Best Bachelor Degrees in Cyber Security

Mar 04, 2021

Cyber Security Degrees

As the world becomes more digital, the cyber security field has become a very in-demand field. Those who study cyber security go on to become computer systems analysts, digital forensics specialists, intelligence investigators, network applications supervisors, information security analysts, and network and systems engineers. A cyber security degree prepares its students to create and execute digital security strategies in order to protect a company's cyber assets.

The Top Bachelor's Programs in Cyber Security

1. Dakota State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9536 77% 43% 93% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

2. New England Institute of Technology

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$30841 63% 51% 94% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

3. Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$5550 No Available Data (2019-2020) 37% 98% No Yes AP Credits

4. SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8503 69% 57% 96% No Yes AP Credits

5. Robert Morris University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$31200 84% 65% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

6. Fontbonne University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$27260 79% 54% 98% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

7. Lindenwood University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$18100 88% 50% 100% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

8. Saint Cloud State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8656 90% 48% 94% Yes Yes AP Credits

9. Green River College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$4141 No Available Data (2019-2020) 38% 49% No Yes AP Credits

10. Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10958 84% 60% 90% Yes Yes AP Credits

11. Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$18450 76% 71% 73% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

12. Maryville University of Saint Louis

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$28470 83% 71% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

13. Thomas College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$27720 84% 52% 98% Yes Yes AP Credits

14. Davenport University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$19338 82% 49% 98% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

15. Limestone College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$26300 51% 33% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

16. CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7470 41% 52% 85% Yes Yes AP Credits

17. Central Washington University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8273 85% 58% 90% Yes Yes AP Credits

18. University of Illinois at Springfield

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11928 77% 54% 96% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

19. Metropolitan State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8114 56% 34% 86% No Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

20. Indiana Institute of Technology

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$27440 60% 37% 99% Yes Yes AP Credits

21. Farmingdale State College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8538 55% 52% 74% Yes Yes AP Credits

22. The University of Tampa

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$29992 45% 58% 97% Yes Yes AP Credits

23. Frostburg State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9410 80% 49% 92% No Yes AP Credits

24. East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11476 85% 52% 89% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

25. SUNY at Albany

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10176 54% 63% 85% No Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

26. University of Central Missouri

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8043 65% 51% 94% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

27. Mercy College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$19594 82% 44% 96% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

28. Pennsylvania College of Technology

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$17160 No Available Data (2019-2020) 45% 89% Yes Yes AP Credits

29. SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8872 58% 68% 94% Yes Yes AP Credits

30. Ferris State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12376 87% 47% 95% Yes Yes AP Credits

31. Highline College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$4127 No Available Data (2019-2020) 33% 49% No Yes AP Credits

32. Southeast Missouri State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7800 86% 50% 96% Yes Yes AP Credits

33. University of Nebraska at Omaha

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7980 83% 50% 85% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

34. University of Cincinnati-Main Campus

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11154 77% 71% 75% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

35. University of Maine at Fort Kent

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8295 99% 36% 94% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

36. Eastern Michigan University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$13758 74% 46% 96% Yes Yes AP Credits

37. Marshall University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8412 87% 49% 96% Yes Yes AP Credits

38. Illinois State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12836 82% 70% 89% Yes Yes AP Credits

39. Tiffin University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$26110 69% 39% 100% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

40. Florida State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$6517 36% 83% 97% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

41. Friends University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$29394 46% 48% 100% No Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

42. SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8852 67% 60% 96% Yes Yes AP Credits

43. University of Akron Main Campus

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11636 73% 46% 96% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

44. Western Washington University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8343 90% 68% 86% Yes Yes AP Credits

45. University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10728 87% 45% 81% Yes Yes AP Credits

46. University of the Incarnate Word

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$32576 94% 51% 99% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

47. Brigham Young University-Provo

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$5790 67% 78% 71% Yes Yes AP Credits

48. Northeastern State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$6915 100% 33% 93% Yes Yes AP Credits

49. University of Southern Maine

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9226 81% 40% 97% Yes Yes AP Credits

50. Western Illinois University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12940 57% 51% 88% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

To get a more in-depth look at our school ranking methodology, please visit Study.com's ranking methodology page.

Tuition information is based on published tuition and required fees, per data by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

What Kinds of Cyber Security Degrees Are There?

Cyber security degrees are available from the bachelor's level to the doctoral level. The varying degree levels offer a range of career opportunities for students interested in cyber security. While a bachelor's degree is required for many positions in cyber security, an associate degree gets a foot in the door of the IT world. Others go on to pursue their master's in order to help further their career. Some people even choose to pursue a doctoral degree involving cyber security in order to enter the world of academia.

Associate Degrees in Cyber Security

An Associate of Science in Cyber Security typically takes two years to complete, if enrolled as a full-time student, and can lead to entry-level jobs in an IT department. However, many cyber security positions require a bachelor's degree or higher. Associate degrees in cyber security often lay the groundwork of cyber security with basic technology courses, network defense courses, and ethics. If a student wishes to continue studying cyber security, many associate degrees can be transferred to another institution to complete a bachelor's degree in cyber security.

Bachelor's Degrees in Cyber Security

Because cyber security has become an in-demand field, there are many cyber security bachelor's programs available. The majority of programs take four years to complete if enrolled as a full-time student. A Bachelor of Science in Cyber security teaches students to implement cyber security practices, prepares them for security-related exams that help them to further their careers, and shows them the various skills and information needed in the cyber security field. While there are many in-person cyber security programs, many schools also offer online cyber security bachelor's degrees.

Master's Degrees in Cyber Security

Those who pursue a Master of Science in Cyber Security are prepared to take on cyber security challenges that face the world today. These programs teach the skills required to detect and stop cyber security crimes and how to protect businesses. These programs also serve to help individuals gain experience in the cyber security field to help further their careers since there are some careers that require an advanced degree. Most master's programs can be completed within two years.

Doctoral Degrees in Cyber Security

Doctoral degrees in cyber security are less common than their bachelor's degree counterparts but are still available. The programs that do offer doctoral degrees in cyber security often have it as a concentration under a Ph.D. in Technology and Innovation Management or another similarly titled program. These programs are often designed for those who wish to go into academia and take 3 to 7 years to complete.

Certificates in Cyber Security

According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies there are currently more open positions in the cyber security field than qualified candidates. Many schools are beginning to offer graduate certificates in cyber security in order to meet the field's needs. These certificate programs often are designed to teach the students invaluable skills that are needed within today's cyber workforce. These programs can often be completed in less than a year and can often be applied to a master's degree.

Cyber Security Bachelor's Degree Concentrations

The vast majority of schools do not offer a concentration or specialization for a cyber security degree. This is because cyber security is already fairly specialized. Individual programs may offer concentrations specific to the institution, but there are no concentrations that are standard for the industry.

Curriculum for a Bachelor's Degree in Cyber Security

The curriculum and coursework for a cyber security degree vary by institution, however many have classes that overlap. The majority of bachelor's degree programs in cyber security require general education courses including courses in English, science, and history before transitioning into their major requirements. Some schools may offer courses to prepare students for certificates in cyber security which helps students further down the line when they are applying to jobs.

Some of the courses that students may take in a cyber security degree program are:

  • Foundations of Cyber Security
  • Information Policy and Ethics
  • Legal Issues in Cyber Security
  • Network Security, Firewalls, and VPNs
  • Cyberwarfare
  • Data Structures
  • Human Aspects of Cyber Security

How to Choose a Cyber Security School & Program

Because of the rise in cyber security jobs, there are many different programs available for prospective cyber security students. Here are a few things to consider making it easier to choose the right cyber security school.

Does the school offer the ability to do internships? Internships are extremely valuable for students who wish to pursue a career in cyber security. While they aren't always required, they provide students with experience which employers value.

Does the school offer the ability to earn certificates? Certificates aren't required for a career in cyber security, but they can strongly improve job prospects. Some schools offer classes that specifically prepare students for certain certificates.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Bachelor's in Cyber Security?

Traditionally, a bachelor's degree in cyber security takes 4 years, or 120 credit hours, to complete when enrolled as a full-time student. If a student chooses to enroll part-time, it may take longer to complete. Some programs offer the ability to choose an accelerated program that allows students to operate on their own schedules. This can lead to a degree being completed quicker than four years.

Accreditation for Bachelor's in Cyber Security Degrees

Accreditation is extremely important when it comes to universities and colleges. An accredited university means that at the regional, national, or program level there is an oversight and that these institutions are held to quality standards. If an institution is not accredited at a regional or national level, this may harm student's potential job opportunities and may impact their ability to receive financial aid.

The Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of ABET is the accrediting agency for cyber security programs. It oversees a wide range of programs including natural science, engineering, engineering technology, and computing. It accredits programs at the associate, bachelor's, and master's degree levels.

Cyber Security Licensure & Certification

While licenses and certifications are not required for a career in cyber security, they do help with job prospects. Many employers are looking to hire those who have gone the extra mile to become certified in a specific area of cyber security. It shows employers a person's dedication, knowledge, and commitment. Some degree programs include certification within their program and other times a person must take an exam or another form of assessment to apply for certification.

Some of the top certifications for those in the cyber security field are:

  • CISA: Certified Information Security Auditor
  • CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional
  • CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker
  • CISM: Certified Information Security Manager
  • CompTIA Security+

What Can I Do with a Bachelor's Degree in Cyber Security?

The cyber security industry is growing exponentially with nearly every sector of industry needing help to combat cybercrime. According to a cyber security study, since 2013 there has been a 94% growth in the number of cyber security job postings. Those who study cyber security can go on to become a chief information security officer, ethical hacker, security architect, and a security software developer. A computer forensics analyst, computer security expert, cybersecurity expert, and a cybercrime agent are also popular careers.

How to Become a Cybercrime Agent

Many who pursue a degree in cyber security wish to become a cybercrime agent. Cybercrime agents typically work for federal law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, and use their unique skills in order to investigate cybercrime. These agents usually have their bachelor's as well as a few years of experience working with cybercrime.

How to Become a Computer Security Expert

Some people with an interest in cyber security become a computer security expert. These experts typically start out in entry-level cyber or computer security positions before working their way to expert-level positions. The vast majority of computer security experts earn certifications in order to advance their careers. By 2029, the job market for information security analysts (which is what computer security experts fall under) is projected to grow by 31% according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This growth rate is much faster than the average growth rate. The median pay for information security analysts, according to the BLS, was $99,730 in 2019.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Information for Bachelor's in Cyber Security Degrees

Before each school year, students should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to apply for federal grants, work-study, and loans. The university or college the student is applying to, as well as their state, uses FAFSA data in order to award aid. Once the aid is accepted by the student, the financial aid office for the school will apply the amount owed to the school and send the student the remaining balance. This remaining balance can be used to cover other college costs.

There are a number of different types of financial aid. These include grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and loans. Grants are awarded on a financial need basis while scholarships can be applied for. These types of financial aid do not need to be repaid. Work-study programs are when a student works part-time in order to pay for parts of their tuition. Loans must be repaid including any interest accrued.

Professional Organizations in Cyber Security

Professional organizations in cyber security are on the rise. These professional organizations allow for networking opportunities and opportunities to further education. They also appeal to employers as it shows the person is active in their field. Here are a few professional organizations in the field relating to cyber security:

  • Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) - ASIS&T works to link science practice and research. Its vision is to advance the fields related to information science and technology. Members of ASIS&T represent a wide variety of fields including information science, computer science, management, engineering, law, and education.
  • Information Systems Security Association International (ISSA) - ISSA works to develop and connect those in cyber security on a global level. It is dedicated to managing technology risk, protecting critical information and protecting critical infrastructure, and advancing individual growth. Its core purpose is to promote a secure digital world.
  • Association for Women in Computing (AWC) - AWC was created to promote the advancement of women in the various computing professions. AWC has various networking opportunities and programs. It also has nationwide chapters as well as independent members who may not be able to attend chapter meetings.
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