The most recent significant cyber attack in Pennsylvania affected Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Taylor Hospital, Delaware County Memorial Hospital, Drexel Hill, and Springfield Hospital. These ransomware attacks caused a massive disturbance as the computer systems malfunctioned, forcing some emergency rooms to close and ambulances to be redirected.
These cybercrimes threaten life, endangering the security of hospital patients and the entire community, which depends on the emergency department’s continued operation.
This shows that hackers and cyber attackers will stop for no one.
In 2019, Pennsylvania was ranked as the second-worst state in cyber defense. Since then, the state has made significant strides in adapting to new changes and bolstering its cyber security measures to improve its standing, including through online cyber security programs.
Cyber security is definitely growing in demand in Pennsylvania, just as it is around the world. Information security jobs are expected to grow by 32% over the next 10 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s much faster than average career growth.
With current median salaries around $100,000 a year, it’s a good time to prepare yourself to compete in the cyber security job market in Pennsylvania. That’s why we’ve ranked cyber security degrees as the best degree for jobs over the next decade.
Cyber security is new and its need is very widespread. In our interview with world-leading cyber security expert Isaac Ben-Israel, Ben-Israel says
Because we understand that nowadays everyone is dependent on computers, not only military organizations, defense organizations. and therefore, the citizen, the simple citizen, needs a protection as well as the big organization. And we decided to make it legitimate for education and industry... At that time, 2011, it’s hard to believe but this is true, there was not even one university in the world, neither in Israel nor in the States, in which you could go and study cyber security. Only 10 years ago. It’s hard to believe but this was the situation 10 years ago. Today... you can learn cyber security in every university.
According to CyberSeek, there are currently 1.1 million professionals working in the cyber security workforce. However, the demand for skilled cyber security experts continues to outpace the supply.
In the United States, there are over 500,000 positions that need to be filled. In Pennsylvania alone, there are more than 13,000 job openings.
As the world becomes more digital, this trend is anticipated to continue. Data indicates that there are 3.5 million vacancies for cyber security jobs worldwide.
The lack of cyber security experts worldwide risks vital infrastructure safety, national security, and individuals. The possibility of cyberattacks on crucial services, energy grids, healthcare systems, and government agencies and organizations is a significant worry due to the ever-expanding digital ecosystem. The frequency, sophistication, and expense of cyberattacks have increased, leaving unprepared organizations scurrying to safeguard their critical information and systems.
With more than 13,000 vacant job positions, you can find plenty of cyber security jobs almost anywhere in Pennsylvania. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just getting started, Pennsylvania’s broad employment market offers hope for anyone hoping to build a name for themselves in the field of cyber protection.
Among the biggest employers of cyber security graduates in Pennsylvania is PNC Financial Services, ranked as one of the ten largest in the country. It is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has several openings for managers who will lead a team responsible for overseeing cyber security operations.
Other major cyber security employers in Pennsylvania include:
We’ve identified 10 colleges with online cyber security bachelor’s degrees in Pennsylvania. Online degrees offer students in Pennsylvania maximum flexibility and convenience so they can study while working without sacrificing quality.
These programs are offered by some of Pennsylvania’s top ranked colleges like Thomas Jefferson University and Robert Morris University. For more about Pennsylvania colleges visit The Best Colleges in Pennsylvania.Back to Top
Because cyber security is a very in-demand field, undergraduate students can expect a pool of financial aid opportunities, from federal student aid to various types of cyber security scholarships. Some of the most well-known scholarships for Pennsylvania students include:
This is among the most popular financial aid opportunities given to outstanding cyber security students. The National Science Foundation funds this program and covers up to two years of a student’s bachelor’s degree. Scholarship recipients receive an annual stipend, a professional development allowance, and must fulfill a government service obligation after graduation to strengthen federal cyber security.
The AT&T Foundation STEM Scholarship aids upper-division students in Pennsylvania’s PASSHE institutions who wish to pursue careers in computer technology. This scholarship is open to Pennsylvania residents studying full-time in STEM fields, and applicants need at least 60 credits with a 3.0+ GPA. Selection considers transcripts, financial need, and a 200-word essay on the positive impact of their STEM degree in related industries.
The annual prizes from the Electronic Security Association Youth Scholarship range from $2,500 to $7,500. It is open to high school seniors who intend to work in the security industry, particularly cyber security, and to the kids of employed members of the public safety community. Essays about the effects of having a parent who works in security are expected of applicants.Back to Top
As a developing tech hub, Pennsylvania offers several cybersecurity workshops and conferences dedicated to enriching the abilities of seasoned and aspiring cyber security professionals. These gatherings act as forums for cyber security-related knowledge exchange, networking, and discussions.
Some of the most influential cyber security conferences in Pennsylvania include PATechCon, SecureWorld Philadelphia, Philadelphia Cyber Security Summit, Philly Tech Week, National Cyber Forensics and Training Alliance Cyber Crime Forum, and BSides Philly.
To keep updated on other cyber security conferences in Pennsylvania, visit InfoSec.
With an online bachelor’s degree in cyber security program, you’ll learn specific subjects like software development and systems administration while also strengthening your math and computer science skills.
You will learn important but complicated topics like:
Key learning skills for your online bachelor’s degree in cyber security include:
As an online cyber security bachelor, you’ll learn to:
As an online bachelor’s in cyber security student, you’ll take courses in areas like network security, risk assessment, and digital surveillance. Popular online courses in cyber security include:
Learn to identify cyber security threats and the techniques used by bad actors to attack secure networks. Study ethical hacking methodologies, permissions management, threat assessment reporting, and more.
Learn the laws, policies, and practices shaping the cyber security profession in the United States. Study American cyber security policy as well as international policy and policy approaches in other nations.
Learn how to analyze security conditions for commercial enterprises to identify vulnerabilities and provide solutions. Study best practices as well as legal and ethical responsibilities in creating network security strategies.
Learn how to assess, operate, and improve network security information for private, public, or non-profit organizations, including Homeland Security. Study cloud security, information security, systems auditing, and more.
Learn how to investigate cybercrime and produce evidence to be used in prosecuting these crimes. Study the tools, techniques, and principles driving digital forensics investigation.
If the online bachelor’s degree in cyber security is your first experience with online education, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.
And for a look at some of the advantages of pursuing your bachelor’s degree in cyber security online, check out the 5 Ways Online Education Can Be More Effective Than Traditional Classroom Education
You can do a lot of jobs in computer and network security with an online bachelor’s degree in cyber security. The bachelor’s degree in cyber security is the basic qualification for students who want to become:
Computer and Information Systems Managers As a Computer and Information Systems Manager, you will plan, coordinate and lead a wide range of computer-related activities in your organization, including network security, permissions management, database management, and more. Computer and Information Systems Managers earned a median pay of $164,070 in 2022. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 15% rate of growth by 2032, with 46,900 new jobs added.
Computer Network Architects As a Computer Network Architect, you will design and build data communication networks. This includes local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs) and Intranets, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS also notes that computer network architects earned a median pay of $126,900 in 2022. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 4% rate of growth by 2032, with 10,200 new jobs added.
Database Administrators and Architects As a Database Administrator or Architect, you will work within an organization to create, organize and oversee the systems used to both store data and keep this data secure. Database Administrators and Architects earned a median pay of $112,120 in 2022. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 8% rate of growth by 2032, with 10,200 new jobs added.
Network and Computer Systems Administrators. As a Network and Computer Systems Administrator, you are responsible for both the daily and long-term operation and oversight of internal network for your organization. This includes maintenance, updates, data management, security, and more. These professionals earned a median pay of $90,520 in 2022. The Labor Statistics Bureau projects a 2% rate of growth by 2032, with 19,800 new jobs added.
It typically takes four to six years, or 120 credits, to earn an online bachelor’s degree in cyber security. Some online programs may offer accelerated or self-paced options where you can earn your online bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 to 24 months.
It can be cheaper to get a cyber security degree online if you go to a public school in your state. Colleges and universities have tuition discounts for in-state students. Online students get these same in-state discounts.
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.
Your online bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity will be cheaper if you get an in-state discount and save on these expenses. For more, check out our Guide to the Cost of Online College vs. On-Campus College.
With the major increase in data breaches and other cyber-attacks, companies seek highly qualified professionals to secure their IT infrastructures. Employers prefer those with additional training in computer science, IT, or related fields, as this adds more value to an applicant’s profile when applying for technology positions. Cyber security professionals have an array of certifications available to them.
Data from CyberSeek indicates that the following are the most sought-after industry certifications among the cybersecurity workforce:
This is an entry-level certification that covers crucial cyber security subjects. It certifies the abilities and expertise required to carry out fundamental security tasks and pursue a career in information security. This widely accepted qualification is frequently used as a stepping stone for more complicated certifications.
(ISC)2 offers the widely respected CISSP certification. It is intended for seasoned security professionals and covers various security-related topics, such as risk management, access control, and cryptography. Professionals wishing to better their careers in cyber security frequently pursue the CISSP certification.
GIAC provides a range of specialist certifications in several cyber security fields. These credentials cover subjects like forensics, penetration testing, and incident response. GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH) and GIAC Certified Penetration Tester (GPEN) are two examples.
Professionals who work in auditing, control, and assurance are the target audience for the CISA certification, which ISACA provides. It strongly emphasizes information systems while concentrating on audits, control, and assurance. People with CISA certifications frequently hold positions in the risk management and IT auditing industries.
The International Association of Privacy Professionals or the IAPP provides the CIPP certification. It is intended for professionals who hold positions involving privacy and data protection. It addresses issues about international privacy laws, rules, and practices.
The CISM certification, which ISACA also provides, is aimed at experts who administer and supervise an enterprise’s information security program. Governance, risk management, and handling security incidents are the main topics.
For detailed information on accreditation, financial aid, college applications and more, check out our Complete Guide to Applying for College.
Tuition + fees
Thomas Jefferson University offers the online Bachelor of Science in Technology for students who want to enroll in an accelerated format. The program’s curriculum integrates basic computer programming to computer applications and database management, allowing students to gain the necessary foundational skills for entry-level cyber security jobs. Major core courses include Cybersecurity Management, Software Development, Hardware and Operating Systems, and Systems Analysis and Design.
Students can pursue the program entirely online or in a hybrid learning format.
Online students are taught by the same on-campus experienced faculty that shares their practical knowledge, giving students different perspectives on IT and cyber security areas. In addition to self-paced online courses, students must engage in collaborative projects to build connections with their peers and faculty. Additionally, students will complete a series of Creativity & Leadership Core to strengthen their soft skills.
Students will conduct an Information Technology Capstone upon completing foundational and core courses. This component allows students to show off their abilities and knowledge gained during the program. This project’s goal is to make sure that you can use the ideas you have studied.
Tuition + fees
The National Security Agency and the US Department of Homeland Security designated Robert Morris University as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense. This designation ensures RMU’s competence in providing students with up-to-date cyber security knowledge. Graduates of RMU’s cyber security programs will be highly valued in the job market.
RMU’s ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity is a top-notch degree program acknowledged by several reputable organizations and applauded for its rigorous online format.
Students can complete the program online with a few on-campus intensives or entirely online with no on-campus visitation. Regardless of delivery format, all cyber security students will follow the same curriculum and hands-on experience emphasizing methods to identify, address, and stop cyberattacks and vulnerabilities.
Cyber security core courses include Computing Principles and Practices, Network Security, Data Security and Cryptography, Database Management Systems, Cyber security Risk Management, and IT Governance and Ethics. Students can further tailor their curriculum by concentrating on Cyber security or Digital Forensics. They’ll also have the opportunity to pursue Open Electives that allow them to gain knowledge from other department courses.
This online cyber security degree holds one of the highest job placement rates of 92%.
Tuition + fees
Immaculata University offers one of the best online cyber security programs with a curriculum guided by the Cybersecurity Advisory Board. The online and on-campus cyber security courses are taught by the same IT and cyber security professionals dedicated to preparing students for the fast-paced technology sectors.
This is one of the most sought-after degree programs for working professionals who want to complete their bachelor’s degree faster. Students can also add an associate degree to enhance their resumes.
The Immaculata Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity is conducted with an accelerated seven-week session with liberal arts courses.
The curriculum explores topics in safeguarding apps, data, devices, infrastructure, and people. The curriculum prepares students to evaluate the vulnerability and security requirements of computer network systems, design comprehensive security solutions, suggest necessary organizational changes, and oversee the implementation of security systems.
Major components include Data and Information, Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration, Web Design Applications, Cyber War and Cyber Peace, and Hi-Tech Crime.
Saint Vincent’s College has a CAE-CDE designation to prove the competency of its Computing and Information Systems Department and cyber security programs. The school has a three-decade history of incorporating industry standards into its evolving curriculum and a proven track record for preparing students for careers in cyber security and graduate school.
SVC offers a hybrid Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity, emphasizing flexibility with internships and real-world projects. Students will focus their studies on security and risk analysis issues and solution identification while developing good communication and collaboration skills and moral judgment.
Program courses include Engineering and Computer Ethics, Data Communications and Network Security, Information Systems Management, Database Concepts and Information Structures, and Advanced Networking.
In addition to hands-on courses, the CIS department also offers cyber security competitions that allow students to showcase their cyber security abilities. This unique component allowed many graduates to pursue employment in large companies, such as NSA, BNY Mellon, UPMC, and PNC.
Penn State World Campus, the online campus of the Pennsylvania State University system, is one of the pioneers of online education and one of the most extensive online campuses. It offers over 175 online degree programs, from certificates to graduate programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations.
The Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations program gives students the cyber security knowledge and abilities to identify, evaluate, and counter various online threats. The program’s solid grounding in programming and mathematics helps students comprehend adversary techniques and cyber defense, strengthening their capacity to respond to various security risks, from data breaches to cyberattacks. Graduates will be prepared for a rapidly expanding field.
Students who want to also earn a graduate degree can pursue the Integrated BS/MPS program at the end of their sophomore year. This program places a strong emphasis on fundamental computing and an understanding of information science and research techniques, preparing graduates for professions including research and even doctoral studies.
Tuition + fees
Prospective cyber security students who want various opportunities for cyber research should consider Drexel University, a large private research university. Drexel Co-op is recognized for its leadership in experiential learning, history of academic and technological firsts, and status as a best practice example for translational, use-inspired research. Drexel has maintained years of partnership with China and Israel.
Drexel’s Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security is one of the most popular cyber security degrees among students who recently finished an IT certification from CompTIA, Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, SANS Institute, or Red Hat. Enrolling with prior credit learning experience saves students thousands of dollars.
This online cyber security degree trains individuals for critical cyber security and computer system administration positions. The emphasis of the curriculum is on practical, hands-on education coupled with foundational ideas and practical knowledge.
Coursework includes Network Administration, Information Technology Security, Computing and Security Technology, Systems Analysis, Database Management Systems, and Software Project Management.
Students can tailor their degree program by choosing between Computing Technology or Computing Security concentration. Each student will be required to sit virtually with an academic advisor who will help them choose concentration and elective courses.
Tuition + fees
Bloomsburg University is a public research university that has earned recognition as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education, signifying its commitment to providing high-quality education and training in the field of cyber defense. Bloomsburg can offer students unique learning opportunities, from internships to directed research opportunities.
The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity at Bloomsburg is one of the best cyber security degrees that can be completed in a hybrid learning format. Students receive training in device inspection, data recovery, network vulnerability assessment, and breach response.
This cybersecurity degree prepares students for various employment in the sector by integrating cyber security and digital forensics courses, like Forensics Analysis, Linux for Digital Forensics, Enterprise Network Investigation, Malware Forensics, Internet of Things Forensics, and Python Programming.
In addition to core, concentration, and elective courses, students can pursue a Digital Forensics Certificate. Additional opportunity for maximum education experience includes Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity Internships. Students can choose among a number of agencies and organizations to apply for internships, including Lockheed Martin, the US Army, JPMorgan Chase, Boston Police Department, and Advanced Intelligence, LLC.
Tuition + fees
Harrisburg University, originally established to answer the Capital Region’s demand for more educational opportunities in STEM vocations, is a significant step toward attracting, educating, and retaining a diversified workforce for the knowledge-based economy of the twenty-first century. The university offers IT and cyber security courses that follow the standards set by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security’s Center of Academic Excellence
Harrisburg offers a flexible online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity Operations and Management designed in collaboration with national leaders to provide cutting-edge cyber security education. The program’s curriculum encompasses a range of disciplines, including computer science, engineering, math, law, and cyber management.
Courses include Cyber Defense, Security Design Principles, Information Systems and Design Analysis, Cloud Cybersecurity and Governance, and Cybersecurity Ethics and Policy.
Students will be required to choose a concentration—either cyber management and leadership or cyber operations management—to tailor their programs. They’ll also receive hands-on experience through projects, internships, and practical training.
Slippery Rock University is not only known for its rigorous academic programs but also for its tuition and fees. The institution has not raised tuition in five years, making Slippery Rock one of Pennsylvania’s least expensive four-year universities, offering more than 150 academic programs.
The Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity at SRU offers a comprehensive curriculum that gives graduates excellent security, communication, and leadership skills. Courses in the program are completed in a face-to-face, online, and blended format. The face-to-face requirements aim to allow students to take advantage of the university’s proximity to Pittsburgh.
With the help of SRU advisors, students will have an easier time landing internships and jobs at Pennsylvania’s largest cyber security employers. Graduates are prepared to become well-rounded cyber security experts who can analyze, create, and implement successful business cyber security plans.
On top of the core and elective courses, students will choose between a Secure Software Development and Security Governance concentration in this Bachelor of Science cyber security program. This option will prepare students for a variety of cyber security careers.
|Career||Job Growth||Avg. Salary|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||16.19%||$134,460|
|Managers, All Other||6.01%||$127,160|
|Computer Network Architects||4.29%||$103,110|
|Information Security Analysts||34.66%||$98,220|
|Bottom 10%||Median||Top 10%|
|State||Cost of Living||Avg. Salary|
|#18 Pennsylvania||5% higher than average||$93,836|
|#2 Virginia||5% higher than average||$112,646|
|#3 Georgia||13% higher than average||$99,493|
|#4 North Carolina||11% higher than average||$99,977|
|#5 New York||5% higher than average||$117,545|
|#6 Washington||7% higher than average||$119,384|