semester may cause this to vary. For example, if you enroll as a full-time student, it’s common to complete the required credits within four years. However, those who register part-time may spread coursework over a longer period, extending their program duration.

It’s also important to consider the total number of required credits, which can influence program length. Most programs require 120 credits to be eligible for graduation, while others may need more or less.

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