Online Cyber Security Degree Programs

Cyber security provides the first line of defense for computer networked information against hackers, spyware, viruses and other related attacks. Associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs are all available online. Read on to learn more about what these programs entail and what you'll learn. Schools offering Computer Forensics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Learn in an Online Associate's Degree Program in Cyber Security?

You can earn an online associate's degree in cyber security through a community college or through a trade or technical school. Some degrees are actually issued in related areas, such as criminal justice, with an available concentration in cyber security. Associate's degree programs will educate you in the basic installation and maintenance of secure information networks. You'll also learn how to run a system recovery in the event of a security risk, as well as learning the functions of cyber security for law enforcement and government officials.

Associate Degree TopicsSystem recovery, law enforcement, installation, maintenance
Bachelor's Degree TopicsOperating systems, database design, disaster recovery, wireless security
Master's Degree TopicsResearch methods, cryptography, system vulnerability analysis, legal compliance
Online ComponentsForum discussions, Blackboard, group chat
Median Salary (2018) $98,350 (for all information security analysts
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 28% growth (for all information security analysts

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

What Will I Learn in an Online Bachelor's Degree Program?

Online Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees are available in cyber security or in computer information systems with a cyber security concentration. Some programs offer specific concentrations within the general field of cyber security; examples include business, technology, government or systems administration. As a cyber security major, you'll become educated in the design, programming, troubleshooting and management of information networks, enabling you to protect them from immediate or future attacks.

You'll begin your undergraduate education with core foundational courses in computer hardware and software, networking administration, operating systems, database design and programming. Then you'll learn about concepts specific to information security, such as systems analysis, information assurance, network security protection, disaster recovery, cyber terrorism and wireless security. Business management courses are also included, and they teach you about project management, business ethics, operating systems technology and network communications.

What Will I Learn in an Online Master's Degree Program?

In order to gain admission to an online Master of Science (M.S.) degree program in cyber security, your bachelor's degree must generally be in cyber security or a related area. Some schools accept applications from students with bachelor's degrees in other areas, but pre-master's leveling coursework in networking and information technology may be required. Required coursework will teach you how to apply cyber security knowledge to forensic and national security operations, investigations or both.

You'll learn about the architecture and application of computer hardware, software and network security features, such as cryptography, access control, proxy hosts and secure information transmission. You'll also learn specific methods for maintaining information security and the steps to take when security has been compromised. Subjects you'll explore include system vulnerability analysis, network traffic screening, cyber terrorism, psychological profiling and computer forensics. Additionally, you'll take courses in cyber law, legal compliance and research methods.

How Do Online Programs Work?

Courses and course materials are transmitted fully online, generally through online teaching and learning platforms like WebCT or Blackboard. You can sign in at your convenience - provided you adhere to assignment due dates - and access or submit lectures, readings, homework and exams. Course delivery systems also have e-mail, message board and chat features, allowing you to ask questions or participate in class discussions, which is often mandatory.

You'll need reliable, high speed Internet, along with word processing and document viewing programs and some sort of media player plug-in. Due to the technical nature of cyber security course content, however, additional networking software may be required.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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