Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing fields, not only in IT, but in the economy at large. The demand for qualified cybersecurity and information assurance professionals also greatly exceeds the supply of them. Cybersecurity and information assurance professionals are responsible for:
- Designing networks and systems that are secure.
- Preventing unauthorized entry to organizational systems and information.
- Taking the lead on disaster recovery in the case of a breach or systemic failure.
- Helping to meet organizational goals and designing or running systems that work within organizational limitations.
With a Master’s in Cybersecurity, you’ll separate yourself from the vast majority of professionals in the field, and you’ll have a plethora of opportunities, as well as a wildly increased earning potential. Here are some recent statistics on computer science at large, and cybersecurity and information assurance specifically:
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics found employment in computer science and information technology will increase 13% from 2016 to 2026, which means more than half a million new jobs.
- This demand will require qualified professionals that can meet the growing need to digitally host, organize and secure evermore data.
- In some subsections of computer science like cyber security and information assurance, it’s predicted there will be millions of unfilled jobs in the coming years.
- Employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 37% from 2012 to 2022.
- Hackers are stealing $250 billion annually in intellectual property, including weapons designs, source code, trade secrets and, internal communications.
- In 2014, the World Economic Forum found there were 2.5 billion exposed records in the previous five years due to cyber attacks.
- A recent report by Cybersecurity Ventures found that by 2021 cyber attacks could cost the world $6 trillion.
- Last year, the Equifax cyber attack compromised 143 million Americans’ data, and the Identity Theft Resource Center found that hundreds of millions of records were traded on the black market. It’s also been noted that the attack was completely preventable, if proper cybersecurity measures had been taken.
- This year, Facebook was hacked, compromising the data of 50 million users.
- There will be approximately 1.5 million unfilled cybersecurity/information assurance positions by 2020.
- According to a recent CNBC, the average annual salary for a cyber security professional with a Bachelor’s degree is $116,000, and almost double for those holding a Master’s degree.
This is where you come in. By choosing one of the extremely affordable Cybersecurity Masters degrees on our list, you’ll be making a significant investment in your future earnings, and the meaning you can take in your career. These degrees will prepare you to work throughout the economy, whether for private businesses, non-profits, or for government agencies. You may notice that some of the programs have received the NSA/DHS certification is a National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense CAE IA/CD. Approximately 100 schools have earned this designation, which demonstrates they’ve met criteria including (but not limited to), demonstrating outreach, collaboration, research and multidisciplinary scientific education in information assurance and cyber defense. These schools have been certified to teach students about data analysis, basic scripting/programming, cyber defense, cyber threats, fundamental security design, information assurance fundamentals, cryptography, IT systems, networking, issues of policy, legal, ethics and compliance, and system administration. The NSA and DHS have a significant demand for cybersecurity professionals, and their designation carries weight throughout the market.
We ranked the schools using the following criteria, placing emphasis on affordability, so you can see the largest return on your investment:
- National rankings
- Student-to-faculty ratio
- Tuition cost
- Percentage of students receiving financial aid
- Delivery format
- Special features, and more.
Let’s get to the schools that made the cut:
1) Fort Hays State University
Fort Hays is one of the largest state schools in Kansas. It was founded in 1902 as an agricultural school. Over 15,000 students attend the school, which has an 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Today FHSU is made up of four colleges: Business and Entrepreneurship, Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Education and Technology, and Health and Life Sciences. In total, Fort Hays’ has 31 departments, 60 undergraduate majors and 19 graduate programs. Students at FHSU receive great flexibility while earning certificates, Associates, Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees. There are 30 degrees offered completely online, serving students in over 27 countries. FHSU is ranked in the 128th-165th backed of the Regional Universities Midwest ranking in U.S. News & World Reports 2019 edition.
FHSU offers a Master’s in Cybersecurity. It has earned the NSA CAE IA/CD designation for excellence in information assurance and cybersecurity. Sample courses include Research Methods in Informatics, Foundations of Information Systems Security, before major courses like Information Systems Forensics, Network Defense and Penetration Testing. FHSU is extremely affordable, with students paying $280 per credit hour regardless of their location. Students are required to take comprehensive examinations to demonstrate their competence in the field. The program concludes in a culminating experience in which students do a Capstone in Informatics.
- Cost: 1st ($280 per credit hour regardless of location)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: 97%
2) University of the Cumberlands
University of the Cumberlands is a private school located in Willamsburg, Kentucky. It’s part of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, the Kentucky affiliate of the Southern Baptist Convention. The school was founded in 1889. Nearly 10,100 students attend Cumberlands, which has a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio. It’s programming is conveyed through four colleges: Cumberland College (the university’s undergraduate school), the Hutton School of Business/Management, the Hutton Center for Leadership Studies, and the Graduate/Professional Education program. The school was accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Its undergraduate program includes 45 majors, and its graduate and doctoral offerings include degrees in Information Security systems(ISS), Education (MAEd), Psychology (MAPC), Business Administration (MBA), Physician Assistant Studies (MSPA), and Christian Studies (MACS), Educational Specialist program, Clinical Psychology (Ph.D.), Education (Ed.D.), Counseling (Ph.D.), and Leadership (Ph.D.).
Cumberlands offers an online Master’s in Information Systems Security. It’s earned the NSA CAE IA/CD designation. It’s intended for working professionals in the field who have earned a bachelor degree. Its program is aimed at preparing students to protect, defend against and investigate cyber attacks. A major focus is compliance with applicable federal regulations on information security. The program requires 31 credit hours. Sample courses include Access Control, Cryptography, Application Security, Operations Security, Legal Regulations, Compliance, and Investigation, and several others.
- Cost: 2nd ($315 per credit hour regardless of location)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: 100%
3) American Public University System
The American Public University System is an online, for-profit institution made up by the American Military University and American Public University. It’s owned and operated by American Public University Inc. APUS was founded in 1991, and based out of Charles Town, West Virginia. Over half its student body in 2016 said they were still currently on active duty in the military. While not mandatory, it demonstrates APUS’ commitment to military students. Over 46,000 students attend the school, which has a 20:1 student-to-faculty ratio. APUS offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, in addition to dual degrees, certificate programs and learning tracks.
APUS offers an online Master’s of Cybersecurity. It requires 36 credits, and can be completed in two years of full time study, and has monthly course starts. The program focuses on prevention and response to cyber attacks. Students will gain a foundation of knowledge about the technical and practical aspects of cybersecurity, and then will focus on policy, and infrastructure of organizations that are vulnerable to attacks. You’ll become well versed in assessing threats to a wide range of institutions, and responding to them within the legal, ethical and technical framework used by cybersecurity professionals daily. The program allows up to 15 applicable transfer credits.
- Cost: 3rd ($350 per credit hour regardless of location)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: 100%
4) Jacksonville State University
JSU is a public school based out of Jacksonville, Alabama. It was founded in 1883, and offers undergraduate through doctoral degrees, in addition to educational specialist programming. Over 8,500 students attend the school, which has a 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio. 40 of its academic programs have earned specialized programmatic accreditations, including business, education, applied engineering, nursing, social work, drama, art, music, computer science, family and consumer science, and communication. Its programming is offered through colleges of Arts and Sciences, Commerce and Business Administration, Education and Professional Studies, Nursing and Health Services, Graduate Studies and Library Studies. JSU is also known for its international exchange program, and the wide diversity of its student body.
JSU offers an online Master of Science (MS) with a major in computer systems and software design in two concentrations: General and Information Security/Assurance. They require 15 semester hours of required courses. The Information Security/Assurance program is designed to educate future managers, planners, analysts and programmers in the specification, design and deployment of cutting-edge computing and information systems. Students will be prepared to work in business, industry, government, non-profit organizations, or education. The program takes an applied approach to learning, focusing on what goes into software development, and how that software and systems can be designed and run securely. It does this by looking at what successful software organizations do to build and secure their products.
- Cost: 4th ($382 per credit hour regardless of location)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: 93%
5) Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw is a public, co-ed university known for its research. It’s a member of the University System of Georgia. Over 35,800 students are enrolled in the school, which has a 21:1 student-to-faculty ratio. It was founded in 1963. Its programming includes business, education, engineering, nursing, physical sciences, criminal justice and sports management. KSU is the third largest university in Georgia, and top 50 in the nation. Its been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is overseen by the Georgia Board of Regents. In 2019, USNR ranks KSU 45th among Most Innovative Schools, and in the 230-301 bracket of National Universities.
KSU offers an online Master of Science in Information Technology. It’s for students looking for a career in the, “management and performance of information systems planning, development, implementation and operation.” Students will choose from a list of elective courses like Database Administration, Adv Web Concepts & Apps, Information Security Seminar and much, much more. Required courses include IT Service Delivery, IT Design Studio, InfoSecurity Concepts & Admin. Students can choose to focus on IT Security, Health Information Technology, or Databases and Networking.
- Cost: 5th ($383 per credit hour regardless of location)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: 90%
6) National University
NU is a private, nonprofit university in La Jolla, California. It was founded in 1971. Nearly 17,100 students attend the school, which has a 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio. NU conveys programming through its College of Letters and Sciences, the Sanford College of Education, the School of Business and Management, the School of Engineering and Computing, the School of Health and Human Services, and the School of Professional Studies. Its online programming was created to facilitate engagement and interactivity, with streaming videos, real-time discussions, multimedia learning material, and online classrooms. Its online programs are often concentrated (with some taking only 4 weeks to complete). This design’s intention was to help working, adult learners take that fit their lifestyles. NU’s endowment is within the top 200 in the country. Recently, NU has received recognition for how many minority student’s its conferred master’s degrees to.
NU offers an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. It seeks to give students the technical and managerial skills necessary to maintain the security, confidentiality, integrity, authenticity, control, availability and utility of information infrastructures worldwide. It has received the NSA/DHS designation. Required coursework is paired with optional classes in ethical hacking, information assurance and security policy. You’ll learn to create plans that guard against external and internal vulnerabilities of computer infrastructures and assets. To accomplish this, students will analyze risk assessment methods and strategies, learn the legal and ethical framework of cybersecurity, judge security assessments to grade the security status of a network/system, research topics central to cyber security/information assurance and weave systems-level-infrastructure thinking into cyber security/information assurance conflict and resolution.
- Cost: 6th ($416 per credit hour regardless of location)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: 51%
7) Dakota State University
Dakota State University is a public university based out of Madison, South Dakota. It was founded in 1881. It’s extremely focused on technology, and its motto is, “Technically, we’re better.” Its main programs are in computer and information science, but also offers business, education, natural sciences, liberal arts and more in graduate and undergraduate degrees. Over 3,300 students attend DSU, which has a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio. In 2019, USNR ranks DSU 36th among Top Public Schools.
DSU offers an online Master of Science in Information Assurance and Computer Security. It aims to help students grow alongside the developing world of cybersecurity. Students will gain in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge in order to secure and protect information, prevent digital attacks, and develop security strategies for any organization through this program. Topics covered include data privacy, computer forensics, hacking, and intrusion detection. Students will gain advanced skills in leading strategic technical efforts and evaluating all aspects of a network in the position of their choice. Graduates are qualified for jobs in penetration testing, incident response, system administration, cyber security, and many other areas of cybersecurity. DSU is known for its constantly evolving research and equipment. The program received the NSA CAE IA/CD designation, and requires 30 credit hours to complete.
- Cost: 7th ($444 per credit hour regardless of location)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: 93%
8) Southern Arkansas University Main Campus
SAU is a public university in Magnolia, Arkansas. It was founded in 1909. SAU offers 70 different undergraduate options through four colleges (Business, Education, Liberal and Performing Arts and Science and Engineering). It also offers 19 graduate programs. It offers unique programming like its Game and Animation Design, which comes in either computer science or arts and design concentrations. It also has an excellent engineering program. Over 4,600 students attend SAU, which has a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
SAU’s Master of Science in Computer and Information Science comes with a Cyber Security and Privacy Option. It can be taken entirely online, on campus, or a hybrid of both. The program balances theory and practice, and is constantly updated to reflect industrial/technological changes. Students in the MCIS program can choose focuses in Information Technology, Data Science and of course Cyber Security & Privacy. The Cyber Security option covers security analytics (like penetration testing and digital forensics), cyber defense and privacy compliance. Students need experience with computer systems and applications for this concentration. Graduates often go on to work in security/privacy architect, forensic specialist, security/privacy compliance analyst, or continue their education towards a PhD.
- Cost: 8th ($332 per credit hour for in-state students, $467 for out-of-state students)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: 98%
9)Western Governors University
WGU is a private, non-profit university in Salt Lake City, Utah. Over 98,600 students attend the school, which has a 41:1 student-to-faculty ratio. It was founded in 1997. WGU uses a competency-based learning model, using assessments throughout their program to determine whether students are absorbing and building the knowledge and skills they need to earn their degree. Former United States Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan said of this kind of results-oriented online programming, “…programs [like WGU] are now the exception, I want them to be the norm.” WGU is a multiple winner of the 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning from the United States Distance Learning Association. WGU has been offering top-notch online education for years, and has become one of the nation’s top producer of science and math teachers. In 2013, it was ranked #28 out of the 50 most innovative companies in Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies Issue.
WGU offers an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. It can be completed in 6-20 months depending on your ability to take classes and demonstrate what you’ve learned/already know. The program also prepares you to sit and earn the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker and EC-Council Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI) certifications, and the exams are covered by your tuition. 97% of graduates recommend WGU. This program meets the most recent NSA/DHS guidelines for cybersecurity education. The curriculum covers best practices in systems and services, networking and security, scripting and programming, data management, and IT business.
- Cost: 9th ($481 per credit hour regardless of location)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: 65%
10) Johnson & Wales University
JWU is a private, non-profit, career-oriented university headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island. The school also has three other campuses, and a robust online division. It was founded in 1914. It’s known for its business, arts & sciences, culinary arts, education, engineering, equine management, hospitality, and engineering technology programs. In 2019, USNR ranks JWU 74th in both the Regional Universities North and Best Value Schools categories. Its online school serves over 1,100 students and offers an 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
JWU offers an online Master of Science in Information Security/Assurance. In it, you’ll learn to research, develop and test system security plans and disaster recovery procedures to ensure the stability of information systems and stop unauthorized entry to them. Students will choose a technical or business track after taking core classes. They’ll also prepare for various security certifications, including the CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), CISA (Certified Information Security Auditor) and SSCP (Systems Security Certified Practitioner). Sample courses include Software Security Testing, Network Security and Cryptography, and Securing Virtualized and Cloud Infrastructures.
- Cost: 9th ($481 per credit hour regardless of location)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: 6%
11) Kentucky State University
KSU is a public university in Frankfort, Kentucky. It was founded in 1886. It began as the State Normal School for Colored Persons, and was the second state-supported institution of higher learning in the state. Nearly 1,600 students attend KSU, the vast majority in undergraduate classes. That means intimate, small groups in their graduate programs. Through four colleges (Agriculture, Food Science and Sustainable Systems, Arts and Sciences, Business and Computer Science and Professional Studies) KSU offers four associate degrees, 55 undergraduate degrees and six post-graduate programs. KSU costs $476/semester hour for all students. 100% of its students receive financial aid, and 28% of graduate students take online classes.
KSU’s Master of Science in Computer Science Technology Program comes in two options: Information Engineering and Cybersecurity. It can be taken entirely online. This program offers students who haven’t completed a Computer Science undergraduate degree a chance to catch up through foundational courses that those who have can skip. Students that haven’t completed a computer science undergrad program will take Computer Science Foundation I (Introduction to Programming), Computer Science Foundation II (Discrete Mathematics) and Computer Science Foundation III (OS Design) to catch up. All students will take Advanced Programming & Data Structures, Advanced Database Management System, Software Engineering, Advanced Computer Architecture and Software and Information Security, regardless of their concentration or previous experience. The Cybersecurity option tackles information and network security, enterprise management and cryptography.
- Cost: 10th ($500 per credit hour regardless of location)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: 100%
12) Liberty University
Liberty is a private, non-profit, primarily online Christian doctoral research university headquartered in Lynchburg, Virginia. It was founded in 1971. Over 75,000 students attend Liberty, which has an 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio. It was founded by Reverend Jerry Falwell, and looks to aid the intellectual and spiritual development of its students. Liberty says the secret to success lies in a solid commitment to biblical truth. According to LU, it’s the nation’s largest nonprofit online university, and has pioneered distance learning since 1985. Its online programs have over 245 different degrees offered with competitive tuition rates.
Liberty offers an online Master’s of Cyber Security. Students will gain a detailed understanding of digital forensics, applied network security, security engineering and web security through this program. They’ll also become well-versed in the analytical framework necessary for prevention, detection, countering, and recovery from cyber attacks and security weaknesses. This program requires 36 credit hours to complete. Classes are offered 100% online through 8-week sessions. Liberty allows 50% of those program hours to be transferred in if students have applicable credits.
- Cost: 11th ($565 per credit hour regardless of location)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: 96%
13) Bellevue University
Bellevue is a private, non-profit university in Bellevue, Nebraska. It was founded in 1966. It was founded in Bellevue, Nebraska. Bellevue’s identity is focused on adult education, with the majority of its undergraduate students aged 25 and over (80% as of 2011). Over 8,600 students attend the school, which has a 40:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Common features of Bellevue programs include accelerated, cohort-based, and/or online delivery. In the 80’s Bellevue almost closed, but was able to bounce back and eventually expand its offerings. Bellevue’s online programs have been consistently ranked in the top ten in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Bellevue offers an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity. This program takes a practical, hands-on approach to information security technologies and risk management techniques, using actual information security events as inspiration. Students will learn to solve organizational problems, protect informational/technological assets and respond to security incidents. This program is intended for entry or mid-level cybersecurity professionals. Experienced professionals may be qualified for an accelerated schedule depending on their certifications and work history. Outcomes for the program include developing, investigating and communicating security policies, detailed knowledge of information technology governance, risk management, and compliance procedures, and create/recommend plans to lower risk and respond to cyber attacks.
- Cost: 11th ($565 per credit hour regardless of location)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: 92%
14) University of Massachusetts-Lowell
The University of Massachusetts Lowell is a public research university in Lowell, Massachusetts. It serves over 18,300 students and offers a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio. It offers 115 bachelors, 48 masters and 26 doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health, humanities, sciences and social sciences. It’s the second largest public university in the state behind UMass Amherst. UMass-Lowell is known for its degrees in engineering, criminal justice, business, education, music, science and technology. USNR ranks Lowell 157th among National Universities in 2019. It also was ranked 80th among Top Public Schools.
Mass Lowell offers an entirely online MS in Security Studies with a Cyber Security concentration. The degree consists of 10 classes, 7 required and 3 electives. Requires courses include Contemporary Security Studies, Intelligence Analysis Policy and Practice, and Research Design, among others. Electives include Digital Forensics, Secure Mobile Networks, Cloud Computing, and Information Security, Privacy and Regulatory Compliance. Lowell consistently revamps the classes it offers in this program to give students the latest in computer network security principles, human behavior, systems, cyber forensics, and more. This program has been designated for excellence in Cyber Defense Research by the NSA and DHS. Classes offered in this program are by UMass Lowell faculty in the School of Criminology and Justice Studies.
- Cost: 12th ($575 per credit hour regardless of location)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: 89%
15) Sam Houston State University
SHSU is a public university in Huntsville, Texas. It was founded in 1879. It’s a member of the Texas State University System. The school offers 80 undergraduate, 59 master’s, and 8 doctoral degree programs. Nearly 21,000 students attend SHSU, which has a 21:1 student-to-faculty ratio. It’s ranked in the 230-301 bracket among National Universities in USNR’s 2019 rankings. USNR has also called Sam Houston one of the best schools in the country for online graduate programs. It’s considered one of the most “wired” universities in the country.
SHSU offers an online Master of Science in Information Assurance and Security. It requires 36 credits, and has three start dates per year. The program is intended for students with a Computer Science undergraduate degree and/or an undergraduate degree in a related technical field plus professional experience. Students will be prepared to protect information resources, secure network systems, prevent network damage, perform risk assessment and recover data after disaster. There are three start dates a year, in Fall, Spring, and Summer. Application deadlines for the three are August 1st, December 1st and May 15th respectively.
- Cost: 13th ($526 per credit hour for in-state students, $579 for out-of-state students)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: 92%
16) Atlantic International University
Atlantic International is an online university based in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was founded in 1979. It offers Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral programs. It’s known for self-paced programming, and describes itself as a nontraditional university. AIU offers students “self instruction (with guidance),” and the opportunity to design your curriculum in collaboration with the school in a number of ways to create a unique experience for each student. Their programs have been designed to facilitate accelerated completion. Students at the school can access 16 millions full texts, 34,000 books, and about 108 millions bibliographic references in more than 400 languages.
AIU offers an online Master of Network Administration and Security. It covers the theory, and practical aspects of system management, network and system design, analysis, efficiency and security. Students are able to customize this program in a number of ways, including what classes they take, when they take them, and much more. Core courses/topics include Disaster Recovery, Forensics and Security, IT Governance, Network Infrastructure, and much more. The program builds towards a Master Thesis (7,500 words) which students are encouraged to publish.
- Cost: 14th ($582 per credit hour regardless of location)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: N/A
17) Colorado Technical University
CTU is a for-profit, private, mostly online university in Colorado Springs. It was founded in 1965. 96% of its undergraduates are enrolled only in distance education. In total, more than 25,500 students attend CTU online, and it has a 28:1 student to faculty ratio. It conveys degrees through colleges of Business & Management, Engineering & Computer Science, Health Sciences, Information Systems & Technology, Security Studies and Project Management. The school is mostly funded by the Department of Defense and GI Bill, which could lead graduates to careers working for the government in cybersecurity. USNR ranks CTU 144th among Engineering Programs for 2019.
CTU offers an online Master of Science in Computer Science with a focus in Cybersecurity Engineering. It has earned the NSA/DHS designation, adding to its governmental connections. The program is intended for students with a background in Computer Science. Students who don’t have that background can catch up in two foundational courses that cover discrete math, programming languages, object-oriented programming, data structure, algorithms, and algorithm analysis. This curriculum will help students learn to make policy-level decisions in cybersecurity, whether they want to work in the public or private sector. Courses cover management, IT/Computer Science and cybersecurity law and policy. It requires 48 total credits.
- Cost: 15th ($585 per credit hour regardless of location)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: 80%
18) Sullivan University
Sullivan University is a for-profit, private university in Louisville, Kentucky. It was established in 1962. Sullivan is the first for-profit school to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It has nearly 3,500 students, and a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio. When Sullivan began, it started as a Business school, and has been offering Business Bachelor programs since 1990, receiving accreditation two years later. Sullivan has a strong history in online education, and is committed to offering the exact same resources to online and on-campus students. This year Sullivan merged with Spencerian College and Sullivan College of Technology and Design, creating one united university.
Sullivan offers an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity. It can be earned in as little as 18 months. Students will build skills and experience in information security assessments, monitoring and auditing of computer implementations and networks. They will learn how to investigate operating systems security, how distributed systems work, and the intricacies of database security, security policies and protocols, cryptography, applications security, and how they fit together. Students will prepare to work as cyber policy analysts, chief security officers, cyber-security software engineers, digital forensics experts, information systems security administrators, among other roles.
- Cost: 16th ($590 per credit hour regardless of location)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: 99%
19) Capitol Technology University
Capitol Technology University is a private, non-profit university northeast of Washington D.C. It was founded in 1927. Capitol is a small school, serving just over 730 students, with a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio. It offers undergraduate and graduate programming in engineering, computer science, information technology, and business. CTU was designated by Carnegie Classification as a Special Focus Institution in Engineering. The school’s programming is delivered by two colleges, the School of Business and Information Science and the School of Engineering and Computer Science. In 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked Capitol 15th among top online engineering degree programs for student engagement and 43rd for its graduate engineering program in “Student Services and Technology.”
Capitol offers an online Master of Science (MS) in Cyber and Information Security. The program requires 36-39 credit hours. It’s designed to help graduates meet the rapidly growing demand for cyber security professionals. Students will pair 24-27 credits in the core curriculum with 12 credits of electives focusing on areas like network engineering, information assurance, network engineering, software assurance, and project management and writing practicum. Graduates often work as information systems security officers, information security analysts, administrators and consultants, risk managers and auditors, chief technical officers, chief information officers and much more. The program has earned the NSA/DHS designation.
- Cost: 17th ($600 per credit hour regardless of location)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: 95%
20) Southern New Hampshire University
SNHU is a private, nonprofit New Hampshire university. It was founded in 1932 as a small, regional university. Since then it has grown exponentially. Today, over 90,900 students (28:1 student-to-faculty ratio) attend SNHU, the vast majority through its significant distance education programs (92% for undergraduate and 93% for graduate). Obviously, SNHU is known for its online programming, and figuring out how to educate in the digital era. It has been ranked by Fast Company as the 12th most innovative organization in the world, where it sat among companies like Apple, Google, and HBO, and above NFL, Starbucks, and LinkedIn. SNHU’s accelerated classes give students an opportunity to quickly complete their degrees and get back to their careers. It’s especially known for its Business, IT and Computer Science programs.
SNHU offers an online Master of Science in Cyber Security. Its core focus is on network management and security, knowledge management and web fundamentals. The program then moves on to immerse students in information security management, intelligent agents and distributed decision-making, information security and assurance and multisensory data fusion. The program requires 36 credits, and sample courses may include Cyberlaw and Ethics, Human Factors in Security, Investigation and Digital Forensics, and more. This program culminates in a Cyber Security Capstone project. Graduates go on to work as chief security officers, information security analysts, cyber security managers or administrators, digital forensics analysts, and more.
- Cost: 18th ($627 per credit hour regardless of location)
- Percent of students receiving financial aid: 66%