Online Cyber Security Degree Programs

Online cyber security programs teach students how to identify, prevent, and combat attacks on computers, software, and web-based applications. These programs may benefit individuals who are interested in computers, detail-oriented and effective problem solvers with strong customer service, leadership, and analytical skills. Online cyber security degrees are available at the associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels, and select schools may offer a certificate option.

Graduates of cyber security programs may seek employment in computer system design, network security, software, or homeland security. Graduates may find careers as information technologists, cyber security analysts, architects, or engineers.

Available Degree Levels

  • Certificate: One to two years to complete
  • Associate Degree: Two years to complete
  • Bachelor’s Degree: Four years to complete
  • Master’s Degree: One to two years to complete
  • Doctoral Degree: Three to five years to complete

Online certificate programs in cyber security are typically graduate-level programs geared towards individuals who would like to improve their skills and expertise in the field. Select certificate programs may focus on developing an individual’s leadership and business skills, giving them the technical skills needed to seek managerial or upper-level positions. Coursework may include cyber security policy and technology, foundations of cyber security, homeland security management, and information assurance.

Associate-level programs in cyber security are designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in the field. These programs blend general education requirements with cyber security courses, such as network security, hardening the infrastructure, and computer concepts. Students may gain a strong foundation in several areas of cyber security, including computer security and information assurance concepts. Upon completion of these associate degree programs, students may understand how to detect computer security threats and implement computer network security defenses.

An online bachelor’s degree in cyber security teaches students how to configure security software and technologies and establish organizational security policies. Additionally, students may have the tools to provide protection and database recovery for businesses, test new security software, and ensure the overall protection of a company or individual’s information. Curriculum for these programs often combines general education coursework with science-based classes and major-specific courses, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems, implementation of security policies, and disaster recovery for operating systems.

Master’s-level degree programs in cyber security are designed to provide advanced training and knowledge in various aspects of cyber security, including the prevention and detection of cyber threats. These programs touch on topics in information technology and information assurance, and coursework may include cyberspace and cyber security, cyber and crime investigation, and digital forensics. Select programs may have dual degree options, allowing students to earn a graduate degree in cyber security in conjunction with a degree in another field, such as business administration or information technology.

Doctoral-level programs in cyber security may be administered through a school’s computer science or engineering department, allowing students to specialize their studies in cyber security. These programs may enable students to conduct in-depth research in various aspects of cyber security, including computer architecture, software security, and advanced system security design.

Career Options

Graduates of cyber security degree and certificate programs may have the technical skills and knowledge to combat web-based attacks on computer infrastructures, develop cutting-edge network security programs, and ensure all information is protected. They may also use their knowledge of computer science, software, and cyber security to develop defenses against potential attacks. Upon completion of these programs, individuals may choose to work in telecommunications, finance, computer design firms, or in managerial positions for various companies.

Possible career fields include:

  • Cyber Security Engineer
  • Chief Security Officer
  • Information Technologist
  • Cyber Operations Planner
  • Cyber Security Architect

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