California Online Cyber Security Degree Graduate Programs

Online Cyber Security Degree graduate programs offer a convenient learning format for students interested in earning their masters, doctorate or graduate certificate in the fast-growing field of computer information security[i]. If you enjoy advanced problem solving, have a strong sense of analysis, are detail oriented, interested in leadership, put your clever computer skills to use! The pervasive use of information technology makes individuals, businesses, organizations and governments potentially susceptible to hacker intrusion, digital spyware and malicious codes. With this comes the need for highly skilled researchers, information security analysts and IT managers who can create safe web networks, software and be one step ahead of cyber criminals. Whether you are a mid-career professional, live too far from an accredited university or just need a flexible study schedule, earning a graduate-level cyber security online degree may be a great fit.  

Online Cyber Security Degree

Why Consider Earning an Online Cyber Security Degree?

Mid–career professionals and Bachelor’s in Cyber Security and Information Assurance graduates may be interested in the convenience of online cyber security degree programs as more universities start to offer these options[ii]. While returning to school is an investment, there are a few facts that may motivate students to put in the extra time and/or money. A few of these reasons could include:

  • The demand for professionals with both computer skills and business knowledge is more common, with a Master’s degree or MBA a commonly sought credential by today’s employers[iii]
  • Some cyber security careers show increased earnings for those who have earned a Master’s degree[iv]
  • Computer scientists, who may be the innovators behind new software technology used in cyber security usually hold a doctorate degree[v]
  • Opportunity to conduct research and learn advanced topics (secure coding, security architecture, hardware protection)
  • Learn how to secure information in a specific industry (healthcare, finance, government)

DID YOU KNOW? STEM occupations in which workers with a master's degree earned a premium over workers with a bachelor's degree include Information security analysts and network and computer systems administrators [vi]

Potential Features of Online Cyber Security Graduate Programs

Given that universities and colleges may have different formats, the nature of online Cybersecurity degrees is that the course material is delivered wirelessly, through the Internet.

Here are other things to consider:

  • In some cases, the program is structured so that students can take courses in any order at their own pace, while submitting assignments on time.
  • Many of these Online Cyber Security degree programs are also asynchronous, which is a way of saying that students get to log in whenever they can to observe the pre-taped lectures.
  • Being able to access streaming video from wherever you have your computer may mean all the difference if you travel for work, have a family or have a job in the information assurance industry but are thinking ahead to potential promotion.
  • Some programs may involve a brief residency on campus
  • Case study research projects may be done at work where applicable

Types of Online Cyber Security Degree Graduate Programs

The availability of Online Cyber Security Degree programs means that you may be able to earn a graduate certificate in cyber security online if you are looking for extra credentials, or you can choose distance-learning for your Master’s degree or Doctoral Degree.

Cyber Security Master’s Degree Online Programs

If you are interested in earning your Masters in Cyber Security, many programs can be completed in approximately two years. Cyber Security Master’s Degree Online programs allow graduate students to choose a technical (Master of Science in Cyber Security) or managerial (Master of Business Administration) focus. Often at the Master’s level, students are able to choose a concentration area such as:

  • Computer Security
  • Cryptography
  • Network Security
  • Risk Management and Compliance
  • Computer Forensics
  • Cloud computing
  • Internet Law

Cyber Security Doctorate Degree Online Programs

PhD in Cyber Security online programs are research intensive, and may take between five and seven years to complete. Students typically devote themselves to a specific area of interest such as computer engineering with an emphasis on information assurance or computer science with a focus on computational practice and security.                                                                                                                     

Look for an Accredited Cyber Security Graduate Program

In your search for a Cyber Security Degree Online program, consider the accreditation of your prospective institution and program. Some colleges and universities receive national and regional accreditation. Some Cyber Security Programs may receive a designation called CAE/IAE and/or CAE/R. The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have designated some institutions as Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE). The national CAE designation program promotes higher education in information assurance and cyber defense.[vii]

Take the Next Step

According to recent statistics, the job outlook for information security analysts between 2014 and 2024 is at a whopping 18%.[viii] Between 2009 and 2011, the amount of cyber attacks increased by  17%[ix]. Why not prepare yourself to meet this trend with a solid academic foundation? Browse through sponsored listings to find the Cyber Security Degree Online graduate certificate, masters degree or doctorate degree that aligns with your ambitions. With the variety of choice, keep in mind that each prospective university has unique features; request more information to get the insight you need to make a selection.


[i] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/mobile/information-security-analysts.htm |[ii] [i] |][iii] [i]| [iv]bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm#STEM |[v] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-informationtechnology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm | [vi] [iv]] | [vii] nsa.gov/resources/educators/centers-academic-excellence/cyber-defense/ | [viii] [i] | [ix] bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-2/pdf/careers-in-growing-field-of-information-technology-services.pdf

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