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Top 11 Cheapest Online Cyber Security Degrees (2023)

Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing fields in the world, and for good reason. As technology continues to evolve, so do the threats posed by cyber criminals. With this growth comes an increasing demand for qualified professionals with expertise in cybersecurity.

Fortunately, there are a number of affordable online cyber security degree programs available to those who wish to pursue a career in this field. In this article, we’ll be highlighting the top 11 cheapest online cyber security degrees that you can find in 2023.

Hand-picked from numerous options through careful research, these options provide students with quality education at an affordable price point. So if you’re looking for an affordable way to get your foot into the door of cybersecurity employment opportunities, then read on!

What Is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is the practice of protecting computers, networks, and data from malicious attacks such as phishing, spooling, and ransomware.

It involves using tools and strategies to prevent cyber criminals from accessing or damaging important information.

Cyber security professionals use a variety of techniques to keep networks secure, such as setting up firewalls and encrypting data.

By getting the cheapest online cyber security degree or any affordable cyber security degree online you can become qualified to work in this important field.

Are Online Cyber Security Degrees Worth It?

Getting a cyber security degree is vital in acquiring the necessary background to kickstart your career in this field. It is also a great idea to complete your degree online, especially if you have other obligations in life or are planning to save on your education.

Whether an online cyber security degree is truly worth it for you depends on various factors, including your career goals, budget, and schedule.

Pros

  • Online degrees can offer greater flexibility and accessibility for people who cannot attend on-campus programs.
  • Online programs may be more cost-effective compared to traditional on-campus programs.
  • Online programs may offer a wider range of courses, specializations, and certifications that can enhance your knowledge and skills in the field of cyber security.

Cons

  • Some employers may prefer graduates with on-campus degrees or hands-on experience in addition to their degree.
  • Online programs may have limited interaction with instructors and peers, which can affect your ability to network and form relationships in the industry.
  • The quality of online programs can vary widely, so it’s important to research and choose a reputable program.

Overall, an online cyber security degree can be a valuable investment if you are looking for an accessible and cost-effective way to start or advance your career in the field. However, it’s essential to consider your career goals, budget, and personal preferences before making a decision.

Most of the time though, an online degree in cyber security won’t put you at a disadvantage compared to on-campus degree holders.

cyber security student working on a laptop
Photo by Malte Helmhold @ Pexels

How Much Do Online Cyber Security Degrees Cost?

Cyber security degrees are not cheap. Even the most affordable online cyber security degree programs cost thousands of dollars per year in tuition.

The average cost of an affordable online degree in cyber security can range between $3,000 and $12,000 per year. However, it is important to consider additional costs, such as university fees and equipment.

Online students can further reduce the cost of their education by applying for financial assistance, including federal and state scholarships as well as private grants.

Top 12 Cheapest Online Cyber Security Degrees (2023)

Now that you know the basics of an online cyber security degree, let’s take a look at the cheapest options available in 2023.

1. Bellevue University

Tuition: $440 per credit

With the traditional path of Bellevue University’s Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity, you can adhere to a college term schedule with an added degree of flexibility. Register for any sequence of courses that accommodate your life and education; the curriculum is structured in a way that those without prior knowledge or experience are still able to pursue their goals without navigating through prerequisites.

Bellevue University has been named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency for the academic years 2022 through 2027.

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Don’t settle for an individual professional certificate when you can get the caliber of degree that national security threats demand at Bellevue University. The faculty in the cybersecurity program is not only well-versed in these types of organizations, but continues to work with some of the most celebrated intelligence and safety bodies across the world.

2. Western Governors University

Tuition: $3,950 per 6-month term

Informed by cybersecurity professionals and IT employers, WGU crafted its online B.S. Cybersecurity and Information Assurance degree program to meet the most recent DHS and NSA guidelines – an initiative that earned it a prestigious honor of being designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense until 2026

WGU’s cybersecurity program offers 14 highly-regarded certifications that are seamlessly incorporated into the IT degree, without any added cost or duration to your program – you can add these badges of honor on your resume as soon as you’ve earned them.

3. University of Maryland University College

Tuition: $312 per credit (in-state), $499 per credit (out-of-state), $250 per credit (military)

Get ready to understand exactly how cybersecurity technology works with UMGC’s online bachelor’s degree in cyber security. You will be able to design, administer and troubleshoot corporate networks while utilizing the latest security protocols and principles. Plus, your coursework can set you up for success when it comes time for certification exams in this field!

4. Purdue University Global

Purdue University Entrance Arch
Photo by Pixabay

Tuition: $371 per credit

Organizations now recognize and identify cyberattacks independently, instead of asking for external help. Purdue’s online cybersecurity bachelor’s degree can provide you with the abilities necessary to protect businesses from a vast array of potential cyberthreats. Through this course, students will learn how to practice best security habits as well as understand IT security threats and products in detail.

5. Franklin University

Tuition: $398 per credit

Franklin University’s Cybersecurity degree program is designed to equip you with all of the necessary skills and knowledge needed for a thriving career in business, industry, or government.

By protecting valuable information from any potential security threats or hackers, cybersecurity professionals are highly sought after – even boasting an impressive 16 percent pay increase over other IT jobs! On top of that, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics prognosticates their growth rate at 35% between 2021-2031; much faster than average.

6. Kennesaw State University

Tuition: $185 per credit (in-state), $654 per credit (out-of-state)

By enrolling in the Bachelor of Science with a major in Cybersecurity (BS-CYBR) program at Kennesaw State University, you will become an adept cybersecurity professional who can easily apply technical ability and security management insights to safeguard computerized information systems from diverse risks. Moreover, this degree equips you with all the necessary skills to manage potential threats incurred by modern technology usage competently.

7. University of Illinois – Springfield

Tuition: $321.50 per credit (in-state), $647 per credit (out-of-state)

The Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Security is designed to equip students with the most up-to-date knowledge and skills on information security. From secure systems design, implementation, assessment, and computer ethics– this degree will provide critical insight into a rapidly growing field. And it doesn’t stop there! Students can take advantage of multiple hands-on learning activities using cutting-edge technologies within our state-of-the-art labs.

UIS Computer Science is honored to be a Cisco Regional Networking Academy, providing instruction and training for academies in schools, universities, career centers, and community colleges across Central Illinois. They have also gained national recognition as an esteemed partner within the NSF Center for Systems Security & Information Assurance.

8. Wilmington University

Tuition: $1,197 per 3-credit course

WilmU proudly holds the prestigious honor as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cybersecurity recognized by both the National Security Agency and U.S. Department of Homeland Security for their Cybersecurity degree program. Further, this esteemed online BS in Cybersecurity was even ranked #1 across all colleges nationwide by BestColleges.com back in 2017 – making it quite a sought-after program today too.

WilmU’s cybersecurity degree is designed to provide students with a comprehensive foundation in the field, enabling them to customize their degree plan through concentrations and certificates like Digital Forensics. After completing this program, graduates will be qualified for several leading industry-recognized certifications such as CISA, CISSP, A+, Linux+, Security+ and Network+.

9. Penn State World Campus

Tuition: $620-664 per credit

Equip yourself with the tools to become a proficient cybersecurity expert through IST and Penn State World Campus’ online program. With this comprehensive course, you will gain the capacity to recognize, analyze, manage, and prevent risks from a broad spectrum of threats. As an enrolled student in this program you can practice anticipating hazards as well as clearly communicating potential effects on stakeholders for safeguarding digital data.

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10. Dakota State University 

Steel Gate of Brown Brick Building
Photo by Pixabay

Tuition: $10,201.5 per year

Become acquainted with the thought process of cyber attackers, their motivations, and ways when you enroll in DSU’s Cyber Operations program. Uncover and evaluate infiltrations such as data breaches, malware installments, and software weaknesses to go beyond just understanding hackers’ mindsets.

It is essential to explore and practice the basics of programming, networking, and cyber security. With DSU’s courses, you can do just that; moreover, by taking part in our labs you have a safe environment for exploring malware and exploiting software.

11. Maryville University

Tuition: $622 per credit

Maryville University’s Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity is specifically crafted to give you the qualifications, knowledge, and resources for entering into today’s workforce, no matter if it’s your first job or a career change. The faculty are experienced professionals in this field who have designed our curriculum based on their practical experiences — so whether you’re new to cybersecurity, an enthusiast of technology-related topics, or looking for something different, they’ve got what you need.

Online Cyber Security Degree Curriculum/Courses

The curriculum of online cyber security programs consists of a number of courses that cover a variety of topics related to cyber security. Courses in an online cyber security program typically include:

  • Introduction to Cyber Security
  • Cyber Security Fundamentals
  • Network & Web Security
  • Risk Management & Compliance
  • Digital Forensics & Security Management
  • Data Encryption & Cryptography
  • Mobile Device Security
  • Cyber Law & Ethics
  • Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
  • Ethical Hacking
  • Penetration Testing
  • Cloud Computing Security
  • Software Security & Vulnerability Management
  • Secure Software Development.

Students may also be required to choose a concentration in order to specialize in one particular area. Popular concentrations include Digital Forensics, Network Security, and Information Assurance.

By the time you finish your degree, you’ll have a strong understanding of all aspects of cyber security, allowing you to pursue a range of career opportunities or further your education by pursuing a master’s degree.

Are Affordable Cyber Security Programs Any Worse than the Expensive Ones?

Affordable cyber security programs are not necessarily of lower quality than the more expensive ones.

It all depends on the institution and its accreditation status. It is important to research the institution and program you are considering to make sure it meets your academic goals. Also, be sure that any certifications you earn from the program are recognized by employers.

In general, affordable programs tend to offer more flexibility when it comes to online courses and learning materials, which is the main reason for their affordability. However, they may also require more self-discipline as a student to succeed in the program.

Ultimately, it all comes down to how much investment you, as the student, are willing to put in. With hard work and dedication, you can get both a quality and affordable education at the same time.

How to Pay for Your Online Cyber Security Program?

While the degree programs listed in this article are relatively affordable, they still cost a considerable amount and may cause difficulty in paying for them.

Your best bet is to explore all possible payment options such as scholarships, grants, or loans. Scholarships may be available from the institution itself, as well as other organizations, so it is important to do your research and find relevant sponsorships and grants.

You can also look into work-study programs or employer tuition reimbursement plans. Many employers are now offering tuition assistance programs if you agree to stay with the company for a certain period of time after graduating. This might be an option to help you pay for your online cyber security program.

Finally, you can look into taking out a loan and paying it off as you work. Make sure to check the terms of the loan carefully and calculate your monthly payments before signing any agreements.

By exploring all these options, you can find a way to make your online cyber security program more affordable and attainable.

paying for an online  cyber security degree
Photo by Fabian Blank @ Unsplash

Is Cyber Security in High Demand?

With the rise of the internet and digital technology, there is an increasing need for cyber security professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs related to cyber security are projected to grow by a staggering 35% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all other occupations.

This high demand means that individuals with a degree in cyber security can expect good career prospects and attractive salary packages.

The field of cyber security is vast and growing rapidly – a degree in this field can open up many doors for you to explore. With an understanding of network architecture, software development, data encryption, and other related topics, you can be a valuable asset to any organization.

What Jobs Can I Get with an Online Cyber Security Degree?

There are numerous jobs that are currently being left unfilled in the field of cyber security. Companies in all sectors including finance, retail, defense, healthcare and more are on the lookout for qualified professionals with a cyber security degree.

  • Potential roles include:
  • Network security analyst
  • Information security analyst
  • IT security specialist
  • Cybersecurity engineer
  • Security software developer
  • Compliance officer
  • Information systems manager
  • Ethical hacker
  • Cyber security auditor
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With a degree in cyber security, you can explore any of these roles and more. Earning your degree online puts you in the driver’s seat and gives you the flexibility to pursue the career you want.

By taking the time to research and understand your options, you can find an affordable online program that meets your needs and is right for you.

What Salary Can You Expect with an Online Cyber Security Degree?

Unsurprisingly, cyber security professionals are able to command high salaries and great benefits at various workplaces. Salaries for these roles vary based on experience, location and organization.

The average salary for information security analysts is reported to be $102,600 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although salaries vary between different roles, any cyber security job is sure to provide you with a comfortable living.

So if you’re looking for a career that is in high demand and pays well, an online cyber security degree could be the perfect option for you.

Crop man counting dollar banknotes
Photo by Karolina Grabowska @ Pexels

Which Cyber Security Program Should I Choose?

Choosing the right program for you is an important decision and requires careful consideration. There are several things you should pay attention to when choosing an affordable online cyber security degree program.

1. Accreditation

Together with the Department of Homeland Security, the NSA has set the standard for cybersecurity education. With NSA/DHS recognition, colleges and universities demonstrate their commitment to providing the highest quality cyber security education.

This demonstrates that they are dedicated to helping students gain significant knowledge in the field of cybersecurity and ensures employers take online degrees seriously. Additionally, this credentialing process provides employees with trustworthiness, credibility, and assurance that they will be qualified for their desired position.

When you receive your degree from an NSA-accredited cyber security program, employers can be sure that not only have you obtained the latest education and training, but also possess a robust groundwork for further advancement as well. Selecting one of these cybersecurity centers of excellence is absolutely essential if you are a future professional in this field.

2. Cost

The cost of an online degree in cyber security can vary widely depending on the school and program you choose. It’s important to consider the cost of tuition, fees, books, and other materials when choosing a program.

Fortunately, there are a number of affordable online cyber security degree programs available, allowing you to find a program that fits into your budget. Additionally, many online programs offer scholarships and grants to qualified students, helping you to make your degree even more affordable.

3. Reputation

When researching different cyber security degree programs, it’s important to consider the reputation of the school and program. You should look at what other students, alumni, and employers have to say about the program.

Reading reviews from past graduates can provide you with an insight into what you can expect from the program and whether it’s worth the investment. Additionally, looking at job placement rates of graduates can give you an idea of how successful the program is in helping graduates land jobs.

In our review, we have included the cheapest online cyber security degree programs that, for the most part, are accredited and reputable. However, you are responsible for further research and due diligence.

Alternatives to an Online Bachelor’s Cyber Security Degree

An online Bachelor’s degree in cyber security is not your only option for obtaining a quality education in this field. The following are great alternatives you may want to consider:

These options each have advantages and disadvantages and it’s important to weigh each one carefully before making a decision.

A coding bootcamp or accelerated CS degree may be the cheapest and quickest route, while an online cyber security degree will take more time to complete but could lead to better job prospects in the future.

Conclusion

Choosing the cheapest online cyber security degree is an important decision, but there are many factors to consider. Accreditation, cost, and reputation all need to be taken into account when choosing a program.

In this article, we have researched and hand-picked the top 11 affordable programs that are both reputable and (mostly) accredited.

Additionally, there are many alternatives to an online Bachelor’s degree in cyber security that could be more suitable for your individual needs.

Be sure to research all of your options carefully and make an informed decision before enrolling. Good luck in your cyber security education journey!