Bachelor’s in Cyber Security Degrees & Schools Guide

Bachelor's Degree in Cyber Security Career Options & Salary

Overview of a Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity


Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing industries in the nation and an excellent choice if you're considering a degree. According to the bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) online security is projected to grow an astounding 28% in the next ten years, which means your degree will make you a coveted asset in any company concerned with their critical information.

Due to the lack of educated employees in the field, you will most likely have a job waiting for you as soon as you graduate. For the same reason, those who hold a Bachelor's degree in cybersecurity can expect to enjoy excellent salaries and timely advances regardless of the type of business they are employed in. Here's a closer look at this career field and whether you should consider earning your bachelor's degree as soon as possible.

Criminal Justice & Law Degrees & Career Paths


PROS

  • Demand is high and you'll most likely find employment very quickly; those who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher are eligible for approximately 13% more positions than competitors with an associate degree.
  • Most bachelor’s degree programs include an internship which will give you valuable networking opportunities, experience in the field, and possibly a job offer upon graduation.
  • A bachelor’s degree will make you eligible to earn certifications in specific areas of the cybersecurity field.
  • Bachelor’s degree graduates, on average, earn much more than counterparts with the same experience but no degree.
  • A specialization within the field will allow you to showcase your knowledge and apply for the positions that interest you the most.
  • Your bachelor’s degree will qualify you for entry into a master's degree program so you can climb the corporate ladder to the top of the cybersecurity industry.

CONS

  • A bachelor’s degree can take four years or more and takes a lot of time and dedication.
  • You must be good at math for this program, as there is a lot required. You'll need to learn analytics and statistical analysis as well as encryption and programming, all of which require strong math skills.
  • A bachelor’s degree can be expensive and it may take considerable time to see a return on your investment.
  • Bachelor’s degree programs require you to have a high school or associate degree grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0, so if you have a less than stellar school record your application may be rejected.
  • If your associate degree is an Applied Science degree, all of your credits may not be accepted into a bachelor’s degree program.

Associates Vs. Bachelor’s


There are certificate programs that can be completed in as little as 12 months. If you hold an associate degree in a different computer subject, a certificate may help you land a job, but it won't be as competitive as a bachelor’s degree. If you choose to enter a certificate program, you should verify that the credits will transfer to a degree program at your future school of choice.

Although it sounds similar, certification is a different subject. You can take a test for certification in a specific subject such as Cisco and it will show you are proficient in that area. Certification in a specialty is highly desirable and often a hiring criteria for job applicants.

What Cyber Security Bachelor’s Degrees are Available?


Your cyber security degree will be a Bachelor of Science because it is a sub-category of computer science. Because the field of online security is relatively, new there are no standard degree titles.

Some typical titles used in the degree are:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Information Assurance
  • Information Security
  • Information Systems Security

Look for programs with titles that are similar to these:

  • BS in Cyber Security Engineering
  • BS in Information Technology: Concentration in Information Security
  • BAS: Concentration in Cyber Security
  • BS in Information Science (BSIS) with a specialization in Networks and Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (Networking & Security specialization)

The most important point to remember is to look closely at the curriculum, as well as any specialties or concentrations offered. Make sure it aligns with your long-term goals and will transfer to a master's degree program you might choose to earn in the future.

Admission Requirements


Each college or university sets its own admission requirements and, as a rule of thumb, the more prestigious schools have more vigorous requirements. Here are the general requirements for most schools:

  • You'll need a high school or associate degree GPA of at least 3.0; you will have to submit your school transcripts as part of the admissions process.
  • Complete an application and submit the requested application fee.
  • If you've completed an associate degree, you'll need to meet the computer class perquisites. Because an associate degree is the equivalent of the first two years of your bachelor’s degree program, you may have to make up some computer or online security courses if your associate is in another subject.
  • Some schools require a minimum SAT or ACT score, letters of recommendation, and an essay as part of the application process.

How long does it take to earn a Cyber Security Bachelor’s?


A bachelor’s degree is considered a four year degree in that it takes approximately four years to complete if you take a full load of classes each semester. If you attend part-time, it may take twice as long, and if you already have an associate degree it will take half as long. If you took college level courses while in high school, you may shave a year or more off the four-year estimate.

Potential Careers in Cyber Security with a Bachelor’s


The following careers are samples of types of jobs you may find directly after graduation from your bachelor’s degree program. Average annual salaries are included, but it's important to point out that, due to the growth in the field of Cyber Security and lack of skilled employees, you most likely will earn more than these averages within a short period of employment.

  • Cyber Security Engineer:
    An online security engineer uses their technical skill set to respond to emergency security incidents and threats. They may lead their team or department in engineering solutions to prevent malicious attacks and implement security practices for future improvements.
    The average cyber security engineer salary is $93,400.
  • Information Security Manager:
    an information security manager is in charge of implementing security measures while maintaining the structural integrity of the company's information and general data. They are in charge of a team of IT professionals whose focus is on prevention rather than threat resolution.
    The average pay for an information security manager is $110,800 per year.
  • Information Security Analyst:
    An information security analyst provides security solutions by collecting data, which is then analyzed to provide insight on the best means of maximizing productivity while maintaining a threat-free IT system.
    The average pay for an information security analyst is $70,400 per year.
  • Cyber security Analyst:
    A cyber security analyst monitors and analyzes data from various sources in order to respond to emergency incidents and threats; they may also develop improvements or solutions to prevent malicious threats and activity.
    The average pay for a cyber security analyst is $76,100 per year.
  • Penetration Tester:
    The penetration tester is basically a hacker employed by a company to look for weaknesses within the organization's IT network. They may also be tasked with securing the system with patches to prevent further threats and compromises.
    The average pay for a penetration tester is $81,400 per year.

Options to Advance


You should make long-term plans to continue your education to the graduate degree level as soon as possible. A master's degree will showcase your expertise, as well as your expansive knowledge base, and allow you to apply for the best positions at any level in the industry. With a master's degree and experience, you can literally work anywhere in the world and will also be qualified for upper management positions in the IT industry. Here are a few examples of positions you might achieve with a master's degree in cyber security:

  • Computer and Information Research Scientist
  • Computer Network Architects
  • Network and Computer System Administrator
  • Software Developer

Best Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security Programs


  • George Mason University
    Fairfax, Virginia

    George Mason University has partnered with cybersecurity organizations around the world to build a state-of-the-art degree program. Partners include Information Systems Security Association Northern Virginia Chapter (ISSA-NOVA) as well as a network of more than 25,000 business alumni to give you the latest technology and career developments within the field of cyber security. They also offer five master’s degree programs and a PhD in Information Security so you can continue your education seamlessly.

    Degrees Offered:

    • BS in Cyber Security Engineering
    • BS in Information Technology: Concentration in Information Security
    • BAS: Concentration in Cyber Security (online or on-campus)
  • University of Maryland-College Park
    College Park, Maryland

    The University of Maryland offers two degrees, so you can choose the area that best fits your personal interests and talents. Both the computer science and engineering departments work together to give you an excellent program in cyber security.

    Degrees Offered:

    • BS in Computer Science with a Cybersecurity Specialization
    • BS in Computer Engineering with a Cybersecurity Specialization
  • University of Houston
    Houston, Texas

    The University of Texas offers a BS that is designed to transfer to a master's in the same field. Students can choose four electives in areas such as digital forensics and secure application design for a customized curriculum in an area of interest.

    Degrees Offered:

    • BS in Computer Information Systems (CIS) with technical electives in Security
  • Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
    Stillwater, Oklahoma

    Oklahoma has a unique program which combines cyber security with business administration and allows you to fast track a path into the upper management of IT departments. A master's degree in the same subject will prepare you for positions at the top of the IT security field.

    Degrees Offered:

    • BS in Business Administration with a major in Management Information Systems and an option in Information Assurance
  • University of Pittsburgh
    Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

    The University of Pittsburg is one of the few schools that holds five Committee on National System Security (CNSS) certifications, making it one of the best schools in the country for a cyber security education. Both a Master's and PhD program are offered with the same specialization.

    Degrees Offered:

    • BS in Information Science (BSIS) with a specialization in Networks and Security

Traditional Schools Offering a BS. in Cybersecurity


  • Utica College
    Utica, New York

    This program offers four specializations to allow students the most personalized degree in cyber security:

    • Network Forensics and Intrusion Investigation
    • Information Assurance
    • Cybercrime and Fraud Investigation
    • Cyber Operations

    Degrees Offered:

    • Online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Southern New Hampshire University
    Manchester, New Hampshire

    SNHU gives you a solid foundation in all aspects of cyber security using industry standard tools and programs. Courses include Application Security, Network Security, as well as Incident Response and Investigation.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security
  • Arizona State University
    Tempe, Arizona

    Certified as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance - Research by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, Arizona State's program delivers state-of-the-art industry standards in every cybersecurity course.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (Networking & Security specialization)
  • Champlain College
    Burlington, Vermont

    Champlain offers a virtual lab that is recognized by the NSA and DHS as the best in online education for cybersecurity courses. It is also designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the U.S. National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

    Degrees Offered:

    • BS in Cybersecurity
  • Grand Canyon University's (GCU) College of Science, Engineering and Technology
    Phoenix, Arizona

    Grand Canyon offers industry-informed IT programs that address the rapidly changing technology advances faced by IT professionals worldwide.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security
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