Guide to Online Education in Cyber Security

High-quality online education in cyber security is available for you today. Read this comprehensive guide to online education in cyber security now.

When choosing a career path it is important to consider what it offers you both short and long-term. Careers in cyber security not only pay approximately fifty percent more each year than many other professions, the demand for them is also increasing. This means cyber security careers have significant short and long-term benefits. Can you get an education in cyber security online? High-quality online education in cyber security is available today. What are the top online schools with accredited cyber security programs? How long does it take to complete various cyber security degrees and what are the costs? Read ahead for an informative guide to online education in cyber security today.

What Does a Cyber Security Career Offer You?

A career in cyber security has significant short and long-term benefits. Cyber security jobs pay approximately fifty percent more every year than many other careers and are rapidly increasing in demand. Surging cyber attacks and aggressive new types of cyber criminals are two primary factors contributing to the increased need for highly educated cyber security experts. The COVID-19 pandemic created an undeniable need for Telehealth services and virtual work-from-home jobs. What was thought to be a temporary phase due to acute necessity turned out to be a permanent change in standard operating procedure for many U.S. businesses and government organizations.

A cyber security career offers you a position in one of the most rapidly expanding professional fields in the nation. Because so many businesses have converted to virtual office environments their critical and confidential data has simultaneously been placed at more risk from hackers. Medical records, financial statements and personal information all need to be protected more than ever before throughout the history of America. Are you a patriot? Do you want a career where you are able to earn a high salary, while serving your country and protecting its citizens from your position on the high-tech front lines? In 1961 former President John F. Kennedy famously said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” A modern cyber security career offers the best of both worlds by affording you a high-paying job you love, while giving you the chance to ward off technology-based attacks from would-be attackers.                   

Types of Jobs Available in Cyber Security Fields

Seemingly countless types of jobs are available and/or becoming available in multiple cyber security fields across the country. Entry-level through advanced positions have new openings every day. The type and level of education you pursue is dependent on the type of cyber security job you wish to obtain. The primary function of cyber security is to protect and recover of data stored online and in private or business databases. Positions for network engineers, IT consultants and cyber mitigation engineers are available. Cyber intelligence analysts, incident response agents and data privacy specialist positions are also opening every day. Other types of jobs available in cyber security fields include:

  • Security technician

  • Threat intelligence agent

  • Chief information security officer

  • Cloud security expert

  • Cybersecurity architect

  • Health information security

  • Application development

  • Risk management                  

How Long to Complete a Cyber Security Degree Program?

The length of time it takes to complete a cyber security degree program depends on the level of education you obtain. Your job of choice determines how much education you will need. A cyber security associate degree takes two years to complete. Bachelor’s degrees in cyber security studies take four years total, or two years beyond an associate degree program. A master’s degree in cyber security takes another additional two years. Ph.D. (Doctorate) programs require two to four years beyond master’s programs to complete depending on the field of study, school and other circumstances. Online accelerated programs, when available, might allow you to obtain these various degrees faster.

Certificate programs in cyber security are also available. American Military University (AMU), Federal Virtual Training Environment (FedVTE) and Bellevue University Cybersecurity Certificate of Completion are all schools offering high-quality online cyber security certificate programs in 2021. These types of programs take approximately one year to complete, although completion times vary based on school policies and course content.

Costs of a Cyber Security Degree Education

While some cyber security courses available in 2021 are free, most college degree programs charge tuition and other expenses. The average base-level tuition for a cyber security degree starts around $19,000 and increases accordingly. Application, processing and technology fees are also charged by most schools. The more advanced your degree program the more it costs as well. For example, a doctorate program costs significantly more than a certificate program. Different schools also charge different tuition rates. A master’s degree in cyber security at the prestigious Stanford University costs more than the same type of degree at random state colleges around the country. Tuition costs for online degree programs is almost exactly the same as it is for degrees obtained on campus. Online degree programs eliminate expenses for room/board and travel, however.

Cyber Security Education: Financial Aid & Funding

Financial aid might be available to you when you complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Federal Pall Grants might also be available to help pay for your cyber security education. The website posts a comprehensive list of cyber security-specific scholarship programs. The CIA Undergraduate Scholarship Program is also available as are possible school-specific scholarships and grants, which are awarded based on grade point averages and other factors.