The Best Online Cyber Security Associate Degree Programs of 2021
Cyber security has gone mainstream in recent years, mainly because of the massive transition to digital platforms in almost every industry. However, the Internet landscape is not always secure, and online companies are concerned about protecting their confidential and sensitive data from cyber theft.
The demand for expertise in this field is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 31 percent growth in information security jobs through 2029. If you’re interested in capitalizing on this growth, you should get an associate degree. Read this article to learn about the best online cyber security degrees of 2021.
At a Glance: The Top 10 Cyber Security Associate Degrees of 2021
The table below provides a summary of what we’ll be discussing in detail. Check out our list of the best online Associate Degrees in Cyber Security.
|School and Degree||Tuition||Notes|
|Bismarck State College
Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security and
|$167 per credit
$250 per credit
|Central Texas College
Associate of Applied Science in Cyberdefense –
|$95 per semester hour
$119 per semester hour
$248 per semester hour
|Georgia Military College
Associate of Science in Cyber Security
|$159 per credit hour||All students|
|Ivy Tech Community College
Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity and
|$150 per credit hour
$293 per credit hour
|Minnesota West Community and Technical College
Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information
Security and Assurance
|$195 per credit||All students|
|Quinsigamond Community College
Associate of Science in Computer Systems Engineering
Technology – Forensics Option
|$24 per credit
$230 per credit
|St. Petersburg College
Associate of Science in Cyber Security
|$112 per credit
$387 per credit
|SUNY Broome Community College
Associate of Applied Science in Computer Security
|$212 per credit
$424 per credit
|University of Maine at Fort Kent
Associate of Science in Information Security
|$245 per credit
$392 per credit
|Westchester Community College
Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security
|$199 per credit
$493 per credit
Why You Should Pursue a Cyber Security Associate Degree Online
If you’re interested in earning an Associate Degree in Cyber Security, you should consider studying online. Online associate degrees are usually self-paced. Many remote degree courses are also cheaper than on-campus courses. In-person classes carry extra costs like transportation fees and living expenses as well.
- Online associate degrees are sometimes self-paced, allowing you to study on your own time.
- They can be attended in the comfort of your home, which saves time and money.
- Online degree programs and courses are generally more affordable than in-person options.
What Are the Requirements for an Online Cyber Security Associate Degree?
The requirements for an online cyber security associate degree include a high school diploma or equivalent certificate. If you are an international student, you may also need to complete an English proficiency test.
In addition to this, every program has its own set of prerequisites for students. Also, some courses might require a defined score in standardized tests like the management aptitude test (MAT). Check with your preferred program to make sure you fit the requirements.
Top 10 Online Cyber Security Associate Degrees: 2021 List
Associate degrees can provide a foundation for further studies, and they can lead to entry-level jobs in the industry. These degrees are also ideal for starters and enthusiasts with no prior knowledge of cyber security. Below, we will review the top 10 online cyber security associate degrees in 2021.
Bismarck State College | Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security and Computer Networks
Bismarck State College’s Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security and Computer Networks is a popular program. Its goal is to train and equip students with the right knowledge and expertise to thrive in the ever-growing field of cyber security.
The curriculum is quite versatile and includes basic programming, networking and security, Windows, Linux, web design, and databases. This program can be taken online, on campus, or as a hybrid program. It can be completed in two to three years, depending on the student’s schedule.
Central Texas College | Associate of Science in Cyberdefense - Information Assurance
Central Texas College’s Associate of Science in Cyberdefense – Information Assurance provides hands-on training to students and prepares them to work in the industry. It is a good choice because it offers a well-rounded double major.
The curriculum includes fundamentals of computing and networks, information security, network administration, and defense. Central Texas College provides financial aid and scholarships to students.
Georgia Military College | Associate of Science in Cyber Security
If you are a veteran, in the military, or a relative of someone in the military, this is a good program for you. However, anyone can apply. Georgia Military College offers many high-quality degree programs through its online campus. According to its official website, its average class size is only 13 students.
Ivy Tech Community College | Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
Ivy Tech Community College offers both an Associate of Science and Associate of Applied Science in different cyber security topics. These two programs are quite distinct. An Associate of Science provides a basis for advanced studies, while an Associate of Applied Science helps students get started in the field right away.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Security Agency (NSA) named Ivy Tech a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. This title adds to the worth of the associate degree and could provide an edge to land a job in the industry.
Minnesota West Community and Technical College | Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Security and Assurance
Minnesota West Community and Technical College offers an online Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Security and Assurance. At only $195 per credit for all students, this is a good option if you are out-of-state or an international student.
The curriculum for this program includes courses related to computer forensics, information security management, data security awareness, and information technology customer service.
Quinsigamond Community College | Associate of Science in Computer Systems Engineering Technology - Forensics Option
Quinsigamond Community College offers an Associate of Science in Computer Systems Engineering Technology with the option to focus on computer forensics. This program covers core topics in cyber security, including programming and scripting, ethical hacking, and advanced topics in security.
This program is designed to meet business and industry demands and provide knowledge and skills to the students planning to start their careers in cyber security. If you want to become a cyber security engineer, this is the program for you.
St. Petersburg College | Associate of Science in Cyber Security
St. Petersburg’s Associate of Science in Cyber Security is an online program for students planning for advanced studies. This program prepares students for major industry certifications like CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA A+.
The associate degree transfers to a four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Cyber Security. The comprehensive curriculum comprises required courses like ethical hacking, network security, network defense, operating system security, incident reports, disaster recovery, and Linux/Unix.
SUNY Broome Community College | Associate of Applied Science in Computer Security and Forensics
SUNY Broome Community College offers a self-paced online Associate of Applied Science in Computer Security and Forensics. Students can opt for full-time or part-time depending on their schedule. This associate program opens up paths for advanced studies and employment as IT technicians, computer operators, and forensic technicians.
The 64 credit hours program covers various topics, including some basics like Java and Python programming. You can also learn advanced topics like cryptographic systems, computer forensics, malware analysis, and advanced computer networks.
University of Maine at Fort Kent | Associate of Science in Information Security
University of Maine at Fort Kent offers an online Associate of Science in Information Security. This program prepares students to work in cyber security or information technology. The Associate of Science offers hands-on topics and immersive courses.
The 60 credit-hour curriculum includes 29 credit hours of general education as well as degree-specific courses like computer forensics, network security, cyber defense, and system security.
Westchester Community College | Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security
Westchester Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security. Besides 26 credit hours of general classes, the curriculum includes cyber security courses like computer forensics, database management systems, penetration testing, and object-oriented programming.
This program equips students with the necessary skills to land an entry-level job in cyber security, mostly as IT administrators or security analysts. Graduates can also opt for a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology.
Choosing the Right Online Cyber Security Associate Degree Program
There are many different aspects to consider before deciding which associate degree to pursue. First, consider the cost of the program. Then, think about the duration and what you want to gain from investing in the course. Read below to learn more about these factors in-depth.
Online programs are generally cheaper than face-to-face programs. Still, the cost structure varies for different institutions. This is especially important if you want to attend a program that is not in your state. Choose an option that has low out-of-state tuition and few fees.
Most online associate degree programs are self-paced and could take roughly two to three years to complete. The required credit hours vary from 60 to 72. Courses with 60 credit hours are usually specialized and suitable for candidates with prior experience in IT and computer science.
Return on Investment
Some courses clearly define prospective career options for graduates. Searching for salaries and job titles can help calculate return on investment and help decide if a program is worth pursuing. You can also look at graduate outcomes and alumni associations to gauge the success of graduates.
What Can You Do With an Online Cyber Security Associate Degree?
An associate degree could help you land an entry-level job or pave the way for advanced studies. In the long run, advanced studies pay off because most high-paying jobs require higher education. However, you can get some jobs with an associate degree. Read below to learn more about some cyber security associate degree jobs.
Average Salary: $88,937
An IT manager manages the company’s computer infrastructure and relevant areas. An associate degree teaches the fundamentals of IT required for such a position. If you’re interested in leadership, you should try to get this job.
Average Salary: $69,421
A security analyst’s responsibilities include assessing and maintaining security networks. A security analyst identifies potential threats to networks and neutralizes these threats. Associate programs cover aspects of network security necessary for this job.
Average Salary: $60,465
Network administrators are responsible for maintaining hardware and software systems and also focusing on the network components within their company. Most online associate programs dedicate a course to networking and security fundamentals, which are necessary for this position.
How Much Can I Expect to Earn With an Online Cyber Security Associate Degree?
According to PayScale, the average salary of people with associate degrees is $57,110. An associate degree can help you land an entry-level job in this field. However, most high-paying jobs favor highly qualified candidates, many of whom have a master’s or doctoral degree.
Is an Online Cyber Security Associate Degree Worth it in 2021?
Yes, an online cyber security associate degree is worth it in 2021. The biggest reason is that online learning can be cheaper than on-campus learning. It is also safer during the pandemic to stay and study at home.
Cyber security is a critical and sensitive field to work in and requires formal training. That’s why employers seek candidates who have at least an associate degree. If you want to pursue a cyber security or network security career, you should start with one of these online degrees.