20 AFFORDABLE ONLINE INFORMATION SECURITY DEGREES

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By BVS Staff
July 2020

If you have an interest in both IT and security, an online information systems security degree could be perfect for you. Similar to cybersecurity, the field of information systems security (aka computer security or network security) involves policing and protecting computers from harmful traffic. And given that we live in a world that runs on computers, people who know how to shield computer systems from malicious attacks and viruses are extremely valuable in the workforce.

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The 20 Best Online Computer Security Degrees Ranking Methodology

Selection Criteria

For this ranking, we focused on public and private (non-profit) colleges and universities that offer information security degrees online. Because the focus of this list is on affordability, we only considered programs with average* tuition rates of $25,000/year or less.

*For public schools, we calculated the average value of their in-state and out-of-state rates.

Ranking Factors

Unfortunately, there are a limited number of information systems security degrees available online. Therefore, we could not compile a pool of options large enough to justify a multifactorial ranking system in which we’d score colleges and universities based on a list of specific considerations.

So instead, we ranked the programs solely according to their affordability. See below for the best cheap online information systems and online network security degree programs, ranked from most to least expensive.

Cheap Online Network Security Degree Programs Ranked


Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

  1. Western Governors University
    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    As a school designed specifically with working adults in mind, it's no surprise that Western Governors University earns a spot on this online network security degree program ranking. Thanks to its unique competency-based approach, you can move rapidly through the course material by demonstrating proficiency rather than passing a test at the end of each course. This means that some students can earn their B.S. in less than a year! Another bonus? The Network Security and Operations curriculum incorporates 14 separate certifications, all available at no additional cost beyond the regular tuition. These options include Cisco Certified Network Associate, LPI Linux Essentials, CompTIA IT Operations Specialist, and more.

  2. Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology
    Location

    Alva, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology lets you earn your B.T. fully online, with no on-campus time required. The school's Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics option readies you to protect businesses from "cyber attacks and cybercrimes," using cutting-edge technologies that will help your resume stand out. As you earn this top online information systems security degree, you'll take classes such as "Enterprise Security Management," "Digital Forensics," and "Secure System Administration," and you'll also develop a strong foundation in programming and network systems in general. Keep in mind that you do need an A.A.S. (or equivalent degree) under your belt to apply to this program.

  3. Charter Oak State College
    Location

    New Britain, CT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    As a fully online institution, Connecticut's Charter Oak State College is in the business of helping adults continue their education. As such, the school lets you earn an accredited information security degree online in a format that works with your schedule. Asynchronous classes, affordable tuition, and the chance to earn credit through myriad sources help the program stand out. To the latter point, Charter Oak gives credit for military training, experiential learning (as demonstrated by a portfolio), testing, and - of course - relevant college coursework from accredited institutions. The IT program blends pragmatic skills with a more high-minded approach, asking you to consider "the social, psychological, ethical, political, economic and environmental impacts of computing technology."

  4. University of Maryland-University College
    Location

    Adelphi, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    With tuition averaging just under $10,000, UMUC gives you a great way to earn a cheap online computer security degree that doesn't sacrifice quality. The NSA and Department of Homeland Security designated the school as a National Center of Academic Excellence in the field, and students benefit from a curriculum that goes beyond the technical. For example, you'll learn how to communicate your IT knowledge effectively, a crucial skill to stand out in any business environment. On the technical side, coursework focuses on Windows servers but does address other operating systems and various hardware components as well. It also prepares you for quite a few certification exams, including ones to become a Certified Ethical Hacker and Certified Computer Examiner.

  5. Dakota State University
    Location

    Madison, SD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    If you're looking for an accredited online computer security degree that gives you the chance to carry out research, you'll want to consider Dakota State University. Why? Because undergraduates at this South Dakota school can opt to complete a three-credit research project as part of their senior capstone. Prefer experiential learning? Swap the research project for an internship, a directed plan of study that can be either paid or unpaid. DSU also stands out for its honors program, which gives you the chance to "take the lead in the development and application of information technology tools" that apply to myriad fields.

  6. CUNY School of Professional Studies
    Location

    New York City, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    At CUNY School of Professional Studies, you'll find a project-based curriculum that helps you develop hands-on skills from day one. As you complete increasingly challenging projects throughout the program, you'll add them to a robust portfolio that demonstrates your technical skills and mastery of programming languages such as Python. And while you don't technically need an associate's degree to enroll in this degree-completion program, you will need at least 24 credits to transfer in. If you do have an A.A. or A.S., you might qualify for the 2+2 program, which lets you earn this affordable online information systems security degree in just two years of full-time study.

  7. Wilmington University
    Location

    New Castle, DE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    One of the few schools on this online network security degree program ranking to earn a National Center of Academic Excellence designation by the NSA and Department of Homeland Security, Wilmington University offers an especially strong cybersecurity curriculum. Not only will you complete security-focused core and elective courses, but you can also augment your degree with a concentration in Digital Forensics. The 18-credit concentration teaches you how to do everything from investigating data breaches to gather intel. As such, it's appropriate for anyone interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement, corporate security, or even military intelligence. An optional internship and the chance to pursue multiple graduate certificates help make this program even more attractive.

  8. Kennesaw State University
    Location

    Kennesaw, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Are you a Georgia resident with some flexibility in your schedule? Give Kennesaw State University a look. While you can always earn the school's affordable information security degree online, you also have the option of pursuing a hybrid program that splits your coursework evenly between the internet and the Marietta campus. But regardless of your delivery method, you'll appreciate the broad curriculum, which combines technical topics with ones that focus on so-called "soft skills," like technical writing. On the technical front, the "Information Assurance and Security" concentration consists of four highly-relevant, career-focused courses, including one in "Ethical Hacking."

  9. University of Maine at Augusta
    Location

    Augusta, ME

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Many of the schools on our list offer general computer science programs with some sort of information systems security concentration. However, the University of Maine at Augusta offers an entirely IS-focused degree - plus concentrations in various sub-disciplines of the field. For example, while earning this top information security degree online you might choose to specialize in Networking and Information Systems Security, or perhaps something more broadly applicable like Data Science. No matter your choice, you'll benefit from the thoughtfully-designed curriculum, which helps students develop more than technical know-how. That is, you'll also hone interpersonal skills such as effective communication, and you'll brush up on your knowledge of project management and business as well.

  10. Northwestern State University of Louisiana
    Location

    Natchitoches, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Online learning isn't for everybody. That's why Northwestern State University of Louisiana created a quiz to help gauge your readiness for online learning. If you do choose to enroll in the school's top online network security degree program, you'll find a thoughtfully-designed curriculum that blends both practical and theoretical classes and runs the gamut from programming and systems analysis to cyber forensics. But NSULA also has plenty to offer outside the (digital) classroom. For example, students can join professional organizations that help develop both technical and leadership skills. Plus, you can augment your studies with industry certifications in in-demand areas like Cisco, Network+, and Microsoft Office.

Thanks for reading our ranking of the 20 top cheap information security degrees online!

Sources:
IPEDS Data Center
College Navigator

See Also:
20 Cheap Online Homeland Security Degree Programs (Bachelor’s) 2014
Top 10 Cheap Online Network Administration Degree Programs (Bachelor’s) 2014
Top 10 Cheap Online Internet Security Degree Programs (Bachelor’s) 2014

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