Why This Matters

  • 17,000 CYBER SECURITY JOBS VACANT IN 2017

    According to Cyberseek.org, in 2017-18, there were 122,000 information security analyst positions available in the U.S., but only 105,000 workers to fill them.

  • DEMAND FOR CYBER SECURITY EXPERTS UP 28%

    In addition to the thousands of cybersecurity jobs unfilled recently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the U.S. will add another 28,500 jobs in the industry by 2026.

  • YOU CAN EARN 3X THE NATIONAL MEDIAN INCOME

    Cybersecurity professionals earn an average annual income of $116,000. Individuals in senior or management positions can earn upwards of $160,000 annually.

Our Research

For this list, we included both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Your educational background will determine whether you are researching an undergraduate or graduate program. Some of the bachelor’s programs on this list are targeted towards individuals who have already completed some college coursework, or an associate’s degree. At the master’s level, some programs require students to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field in order to be eligible.

We only included programs that can be fully completed online, with many programs offering their courses in an asynchronous format. All institutions on this list are regionally accredited, meaning they meet high standards for quality education, and make it easier to transfer coursework between institutions.

Once we selected our top programs, we evaluated their reputation, course strength, flexibility and cost, and calculated the Intelligent Score of each degree on a scale from 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best online cybersecurity programs are respected, affordable, and customizable.(For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 77 hours to write this article
  • 105 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 362 education programs we compared

The Top 60 Online Cyber Security Degrees

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What You Should Know About This Degree

A degree in cybersecurity specifically trains you to work in information security, with coursework in digital forensics; cloud, mobile and network security, and cyber laws. If you want to pursue a career as a software or web developer, database administrator, or systems manager, you’ll probably want to investigate a computer science degree, which offers a broader array of training in computer-related topics.

At the graduate level, another option worth exploring is a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems. These types of programs include business and leadership coursework that prepare students for management-level positions. Consider what your career goals are, and which degree is best suited for your needs.

Additional professional certifications may be required once you enter the workforce. The most common is the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), but you can also obtain certifications for other specializations within cybersecurity. Obtaining professional certifications is another commitment of time and money to this profession.

Because of the sensitive nature of working in information security, most jobs will require you to pass a background check and receive a security clearance. If you have any situations in your background that may present an issue, it’s important to discuss it with your advisors, and see if it will impact your employability.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Cyber Security programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Because of the highly specific nature of the cybersecurity field, many master’s-level programs require students to have an undergraduate degree in cybersecurity or another computer-related field. They may also require students to have professional experience. Be sure to review the program’s
  • Does this program have the specialization I want? Within cybersecurity programs at the bachelor’s and master’s levels, some programs offer concentrations in areas like energy systems, cybersecurity policy, and forensics. If you want to specialize in a particular area, check to see if the program offers that option.

Once you’ve found the programs that interest you, research their application processes and admission requirements. This information is typically available on the program’s webpage; you can also contact the program directly if you have questions.

Financing your education is another important consideration. Research scholarship opportunities and financial aid deadlines. If you are currently employed, check with your employer to see if tuition remission/reimbursement benefits are available.