If you’re looking for a career in cybersecurity, this high level of threat is a good thing. Careers in cybersecurity are expected to grow as much as 37% by 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and we have nowhere near enough cybersecurity experts and analysts today. If you’re already working in cybersecurity, or have a bachelor’s degree in some other computing field, it may be time to go back to school and increase your credentials with a master’s degree. You’ll not only distinguish yourself on the job market, but prepare yourself for the flood of work to come.
However, it’s important to know what you’re getting into. If you’re working full time, an online degree seems like the obvious choice, but not all online degrees are worth your time and money. The Value Colleges Cheap Lists take care of the money part – these are all at the low end of the tuition spectrum. But worth your time? Absolutely. We list only regionally-accredited, reputable programs with a track record of value.
1 University of South Florida
The University of South Florida is a rapidly growing, major public research university in Tampa, FL. Besides being ranked a top 100 public institution, USF is also an NSA-designated National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cybersecurity – one of the best programs for counter-terrorism and espionage. USF offers an online master’s degree in Cybersecurity with specializations in Cyber Intelligence, Digital Forensics, Information Assurance, and Computer Security Fundamentals, depending on what area is most interesting to you, and an incredibly low tuition rate of $347 per credit makes it one of the best values you’re likely to find online.
2 Bellevue University
Bellevue University, in Bellevue, NE, is one of the most highly-ranked online educators. Founded in 1966 as an adult education-oriented private institution, Bellevue has found great success in updating distance education to the digital age, and their online degree programs are not only high in quality, but exceptionally affordable. At only $525 per credit, Bellevue’s online Master of Science in Cybersecurity is also recognized by the NSA and Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence, and prepares graduates for work in private, public, or military computing.
3 Liberty University Online
Liberty University, a private, evangelical institution in Lynchburg, VA, has an online education system that makes all but the biggest pale in comparison. Thanks to its online degree programs, Liberty is the biggest private university in the nation, and that student demand is backed up by quality. Liberty’s 36-credit Master of Science in Cybersecurity degree can get working adult students out of school and on the job quickly, making the most of their reasonable $540 per credit tuition rate.
4 Excelsior College
Excelsior College was created to deliver distance education, founded by the New York State Board of Regents (the body that oversees all New York University system colleges and universities) to develop convenient degree programs for working adults way back in 1971. Since the advent of the internet, Excelsior has been fulfilling that mission with online degrees such as the Master of Science in Cybersecurity, an accredited program with an affordable price tag of $620 per credit.
5 University of Maryland University College
The University of Maryland University College is not a college in the University of Maryland, though it started out as one; since 1970 it’s been an independent institution in the UM system, offering distance education all the while. Today UMUC’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity is a highly sought-after degree, designed for professionals working in cybersecurity or a related field who want to increase their marketability and skills. UMUC also offers a MS/MBA dual degree for more grounding in business along with cybersecurity.
6 Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University is a private, Catholic institution in Saint Leo, FL. While “small,” “private,” and “Catholic” may suggest elite, inaccessible, or expensive, Saint Leo turns that assumption around with a slew of reasonably-priced (at $695 per credit, as low as many public universities), convenient online degree programs, including a Master of Science in Cybersecurity. The Cybersecurity program follows the guidelines suggested by the NSA, and numerous extra certifications are available.
7 Florida Institute of Technology
The Florida Institute of Technology, better known as Florida Tech, is a private STEM university in Melbourne, FL. As a polytechnic-style university, Florida Tech specializes in technology, giving their online Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity a high level of credibility. Plus, one general truth about polytechnics is their high ROI – graduates make a lot more money in their career than they would without them, so even at $777 per credit, Florida Tech graduates can expect an employment path rewarding enough to make the price worth it.
8 Norwich University
The words “security” and Norwich University go hand in hand. As the oldest senior military college, Norwich is the model of all military universities that followed. Not surprisingly, Norwich’s online Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance is a top choice for all sectors that need cybersecurity expertise. At $791 per credit hour, Norwich is still within the realm of low-cost, especially when you take into account their job market value and employment potential.
9 Penn State World Campus
Penn State World Campus is one of the most recognizable names in online education, and has been for quite some time now. Pennsylvania State University was one of the first significant research universities to invest in fully online degrees, back in 1998, and after taking an early lead Penn State has never backed down. Penn State has continued to innovate online education and lead the way, and if $805 per credit sounds like the higher end of pricing, it’s still a bargain (especially when many lesser schools charge much more). Penn State’s World Campus offers a Master of Science degree in Information Sciences – Cybersecurity and Information Assurance that will get your resume to the top of the pile.
10 Mercy College
While he was still a high schooler, Mark Zuckerberg took a graduate course at Mercy College. That should not be construed as any sort of guarantee that students will make Facebook money, but it seems worth mentioning. Mercy College, a small, private liberal arts college in Dobbs Ferry, NY, offers many strong online degree programs, including a Master of Science in Cybersecurity that can be earned as a fifth year BS/MS or as an 18-month MS program. Mercy College, like South Florida and Bellevue, is named a National Center of Excellence by the NSA.