Hybrid Cyber Security Graduate Degree Programs

Several graduate schools offer hybrid cyber security graduate degree programs. Typically targeted to working professionals, these distance-learning programs blend online and ...

on-campus requirements.

Why Consider Hybrid Cyber Security Graduate Degree Programs?

While not all structured the same way, hybrid cyber security graduate degree programs offer a potentially more affordable and flexible way to earn a PhD, Masters or MBA in Cybersecurity. Usually, a substantial amount of coursework is available through web-based courses and virtual laboratory settings. On-campus courses, meeting, weekend labs or symposiums, may be interspersed throughout the program, so residential requirements may be minimal. What are the potential advantages to blended online cyber security university programs?

  • Possibility to maintain your work schedule or family obligations while you advance your education and credentials;
  • Online courses may be self-paced. Create your own study schedule, submit assignments (on time) through a web-portal
  • Meet your professors and other classmates not only through online chat or group class discussion but also in person;
  • Opportunity to be part of your college community;
  • Possibility to take advantage of on-campus facilities and computer laboratories;
  • Potential to network and foster mentorships;
  • Varied learning settings may enhance your take-away knowledge;
  • Possibility to earn your degree at a non-local university without the cost of relocation or of full room and board.
  • The online component might be asynchronous which means courses are pre-recorded; students log in when convenient.
  • The online component might be asynchronous which means you may have live streaming and interactive programming.

Selecting a Hybrid Cyber Security University Program

If you have gained a strong understanding of information assurance in an undergraduate cybersecurity program, a hybrid cyber security graduate degree program is your opportunity to hone a specialization. With the variety of options, just how does one choose an information security graduate program? Here are a few points to consider:

  • What are your interests? Perhaps your passion is security policy, or understanding how security breaches affect bottom line business growth. Or, you may be coming from a distinct computer science, engineering or mathematics background. You may want to expand your existing knowledge and technical skills in helping to secure computer environments.  Some hybrid cyber security graduate degree programs may be cross-departmental, while others may focus on a specific approach (e.g. IT, management, computer engineering)
  • What level of Cyber Security Degree? Are you searching for a Master of Science or MBA in Cybersecurity? Are you interested in a PhD in computer science with a concentration in information assurance? Often, a cybersecurity school will offer a specific level or type of degree.
  • What technology or research are you interested in? Some graduate schools may have specific research projects, affiliations, or technology that peaks your interest in their cybersecurity program.
  • Extra preparation: Some graduate schools with cybersecurity programs may offer internships or industry networking opportunities
  • What is the accreditation standing of your prospective hybrid cyber security graduate degree program?

About Cybersecurity Programs

Graduate-level information assurance and cybersecurity programs typically prepare scholars and professionals to pursue potential careers in public and private sectors managing, operating or protecting critical computer systems, stored confidential information, networks, infrastructures and communications networks from cybercrime, cyber fraud and cyber terrorism.

DID YOU KNOW? The federal government is expected to greatly increase its use of information security analysts to protect the nation’s critical information technology (IT) systems.[i]

Hybrid Masters in Cyber Security Degree Programs

Some hybrid Masters in Cyber Security degree programs may entail about 30 credits of both core courses and electives, plus a capstone thesis. A full-time student may be able to complete the requirements of a cyber security Masters degree in approximately two years, although this may vary. Admission may require a Bachelors degree in information assurance or in a STEM discipline. 

Hybrid Doctorate in Cyber Security Degree Programs

Hybrid Doctoral programs in information assurance  tend to emphasize research and advanced computer science. These programs are typically designed to develop leadership, analysis and management of business information systems. Aside from courses in information security architecture, digital systems security and business intelligence, a doctorate degree in cyber security may entail a dissertation based on the findings of your research. While program lengths vary, one might be able to complete the requirements of a Doctor of Computer Science in approximately four to five years of full-time education.

Career Outlook

Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of information security analysts is projected to grow by a significant amount – 18 percent between 2014 and 2024 and a whopping 36 percent in the field of computer systems design and related services (same time frame)[ii]. With demand this high and cyberattacks growing in frequency, this might prove to be a good time to prepare with solid skills, graduate level management, and potentially expanded professional networks.  

Find Accredited Hybrid Cyber Security University Programs

Hybrid cyber security graduate degree programs may be offered at regionally accredited universities and cyber security schools. Aside from institutional accreditation, which means your prospective university is committed to an on-going quality review of its entire institution, some cybersecurity programs may be recognized as National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.[iii]

Take the Next Step

Ultimately, earning a cyber security graduate degree through a hybrid learning format may offer you the best of two worlds – interaction and in-person learning combined with self-paced study. Choose your degree level (masters in cyber security or PhD in Computer science/info assurance). Use our easy on-page navigation to contact prospective schools. Get started today!


[i]bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm |[ii] [i] |[iii] .nsa.gov/resources/educators/centers-academic-excellence/cyber-defense/ |