Best Cybersecurity Bachelor's Degrees 2022

Updated September 13, 2022

Explore our ranking of the best cybersecurity degrees, and learn more about a career in coding and computer science.

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Organizations and businesses need trained professionals to protect their computer networks from online attacks. Cybersecurity bachelor's programs give students the skills to detect system weaknesses, make improvements to security and performance, and train other employees to use software and hardware properly.

Cybersecurity degree-holders pursue lucrative, growing careers. Graduates work in information security analysis, computer forensics analysis, security software development, and security administration. Many cybersecurity careers are projected to grow at above-average rates in the coming decade.

Why Get a Cybersecurity Bachelor's Degree?

Cybersecurity developed in response to threats like the Morris Worm and the Melissa Virus. Following the 1988 Morris Worm crash, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University developed the first computer emergency response team (CERT). CERT still influences cybersecurity defense strategies today.

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, about 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs worldwide were unfilled in 2021. This demand creates large growth projections and high salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects information security analyst jobs to grow by 33% from 2020-2030. These workers made a median annual salary of $103,590 as of 2020.

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, about 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs worldwide were unfilled in 2021.

Professionals with cybersecurity degrees can find employment across many industries. These professionals work at large companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple. With cybersecurity degree-holders in such high demand, many of these positions also come with perks. Benefits may include flexible, remote work in full- or part-time capacities.

Job Growth

Cybersecurity degree-holders work in a quickly growing field. The BLS projects security software developers, for example, to grow by 22% from 2020-2030.

High Pay

Many professionals with cybersecurity degrees earn more than double the median annual wage for other U.S. occupations. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for professionals across the computer and information technology industries is $91,250.

Valuable

Cybersecurity professionals spend their time helping businesses, companies, nonprofits, and other organizations safeguard their sensitive information. In many cases, this information contains data about their finances, employees, and online users. In this way, cybersecurity workers provide a valuable service to protect businesses and individuals on a daily basis.

What To Expect From Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Programs

The top cybersecurity bachelor's degrees train students in industry-standard skills like governance, risk, and compliance. With this framework, learners explore how cybersecurity professionals investigate and assess the misuse of information systems and malicious handling of data. Ultimately, bachelor's degree-holders in cybersecurity understand security-related offenses, essential technologies, and investigative practices that information assurance roles require.

Bachelor's degrees in cybersecurity typically require 120 credits for graduation and take four years of full-time study. A number of factors can affect students' timeline to graduation. Learners in accelerated programs, or those with a substantial amount of transferable credits, may finish more quickly.

The core courses and electives for cybersecurity bachelor's degrees vary among programs. Learners usually take classes such as ethical hacking, database design, networks and security, and digital forensics.

Admission Requirements

Most prospective cybersecurity bachelor's students do not need training in technology or cybersecurity to apply. Students may benefit from courses in math, English, science, and the social sciences while in high school.

Schools expect incoming learners to hold a high school diploma or GED certificate with at least a 2.0-3.25 GPA. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit their official transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, letter of recommendation, or a personal statement.

Many schools today accept applications through the Common App. This allows applicants to use a standard application form when applying to multiple institutions.

Degree Options

Bachelor's degree-seekers in cybersecurity can choose from a variety of learning formats. Schools today offer online, hybrid, and in-person cybersecurity programs.

Cybersecurity degrees may also offer asynchronous or synchronous course delivery. Learners with good time management skills who also need scheduling flexibility can benefit from asynchronous cybersecurity classes. For students who want a more traditional experience, synchronous online learning features regularly scheduled virtual course meetings alongside their fellow classmates.

Some schools offer concentration areas in cybersecurity, such as data analytics or project management. While not all programs offer specialization areas, students can expect these concentration tracks to reflect the strengths of the school's faculty and access to resources.

Popular Cybersecurity Courses

Cybersecurity degree curricula often follow the latest trends and standards in the industry. Students can expect a mix of foundational cybersecurity courses along with more specialized skills. Here's a look at some of the more common classes for bachelor's degrees in cybersecurity.

Application Development Foundations

Faculty help students explore complex problem-solving techniques for engineering and business applications. Students learn to write organized, structured, and logical computer code that allows them to master key aspects of object orientation.

Cyber Law

This class covers the critical components of security and privacy in the private sector. Students explore case studies that illustrate policies and compliance in incident response, computer crime, pending cases, and intellectual property disputes.

Database Design

This course trains students with Microsoft SQLServer and MySQL database management systems. Learners develop skills in business data analysis while using Excel tables, relational databases, and pivot tables.

How Much Will a Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Cost?

The cost of cybersecurity bachelor's degrees varies among schools. In most cases, learners can expect to spend more at private institutions or out-of-state public schools. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, average private school tuition for the 2019-20 school year cost $32,769. For public schools, in-state and out-of-state tuition averaged $9,349 and $27,023, respectively.

Students can take advantage of a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships, grants, work-study programs, and loans. Every student, regardless of their financial situation or academic performance, should submit a FAFSA to receive consideration for federal, state, and institutional financial aid.

Jobs for Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Graduates

The top cybersecurity bachelor's degrees provide students with the essential skills and technical knowledge to pursue high-paying positions. Cybersecurity undergraduate programs can also position learners for career growth through specialty certifications. Students can also pursue graduate studies, which can lead to higher-paying senior roles in cybersecurity.

While bachelor's degree-holders can find employment across major industries, let's take a closer look at some of the most popular roles for new graduates in the field.

Security Analyst


These professionals safeguard computer networks for nonprofits, government entities, and businesses. Information security analysts maintain systems by updating software and hardware and developing new strategies to defend against evolving security threats. These workers often find employment in finance, insurance, computer systems design services, and administration support services.

Required Education: Bachelor's degree

Job Outlook (2020-30): +33%

Median Annual Salary: $103,590

Information Systems Manager


These workers help organizations maintain and improve computer software and hardware with the goal of securing its electronic documents and network. Systems managers often work directly with top executives in their company to assess costs and benefits of upgrading systems.

These professionals typically work in computer systems design, finance, and insurance.

Required Education: Bachelor's degree

Job Outlook (2020-30): +11%

Median Annual Salary: $151,150

Security Auditor


Cybersecurity auditors offer comprehensive analyses of organizations' computer networks and systems. They compile detailed reports of existing cybersecurity protocols and their efficiency. In addition to ensuring cybersecurity measures comply with regulations, auditors recommend network security improvements to company leaders.

Required Education: Bachelor's degree (may also require work experience and certification)

Average Annual Salary (Dec. 2021): $84,040

Junior Penetration Tester


These workers conduct systematic tests to determine organizational cybersecurity weaknesses. Penetration testers typically possess a bachelor's degree and experience in coding or scripting. As entry-level employees, junior penetration testers often work in a team to help companies determine areas for security improvement before malicious hackers take advantage.

Required Education: Bachelor's degree

Average Annual Salary (Dec. 2021): $70,000

Network and Computer Systems Administrator


These administrators ensure that operating systems and computer software run properly. They may serve as problem-solvers for major technical issues. System administrators may also optimize network performance and security. Some workers also train users in the proper use of a company's hardware and software.

Required Education: Bachelor's degree

Job Outlook (2020-30): +5%

Median Annual Salary: $84,810

Choosing the Right Cybersecurity Graduate Program

When researching schools, prospective cybersecurity students should look for programs that produce successful alumni with similar academic or career interests. This often-overlooked aspect of researching schools helps young learners gain insight into the value of a school's alumni network and how that cybersecurity bachelor's might support their aspirations.

Bear in mind that the best cybersecurity degrees come from schools with regional accreditation. Some may even have programmatic accreditation from ABET. Not all regionally accredited programs hold ABET accreditation. However, ABET credentials indicate a school's investment in offering the best, most updated education for future cybersecurity professionals.

Top Online Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

Should You Get Your Degree Online?

With continuously improving online learning technologies, many students today enjoy the flexibility and convenience of remote coursework. Cybersecurity classes also fit well into the virtual classroom environment, so degree-seekers in this area should consider online programs a viable option.

Remote or hybrid cybersecurity degrees often work well for students with jobs or familial obligations who need scheduling flexibility. Distance learning, however, requires good time management skills and self-sufficiency to keep up with schoolwork.

Other Educational Paths

For learners already enrolled in a bachelor's program, a master's degree in cybersecurity may prove useful before entering the job market. According to BLS data, master's degree-holders earn over $12,000 more per year than those with only bachelor's degrees.

Depending on which career path master's degree-holders in cybersecurity pursue, this graduate degree might open doors to high-paying, senior-level positions in the field. Master's degrees can also help workers switch careers paths from a non-cybersecurity role.

According to BLS data, master's degree-holders earn over $12,000 more per year than those with only bachelor's degrees.

Explore other cybersecurity education paths:

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Cybersecurity Certificate Programs

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Associate Degrees in Cybersecurity

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Masters Degrees in Cybersecurity

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Online Masters Degrees in Cybersecurity

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Doctoral Degrees in Cybersecurity

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Top Five Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Programs 2022

The need for cybersecurity professionals continues to increase. The BLS projects 33% job growth for information security analysts from 2020-2030. A bachelor's in cybersecurity provides graduates with the education and training needed to pursue industry jobs. This ranking makes it easier for students to choose the right program.

1

United States Air Force Academy

Located in Colorado, the United States Air Force Academy educates military cadets. Cadets receive a free education. Upon graduation, they serve as commissioned U.S. Air Force or Space Force officers.

Cyber Science Major

USAFA enrolls students without cybersecurity experience in the cyber science major. Cadets complete 145 credits in four years. All enrollees receive a broad liberal arts education through USAFA's core curriculum.

The core explores subjects such as math, English, and biology. Cadets also complete components focused on character and leadership development and commissioning education.
The cybersecurity major produces cadets proficient in cryptography, cyber warfare, and cyber operations.

Upon graduation, commissioned officers work in a variety of assignments. This includes in intelligence, the office of special investigations, or space and missile operations.

Applying to USAFA

To qualify for admission, applicants must be ages 17-23, unmarried with no dependents, and hold U.S. citizenship. The application process requires nomination by a legally authorized entity. Applicants must meet academic, character, physical, and medical and weight standards.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Regional: Higher Learning Commission (HLC); Programmatic: Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Delivery Format: On campus
2

Taylor University

Taylor University is a Christian liberal arts college located in Upland, Indiana. Students choose from 100 areas of study. They learn in classrooms with a 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personalized learning.

BS in Computer Science -- Cybersecurity

The BS in computer science -- cybersecurity emphasizes hands-on learning. All students complete a core focused on the Bible and Christian beliefs. The core also provides a strong liberal arts education. Students develop technical competencies in digital forensics and computer and network security.

Participants learn how to develop interactive webpages. A course focuses on software reverse engineering and analysis. Enrollees work with a defense contractor on cybersecurity projects. Students culminate the cybersecurity degree with a senior project. The program has a nearly 100% graduate placement rate.

Applying to TU

TU encourages applicants to submit ACT, SAT, or CLT test scores, but does not require them. Applicants must demonstrate they completed college prep courses in high school. Degree-seekers must also submit a Christian character reference.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Institutional: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $48,534 total
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Delivery Format: On campus
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 42%
3

University of Richmond

Established in 1830, the University of Richmond is a liberal arts college located in Virginia. The school enrolls about 3,200 undergraduates in 90 programs. With an 8-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, undergraduates receive attention to help them succeed.

BS in Professional Studies - Information Security Major

The BSPS in information security offers a transfer-friendly program for nontraditional learners The 120-semester-hour curriculum blends theoretical learning and real-world applications. Students complete general education coursework in various disciplines.

The major requires a professional core that includes applied ethics and applied statistics. A course focuses on leadership in the global environment. All enrollees complete IT security and local area network training.

The rest of the major is flexible. Students can choose from courses like digital forensics, database design, and computer programming in Java. Learners enhance their marketability with an optional minor in HR management or paralegal studies. Applicants can transfer up to 60 semester hours into this cybersecurity degree.

Applying to Richmond

Applicants need a high school diploma or GED certificate and a minimum 2.0 GPA for transfer students. All applicants must take the ACCUPLACER reading comprehension and sentence tests for placement.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Institutional: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $530/semester hour
  • Program Length: 2-4 years
  • Delivery Format: On campus
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 36%
4

Randolph-Macon College

Randolph-Macon College is a small private college located in Virginia. R-MC enrolls about 1,600 students in 55 areas of study. Students study on a 125-acre campus. Degree-seekers have access to more than 80 student organizations and clubs.

BS in Cybersecurity

The BS in cybersecurity builds on foundational computer science coursework. The curriculum emphasizes communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Students develop proficiencies in four cybersecurity areas: data, software, network, and system security. All students complete an ethics course. Enrollees can work with faculty on cybersecurity research.

The program features internship opportunities with tech companies in the Fairfax County area. Enrollees can work with faculty to tailor internships to meet their career goals. A capstone project highlights enrollees' hands-on cybersecurity experience.

Degree-seekers can begin the cybersecurity program as first-year or transfer students. R-MC's articulation agreement with the Virginia Community College System makes it easier to transfer an associate degree.

Applying to R-MC

R-MC is a test-optional college. Applicants do not need to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission. Transfer students need a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA and submit all college transcripts.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SAOCSCC)
  • Tuition: $45,150/year
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Delivery Format: On campus
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 60%
5

Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University was founded by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. BYU, located in Provo, Utah, enrolls about 30,000 undergraduates. Students can engage in a variety of extracurricular activities on campus.

BS in Cybersecurity

Students complete the BS in cybersecurity on campus in Provo. BYU's required university core consists of general education and religion coursework. The BS in cybersecurity's 120 credits include 77 credits devoted to the major, beginning with foundational coursework like calculus and statistics for engineers and scientists.

Students develop technical proficiency in digital forensics and information assurance and security. A required course provides ethical hacking and penetration testing experience. Participants apply their skills on two senior projects. The degree's activities develop students' teamwork and managerial skills.

Applying to BYU

Most applicants do not need to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission. All applicants must submit high school and/or college transcripts and 4-5 essays. Degree-seekers must receive an ecclesiastical endorsement for admission.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Institutional: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Tuition: $323/credit (Latter-day Saint); $646/credit (Non-Latter-day Saint)
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Delivery Format: On campus
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 14%

FAQ's about Bachelor's in Cybersecurity

What can you do with a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity?

true A bachelor's degree in cybersecurity can help learners secure entry- and mid-level employment in this fast-growing field, including positions as information security analysts, information systems managers, and cybersecurity engineers.

Is a BS in cybersecurity worth it?

true A cybersecurity bachelor's degree helps professionals become competitive job candidates for roles typically inaccessible to those with only a high school diploma or associate degree. For example, according to data from CyberSeek, 63% of cybersecurity specialist job listings online require at least a bachelor's degree.

Do cybersecurity jobs pay well?

In addition to bountiful job opportunities, cybersecurity bachelor's degree-holders earn lucrative salaries. According to the BLS, many popular cybersecurity positions come with a median annual wage more than twice the median wage for all occupations in the United States.

Is a cybersecurity degree hard?

All learners can succeed in cybersecurity bachelor's programs if they possess a strong work ethic and desire to learn new skills. Undergraduate programs can prepare degree-seekers of all skill levels and backgrounds for careers in cybersecurity.

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