Best Cyber Security Schools in the USA
Cyber security degrees exist at multiple levels of the postsecondary system, from associate's to master's. Learn which schools offer the best programs and what you might be able to do with a cyber security degree.
Ready to pursue your career as a cyber security expert? As a 'white hat' hacker, you'd be helping companies, organizations or individuals protect their networks from malicious attacks. But it starts with getting the right education. Programs commonly exist at the bachelor's level and feature coursework designed to teach students to identify and prevent threats, build secure networks and conduct investigations into breaches. Some offer specializations that touch on other areas like information technology and criminal justice.
What Are the Best Cyber Security Programs at the Undergraduate Level?
While there are some associate's degrees in cyber security, we will focus on bachelor's programs for two reasons -- most 2-year degrees in this field are designed to prepare students for a 4-year degree and most entry-level jobs in cyber security require at least a bachelor's degree. Several schools stood out in our research:
- George Mason University (tied 33rd on U.S. News & World Report's list of most innovative schools for 2020) has a Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security Engineering program
- Stevens Institute of Technology was ranked 7th in the country for Best Career Placement by Princeton Review in 2019 and boasts a bachelor's degree program in cyber security
- Utica College has been named a National Center for Academic Excellence by three different government security agencies and offers an undergraduate degree in cyber security
What About the Best Schools for Cyber Security Graduate Degrees?
Lots of schools across the country have been recognized by government security agencies or have highly ranked programs in cyber security. Here are a few of them:
- Johns Hopkins University has been designated a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance by the National Security Agency and offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity and a Master of Science in Security Informatics (MSSI)
- Washington University in St. Louis came in at number 19 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best universities nationwide for 2020 and has an MS in Cybersecurity Engineering program
- Georgia Institute of Technology, which boasts the third best information and technology management program in the country for 2019 according to U.S. News and World Report has Master of Science in Cybersecurity program
Are There Good Online Programs in Cyber Security?
Yes! Because of the nature of the field (which concerns itself with networks and the internet), online degrees in cyber security are incredibly common. Here are some of the best:
- Champlain College was designated by the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center as a National Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence and has a 100% online Bachelor of Science in Computer Forensics & Digital Investigations program
- Arizona State University has a highly regarded Applied Computing (Cybersecurity) Bachelor of Science degree program
- University of Maryland University College has three highly ranked bachelor's degree programs in cyber security, specifically computer networks and cybersecurity, cybersecurity management and policy, and software development and security
What Can You Do With a Degree in Cyber Security?
Gerald Willard, the senior technical leader at the National Security Agency famously said, 'The only security we've actually achieved in cybersecurity is job security.' According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of information security analysts is expected to grow by an astronomical 32% between 2018 and 2028 thanks to ever-increasing cyber crime threats. The field is growing wider, too -- students who graduate with a degree in cyber security can choose from a wide range of career paths, including the following positions:
- Information systems security engineer
- Network security analyst
- Chief information security officer (CISO)
- Penetration tester
- Malware expert