Is an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Cybersecurity Worth It?

Is an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Cybersecurity Worth It?

The demand for effective information technology (IT) experts has risen significantly in our rapidly evolving technological environment. The cyber security industry is a key component of the hugely diverse sector of IT. This industry serves as the front-runner in the fight against a wide range of cyber threats, from identifying theft and data breaches to sophisticated cyberattacks on vital infrastructures.

The majority of both small and large businesses in the United States are relying on technology. When a technology-driven workplace experiences a security breach, it costs them tens of thousands of dollars, from the price of mitigating the breach to implementing security measures to paying out legal claims.

The United States is investing more money and effort to tackle malware because it is being released at a higher rate than ever before. However, there are still many reasons for the public, corporations, and organizations to be concerned, even with the increased focus on protecting electronic information.

All that to say, cybersecurity professionals are in high demand. The best online bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity can lead to a great career with excellent pay.

computer programmer working on a desktop in a dark room

Featured Programs

What You Need to Know About a Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity Degree

If you’re wondering how to be at the forefront of one of the fastest-growing IT fields worldwide, a bachelor’s in cybersecurity degree is a great place to start. This is a valuable four-year undergraduate degree, which often requires students to complete 120 credits in a curriculum that explores software development, network security, and systems vulnerability analysis.

Students who earn a bachelor’s degree in cyber security are prepared to recognize weaknesses in computer systems, spot digital exploitation, and put suitable preventative measures in place.

A bachelor’s in computer science or cyber security is a frequent entry point into the cyber security industry. However, there are several cyber security degrees you can pursue to jumpstart a career in the field. A few of the most popular paths include:

  • Bachelor’s in Cyber Security
  • Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice: Crime Analysis and Cyber Security Concentration
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Cyber Security
  • Bachelor of Computer Engineering in Cyber Security
  • Bachelor’s in Information Systems and Technology: Cyber Security Intelligence
  • Bachelor’s in Software Development and Security

Students who enroll in cyber security learn the fundamental concepts and techniques of computing, information security, and IT. The curriculum improves student’s awareness of information security, data analytics, risk management, and foundational IT abilities.

General education, core, and specialty courses make up most curricula. Depending on the curriculum, students could also need to complete a capstone project and other hands-on learning experiences. Hands-on learning experiences, such as internships and practicum, are often only required for students without IT-related experience. Typical course subjects include:

  • Introduction to Cybersecurity
  • Networking Fundamentals
  • Information Security Principles
  • Cryptography
  • Cyber Threats and Attacks
  • Cybersecurity Technologies
  • Network Security
  • Operating System Security
  • Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing
  • Cybersecurity Policies and Regulations
  • Security Architecture and Design
  • Digital Forensics
  • Cloud Security
  • Mobile and IoT Security
  • Social and Ethical Issues in Cybersecurity
  • Capstone Project
cybersecurity professional sitting in front of a laptop

What is an online bachelor’s in cyber security degree?

An online bachelor’s in cyber security follows the same standards and course outline as its on-campus counterpart. Some online bachelor’s degrees are fully online, while other online bachelor’s are hybrid.

Some fully online cyber security programs are built around asynchronous courses that students can complete whenever convenient. On the other hand, some programs have synchronous schedules, where the same group of students check in at the same time every day to participate in live lectures and workshops led by professors.

You may even have the same instructors for your online degree that you would have in person. The biggest difference between the in-person and online bachelor’s programs is the convenience and flexibility of online courses.

Want more insights into an in-demand program, we also have an interview with the #1 online cybersecurity program director, University of Arizona’s Jason Denno.

Benefits of a Cyber Security Degree Online

  • Flexibility and Convenience: If you’re employed, have a family, or have other commitments, online programs in cyber security let you create a study plan that fits your needs. People who reside in remote places or want to minimize commuting will benefit most from this.
  • Career Continuity: You can keep working while getting your degree through online programs, minimizing your income loss. Increase your worth to employers by directly applying the knowledge you learned in school to your career in cyber security.
  • Lower Costs: While this topic is controversial, online degree programs tend to have lower overall costs. Although some programs charge the same tuition for their on-campus and online degrees, students still get to save big amounts on indirect expenses, such as room and board. Due to the lack of travel requirements for these degrees, students are not required to pay for meal plans or transportation.
cyber security professionals working in an office

What types of cybersecurity jobs can graduates of online bachelor’s in cyber security programs get?

Professionals in the cyber security field are among the top earners in the United States, and also enjoy a high measure of job security. There are several paths cybersecurity professionals can pursue.

Among the highest-paid professionals are Information Security Analysts, which according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, have an average salary of $102,600 per year in 2021 and a 35% growth rate in the next ten years. This means that there will be more than 47,000 new cybersecurity jobs and strong job security in this field.

Graduates of an online bachelor’s in cyber security can pursue more career options beyond information security analysts. Some of the most popular career paths for cybersecurity professionals include:

Computer and Information Systems Managers

Average Annual Salary: $159,010

Growth Rate (2021-31): 16 percent

What They Do: The job of a computer and information systems manager, sometimes also known as an IT director or chief information security officer, is to plan, coordinate, and steer the technological activities of an organization. They are essential in ensuring an organization’s technological systems align with its operational goals.

Database Administrators and Architects

Average Annual Salary: $101,000

Growth Rate (2021-31): 9 percent

What They Do: The management, planning, and optimization of an organization’s databases, which are essential for effectively storing, organizing, and retrieving data, falls under the purview of database administrators and database architects.

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Average Annual Salary: $80,600

Growth Rate (2021-31): 3 percent

What They Do: These cybersecurity professionals who manage, configure, and maintain an organization’s IT infrastructure, including networks, servers, and computer systems, are known as network and computer systems administrators. They are essential in guaranteeing the dependability, security, and effectiveness of the technological environment within a business.

Cybersecurity professionals can also work for a number of different types of organizations with an online bachelor’s in cyber security. An online cybersecurity degree could get you a job at a bank, corporation, or with the government. You have a lot of career options with an online bachelor’s in cyber security.

For a more in-depth look at the job outlook for cybersecurity professionals, check out What Jobs Can I Get With an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Cyber Security?

cyber security professional looking at cyber security data

Cost of an Online Bachelor’s in Cyber Security Degree

Cost is the #1 reason students pursue an online bachelor’s in cyber security degree instead of the traditional brick-and-mortar degree. While some might disagree since some online cyber security degrees have the same tuition as their on-campus counterpart, an online degree is still cheaper in many ways.

Your tuition for the online degree will be the same, or slightly more, than the tuition for an in-person degree. But you will save on expenses like housing, transportation, and certain campus fees.

Online cyber security programs do not need physical infrastructure like classrooms, buildings, and utilities. This reduction in overhead costs can translate into cost savings for the institution, which can be reflected in the student’s miscellaneous fees.

Moreover, students who pursue an online degree in cyber security can save on commuting, moving, and on-campus accommodation costs. These savings help to create the impression that overall expenditures are reduced.

According to the Education Data Initiative, an online bachelor’s degree costs an average of $51,091. Some, but not all, online schools have different tuition rates for residents and non-residents.

Out-of-state tuition and fees are sometimes more than double what in-state students pay. It will be cheaper to get your online bachelor’s degree in cyber security from a public school in your state so that you can take advantage of the in-state tuition.

Are online cybersecurity degrees respected by employers?

Yes, online cybersecurity degrees are respected by employers as long as they come from good schools. The only way to know if the college or university offering the online program adheres to academic standards is accreditation.

Accreditation means that your degree in cyber security comes from a school that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, which is very important when applying for jobs in all fields.

While not all unaccredited colleges are subpar—some may even have distinctive curricula or strong points—institutions with accreditation ensure that students receive a level of education and training that meet specific academic and industry standards.

There are two kinds of accreditation—national accreditation and regional accreditation. Regional accreditation is a better indicator of a quality program. An online cyber security degree from a regionally accredited college or university will be respected by employers.

To further guarantee that you’ll meet specific industry standards, you can look for online schools accredited by the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE). Together with the Department of Homeland Security and the Center of Academic Excellence, the NCCoE guarantees that the degree is updated with all of the rapidly changing legal and technological aspects within the field of cyber security.

What are the admission criteria for an online bachelor’s in cyber security degree program?

The requirements for an online bachelor’s in cybersecurity degree vary by program. However, there are basic qualifications that many programs have in common, though the details will vary:

  • A high school diploma or equivalent
  • Official high school transcripts
  • Official college transcripts (if you have already earned an associate degree)
  • A resume (highlight computer/programming experience if applicable)
  • Application fees

If you are interested in finishing your degree in less time, consider earning an accelerated bachelor’s in cybersecurity from one of the best schools.

government cyber security agency

Paying for an Online Degree in Cyber Security

Considering the rising cost of higher education, you’d be better off exhausting all financial aid opportunities when pursuing an online cyber security degree. While online degrees tend to be cheaper overall, you should expect to pay almost the same tuition as studying on campus.

Financial aid opportunities vary from school to school. Some of the most common programs offered in most universities include:


Scholarships are financial aid granted to students based on eligibility and are offered by several colleges and organizations. Scholarship applications frequently ask for transcripts from all previous academic years, citizenship documentation, an essay, a GPA of at least 3.0, and letters of recommendation.

Some of the most popular scholarships for cyber security students include:


State and federal governments frequently award grants to assist with the financial needs of students. In contrast to scholarships, students apply for grants based on their financial need rather than their academic standing. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and the Federal Pell Grant are only two examples of the many types of grants offered.


Loans for education are sums of money that must be repaid over time with interest and are obtained from the government or other private organizations. With loans, students can pay for tuition upfront and repay their debt once they have earned a degree and started working. Federal or private student loans are both options for financing your education.

Is an online cyber security degree for me?

Pursuing a degree is tiresome and will require a lot of student’s money, time, and effort. On-campus programs restrict students from committing to other things outside campus. Hence, many people forget about college altogether.

Individuals with full-time commitments interested in advancing their education and climbing the career ladder should pursue an online degree program. Online programs are structured specifically for working students.

But if you think that an online cyber security degree will require less of your efforts, you’re mistaken. Even while offering flexibility and convenience, online programs are just as rigorous as on-campus ones.

Remember that you’re following the same on-campus curriculum; the only difference is that you’re given more time to complete assignments and the flexibility to adjust your schedule. You need self-discipline to succeed in an online learning environment.

person typing on a keyboard

Frequently Asked Questions

What skills do I need to get a cyber security job?

Security architecture, systems administration, network defense, computer networks, criminal justice, cyber leadership abilities, disaster recovery, cloud computing, operating systems, and database administration are among the technical capabilities of cyber security experts. Analytical, risk assessment, problem-solving, and effective communication abilities are examples of soft skills. To study cyber security, you should have a fundamental knowledge of computer science, solid mathematical education, and logic.

What software tools do cyber security professionals use?

Cybersecurity professionals use various software tools to perform tasks ranging from network monitoring and vulnerability assessment to incident response and malware analysis. Some of the most common tools used in the industry include John the Ripper, Kali Linux, Nessus Professional, Nexpose, KeyPass, Paros Proxy, and Wireshark,

Is a bachelor’s in cyber security hard?

Earning a bachelor’s in cyber security can be difficult, just like obtaining any other degree. Mathematics, computer science, and engineering are among the demanding technical areas that are emphasized in the curriculum and core coursework.

Do online degree programs in cyber security require students to complete an internship?

To give students practical experience in cyber security subjects, several schools mandate internships. Locating onsite options that meet your schedule is frequently made easier by online programs. If you must stay close to home, some programs let you set up a virtual internship or a local site placement where you communicate with your supervisor via video conferencing.

computer programmer working in front of a number of laptop computers

What should I look for in an online cyber security bachelor’s degree program?

The top bachelor’s degrees in cyber security online offer an updated curriculum, accreditation by reputable organizations, and career services and student support. Nearly every technical college now offers an online degree program in cyber security due to the industry’s expansion.

What’s the next step after earning my online bachelor’s in cyber security?

After receiving your bachelor’s in cyber security degree, consider obtaining certifications, taking cybersecurity courses and seminars, expanding your cybersecurity network, or pursuing a master’s degree.

Interested in getting a bachelor’s in cyber security? Check out How to Get an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Cybersecurity.

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