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Best Online Cyber Security Master’s Degree Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Mercy Ugonna Njoku - May 23, 2022


The field of cyber security requires experts who can apply their technical skills and professional experience in combating cyber threats that plague our global economy. If you want to be a highly skilled expert and advance your career, you should find the best online cyber security master’s degrees . Earning a Master’s Degree in Cyber Security gives you more than an income boost and multiple career options.

A Master’s Degree in Cyber Security gives you a chance to lead innovative advancements in online security. Our list of online cyber security master’s degree programs below provides you with a convenient and affordable way to do so. Keep reading to learn about their entry requirements, application processes, and tuition rates. This article also covers the best cyber security master’s degree jobs you can get after graduation.

Where Can I Get a Cyber Security Master’s Degree Online?

You can get an online cyber security master’s degree from accredited universities and four-year academic colleges offering online graduate degree programs in cyber security. Some of the best schools for online cyber security master’s degrees include Arizona State University, Drexel University, PennState World Campus, Southern New Hampshire University, and Syracuse University.

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What Schools Offer the Best Cyber Security Master’s Degrees?

  • Arizona State University
  • Drexel University
  • PennState World Campus
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Syracuse University

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Cyber Security Master’s Degree?

The admission requirements for an online cyber security master’s degree include a completed online application form, official transcripts, and a satisfactory GPA. Some schools require a Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), Graduate Record Examination (GRE), or English proficiency tests TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, and Duolingo are the most popular English proficiency tests for international students.

Your graduate school’s master’s program application form will include attachment fields for uploading documents, such as letters of recommendation, a letter of intent or statement of purpose, and a resume. Ensure these documents are well-crafted as they very much affect the admissions decision process.

Online Cyber Security Master’s Degree Admission Requirements

  • Completed online application
  • Official transcripts
  • Minimum GPA
  • Standardized test scores in GMAT or GRE (as required)
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) or resume (as required)
  • Letter of intent or statement of purpose (as required)
  • Letters of recommendation (as required)
  • English language proficiency test scores (as required for non-native speakers)

How to Get a Cyber Security Master’s Degree Online

You can get a cyber security master’s degree online by fulfilling all the necessary graduation requirements. Most online cyber security program durations range between 15 months and two years. During this time, enrolled online students are required to maintain a certain GPA and complete 36 to 45 credit hours to qualify for the degree.

Some schools extend their completion period to three or five years to accommodate busy part-time students. Some of the common degree requirements for online cyber security programs are listed below.

Cyber Security Degree Requirements

  • 3.0 GPA
  • 30 to 45 credit hours, including core courses and elective courses
  • 9 credit hours for concentration courses, as applicable
  • A completion exam, capstone project, or a research paper

Best Online Cyber Security Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Arizona State University Online Master of Computer Science – Cyber Security Higher Learning Commission
Drexel University Online Master’s Degree in Cyber Security Middle States Commission on Higher Education
The George Washington University Online Cybersecurity Master’s Degree – Cybersecurity Analytics Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Norwich University Online Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity New England Commission of Higher Education
Penn State World Campus Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Regent University Master of Science in Cyber Security Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Southern New Hampshire University Master’s in Cyber Security Online New England Commission of Higher Education
Syracuse University Online Master’s in Cyber Security Middle States Commission on Higher Education
The University of Texas at San Antonio Master of Science in IT, Cyber Security Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
University of Maryland Global Campus Online Master’s Degree in Cyber Security Technology Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Best Schools for Cyber Security: Top Online Cyber Security Master’s Degree Programs

Conducting an independent school search can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what factors to review. We detail below the top schools, their cyber security program offerings, tuition rates, and further data you need to make an informed decision.

1

Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ

Arizona State University has both international and national recognitions, especially in innovation and research. It was founded in 1886 with an enrollment of less than a hundred students. Today, it has over 40,000 undergraduate students enrolled in its programs. Its online school offers over 300 degrees, which can be completed on-campus or online.

Online Master of Computer Science - Cyber Security

This 30-credit hour program is fundamentally a Master’s in Computer Science but with a concentration in cyber security. In this specialization, students learn applied cryptography, computer and network security, computer forensics, and data and information security. Graduates of this program can work as cyber security engineers, systems managers, or cyber security risk analysts.

Online Master of Computer Science - Cyber Security Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $500/credit hour (resident), $500/credit hour (non-resident)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 4 semesters at 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 66%

Online Master of Computer Science - Cyber Security Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GMAT, GRE
  • Application Fee: $70
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Knowledge of programming languages and computer science-related topics, non-computer science graduate students can take the CS prerequisite and deficiency exam to satisfy prerequisites, Calculus and discrete math, official transcripts, statement of purpose or resume, proof of English language proficiency for international students

Applying to Arizona State University

  1. Review program requirements
  2. Complete the online application and pay the application fee
  3. Send your official transcripts to the university’s graduate degree admission services
  4. Submit other required documents, such as a resume or statement of purpose, or proof of English proficiency as needed

2

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University is a renowned private research institution that offers students access to over 150 certificate and degree programs through online and onsite learning formats. It was founded in 1891 by Anthony J. Drexel, who had a vision for an innovative and research-driven institution.

Online Master’s Degree in Cyber Security

This online cyber security master's degree at Drexel University is a 45-credit program. Here, you'll learn cyber security through core courses in security engineering, principles of cyber security, and information policy and ethics. It thus prepares technical students for careers in network security engineering, security analysis, and information security management.

Online Master’s Degree in Cyber Security Overview

  • Accreditation: Middles States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $1,342/credit
  • Required Credits: 45 credits
  • Program Length: 3 semesters at 15 credits per quarter
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 71%

Online Master’s Degree in Cyber Security Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts, two letters of recommendation (academic or professional), resume, personal essay, proof of English language proficiency, and English translation of documents and transcripts from World Education Services (for international students)

Applying to Drexel University

  1. Complete an online application
  2. Submit your official transcript, two letters of recommendation, resume, and personal essay
  3. Track your admission status
  4. Apply for financial aid
  5. Submit a deposit and Intent to Enroll form if you’re accepted for admissions

3

The George Washington University

Newport Beach, CA

George Washington University was established in 1821 through a US congress act. This accredited institution is one of the largest in Washington, DC with nearly 26,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states in the United States. Enrolled students have access to more than 120,000 internships in the White House, World Bank, and PWC.

Online Cybersecurity Master’s Degree - Cybersecurity Analytics

This online degree program requires students to earn 30 credit hours in key cyber security areas, such as network defense, cyber forensics, and cloud computing security. It also has courses on security data visualization and applied cyber data analytics. In a span of two years, this online program prepares students for information security analyst or manager roles.

Online Cybersecurity Master’s Degree - Cybersecurity Analytics Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $1,150/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 85%

Online Cybersecurity Master’s Degree - Cybersecurity Analytics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.7 or higher
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Computer Science, Physical Science, Mathematics, Information Technology, Business Administration, Economics, or related fields
  • Other Requirements: C grade or higher in a college-level calculus or statistics course, official transcripts, CV or resume, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation

Applying to The George Washington University

  1. Prepare the required documents, such as a statement of purpose, official transcript, resume, and recommendation letters
  2. Submit an online application, including your application documents
  3. Wait for the admissions decision

4

Norwich University

Northfield, VT

Founded in 1819, Norwich University is known to be one of the oldest military colleges in the United States. Presently, it has about 2,600 on-campus students and over 1,400 online students. More than 90 percent of its graduate students go into military, entrepreneurial, and government roles.

Online Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity

This online Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity equips students with the managerial and business skills needed to secure networks and information assets. This 36-credit program consists of six intensive courses. It prepares students through concentrations in project management, critical infrastructure protection, cyber crime, digital forensics, and vulnerability management.

Online Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $850/credit hour
  • Required Credits: 36 credit hours
  • Program Length: 18 months
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 57%

Online Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.75
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Official transcript, resume with three professional references, letter of intent, proof of English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, or prior degree’s English course) for non-native speakers

Applying to Norwich University

  1. Open a student account online
  2. Complete the application form
  3. Submit the required documents, such as an official transcript, resume with three professional references, and letter of intent
  4. Track the status of your acceptance, as you wait for the admissions decision

5

Pennsylvania State University - World Campus

University Park, PA

Pennsylvania State University - World Campus is one of the largest campus immersions in the school system of Pennsylvania State University. It was founded in 1998 as an online education academy to promote the advancement of novel knowledge and research. Through internal partnerships, it offers over 175 certificate and degree programs.

Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations

Penn State’s Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations master’s program offers an affordable 33-credit-hour program with courses including software security and cyber security analytics. Alongside this online master’s, you can boost your resume with a certificate in Information Systems Security. Cyber security analyst and vulnerability assessor are some of the careers you can get with this degree.

Master of Professional Studies‌ in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $950/credit; $11,398/semester
  • Required Credits: 33 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 73%

Master of Professional Studies‌ in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree in a technical or scientific discipline
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts, three references, resume, professional experience in network security and information technology, competence in statistics, proof of English proficiency for non-native speakers

Applying to Pennsylvania State University-World Campus

  1. Create a MyPennState profile in its online application portal
  2. Complete your online application form
  3. Submit your official school transcript, resume, and other required documents
  4. Check application status

6

Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA

Regent University is a private, Christian university. It was established in 1977, and now has more than 4,500 bachelor’s degree students. This accredited institution offers 150 study areas across all degree programs, including associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees . It’s considered one of the safest colleges in the state and ensures students have access to affordable tuition rates.

Master of Science in Cyber Security

This 30-credit program teaches students to design and implement efficient strategies in cyber security defense. It prepares students through core courses that focus on cyber security ethics, information systems security, among other diverse roles in various fields. It has three concentrations: cyber security practitioner, cyber security management, and cyber security policy.

Master of Science in Cyber Security Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $695/credit hour (part-time), $695/credit (full-time)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 5 semesters at 6 or 9 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 61%

Master in Cyber Security Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: High analytical and ethical proficiency, high security clearance, or a military member in-transit

Applying to Regent University

  1. Complete the online application
  2. Complete the online admissions questionnaire
  3. Submit your unofficial transcript. If given admission, you must then provide an official transcript
  4. Submit a photo of your government ID
  5. Wait for an admissions decision

7

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, NH

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) was founded in 1932 as a secretarial science and accounting college. At present, it has over 135,000 remote students and about 3,000 on-campus students. SNHU is a leader in online education with over 200 programs in a wide range of schools, including the School of Business, STEM, and the School of Liberal Arts.

Master’s in Cyber Security Online

The Master's Degree in Cyber Security is a 36-credit online degree that allows students to transfer up to 12 credits to another degree. This degree offers an IT management concentration. Aside from the core courses offered, students can boost their expertise through capstone projects in cyber security, technology competitions, and conferences.

Master’s in Cyber Security Online Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $627/credit (non-US service members); $470/credit (US service members)
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 6 semesters at 6 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 37%

Master’s in Cyber Security Online Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.75
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Transcript release form, graduate attestation form

Applying to Southern New Hampshire University

  1. Complete an online application form
  2. Submit an undergraduate transcript request and other required documents
  3. Track your admissions status
  4. Review your financial options by consulting SNHU admissions

8

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY

Syracuse University was founded in 1870 as a private research university. It currently has 14 academic schools and colleges. The university offers over 300 majors and minors in a wide range of online courses to over 22,000 students.

Online Master’s in Cyber Security

The Online Master's Degree in Cyber Security program is a popular choice for military personnel and veterans. Its 30-credit curriculum is offered through weekly live classes that can be completed within 15 months. Its core courses include computer security, assurance foundations, internet security, principles of operating systems, and design and analysis of algorithms.

Online Master’s in Cyber Security Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $1,734/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 15 months
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 83%

Online Master’s in Cyber Security Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 or higher
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $45 (priority deadline), $75 (final deadline)
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Cyber Security, or related field
  • Other Requirements: Preparatory courses are required for those with no technical background

Applying to Syracuse University

  1. Submit an online application
  2. Pay the fees
  3. Provide admission requirement documentation, such as official transcripts, professional resume, letters of recommendation, and personal statement
  4. Wait for admissions to contact you

9

The University of Texas at San Antonio Alvarez College of Business

San Antonio, TX

The University of Texas at San Antonio was founded in 1969 by Mexican-Americans who wanted to create a multicultural environment that promoted research and academic achievement. Out of nearly 35,000 student enrollments, one in five graduates go on to study for a degree in graduate school. Currently, there are 96 graduate programs and 71 undergraduate degree programs for online and on-campus students.

Master of Science in IT, Cyber Security

This MS in Information Technology, with a focus on cyber security, is offered by the Alvarez College of Business. This 33-credit-hour degree has core courses in computer forensics, data mining, incident response, network designs, and risk analysis. Graduates have gone on to work for major companies such as Accenture, Apple, Boeing, Chevron, Google, and Target.

Master of Science in Information Technology, Cyber Security Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Tuition: $1,725.18/3 hours (Resident); $4,716/3 hours (Non-resident)
  • Required Credits: 33 credits
  • Program Length: 2 semesters at 16-17 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online, classroom options
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 46%

Master of Science in Information Technology, Cyber Security Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirements
  • Standardized Tests: GRE, GMAT
  • Application Fee: $50 (Domestic), $90 (International)
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Information Systems or Computer Science
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts, resume or CV, letter of intent, letters of recommendation, evaluation of foreign credentials at the Foreign Credentials Service of America and submission of TOEFL/IELTS scores

Applying to The University of Texas at San Antonio Alvarez College of Business

  1. Complete an online application form
  2. Pay your application fee
  3. Upload the required document, such as recommendation letters, resume, official transcript, and statement of purpose
  4. Wait for the admissions decision

10

University of Maryland Global Campus

Adelphi, MD

University of Maryland Global Campus was founded more than 70 years ago for continuing education. It ensures adults have access to its 90+ affordable and flexible online programs and career services in its 170 service locations and online classrooms.

Online Master’s Degree in Cyber Security Technology

The core courses offered in this program are in cyberspace and cyber security foundations, prevention of cyberattacks methodologies, and digital forensics technology. It also teaches advanced cyber exploitation and mitigation methodologies. The 36-credit-hour program in cyber security ends with a capstone project, which must be fulfilled within five years of enrollment.

Online Master’s Degree in Cyber Security Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $694/credit (in-state and out of state); $480/credit (military)
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 6 quarters at 6 credits per quarter
  • Learning Format: 100% online, or select hybrid courses
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 18%

Online Master’s Degree in Cyber Security Technology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree with a background in computer networks, information technology, and databases
  • Other Requirements: A prospective student with no technical knowledge should complete non-credit courses in basic information technology, must submit a UMGC-issued Attestation Form to certify high school completion

Applying to the University of Maryland Global Campus

  1. Review the entire program requirement
  2. Complete an online application
  3. Submit the admission requirements, such as the bachelor’s degree transcript or proof of English proficiency
  4. Track your admission status

What Is an Online Cyber Security Master’s Degree?

An online cyber security master’s degree is a one or two-year graduate degree, typically pursued after the completion of a bachelor’s degree. It’s awarded to students who have completed the academic requirements for an advanced cyber security curriculum. In an online cyber security program, students are provided digital learning resources and are allowed to complete independent projects.

You’ll be expected to complete 30 to 45 credits within the one or two-year period, all of which will determine your graduation. In most cases, your degree will require nine credits or more in a cyber security concentration. Generally, students are awarded a Master of Arts, Master of Science, or Master of Business Administration degree.

Online vs In-Person Cyber Security Degrees

The difference between an online cyber security degree and an in-person cyber security degree is the way they are acquired. In an online cyber security degree program, you don’t have to attend classes on campus. All your studies and assignments can be completed through e-learning platforms from anywhere. Some classes are offered through webinars, and others are prerecorded.

On-campus programs require the physical presence of the student and occasional participation in hands-on group exercises. Both the online and in-person cyber security degree programs have their advantages. Some of which have been highlighted below.

Top 5 Benefits of an Online Master’s Degree in Cyber Security

  • Study space autonomy. While you might miss out on the whole college experience with an online program, you gain autonomy over your study environment and work conditions. You can pick where, how, and when to study.
  • Less class time. Working professionals trying to switch careers or advance their current position usually take online programs. As a result, most schools make real-time class attendance as minimal as possible. You may attend virtual class once or twice a week, giving you ample time to focus on other commitments.
  • More student support. More virtual learning resources are usually offered to make up for the absence of in-person services. Students can always receive immediate face-time and chat responses from a faculty advisor, course counselor, or career coach, boosting their learning experience.
  • Flexible program length. You won’t be forced to finish the program in two years. Some schools provide extensions easily for remote learners, especially for those students enrolled in part-time programs. You can spend as long as three to five years completing a program, especially if you enroll in the schools listed in this article.
  • Cost-effective. The cost of online education isn’t as much as that of on-campus education. Costs such as accommodation, transportation, or books can be significantly reduced or avoided in an online program.

Top 5 Benefits of an In-Person Master’s Degree in Cyber Security

  • Guided hands-on applications. There are more opportunities for hands-on exercises and lab projects in a campus program. These in-person activities make it easier for the student to develop the practical skills needed in the real world.
  • Shorter program length. Most in-person programs are attended by full-time students. Full-time academic programs can have more classes, shorter course lengths, and more opportunities to complete more credit hours per semester. All of this could lead to full-time students finishing earlier than the online students.
  • Opportunity for collaboration. In an on-site program, you have access to other graduate students within and outside your school. This allows you to collaborate better on class subjects or network with other professionals in line with your career goals.
  • Direct access to student services. You don’t have to deal with the time gaps that remote students enrolled in an online cyber security program face. With an in-person program, you can easily meet the academic advisors or instructors when you need to.
  • Full college experience. College can offer a wholesome experience. It’s an opportunity to explore a new location, new culture, new people, new facilities, and local attractions.

What Types of Online Master’s Degrees Can You Get in Cyber Security?

The types of online Master’s Degrees in Cyber Security that you can earn are a Master of Arts (MA), a Master of Science (MS), or a Master of Business Administration (MBA). An MA Degree in Cyber Security typically delves into using security for diplomatic relations and government intelligence and is offered by a School of Arts and Humanities.

In contrast, an MS degree in cyber security focuses more on the hard science or technical side of cyber security and is usually offered by a College of Engineering or College of Technology. The Master of Business Administration is a professional degree for those enrolled in a business school with a cyber security concentration.

Is It Better to Get a Master of Business Administration or Master of Science in Cyber Security?

It’s better to get an online Master of Science in Cyber Security vs a Master of Business Administration in Cyber Security. An MS postgraduate degree typically equips students with scientific knowledge and technical skills in cyber security. As such, it’s more suited to the nature of technical training that a cyber security professional needs for solving highly technical problems.

A Master of Business Administration focuses more on theoretical knowledge. It teaches students more skills such as leadership, decision-making, research, and management. It’s less focused on the hands-on application of technical areas like programming and product development, which is the reality of the cyber security field.

How Much Does a Cyber Security Master’s Degree Cost?

An online cyber security master’s degree program costs an average of $12,171 for tuition at a public institution, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Those who choose to enroll in nonprofit private schools pay an average of $27,776 per year, while for-profit private universities cost an average of $14,208 per year.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Cyber Security Master’s Degree Online?

It takes two years to get a cyber security master’s degree online. Within these years, you’ll be required to complete 30 to 45 credit hours within an average of two to four semesters. In each semester, you must complete six to 15 credit hours before progressing to another semester. Some schools allow you to complete your degree in as little as 15 months and as much as five years, depending on your preference and availability.

Are Online Cyber Security Degrees Respected?

Yes, online cyber security degrees are respected. More students are turning to distance learning because of its ease and comfort, and the ability to optimize productivity. Furthermore, accredited universities and colleges now offer online programs. With the recent move to more technology-based remote work environments, students who studied online could have an advantage in remote work opportunities compared to students who studied in-person programs.

Is Cyber Security Hard to Learn Online?

No, cyber security is not hard to learn online. It might seem challenging at first. However, if you already have the technical background, discipline, and passion to learn, it won’t seem all that difficult. To optimize your learning experience, you should ensure your workspace is designed for ergonomics and that you have access to an active cyber security community .

Cyber Security Bootcamp vs Online Cyber Security Master’s Degree: Which Is Better?

An online cyber security master’s degree program is better than a cyber security bootcamp if you want to develop the concepts and technical knowledge from your bachelor’s degree. However, if you’re a beginner who wants a high-paying cyber security job and needs to build hands-on skills to enter the job market as soon as possible, a cyber security bootcamp is ideal. Both pathways have their benefits, a few of which are listed below.

Top 5 Benefits of an Online Cyber Security Master’s Degree

  • Industry recognition. An advanced degree in a lucrative field like cyber security gets you a good amount of professional leverage. Master’s degree programs expose students with technical and cyber security backgrounds to advanced concepts in this field. It transforms them into professionals ready to proffer innovative solutions.
  • Broader job options. Both large and small-scale companies actively seek competent cyber security candidates. Employers want professionals who can contribute innovative solutions to their data protection strategy and systems. With this degree, you too will become a highly sought-after professional and will have your pick of employers.
  • High annual salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, master’s degree holders have a higher earning potential than professionals with bachelor’s degrees. A Master’s Degree in Cyber Security enables you to negotiate an annual salary of over $80,000. Cyber security experts are scarce, so you can earn this much without prior work experience.
  • Broader specialization opportunities. Most university programs ensure you’re not limited to one career path, as they provide cyber security concentration options to students. Some of the fields you can specialize in include cyber security management and vulnerability assessment.
  • Flexible scheduling. A course can span for up to three months, giving you ample time to prepare or pay for the next course. Most schools allow you to define your course schedule or they provide you with one that’s fitting to your schedule. You can also transfer your credits to another program.

Top 5 Benefits of a Cyber Security Bootcamp

  • Fast pace. If you’re looking to quickly break into the cyber security field, a cyber security bootcamp can help you achieve that in as short as three months. Most cyber security bootcamps last for a few months to one year. During this time, they provide students with the technical and soft skills necessary for a successful cyber security career.
  • Focused and hands-on experience. A cyber security bootcamp curriculum covers only courses on cyber security. This allows you to hyperfocus on building the in-demand skills you need for a job in cyber security. The curriculum usually contains an introduction to cyber security technologies, hands-on experience, and guided projects with peer groups.
  • Affordable tuition. A coding bootcamp is considerably cheaper than a master’s degree program. The average coding bootcamp tuition rate ranges between $5,000 and $20,000 . Payment options are also available to students with financial needs, including deferred tuition plans and scholarships.
  • Beginner-friendly. Several bootcamps offer free and paid introductory cyber security courses for students with little or no technical backgrounds. They methodically familiarize the student with technical concepts. Most classes start with a course overview before students progress to hands-on exercises.
  • Career placement services. Coding bootcamps offer a wide range of career services. A good portion of the program helps students build soft skills that make finding and landing a job easier. Some of the career services available to students include resume building and critique, interview training, portfolio review, and employer networking opportunities.

Why You Should Get a Cyber Security Master’s Degree Online

Getting a cyber security master’s degree online offers you convenience and autonomy over your study environment and learning outcome. You also have more access to student support services and course advisors, as you connect with them in real-time. The program length and schedule restrictions in on-campus academic programs are not as rigid as in online programs.

Online study reduces your financial burden since transportation, boarding, and other miscellaneous fees will be eliminated. It helps you build essential soft skills like time management and organization, as you’re personally in charge of boosting your motivation and organizing your schedule and workspace.

What Courses Do You Take in an Online Master’s Degree Program in Cyber Security?

The courses you take in an online master’s degree program in cyber security are those that introduce you to advanced concepts in computer systems and networks. You’ll also take online classes on cyber threats and crimes and emerging technologies. Below are some of the best cyber security courses you will likely find in a Master’s Degree in Cyber Security program.

Applied Cryptography

Cryptography involves unraveling encrypted messages written in codes meant to be understood by the sender and the receiver. Studying applied cryptography helps you understand how best to secure, authenticate, or manage large amounts of digital data. Students with a background in mathematics and computer science may find concepts in this course easier to understand.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is an emerging innovation in the tech industry. This discipline helps students explore the capabilities of computer systems and machines in designing and developing self-directing systems that can aid humans in performing tasks. Through this course, students can learn how to build secure systems that can identify and resolve cyber security threats.

Computer Security

This course covers information, systems, and network security in computers. Students learn how to protect the computer from unauthorized access by implementing vulnerability assessment, incident response, and access controls. They also learn how to apply security measures in application development.

Information Technology

Information technology involves the study of operating systems, databases, and communication networks and how they are designed, used, and maintained. Information technology is a core course in cyber security because it helps students understand the entire computer system. This helps them know infrastructural make-up before security can be implemented.

Information Assurance

Information assurance is concerned with ensuring the authenticity, availability, and integrity of data. It’s closely related to risk management as students learn how to identify and manage risks associated with accessing, transmitting, and storing data. Students learn terms like data protection and user-level authentication in this course.

Continuing Education Paths for Online Cyber Security Master’s Degree Graduates

After your master’s degree, you can pursue continuing education in the form of a doctoral degree in cyber security or earn a certification. A PhD in Cyber Security will prepare you to lead innovative research and inventions in ‌the cybersecurity field. You could also pursue a professional certification with global providers, such as (ISC)² , CompTIA , or EC-Council to specialize and build professional leverage.

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What to Look For in the Best Cyber Security Master’s Degree Programs

The things you should look for in the best cyber security master’s degree programs include program reputation, curricula content, barriers to admission, funding, and career services. These factors improve your overall learning experience and make it easier for you to find good-paying jobs after graduation. As such, ensure your school search considers the factors listed below.

Barriers to Admission

A high application fee isn’t the only deterring factor to consider when reviewing master’s degree programs. If you have no technical background or you’re an international student, some schools could reject you. You may need to spend more money to build your foundational knowledge of computer science or information technology or gain proof of English proficiency in order to be accepted.

Program and School Reputation

Before choosing among universities for a master’s degree, a prospective student should find out the school and program’s reputation in their desired field. Academic awards and recognitions, research and innovations, retention rates, funding availability, and employment outcomes determine the program’s competence level. If these factors are present, chances are the program can provide you with a good learning experience.

Curricula Content

Ensure that the program’s curriculum is diverse and aligns with your learning and career goals. It should have topics that can help you build in-demand market skills. Based on Statista’s five-year projections in 2021, skills in application development security, cloud security, risk management are the top three fastest-growing cyber security skills .

Cost and Availability of Funding

Whether you’re planning to enroll in a full-time or part-time cyber security master’s program, ‌ensure you can comfortably afford your tuition and program fees. Stressing about the cost of your education should not affect your academic performance and completion. Find out if the school offers financial aid and how much of your tuition and fees the aid can cover.

Career Services

Availability of tailored career services makes it easier for you to break into your preferred industry after graduation. Some schools provide students access to employer databases and job boards. Some organize networking events and career fairs to help students build job and career connections. Others ensure students build professional resumes and portfolios and receive interview training.

What Is the Most Affordable Online Cyber Security Master’s Degree?

The most affordable online cyber security master’s degree is from Arizona State University. This online program only costs $500 per credit hour. This means that a 30-credit hour program costs $15,000 in total.

Can I Get a Cyber Security Master’s Degree Online for Free?

No, you cannot get a cyber security master’s degree online for free. However, many schools provide prospective students access to full and partial Master in Cyber Security scholarships . You may also explore other financing options to reduce the stress of funding an advanced degree.

If you can’t afford the cost of financing an advanced degree, you should apply for federal grants or check out online platforms that offer free cyber security courses. Some of the platforms to start with include standalone MOOCs and edX .

Salary and Job Outlook for Online Cyber Security Master’s Degree Graduates

A laptop screen displaying a live webinar.  Online Cyber Security Master's Degrees
Build a lucrative career by protecting computers, systems, and networks with a flexible and affordable online degree in cyber security.

Before you apply for your online cyber security master’s degree, you should know what pay scale and career outlook await you in this field. Fortunately, the cyber security field is lucrative, and the opportunities available for professionals are extensive. Below is information on top cyber security master’s degree jobs and their expected salary ranges.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Cyber Security Master’s Degree?

It’s not hard to get a job with a cyber security master’s degree. According to the 2021 survey by Statista, on a global scale, companies are experiencing a deficiency of cyber security personnel , especially in areas such as cloud computing, security analysis and investigation, and application security.

Obtaining an advanced degree in cyber security makes it easier for you to access these opportunities. As an online student in a cyber security master’s program, the quality of education and career services you’ll receive will make it easy to secure a job, even a high-paying one, as soon as you graduate.

What’s the Average Online Cyber Security Master’s Degree Salary?

The average salary for someone with a Master’s Degree in Cyber Security is $89,000 a year, according to PayScale. More than 40 percent of cyber security professionals earning this range are still in their early careers, and about 28 percent are at the mid-career level. The yearly salary amount may vary depending on the actual role.

What Jobs Can You Get With an Online Cyber Security Master’s Degree?

The jobs you can get with an online cyber security master’s degree are application security engineer, cyber security machine learning engineer, and information security manager. Aside from becoming a cyber security engineer , you can also be a cloud security solutions architect or network security architect. You can even be an apprentice to chief information security officers.

Cyber Security Degree Jobs

  • Application security engineer
  • Cloud security solutions architect
  • Cyber security machine learning engineer
  • Information security manager
  • Network security architect

Potential Careers With an Online Cyber Security Degree

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How Much Money Can You Make With an Online Cyber Security Master’s Degree?

You can make between $97,000 and $129,000 a year with an online cyber security master’s degree. However, your options are not limited to this salary range. Your actual income will depend on a range of factors, including location, experience level, job title, skills, and company.

Those who choose to work for top companies can expect bonuses, overtime pay, and tips, which can substantially boost their overall earnings. Those who become entrepreneurs in this industry may also benefit from high earnings based on the scope of their venture. Some of the highest-paying jobs for cyber security master’s degree holders are listed below.

Highest-Paying Online Cyber Security Master’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Cyber Security Master’s Degree Jobs Average Salary
Cloud Security Solutions Architect $129,630
Network Security Architect $126,166
Information Security Manager $119,336
Cyber Security Machine Learning Engineer $112,513
Application Security Engineer $97,684

Best Jobs for Online Cyber Security Master’s Degree Grads

The best jobs for cyber security master’s degree grads are those that provide opportunities for them to hone their critical thinking and analytical skills. These cyber security master’s degree jobs must also develop them for advancing their career. Below are some of the most popular specialized roles for cyber security master’s degree holders.

1

Cloud Security Solutions Architect

Average Salary: $129,630

A cloud security solutions architect has advanced skills in cloud computing and cyber security. They define and oversee the design and management of security in cloud infrastructure and applications. The cloud security solutions architect ensures that the company’s systems, network, and data resources are effective, scalable, and ultimately, secure.

2

Network Security Architect

Average Salary: $126,166

A network security architect defines, designs, and oversees the implementation of network application development and network security solutions. Their scope includes protecting computer networks and data systems from exposure to a range of cyber threats. They also prevent data breaches and cyber attacks from malware, phishing, virus, spyware, or ransomware.

3

Information Security Manager

Average Salary: $119,336

An information security manager defines and oversees the implementation of cyber security measures to detect vulnerabilities. They also lead in preventing systems, data, and network security breaches in the organization. They usually have hands-on experience in vulnerability assessment, cyber security, and information assurance.

4

Cyber Security Machine Learning Engineer

Average Salary: $112,513

A cyber security machine learning engineer uses artificial intelligence to design and build security around self-running systems and devices that operate based on predictive models. They write and rewrite codes and programs to safeguard data structures and algorithms that direct the actions of the software application or system.

5

Application Security Engineer

Average Salary: $97,684

An application security engineer is a professional who ensures that all hardware and software applications in an organization are protected from all forms of compromise. The application security engineer designs and implements security best practices throughout the development and deployment of hardware and software applications.

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Is an Online Cyber Security Master’s Degree Worth It?

Yes, an online cyber security master’s degree is worth it if you envision yourself in a career dedicated to protecting people and organizations from threats in the digital world. According to Statista’s 2021 survey, there is a global supply shortage for qualified cybersecurity professionals to combat cyber security issues.

Choosing to pursue this degree allows you to reduce that shortage and contribute to national security and organizational security. Also, the cyber security field is predicted to grow to $345.4 billion by 2026, according to Statista. Venturing into this field with a master’s degree boosts your earning potential and increases your access to top careers in cyber security.

Additional Reading About Cyber Security

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Online Cyber Security Master’s Degree FAQ

Which master’s degree is best for cyber security?

The best cyber security master’s degrees are programs that have a cyber security concentration. This will assure you that you will heavily learn about cyber security as a field. With a cyber security concentration, you can specialize in information security management or emerging fields like artificial intelligence.

Is a Master’s Degree in Cyber Security hard?

No, a Master’s Degree in Cyber Security is not hard if you’re driven and passionate about making a positive difference in the field. Most schools demand that a prospective student undergoes training in programming, computer networks, and operating systems to ease into intense topics.

How do I start a cyber security job with no experience?

To secure a job in cyber security with no work experience, you have to build adequate academic knowledge and hands-on experience. Start by enrolling in a cyber security degree or certificate program. The curricula for these educational paths are usually designed with hands-on exercises to help current students quickly land roles in the industry even without prior work experience.

Does cyber security require coding?

No, cyber security does not necessarily require coding. However, while it might not be a major requirement for entry-level cyber security jobs , knowing coding is essential if you’re interested in positioning yourself as a versatile tech professional. Also, most degree programs in cyber security give preference to students with programming skills.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Mercy Ugonna Njoku

About the author: Mercy has a background in accounting and is a veteran content writer who holds a BSc in Business Management from Abia State University. In her writing, Mercy helps people navigate unfamiliar and complex situations in their professional lives so they can thrive. Her hobbies include drawing, working on startup projects, and engaging in discussions.

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