By CSDH Staff
Whether you want to program computers or work as a computer systems analyst, you will need a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems Security. And now that the Bureau of Labor Statistics is predicting a 31% increase in IT-related jobs, it is a great time to get started!
That is why Computer Science Degree Hub went on the hunt for the 10 best bachelor’s degrees in Information Systems Security that can be completed entirely online.
To come up with our ranking of the best online IT degrees, we began by compiling a list of any and every accredited college and university offering just such a degree. We then used the following points-based system to narrow down our list to the just the top 10.
Estimated Program Cost (Out of State):
Under $10,000— 5 points
Under $20,000 — 4 points
Under $30,000 — 3 points
Under $40,000 — 2 points
Under $50,000 — 1 point
Annual Percentage of 20-Year Net Return on Investment (ROI):
9%+ — 5 points
7-8% — 4 points
5-6% — 3 points
3-4% — 2 points
1-2% — 1 point
Above 90% — 5 points
Above 80% — 4 points
Above 70% — 3 points
Above 60% — 2 points
Above 50% — 1 point
5:1 and more — 4 points
10:1 and more — 3 points
15:1 and more — 2 points
20:1 and more — 1 point
Note: In the event of a tie, the bachelor’s degree program with the lower annual tuition rate has been given the higher ranking. All tuition numbers and other statistics were taken from the National Center for Education Statistics, and are accurate as of March 2021.
#10. Kennesaw State University
Online Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Security & Assurance
Estimated Program Cost: $22,248
Total Points: 4
Kicking off our ranking of the 10 best online bachelor’s in information systems security is Kennesaw State University. Kennesaw offers a unique B.B.A. in Information Security & Assurance which students can complete entirely online. To earn the degree, students must complete coursework ranging in topic from business to computer science. Worth mentioning is the fact that Kennesaw State’s information security degree is considered a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
#9. University of Illinois, Springfield
Online Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Security
Estimated Program Cost: $42,960
Total Points: 5
University of Illinois at Springfield offers an online B.S. in Information Systems Security. To earn the degree, students must complete 120 semester hours. Twenty-four of these semester hours are core requirements. Coursework includes Systems Programming Languages and Introduction to Cryptography, to name but two. An exit assessment is also required during a student’s final semester.
#8. Bellevue University
Online Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems
Estimated Program Cost: $53,975
Total Points: 6
Bellevue University offers a flexible Computer Information Systems bachelor’s degree which students can complete 100% online. To earn this degree, students must complete 127 credits, including electives and general education. Major coursework includes Business Telecommunications and Applied Statistics, to name but two. Students may also choose one of four emphases, options for which include cybersecurity and business intelligence.
#7. University of Nebraska, Omaha
Online Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems
Estimated Program Cost: $62,880
Total Points: 7
University of Nebraska at Omaha offers an online B.S. in Management Information Systems. Students may customize their degree by choosing from five concentrations. Options include Global IT Leadership and Management, and IT Audit and Control, to name but two. To earn the degree, a minimum of 120 credit hours must be completed. Potential classes include Managing in a Digital World and Graphical User Interface Design, among others.
#6. Dakota State University
Online Bachelor of Science in Network and Security Administration
Madison, South Dakota
Estimated Program Cost: $42,444
Total Points: 7
Dakota State University offers a B.S. in Network and Security Administration that students from anywhere in the world can complete entirely online. One hundred twenty credits are required to complete the degree. This includes coursework such as Windows Administration and Scripting for Network Administration, to name but two. An internship or formal undergraduate research is also required before graduation. Students also have the opportunity of extending their learning by one year in order to earn a master’s degree.
#5. Saint Leo University
Online Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems
Saint Leo, Florida
Estimated Program Cost: $45,600
Total Points: 8
Saint Leo University offers an online B.S. in Computer Information Systems. To earn this online computer science degree, students must complete 120 credit hours, including general education. Potential classes include Decision Support Systems and Mobile Application Development, to name but two. Twelve credit hours of business requirements are also included in the curriculum, and cover topics ranging from management to accounting.
#4. Champlain College
Online Bachelor of Science in Computer & Information Systems
Estimated Program Cost: $38,160
Total Points: 9
Champlain College offers a B.S. in Computer & Information Systems that can be completed entirely online. This flexible degree consists of 120 credits. The academic year is divided into three semesters (fall, spring, summer), with two seven-week terms per semester. This organization allows students to complete more coursework more quickly. Potential classes include Network Design, and Project Scheduling & Budgeting, to name but two.
#3. Immaculata University
Online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
Estimated Program Cost: $68,040
Total Points: 10
Kicking off our top three best bachelor’s in information systems security is Immaculata University. This private Catholic university offers an online B.S. in Cybersecurity. One hundred twenty-six credits are required to earn this degree, including general education. Potential coursework includes 3D Computing, and Cyber War and Cyber Peace, to name but two. Before graduation, students must also complete a cybersecurity capstone project.
#2. Western Governors University
Online Bachelor of Science in Network Operations and Security
Salt Lake City, Utah
Estimated Program Cost: $19,350
Total Points: 10
Second on our list of the top information systems security degrees you can complete online is Western Governors University. This exclusively distance education university offers a B.S. in Network Operations and Security. To earn the degree, students must work through 36 courses. Potential coursework includes Emerging Technologies and Business of IT, among others. A written capstone project is also required before graduation.
#1. Central Washington University
Online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and Administrative Management
Estimated Program Cost: $27,600
Total Points: 11
Topping our list of the best online degrees in information systems security is Central Washington University. The school offers a B.S. in Information Technology and Administrative Management that students can complete from anywhere in the world. To earn the degree, students must work through 120 credits of coursework, including general education. Potential classes include Idea Machines and Cybercrime, to name but two. An internship is also encouraged, and included in the curriculum.
What does an information security professional do?
Information security is an umbrella term. Any technology professional responsible for securing information against breaches, or investigating breaches, is in information security. But there are a lot of roles, and the degrees in our ranking reflect this. Some degrees come at the problem from a computer science perspective, focusing on proper design of security protocols, proper implementation of encryption, and generally hardening the code to attacks. Others focus more on the strategic and human side of the equation. Security technology is good enough these days that many attackers focus on compromising the human element of their targets. Professionals concerned with this focus their attention on human/computer interaction. Then there are the investigators. Digital forensics specialists are the people you call after the breach. They focus on figuring out what information was compromised, and trying to catch the attackers after the fact. These are just three basic areas of information security, and even these have their own specializations.
Information Systems vs. Information Technology
Information Technology falls under the umbrella of information systems. Information technology concerns all computer-based information systems. Information systems generally can refer to computer-based or other systems of storage and transfer of information, though more and more it is almost impossible to separate computing technology from the storage and transfer of data. Information systems encompasses both the human and technological aspects of information systems. So information technology professionals are information systems professionals who concern themselves with the design, implementation, and administration of information technology. Cybersecurity, information systems security, digital forensics, and information technology are all part of the information systems ecosystem.
How to Fund Your Online Information Systems Security Degree
Paying for your online bachelor’s degree is exactly the same as paying for a traditional degree. Federal grants and student loans obtained through a FAFSA application are still the gold standard for paying for your bachelor’s degree, whether online or in-person.
Many community colleges are local and have quality programs in IT and information security. So one of the cheapest ways to attend college is to attend a community college near you first, and then transfer to the four-year school of your choice. Most community colleges are so cheap their tuition is covered by just one or two federal grants, meaning attending community college can reduce your student debt by half.
As long as you are attending a regionally accredited university online, you should be eligible for all the same grants and subsidized loans as traditional students. FAFSA should be the first place you turn when looking to fund your education. Financial aid can help you pay for supplies and living expenses even if you don’t live in dorms on campus. If you enroll in a school in your state, remember to explore the state-level resources as many states offer scholarships for citizens who attend college in-state. Scholarships and grants from your state are a valuable resource. If you did well in community college and have a good GPA, make sure you investigate merit-based scholarships that might also be available. Your school’s financial aid office should have some great resources to help you research your options.
Job Statistics and Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the median pay of information security analysts at $99,730 per year with just a bachelor’s degree. Most information security analysts work for computer companies, consulting firms, and any company doing business online. The job is projected to grow 31% (much faster than average), between now and 2029.
If you have management in your sights, computer and information systems manager median salary is $146,360 per year. Network systems administrators make $83,510, and database administrators make $93,750. So not only does information security pay well, but you will have high-paying options in many areas of the field.
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