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Best Online Doctorates in Cyber Security: Top PhD Programs, Career Paths, and Salary

Joseph Taglavore - June 12, 2022


To earn the best online PhD in Cyber Security, a student must first demonstrate their academic skills in a master’s program or an advanced bachelor’s degree in cyber security . If you already have that degree, and want to know what the best online PhD in Cyber Security is, then this article is for you.

This guide to the top online PhD in Cyber Security programs discusses the best schools where you can get a cyber security PhD online, how to successfully enroll in these programs and complete your degree, and the highest-paying cyber security jobs PhD graduates can get.

Can You Get a PhD in Cyber Security Online?

You can absolutely get a PhD in Cyber Security online. Many PhD programs require a residency component in order to fulfill dissertation requirements and complete any teaching hours that are mandatory for certain degrees.

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Thankfully, several schools offer students a chance to complete their doctorate entirely online with no residency requirements, while some offer limited residency requirements and online classes throughout most of the year.

Is an Online PhD Respected?

Yes, an online PhD is just as respected as any other degree. Doctoral programs, by nature, are extended post-graduate programs that take years to complete. In the past, students would work on these programs part time and submit their work via mail or attend cyber security courses on a more varied schedule than traditional classes.

The only difference between now and then is how students submit their work and access course textbooks and resources. Hence, online degrees are respected as much as traditional ones by employers in the tech industry.

What Is the Best Online PhD Program in Cyber Security?

The best online PhD program in cyber security is Arizona State University’s Computer Science (cyber security) PhD program. This program is 100 percent online and has no residency requirements.

Moreover, the program can be completed in as little as three years and can take as long as 10 years. It is designed to match students’ needs no matter how long they want to spend earning their PhD.

Why Arizona State University Has the Best Online PhD Program in Cyber Security

Besides being 100 percent online with no residency requirements, Arizona State University is the best choice because of its focus on research, dissertation preparation, and understanding of cutting-edge trends in cyber security.

This program is extremely flexible, robust, and convenient, and its online nature allows it to be one of the more affordable options on the list at less than $12,000 per academic year.

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Online PhD in Cyber Security Admission Requirements

The admission requirements for an online PhD in Cyber Security include submitting essays, having previous academic success, providing letters of recommendation, and meeting certain GPA requirements.

To ensure your successful admission into the program, be prepared to have at least two letters of recommendation, a cumulative GPA above 3.0, a Bachelor’s Degree in Cyber Security or a related field like computer science, have at least a B grade in all computer science and related classes, and submit a resume with three to five years of relevant professional experience.

Online PhD in Cyber Security Admission Requirements

  • Cumulative GPA above 3.0 or higher
  • A B grade in all computer science or related classes
  • At least two letters of recommendation
  • Three to five years of relevant work experience required with a resume
  • An essay or letter of intent
  • A bachelor’s degree in cyber security or related field like computer science

Best Online PhDs in Cyber Security: Top Degree Program Details

School Program Estimated Length
Arizona State University Computer Science (Cybersecurity), PhD 3.5 to 10 years
Capitol Technology University Doctorate (DSc) in Cybersecurity 3 to 4 years
Colorado Technical University Online Doctorate in Cybersecurity: Doctor of Computer Science – Cybersecurity and Information Assurance 3 years
Dakota State University Doctor of Philosophy in Cyber Defense (PHDCD) 3 to 7 years
George Washington University Online Doctor of Engineering in Cybersecurity Analytics 2 years
Marymount University Doctorate (DSc) in Cybersecurity 1.5 to 3 years depending on previous degrees obtained
New Jersey City University Doctor Of Science (DSc) in Civil Security Leadership, Management & Policy 2 to 3 years
Northcentral University Cybersecurity, PhD-TM 50 months or 4 years
Northeastern University Cybersecurity, PhD 2 to 5 years
Nova Southeastern University PhD in Cybersecurity Management 3 to 5 years

Best Online PhDs in Cyber Security: Top University Programs to Get a PhD in Cyber Security Online

The best online PhDs in Cyber Security are from accredited, reputable institutions. Some of the schools that offer these programs can be found in the list below and include Colorado Technical University, Marymount University, and Nova Southeastern University. Below you’ll find a description of several PhD programs, their accreditation status, tuition rate, and admissions requirements that contribute to the ranking of these top schools.

1

Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ

Arizona State University is one of the most well-known online universities and allows students to pursue a doctoral program wherever they are. Arizona State University is fully online and forgoes the traditional residency requirements that many online doctoral programs still have.

Computer Science (Cybersecurity), PhD

Arizona State University’s Computer Science (Cybersecurity) PhD is a fully online cyber security program that focuses on three key areas: gaining knowledge, testing knowledge, and the creation and defense of a dissertation. The program lasts between three and 10 years and is designed for students to complete on their schedule.

Computer Science (Cybersecurity), PhD Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Program Length: 3.5 to 10  years
  • Acceptance Rate: Not specified
  • Tuition and Fees: Graduate tuition of $11,720 per semester and a $70 application fee

Computer Science (Cybersecurity), PhD Admission Requirements

  • Official transcripts with a GPA of 3.5 minimum
  • Three letters of recommendation, a personal statement of purpose, and a resume or any previous educational certifications must be submitted
  • GRE scores are optional but recommended
  • Completion of the following core courses within the past two years with a 3.0 minimum GPA: CSE 230 Computer Organization and Assembly Language Programming, CSE 310 Data Structures and Algorithms, CSE 330 Operating Systems, and CSE 340 Principles of Programming Languages or CSE 355 Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science
2

Capitol Technology University

Washington, DC

Located in Washington DC, Capitol Technology University offers prospective students an exciting opportunity to learn in a hybrid format. Due to its hybrid nature, Capitol Technology University is a great option for students pursuing a more limited residency component while focusing on the majority of their doctorates online.

Doctorate (DSc) in Cybersecurity

Consisting of between 54 and 66 total credits, Capitol Technology University’s Doctorate (DSc) in Cybersecurity is a great option for those who want to stretch their research muscles. With a focus on research and a minimal residency requirement, Capitol Technology University gives students the more traditional PhD experience while maintaining a mostly online curriculum.

Doctorate (DSc) in Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Program Length: 3 to 4 years
  • Acceptance Rate: Not specified
  • Tuition and Fees: $933 cost per credit charge and a $100 application fee

Doctorate (DSc) in Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

  • A master’s degree in a relevant field such as computer science, cyber crime, or systems engineering
  • A resume (Microsoft Word or PDF format) that showcases at least five years of related work experience in technology or cyber security
  • An essay on how you would add to or advance the field of information assurance and cyber security professionally
  • Online application
  • Sealed transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions attended
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • $100 application fee
  • If selected, you will participate in an admissions interview
3

Colorado Technical University

Colorado Springs, CO

Founded in 1965, Colorado Technical University has helped online students since the online school opened in 1995. With a focus on research and ensuring doctorate students achieve a well-rounded education, Colorado Technical University is an excellent choice for a flexible doctorate program.

Online Doctorate in Cybersecurity: Doctor of Computer Science - Cybersecurity and Information Assurance

Colorado Technical University’s online cyber security doctorate consists of a whopping 100 total credit hours, making it one of the most robust doctorate programs.

Out of the 100 credit hours, the program focuses on three key areas: doctoral research and dissertation preparation, current knowledge in cyber security and computer science , and 40 credit hours dedicated to a student’s specific specialization.

Online Doctorate in Cybersecurity: Doctor of Computer Science - Cybersecurity and Information Assurance

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Program Length: 3 years
  • Acceptance Rate: Not listed for doctoral students
  • Tuition and Fees: $598 cost per credit charge

Online Doctorate in Cybersecurity: Doctor of Computer Science - Cybersecurity and Information Assurance Admission Requirements

  • Contact the schooL and speak to an advisor
  • Complete an online application
  • Submit all official transcripts to the office of graduate admissions
  • Ask admissions for the entrance essay requirements
  • Schedule and attend an interview with a representative from the doctoral admission department
4

Dakota State University

Madison, SD

With over 3,000 students attending, Dakota State University is a small school with big ambition. From its founding in the 1880s as a school for teachers, it has now become one of the most technologically forward schools in the Midwest. Dakota State University is a great option for students who want a more one-on-one approach to their doctorate.

Doctor of Philosophy in Cyber Defense (PHDCD)

This degree is a career-focused doctoral degree focused on preparing students for the threats facing cyber security and defense. Dakota State University has three separate residency requirements for each year of the program. These requirements are a great way to connect with other doctoral students and faculty while attending this mostly online program.

Doctor of Philosophy in Cyber Defense (PHDCD) Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Program Length: 3 years
  • Acceptance Rate: None listed
  • Tuition and Fees: Graduate resident tuition is $333.25 per credit hour; non-resident graduate tuition is $503.20 per credit hour; $35 application fee

Doctor of Philosophy in Cyber Defense (PHDCD) Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in a related field
  • GPA of at least 3.0 on all computer science courses
  • High or acceptable GRE scores from within the last five years
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher on the accredited bachelor program
  • Grade above 3.0 or B in all graduate work and at least nine hours of graduate projects completed
  • Must have graduated in the last fifteen years or sooner
5

George Washington University

Washington, DC

For over 130 years, George Washington University has helped students achieve bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees from the nation's capital. In 2000, the engineering school began offering applied science programs fully online, and today it boasts an online student population of over 6,000 across all programs.

Online Doctor of Engineering in Cybersecurity Analytics

This is a hybrid online PhD program with a focus on teamwork, consisting of two distinct phases. The phases in this program include a hybrid class learning phase and a research phase for students to publish a journal piece side-by-side with advisors and graduate researchers.

Online Doctor of Engineering in Cybersecurity Analytics Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Acceptance Rate: None listed
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,625 per credit hour and a non-refundable $995 tuition deposit

Online Doctor of Engineering in Cybersecurity Analytics Admission Requirements

  • Students must have obtained bachelor's and master’s degrees in information technology, applied science, computer science, engineering, or a related field
  • If the applicant has a different undergraduate or master’s, they may be asked to take EMSE 4197 at George Washington University and required to complete two college level calculus courses
  • Minimum GPA of 3.2 upon completion of their master’s program
  • Complete the online application and attach a resume before submitting
  • Submit official transcripts from all previously attended universities
  • Submit a 250 word statement of purpose containing why the student is seeking a PhD, what they plan to do in the field, previous work experience, and why they chose George Washington University
6

Marymount University

Arlington, VA

Founded in 1950 as an exclusively Catholic university, Marymount University has a student body of over 4,000 students. Marymount University is one of the only universities on our list to offer a doctorate of science rather than a PhD, making it a unique choice for students who are more focused on research.

Doctorate (DSc) in Cybersecurity

Marymount University’s doctorate is a research-heavy degree focused on applied research into the ethical, societal, policy, and technological aspects of cyber security. The doctoral program has an emphasis on the intersection of applied research and leadership needed to implement cyber security processes and policies. Students can start this program with just a Bachelor’s in Cyber Security, which makes this a rather unique doctoral program

Doctorate (DSc) in Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Associations of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and National Center of Academic Excellence for Cyber Defense Education (CAE/CDE) by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security
  • Program Length: 1.5 to 3 years
  • Acceptance Rate: None listed
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,140 cost per credit hour

Doctorate (DSc) in Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

  • Fill out the graduate application
  • Submit all official transcripts from any previously attended institutions
  • Include a professional resume separately from your official transcripts
  • Submit a one-page statement of research outlining your goals, research objectives, reason for attending Marymount, and example topics for your thesis project
  • Submit two professional or academic writing samples pertaining to cyber security that are between four and six pages in length
  • Students must have completed at least two college level statistics courses with a B grade minimum
7

New Jersey City University

Jersey City, NJ

New Jersey City University is located in Jersey City, New Jersey and was founded in 1927 as a training school for educators. In the modern era, the legacy continues with 47 undergraduate degrees and 30 graduate programs.

Doctor Of Science (DSc) in Civil Security Leadership, Management & Policy

New Jersey City University cyber security doctorate is a hybrid program starting with two full weeks of introductory courses on campus and continues with two weekends per semester in person.

The combination of hybrid residency requirements and a focus on student-guided interests make this one of the best choices for students who have a clear topic of interest in cyber security.

Doctor Of Science (DSc) in Civil Security Leadership, Management & Policy Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Associations of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and National Center of Academic Excellence for Cyber Defense Education (CAE/CDE) by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security
  • Program Length: 2 to 3 years
  • Acceptance Rate: None listed
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,149.85 cost per credit hour and a $114.25 per credit fee; $55 graduate application fee

Doctor Of Science (DSc) in Civil Security Leadership, Management & Policy Admission Requirements

  • Applicants must possess a master’s degree with a GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Submit a resume with four years of relevant work experience
  • Complete and have a satisfactory GRE score
  • Submit two letters of recommendation and a one-page letter with a proposed dissertation topic
  • Official transcripts must be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office
  • Contact the Graduate Studies Office for additional requirements and forms
  • An admissions interview may be required
8

Northcentral University

San Diego, CA

Located in San Diego, California, Northcentral University is the youngest university on our list. Founded in 1996 with a focus on online education, Northcentral University makes an excellent choice to get a doctorate online.

Cybersecurity, PhD-TM

Northcentral University’s Doctor of Philosophy in Cybersecurity is a degree track including several specializations. This program has no set class times, is a fully online program, and has program tracks that can be completed in as little as 40 months at any time. This program gives applicants the freedom to start classes at any point throughout the school year.

Cybersecurity, PhD-TM Overview

  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Program Length: 40 to 44 months depending on the degree track
  • Acceptance Rate: None listed
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,094 base cost per credit; course estimated fees ranging from $50 to $135

Cybersecurity, PhD-TM Admission Requirements

  • Begin the online application and submit all documents through the provided portal
  • Submit transcripts and use the official transfer submission form
  • Have a degree in a field related to computer science
  • Complete the online application and choose a start date
9

Northeastern University

Boston, MA

Founded in 1959, Northeastern University is full of charm and provides a great option for students. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Northeastern University has a research-focused approach to its online doctoral programs.

Cybersecurity, PhD

Northeastern University’s Cyber Security PhD program is a 48-credit-hour research-based hybrid doctoral program. The program consists of annual reviews to keep students on track, core and elective components, and dissertation preparation and review.

Students also are required to enroll in a full year of residency with an emphasis on exam preparation, dissertation research, and fulfilling the teaching requirement.

Teaching requirements for this program consist of three hours of lectures, preparation of at least one assignment, and an entire semester of participation in a teaching assistant or instructor of record position.

Cybersecurity, PhD Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education, Inc. (NECHE)
  • Program Length: 4 to 5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: None listed
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,532 cost per credit hour with no application fee listed

Cybersecurity, PhD Admission Requirements

  • Fill out the online application
  • Upload unofficial transcripts
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 in relevant master and undergraduate courses
  • Submit a statement of purpose outlining your goals and aspirations for the future
  • Submit a recent resume that includes your job duties and responsibilities
  • Submit three letters of recommendation
10

Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Nova Southeastern University is a university located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This university offers degrees of all levels and has a student population of 24,000. Founded in 1964 as a research institute of technology, the legacy of technological research is alive and well today.

PhD in Cybersecurity Management

Nova Southeastern University’s PhD program can be completed in just three years. The program emphasizes research, with 24 required credits of dissertation research across three semesters. Classes can be taken in a hybrid or online format, making learning more flexible.

PhD in Cybersecurity Management Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Associations of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and National Center of Academic Excellence for Cyber Defense Education (CAE/CDE) by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security
  • Program Length: 3 to 5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: None listed
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,282 per credit hour course fee; $50 application fee; $30 per-semester registration fee

PhD in Cybersecurity Management Admission Requirements

  • You must have completed a master’s program with a GPA of at least 3.25 from a regionally accredited institution with a major in computer science or a related field
  • Fill out the online application and pay the application fee
  • Send sealed official transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from professors, supervisors, or employers that attest to your capabilities of completing the program (letters from family, friends, or those without experience in research or doctoral programs are prohibited and may result in immediate application rejection)
  • Submit a resume of both academic and work experience
  • English language proficiency is required and expected (any spelling or grammatical errors are grounds for application rejection. English language proficiency exam and remedial English classes if needed are recommended before applying)

Online Cyber Security PhD Graduation Rates: How Hard Is It to Complete an Online PhD Program in Cyber Security?

It is hard to complete an online PhD in Cyber Security. Although the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics determined that in the United States the graduation rate for PhD students was 98 percent in 2019 , the selection and admission process can be rigorous, as schools seek the most dedicated potential PhD students.

How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD in Cyber Security Online?

It can take anywhere between two and 10 years to earn a PhD in Cyber Security online. It can take longer depending on the number of residency requirements, dissertation length, and the careers of students while in school.

The great thing about an online degree in cyber security is that any online PhD program or degree is flexible. Students can hold full-time jobs and grow in their careers while attending a PhD program online. It is up to students to decide how they want to approach a PhD program, which means programs like these can last as long as they need to.

How Hard Is an Online Doctorate in Cyber Security?

It is very difficult to be accepted into a PhD program. However, the accepted students are highly dedicated to their program, and dedication is the key to overcoming challenges and adversity. Less than two percent of students don’t earn their PhD in the US, which means that 98 percent of doctoral students earn their PhD, based on data from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.

This means that if you are accepted into a Doctorate of Cyber Security or a similar program, there is a good chance you will eventually achieve your goal and earn that PhD. The hardest thing for most students in earning a PhD is the dissertation requirements.

A dissertation requires months of research and a well-argued defense once finished. Some students take years to complete and defend a dissertation, making it the most time-consuming and the most difficult part of any PhD program.

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What Courses Are in an Online Cyber Security PhD Program?

The most common courses in an online cyber security PhD program teach students about top new trends in cyber security , provide dedicated research time, provide classes on dissertation preparation, and contain symposia for students to attend while networking and learning from experts.

Main Areas of Study in a Cyber Security PhD Program

  1. Advancements in cyber security
  2. Dissertation research and lab time
  3. Dissertation argument preparation
  4. Lecture and networking symposia

How Much Does Getting an Online Cyber Security PhD Cost?

It can cost between $600 to $2,000 per credit hour to earn a Doctorate in Cyber Security. Most institutions charge on a semester basis and the courses are not as rigid as in lower levels of academia.

Since the main purpose of a PhD program is to research unique additions to the cyber security field and practice what you learned in a teaching capacity, many institutions offer scholarships to offset the cost of a doctoral program.

How to Pay for an Online PhD Program in Cyber Security

Doctoral programs generally offer scholarships and aid to students seeking a doctorate. Each school has its own department of financial aid that can help students locate aid or outline requirements to qualify. Many factors, including academic prowess, previous internships, and financial status can all help students gain financial aid.

How to Get an Online PhD for Free

There is no way to get a degree in cyber security for free, especially a PhD. However, many schools offer scholarships or discounted classes for staff members. PhD classes may be available for students who have completed master’s classes or applied for a research position at the school. Some schools even offer research programs where PhD students can apply for a full-time career with classes as part of a benefits package.

What Is the Most Affordable Online PhD in Cyber Security Degree Program?

The most affordable online PhD in Cyber Security is offered by Dakota State University’s Doctor of Philosophy in Cyber Defense.

Most Affordable Online PhD Programs in Cyber Security: In Brief

School Program Tuition
Dakota State University Doctor of Philosophy in Cyber Defense (PHDCD) $333.25/credit hour (graduate resident)
$503.20/credit hour (graduate non-resident)
Colorado Technical University Online Doctorate in Cybersecurity: Doctor of Computer Science – Cybersecurity and Information Assurance $598/credit hour
Capitol Technology University Doctorate (DSc) in Cybersecurity $933/credit hour
Doctor of Philosophy Cybersecurity, PhD-TM $1,094/credit hour
Nova Southeastern University The Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Cybersecurity Management $1,282/credit hour

Why You Should Get an Online PhD in Cyber Security

You should get an online PhD in Cyber Security if you want to become a researcher in cyber security or teach classes in the field. Those with a PhD generally add to the body of research in their field. However, many also teach the subject at different levels of academia. If either of these options sounds great to you, then a PhD in Cyber Security is a wonderful investment.

Top Reasons for Getting a PhD in Cyber Security

  • To teach the subject. The knowledge gained from a PhD and work experience in the field creates the perfect circumstances for those who want to help others learn.
  • To excel in your field as an expert. A cyber security degree prepares recipients to be experts in the field. With a PhD in Cyber Security, graduates are prepared to face the world’s most advanced challenges with confidence.
  • To add to the field of research. PhD students write a dissertation in their field that adds to the research and knowledge in that field. However, as an expert in the field, you have the opportunity to continuously contribute to the information available in the sector of computer science and criminology.
  • To share your expert opinion with others. PhD students are experts in the field and are frequently asked to divulge their opinions and knowledge. From being a cable news guest to an expert consultant for a tech company, there are many opportunities to leverage a PhD. You will likely see perks like increased pay and prestigious job roles.

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What Is the Difference Between an On-Campus Cyber Security PhD and an Online PhD in Cyber Security?

The biggest difference between an on-campus cyber security PhD and an online cyber security PhD is the difference in location. In an online PhD, the learning method is fully online, despite that many of the online options listed above have certain residency requirements.

However, all on-campus PhD programs have residency requirements by nature. Students usually have internships, mandatory lectures, dissertation research labs, and an in-person dissertation defense. All of these are done on campus during an on-campus program, while in an online program, only some or even none of these are done on campus.

Online PhD vs On-Campus PhD: Key Differences

  • Flexibility. In-person classes in a PhD program generally require students to attend all lectures and classes live and in person while in the program. With an online class, lectures can be recorded, listened to later, or be pre-recorded entirely, which allows for greater flexibility with fewer set class times.
  • Teaching requirements. Many PhD programs are geared toward those who would like to teach in their chosen field. In cyber security, many of the students seeking a PhD may not be on that path, and as such the majority of online classes we listed above don’t have these teaching requirements. Many in-person classes have teaching requirements.
  • Knowledge acquired. Cyber security by nature involves information technology, combating cyber threats, and protecting data. This means that an online format for classes and research is much closer to the environment a cyber security expert will find themselves in.
  • Access to faculty. A dissertation is typically required for a PhD and is the culmination of a student’s efforts over a few months or years. In an online format, students have access to online resources but may not have full access to advisors, colleagues, or the library. Resources like libraries, labs, and faculty advisors make an on-campus option an attractive one for many students.

How to Get a PhD in Cyber Security Online: A Step-by-Step Guide

A man with a beard and glasses types lines of code into a monitor.
A PhD in Cyber Security can lead to some of the most highly skilled jobs in the world.

You can get a PhD in Cyber Security online by getting experience in the field before you apply for any doctoral program. Many schools not only require top-notch grades but also recommendations from mentors and experts in the field to even be accepted into a cyber security PhD program. Thankfully, there are several key steps to help increase your chances of being accepted into a PhD program like this.

1

Step 1: Complete a Master’s Degree Program

To get accepted into a PhD in Cyber Security program, you must first enroll in and finish a Master’s Degree in Cyber Security or a related field. PhD programs primarily equip recipients to add to their field of research, which means academic prowess is needed. To apply and be accepted into a PhD program, a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher is needed to enroll.

2

Step 2: Gain Industry Experience

PhD requirements for a degree in cyber security include a certain amount of experience before students are even considered for admission. Thus, getting a job in cyber security and gaining at least five years of industry experience is a great way to prepare for a PhD program.

3

Step 3: Enroll in Your Program and School of Choice

There are many options when choosing a school or cyber security program. Be sure to check all relevant requirements for admission, program length, area of focus, and accreditation factors before applying. Since the list at the beginning of the article contains all online schools, perusing the schools’ summaries may be a great place to start your search.

4

Step 4: Keep a High GPA

Generally, PhD classes are not as rigorously structured as a bachelor’s or master’s degree. PhD classes are highly specialized, and many are focused on research and attending lectures from experts to keep PhD students up to date on the latest trends. Maintaining a high GPA in these advanced classes is crucial for any graduate student.

5

Step 5: Research and Complete a Dissertation

The capstone to any PhD program is a dissertation. A dissertation is one of the hardest and most involved projects a student can undertake. There are many ways to approach a dissertation and add to the body of research on cyber security, but students should be aware that dissertations take up at least one-third of a PhD program.

Online PhD in Cyber Security Salary and Job Outlook

An online PhD in Cyber Security can lead to many different types of cyber security jobs in the information technology field. All of the jobs listed in the section below are growing at an average or faster than average rate.

Many of the job roles also include salaries beyond the six-figure range, and the highest-paying job pays just over $130,000 dollars on average. This makes cyber security a safe, lucrative, and rewarding career.

What Can You Do With an Online Doctorate in Cyber Security?

With an online Doctorate in Cyber Security, you can become a leading expert in the field of cyber security and information assurance. The types of jobs you can get with this doctorate are vast but mainly focus on protecting, storing, and creating data systems. Jobs like research scientists, network analysts, and professors are all careers you can get with this PhD.

Best Jobs with a PhD in Cyber Security

  • Computer and Information Research Scientists
  • Computer Network Architects
  • Information Security Analysts
  • Database Administrators and Architects
  • Computer Science Teachers, post-secondary

Potential Careers With a Cyber Security Degree

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What Is the Average Salary for an Online PhD Holder in Cyber Security?

The average salary for an online PhD holder in cyber security can range from $97,540 to $163,640 , according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. With a PhD in Cyber Security, you can apply for many jobs in the computer science field. That’s why we’ve listed the top jobs in cyber security in the table below, so you can approach your PhD program and career with confidence.

Highest-Paying Cyber Security Jobs for PhD Grads

Online Cyber Security PhD Jobs Average Salary
Computer and Information Research Scientists $131,490
Computer Network Architects $120,520
Information Security Analysts $102,600
Database Administrators and Architects $98,860
Computer Science Teachers, post-secondary $89,610

Best Cyber Security Jobs for Online PhD Holders

The best cyber security jobs for online PhD holders are the ones that leverage their unique skillset, knowledge, and experience. Jobs in the public sector or private sector like network architects, database managers, information analysts, and university professors are all excellent roles for cyber security PhD holders.

1

Computer and Information Research Scientists

PhD Salary: $131,490

The largest area of growth comes from computer science researcher careers, which also have the highest-paying salary in the cyber security industry. Research scientists are at the forefront of problem solving and are on the front line of cyber security, tackling information technology threats from all across the globe.

2

Computer Network Architects

PhD Salary: $120,520

Network architects in cyber security ensure networks are designed to withstand a myriad of cyber attacks. DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks, password security, and even physical safety procedures like locks and keypads are all tackled by these professionals.

The network and infrastructure of any system need to have the best protection out there, and cyber security PhD professionals are the ones best equipped to handle computer architecture issues and build and defend these systems.

3

Information Security Analysts

PhD Salary: $102,600

Generally, information security analysts analyze, document, and report changes and vulnerabilities in networks. An information security analyst is a key position in cyber security, and many senior-level positions are a great fit for those with a cyber security PhD.

4

Database Administrators and Architects

PhD Salary: $98,860

Like computer network architects, database administrators and architects are responsible for the safety and security of a network, database, or system. These positions usually involve the maintenance and continuous upkeep of these systems after a network architect builds them.

5

Computer Science Teachers, post-secondary

PhD Salary: $89,610

The two most common reasons for getting a PhD are to become a professor or work as a researcher at a university. Around half of all PhD students teach at universities, which can be an exciting and rewarding career path. If teaching students, researching, and imparting knowledge appeal to you, becoming a university professor may be a great option for you.

Is It Worth It to Do a PhD in Cyber Security Online?

A PhD in Cyber Security is worth it if you are planning on teaching or researching cyber security. Even then, many positions benefit from working in cyber security. A PhD is a great step for those wanting to become experts in their field, pursued by those with at least five years or more.

However, you should only get a PhD in Cyber Security if you enjoy teaching or the position you ultimately want requires it. Most positions will help you grow as a cyber security expert with just a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree.

Additional Reading About Cyber Security

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Online PhD in Cyber Security FAQ

Is there a lot of math in cyber security?

Many cyber security doctoral-level programs require expertise in computer science, programming languages , and advanced math classes. Doctoral education includes classes like calculus, statistics, Boolean and linear algebra, and binary arithmetic. An understanding of mathematical concepts is important, as PhD programs build on these concepts mastered in specific degrees.


What’s the difference between a PhD and a doctorate?

The difference between a PhD and a doctorate is that not all doctoral candidates are awarded a PhD. Medical doctors are awarded an MD or medical doctorate rather than a PhD upon completion of their program. While business students can be awarded a PhD or a DBA, known formally as a doctor of business administration.

Is cyber security stressful?

Cyber security can be very stressful. From solving algorithms and finding malicious code to encrypting data, these jobs are challenging, but they can be fulfilling and rewarding in the hands of suitable candidates. Cyber security focuses on taking security measures to keep data, people, systems, and sometimes entire nations safe. This can create a high-stress work environment.

Does cyber security require coding?

Yes, cyber security absolutely requires coding. To conduct digital forensics processes and become a successful security consultant, technical skills and knowledge of programming, algorithms, server infrastructure, binary numbers, and database management are all required. For students to achieve their career goals in the tech industry or have successful academic careers, they must be proficient in all the skills mentioned.

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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Joseph Taglavore

About the author: Joe is a content writer with extensive technology experience fixing electronics, building computers, and repairing video game consoles. Both in and out of his work, he is interested in video games, content creation, social media, marketing, and filmmaking. Joe also has his own YouTube channel and a computer repair business. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Specialization in Digital Marketing from Liberty University.

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