An Associate’s degree in Cybersecurity is a gem of the future, with significant untapped value for those considering earning one. Most Associate’s are two-year programs, and the field of cybersecurity often benefits versatility, being completed online or in-person. With the cybersecurity job market rapidly expanding for people with such qualifications, it is absolutely a field worth pursuing. A career in Cybersecurity can offer job security and lucrative salaries for graduates. Below are the top ten programs in which one can pursue an online Cybersecurity Associate’s degree.
How We Ranked The Top Online Schools Associate’s Degrees in Cybersecurity
The Online Schools Guide editors found schools offering online or hybrid Associates Degrees in Cybersecurity. Then we ranked the programs based on cost, reputation, and future salary.
|1. Bismarck State College||AAS in Cybersecurity and Computer Networks|
|2. Franklin University||AS in Cybersecurity|
|3. University of St. Thomas in Houston||AAS in Cybersecurity|
|4. LeTourneau University||AS in Cybersecurity|
|5. Alamo Colleges District- St. Philip’s College||AAS in IT Cybersecurity Specialist|
|6. University of Alaska – Fairbanks||AAS IT Specialist: Network & Cybersecurity|
|7. Minnesota State Community and Technical College||AAS in Cybersecurity|
|8. Waukesha County Technical College||AAS in Cybersecurity|
|9. Northern Virginia Community College||AAS in Cybersecurity|
|10. Lake Superior College||AAS in Network Administrator and Cybersecurity|
1. Bismarck State College
|Degree: AAS in Cybersecurity and Computer Networks|
Bismarck State College is one of the top online schools with an Associate’s in Applied Science in Cybersecurity and Computer Networks. This program is completed with sixty credits and students can choose a two-year or three-year degree completion plan. In addition, Bismarck State offers two other cybersecurity programs, including Cybersecurity and Information Technology and Cybersecurity Fundamentals. Dubbed as North Dakota’s Polytechnic Institute, BSC is undoubtedly an elite option for anybody looking to venture into cybersecurity while completing their classes online.
Bismarck State College is a public institution and the third largest college in North Dakota. While it is technically a community college, it offers Bachelor’s degree programs in specific fields. It is also known for a few unique programs of study, mostly revolving around niche environmental fields. The school was established in 1939 and currently enrolls around 3,700 students.
2. Franklin University
|Degree: AS in Cybersecurity|
Franklin University is one of the top online schools with a Cybersecurity Associate’s Degree. Franklin offers an Associate of Science (AS) in Cybersecurity, with plans to expand the program as jobs grow. This degree is sixty credits, most of which can be applied to the school’s Bachelor’s of Science in Cybersecurity. Students interested in a BS should consult their advisor to make sure they have the most direct degree plan from the beginning. Franklin offers affordable tuition and a tuition discount for military and veterans. With Franklin, students can complete the program entirely online from anywhere in the world. With that kind of flexibility, it is an excellent choice for an online cybersecurity program.
Franklin University is a private university specializing in online courses. The school has locations nationwide and primary campus in Columbus, Ohio. Franklin was founded in 1902 at the YMCA but rebranded itself as Franklin University in 1939.
3. The University of St. Thomas in Houston
|Degree: AAS in Cybersecurity|
The University of St. Thomas in Houston offers an online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Cybersecurity. This two year associate’s in cybersecurity takes five semesters to complete and requires sixty credits. UST also offers bachelor’s degrees in computer science and will accept up to twenty-one credits toward the BS for students interested in a higher degree. Students in the AAS program are taught the specific skills to be work ready in the in-demand field of cybersecurity. In addition, University of St Thomas students in the Houston area can take advantage of the local job prospects and competitive salary right out of school. Houston is one of the leading cities in the US for STEM salaries. Given the capabilities and connections this school offers, it is an excellent choice for an online Cybersecurity associate’s degree.
The University of St. Thomas in Houston is a private Catholic university founded by the Basilian Fathers in 1947. While its primary campus is in Montrose, TX, students can complete many degrees online. Currently, around 3,200 students enroll in the school annually. About half of which are undergraduates.
4. LeTourneau University
|Degree: AS in Cybersecurity|
LeTourneau University is one of the top online schools for an online Associate of Science (AS) in Cybersecurity. The school also offers a bachelor’s degree and a certification program in Cybersecurity that are stackable. The certificate in cybersecurity is 12 credits, the AS is 64, and the BS is 125 credits. The classes build and the certificate credit hours are included in the associate’s degree. Furthermore, students can complete all of these programs entirely online or in-person. Students who complete any cybersecurity program can earn up to two industry-leading certifications. Online cybersecurity programs are convenient. LeTourneau University is a must-consider for any potential cybersecurity student.
LeTourneau University is a private Christian institution located in Longview, Texas. Established in 1946 by RG Letourneau, it has since taken on an identity of its own. It is known as the Christian polytechnic university. In 2021, their enrollment totaled around 3,000 students.
5. Alamo Colleges District- St. Philip’s College
|Degree: AAS in Information Technology Cybersecurity Specialist|
Students can earn one of the best online Cybersecurity associate’s degrees from Alamo Colleges District at St. Philip’s College. The school’s Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology Cybersecurity Specialist prepares students to secure computer networks. The sixty-credit program has four associated certifications students can complete. In addition, the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security designated St. Philip’s a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense in Two-Year Education.
The Alamo Community College District is a group of five public community colleges in the San Antonio area with a total annual enrollment of around 68,000. This conglomeration of schools is a powerhouse of resources, offering over 300 affordable degree programs. One of these five schools, St. Philip’s College, has two campuses in San Antonio and first opened in 1898. St. Philip’s is a Hispanic Serving Institution and an HBCU.
6. University of Alaska Fairbanks
|Degree: AAS IT Specialist: Network & Cybersecurity|
The University of Alaska at Fairbanks is one of the top online schools for a Cybersecurity Associate’s degree. The UAF Information Technology Specialist program is stackable and offers a certificate and an associate’s degree. The thirty-credit Information Technology Specialist Certificate prepares students for entry-level cybersecurity jobs and completes half of the AAS. With an additional 30 credits, students earn an Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology Specialist. Furthermore, this program has as a minor in conjunction with a Computer Engineering program. UAF promotes the highest competency levels. Students seeking this degree must also take and pass the state of Alaska Fundamentals of Engineering exam in their general field.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks, often abbreviated to UAF, was founded in 1917. The school’s six campuses enroll over 8,000 students annually. Many of its programs are unique, with very geographically specific uses. For example, UAF offers degrees in Arctic Biology, Arctic Engineering, and Alaska Native Studies.
7. Minnesota State Community and Technical College
|Degree: AAS in Cybersecurity|
Minnesota State Community and Technical College offers an online associate’s degree in Cybersecurity. The school’s Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Cybersecurity is a two-year degree program. Students earn half of the 60 credit AAS degree with a stackable 30 credit Certificate in Cybersecurity. The MSCTC Cybersecurity program also offers industry and workforce development and industry training opportunities for students. Graduates and employers alike praise this program. As the most recommended institution on this list, the MSCTC online associate’s in Cybersecurity is an online program to consider.
Minnesota State Community and Technical College is a public institution located in Morehead, Minnesota. It is notable for having a large number of their courses available online. Established in 2003, it currently enrolls around 6,400 students on campus and an additional 9,000 online students.
8. Waukesha County Technical College
|Degree: AAS in Cybersecurity|
Waukesha County Technical College offers a top online Associates degree in Cybersecurity. WCTC has a CAE2Y designation from the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) as a school of academic excellence. Additionally, the program is known for its versatility. IT students interested in earning the Network Specialist and the Cybersecurity Specialist degrees can enroll in a dual program. Students in this program earn both degrees in three years. This program is a solid choice for anybody looking to delve into Cybersecurity.
In addition, they have a cybersecurity program available with an Associate of Applied Science Degree. A note about this specific program is a hybrid, meaning it’s taught online, in person, or both. Waukesha County Technical College is a community college located in Wisconsin. Established in 1923, it has the second-largest enrollment of any institution on this list, with 17,836 students enrolled.
9. Northern Virginia Community College
|Degree: AAS in Cybersecurity|
The Northern Virginia Community College online cybersecurity associate’s degree program is one of the best options for an information security degree. The NOVA Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity is a 65 credit program. In addition, students have the option to earn other cybersecurity certifications. Northern Virginia Community College is very proud of the program they have put together in cybersecurity. This school is ideal in terms of location and people looking for a larger school.
Northern Virginia Community College is a community college comprised of six different campuses around the suburbs of Washington DC. It is the third-largest multi-campus community college in the United States and the largest educational institution in Virginia. Additionally, Jill Biden, the current First Lady of the United States, teaches English. Established in 1964, it currently has an attendance of around 76,000 students.
10. Lake Superior College
|Degree: AAS in Network Administrator and Cybersecurity|
The AAS in Network Administrator and Cybersecurity online program at Lake Superior College is one of the top online associates in cybersecurity. This degree is an affordable two year program in cybersecurity that prepares students to enter the workforce. With a focus on defensive strategies, this degree combines systems administration fundamentals and networking. Designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, LSC is in a cybersecurity league of its own.
Lake Superior College is a community college in Minnesota. The 97-acre main campus is in Duluth near Lake Superior. The school opened in 1995 and is well known for offering many affordable online classes, certificates, and degrees.
What Are The Different Associate Drgrees in Cybersecurity?
Associate Degrees in Cybersecurity come in several forms. Some of these degrees include the Associate of Science (AS), the Associate of Applied Science (AAS), the Associate of Arts (AA), and the less common Associate of Applied Business (AAB).
- Associate of Science: the AS degree is a college transfer degree with a focus on science and math. This degree should qualify as two years of a four year degree and also be a degree in cyber security. Many are designed for students to move on to a specific four year cyber security degree at another college.
- Associate of Applied Science: the AAS degree introduces students to cybersecurity and prepares them for a career in the field. They should be prepared to pass certification tests specific to the field. However, this degree usually does not have as many classes that would transfer to a four year college.
- Associate of Arts: the AA degree is a college transfer degree with a focus on humanities. This degree generally has more of a focus in criminal justice, business, and policy. The degree should substitute for two years of a four year degree at many colleges and also be a humanities based cybersecurity degree.
- Associate of Applied Business: the AAB is sometimes a college transfer degree. It prepares students for an entry level role in cybersecurity related to business.
What Are The Best Entry Level Cybersecurity Jobs?
The BLS reports that most cybersecurity jobs require a bachelor’s degree. This requirement may have been true for a long time. However, there are thousands of unfilled cybersecurity jobs. And there are plenty of jobs you can secure with an associate’s degree in cybersecurity. These entry-level cybersecurity jobs include:
- Cybersecurity Associate
- Cyberthreat Analyst
- Cybersecurity Penetration Tester
How Much Can You Make With Associates A Cybersecurity?
What are current salaries for entry level Cybersecurity Analyst with an Associate’s Degree? According to employer-reported sources on job posting sites, the average salary for an entry level Cybersecurity Analyst with an Associate’s Degree is around $61,000 – $65,000.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for cybersecurity professionals is vital. For example, the employment of Information Security Analysts will grow by 33% between 2020 and 2030, a rate significantly faster than the national average for all occupations. The median annual wage for information security analysts was $103,590 in May 2020.
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