Protecting information has become increasingly important in recent years because day by day, the amount of data that is created, stored, and accessed grows exponentially. If you are one of those people who are interested in pursuing a career in information security, you’ll be glad to know that the projected growth for this field is 26% over the next ten years, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is much faster than the average growth rate among jobs in the nation.
The average annual salary for an information security analyst is close to $80,000. While that is a very healthy salary and this is a very secure field, your financial situation right now may make you feel like higher education is just too costly. The average tuition rate for out-of-state residents for the 2017-2018 academic year was a whopping $25,620, as reported by the College Board. But, there are a number of colleges and universities across the country that offer high-quality, affordable security degree programs.
The ten schools on this list offer cheap security degrees online. Pursuing your education online can help you spend less as well because there are significantly fewer costs associated with going to school online. You will also enjoy the added benefit of studying right where you are, no matter where you are.
If you’re interested in getting a cheap online security degree from a high-quality school so you can prepare for the next chapter in your professional life, these schools could be a great option.
To create this ranking, we started with a list of schools in the United States that were adequately accredited and offer online security degree programs. We determined the tuition rates for each school by consulting with the school website. Some tuition rates were calculated using the cost per-credit-hour or per term as detailed by the institution. Schools are ranked according to their annual tuition.
The ten cheapest schools that offer high-quality, affordable online security degrees are listed below.
1. Western Governors University
Tuition Rate: $6,380
Western Governors University offers a Bachelor of Science in Network Operations and Security. One of the courses that you will take as part of this program received a CODiE award from the Software & Information Industry in 2016. The curriculum was designed by a dedicated Information Technology Program Council at WGU, and the council continually updates the program to make sure that you are getting a cutting-edge education. You will learn about the foundation and applications of networks and security, you will learn about scripting, programming, and you will also take some management courses if you select this degree. Part of what sets this university apart, in addition to their extremely competitive tuition, is that you will receive 14 industry certifications while you complete your coursework, at no extra cost. This program prepares you for a range of fulfilling careers in the industry.
More information is available at their website: http://www.wgu.edu/
2. Dakota State University
Tuition Rate: $9,147
Dakota State University, or DSU, offers a Bachelor of Science in Network and Security Administration. This program is offered through the university’s College of Computing. The faculty of this program maintains several partnerships with leaders in the industry, leading to you getting a very relevant education and having networking opportunities that may lead to better internship prospects in the future. The program is designed to be a very flexible and communicative program, with plenty of additional opportunities to apply what you’re learning in your classes, connect with your fellow students, and openly communicate with your professors. DSU prides itself on being very student-focused and providing excellent academic support to those enrolled. This degree program covers a broad range of information security topics and helps to establish a strong business management skill set as well.
More information is available at their website: http://www.dsu.edu/
3. King University
Tuition Rate: $9,455
King University has an online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree program that offers a concentration in Cybersecurity. In the past, King University has been recognized for its affordability and quality. The program consists of 124 semester hours, 48 of which are the major coursework. Thanks to the convenient and flexible online delivery of the courses, you can complete all major coursework in as little as 16 months of full-time study. There are several start dates throughout the year. This program is designed so you will have everything you need in order to enter the workforce once you graduate, but it also lays the groundwork for those of you who are interested in continuing your education at the graduate level and conducting further research. As you complete your coursework, you will also continually add to a portfolio that demonstrates your skills for potential employers in the future.
More information is available at their website: http://www.king.edu/
4. Southern New Hampshire University
Tuition Rate: $9,600
Southern New Hampshire University is one of the most prolific online colleges in America, serving an incredible amount of students. SNHU is also set apart as offering some of the lowest tuition rates among all schools nationwide. The degree program they offer is an online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity. There is also an optional concentration in Secure Programming available. Students can transfer up to 90 credits into this program, including any industry certifications that you may already hold. The curriculum includes general education core classes, as well as business and degree-specific classes. You will have access to virtual labs so that you can safely manipulate software without having it on your personal computer. Courses you’ll take include Network Defense, Incident Response and Investigation, Operating System Security, and many more. The program is in line with the standards set forth by the NIST NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework.
More information is available at their website: http://www.snhu.edu/
5. University of Maine at Augusta
Tuition Rate: $10,299
The University of Maine at Augusta offers a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity that was the first-ever system collaborated degree program to be recognized by the Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense. The Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense is a recognition program from the National Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security. The courses are presented in both asynchronous and synchronous formats. This means that some of your work will be self-paced and available to you any time of day and some of them will include live classes in which you log in at a set time and participate. UMA also offers minors in Cyber Security and Cyber Forensics as well as certificates in both areas. Whether it is a career or continuing education that you intend to pursue upon graduation of the program, the range of skills you’ll obtain will equip you with the necessary tools to make it happen.
More information is available at their website: http://www.uma.edu/
6. Saint Leo University
Tuition Rate: $10,800
Saint Leo University’s College of Business houses their Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity. The asynchronous coursework and access to virtual labs and activities serve as excellent preparation for many different entry-level positions in the field. Students will take classes in Computer Forensics, Penetration Testing, and System Security. You will also have the opportunity to get engrossed in a mock IT infrastructure in which you will be able to familiarize yourself with the programs and tools you will encounter on the job upon graduating. Other online security degrees offered at Saint Leo University include an Associate of Arts in Cybersecurity, a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in Information Assurance, a Master of Business Administration in Cybersecurity Management, and a Master of Science in Cybersecurity. There are also four related minors that you could choose to explore to further specialize in a particular area.
More information is available at their website: http://www.saintleo.edu/
7. Wilmington University
Tuition Rate: $10,940
Wilmington University offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Network Security through their College of Technology. The university has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cybersecurity by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. There are start dates every eight weeks throughout the year, so you don’t have to wait to get started. The core curriculum covers a broad base of topics that will give you essential background information on the foundations of cybersecurity. On top of that, there are several different concentrations and certificates to choose from. Wilmington’s program prepares you for highly-desirable industry certifications like CISA, CISSP, ACE, A+, Linux+, Security+ and Network+. At the graduate level, students can pursue an accelerated SCADA Cybersecurity Graduate Certificate.
More information is available at their website: http://www.wilmu.edu/
8. Norwich University
Tuition Rate: $11,250
Norwich University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security. This program of study was designed to fit into the lifestyle of a busy adult. The majority of the classes are presented asynchronously, and the entire program can be completed in as little as 18 months; some students may be able to complete the program in a shorter time frame thanks to the university’s exceptional transfer policy. You could bring in up to 90 credits and apply them towards your degree. Norwich is also a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. The program is very easily customizable according to your goals. There are ample electives, allowing you to select ones that fit in with your personal and professional interests. Two offered concentrations include Computer Forensics and Vulnerability Management or Information Warfare and Security Management.
More information is available at their website: http://www.norwich.edu/
9. Colorado State University
Tuition Rate: $11,395
Online degree programs at Colorado State University are offered through what the university refers to as their Global Campus. The degree we’ve ranked them for is the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology which offers a concentration in Cyber Security. Courses that are included in the specialization track cover several relevant topics like digital crime, digital forensics, ethical hacking, and more. The core curriculum of the major will cover leadership, accounting, programming, and other vital skills you’ll need to get started on your future in the IT security industry. Graduates will be prepared for a variety professional certification exams including CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Project+, Microsoft SQL, and more. CSU also has an undergraduate certificate in Cyber Security that you can take as a standalone program entirely online. This certificate program also prepares you for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional exam.
More information is available at their website: http://www.csuglobal.edu/
10. Charter Oak State College
Tuition Rate: $11,760
Charter Oak State College is home to a Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security distance education degree. The major coursework consists of 45 credits. Charter Oak’s degree was designed to be extremely comprehensive and to serve students that already have a background in computers. If you have any industry-related certifications, such as CISSP, you may be able to receive credit for the work that you have already completed, allowing you to graduate faster. Additional ways you could earn alternate credit include work training, challenge exams, and by submitting a portfolio. For those who already work in the industry, this is a great opportunity. The core curriculum for the major will cover Networking and Data Communications, Managing Risk in Information Systems, System Forensics, Hacker Techniques, and more. You can also take interesting electives to help you create a program of study that suits your needs.
More information is available at their website: http://www.charteroak.edu/