Security breaches are a common occurrence in this day and age. Businesses of all kinds are scrambling to protect their proprietary information and customer data, which has resulted in a rising demand for cybersecurity professionals. Cybersecurity can prove a lucrative career for those interested in safeguarding information and networks. Professionals in this space tackle security threats, solve complex problems, and develop impenetrable IT systems. A bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity can provide aspiring professionals with a strong foundation in the fast-growing field.
These undergraduate programs usually comprise 120 to 180 credits and introduce students to different aspects of software engineering and network administration. Students learn how to deal with online threats, maintain network and data security, and assess risks. Courses in these programs typically include application security, network security, and incident response and navigation. The curriculum also explores programming languages such as Linux and principles of hardware and software.
Many institutions such as governments, banks, businesses, and healthcare organizations employ cybersecurity professionals to protect their data. Students can choose to work in various roles such as security manager, information security manager, software development engineer, and security analyst.
The following guide explores six exceptional cybersecurity bachelor’s programs. It also lists three standout professors teaching within these programs.
Southern New Hampshire University offers an online bachelor of science in cybersecurity. The affordable and flexible program trains students to become qualified cybersecurity experts, fighting cyber attacks. The course is an excellent primer to the exciting and challenging field of cyber safety.
Admission requirements include submission of an online application; no GMAT/GRE is necessary. Through the coursework, students get an opportunity to interact with cybersecurity experts and professionals. The expert faculty with years of cybersecurity experience teach these courses. Students also get an opportunity to explore defense and network security through virtual labs and can participate in SNHU’s annual squad for the National Cyber League (NCL).
The 12-credit program covers quantitative analysis, the role of computer science in industry, computer technologies, introduction to Linux, cyber defense, and cybersecurity foundations. The program also focuses on making informed judgments based on legal and ethical practices, applying security principles to hardware, software, and human components of a system, and effective communication. At the end of the program, students are equipped to design, implement, and evaluate computer-based solutions. They also develop soft skills in effective communication, writing, analysis, and problem-solving.
Students can opt to concentrate in secure programming, where they learn how to incorporate the best security practices in the developmental life cycle of a software program. Upon completion of the program, graduates can find positions as security policy analysts, security analysts, security engineers, software development engineers, IT security analysts, and security managers.
The online bachelor’s in cybersecurity at Maryville University teaches students to test software, run investigations, and complete lab work. It is a fully online program and is part of the John E. Simon School of Business. It is suitable for newcomers, as well as tech enthusiasts and professionals looking for a career switch.
Applicants to the program must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher. Taught by experienced faculty members, many of whom currently work in cybersecurity, the program consists of three different tracks: an offensive, defensive, and general track. Students can opt for any one track, each made up of 12 credits.
The general track includes courses on ethical hacking and networks and security, while the offensive track explores advanced ethical hacking and mobile security. The defensive track contains courses on digital forensics and security information and event management. Outside of these courses, students must also complete a business core, comprising 39 credits, as well as an additional 18 credits. The business track involves courses on microeconomics, macroeconomics, and principles of management. The courses are taught using the Maryville Virtual Lab for an interactive digital classroom experience. Students can instantly put to the test everything they learn.
Throughout the program, students will develop skills such as application development, ethical hacking, malware analysis, and digital forensics. They will also learn business fundamentals such as accounting, law, finance, and management. There are several roles graduates can pursue including IT security consultant, information security analyst, IT auditor, information assurance engineering, and computing security analyst.
Purdue University has an online bachelor of science program in cybersecurity for students looking to make a career in cybersecurity and security management. The 180-credit program helps students use technology tools and methods to solve security issues. They learn how to analyze security threats and design secure and safe information systems.
The curriculum includes courses such as foundations of technical communication, cybersecurity policies, information systems security, introduction to cybersecurity, and humanities and culture. Students learn industry-accepted practices to solve IT issues, the importance of teamwork and collaboration, and the societal impacts of information technology. They also develop leadership and communication skills during the program.
After completing the bachelor’s degree, students can opt for a master’s in cybersecurity at Purdue. Graduates may find work as security architects, analysts, researchers, and engineers.
Penn State offers an online bachelor of science degree in security and risk analysis focused on using technology to safeguard the public’s information and other assets. The program is enriched by several practical opportunities such as designing secure systems, evaluating risk, and maintaining privacy for users. What’s more, Penn State has been recognized as a Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in information assurance and cyber defense education by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.
This 120-credit bachelor’s program explores topics such as information sciences and technology integration, problem-solving, security and risk analysis, computer and cyber forensics, psychology, the threat of crime and terrorism, and decision theory and analysis. The program teaches students how to judge the strengths and weaknesses of methods of mitigating risk. They also learn about technologies used for network security and cyber threat defense and how to deal with cyber threats.
The program is ideal for professionals who wish to pursue areas such as system security, data security, intel analytics, cyber-intelligence, and cybersecurity. The degree can open up several avenues of employment in the business, government, criminology, and protective services sectors. Some of the roles they can take up include economic crime analyst, applications security specialist, intelligence analyst, and management analyst.
UMGC offers an online bachelor of science degree in computer networks and cybersecurity that is focused on designing, administering, and securing corporate networks. Like Penn State, UMGC has also been named as a National Center of Academic Excellence in information assurance and cyber defense education by the NSA and Homeland Security.
The 120-credit program combines theoretical knowledge with practical skills, so students can immediately apply what they learn in the classroom. The curriculum, designed with the help of scholars and employers, delves into foundations of information systems, physical geology, designing a server infrastructure, computer troubleshooting, network security, and ethical hacking. Students learn how to design, implement, and administer local and wide area networks. They also become adept at meeting their customer’s needs, communicating IT knowledge, and resolving IT issues.
The program paves the way for students to pursue certifications such as certified ethical hackers, certified computer examiners, and certified information systems security professionals. Graduates can also take up opportunities in network security, systems administration, and network management.
Colorado State University offers students the opportunity to customize their bachelor of science degree with a specialization of their choice. A bachelor of science in information technology with a cybersecurity specialization is an ideal choice for those interested in the protection of IT systems.
The 15-credit cybersecurity concentration builds a solid foundation in the fundamentals of the discipline. The curriculum includes courses such as the introduction to cybersecurity and digital crime, ethical hacking and penetration testing, information security legal and ethical issues, and digital forensics and investigations. Meanwhile, the bachelor of science in information technology program prepares students to take up professional certification exams such as CompTIA A+, CompTIA Security+, and Microsoft SQL. This program teaches students the difference between international security modules, the maintenance of security systems, use of monitoring systems, and how to evaluate network vulnerability.
Along with core IT knowledge, a bachelor of science program in IT also includes courses in basic programming, accounting, and leadership, thus preparing students for the modern workplace. Graduates can find positions as security analysts, network administrators, system architects, and several others in information technology.
Dr. Rhonda Chicone teaches courses in information technology and cybersecurity at Purdue University. She also designs and creates courses for the master’s program in cybersecurity management. She brings extensive real-world experience in the software industry to the classroom, having worked as a software architect, software engineer, chief security officer, and chief technology officer. She frequently speaks at national conferences about her research in software development, cybersecurity, cybergames and competitions, and quality assurance. Dr. Chicone completed her doctorate from Northcentral University, master’s from Kent State University, and a bachelor’s from Youngstown State University.