The field of cybersecurity is growing as more businesses rely on digital networks, data, and cloud computing solutions to succeed. They need skilled cybersecurity professionals with the knowledge and expertise to protect their digital assets from attacks and minimize potential risks.
To meet these demands and develop that knowledge and expertise, students can earn advanced degrees, such as an online master’s in cybersecurity. The constant evolution of technology and cyber crime will continue to make the role of cybersecurity professionals vital across industries. This is why cyber security online degrees are exploding in popularity and critical to entering this massive industry.
How long does it take to get a cybersecurity degree and begin building a career in this dynamic industry?
How Much Time Does It Take to Get a Degree in Cybersecurity?
Bachelor’s degrees commonly require 120-125 credits and take four years to complete. Advanced degrees, such as a master’s in cybersecurity, typically require 30-36 credits and take two years to complete.
The time ranges can vary based on different factors, including the following:
- Previous credits from other college programs. If students have already completed credits that they can transfer to their cybersecurity programs, they may be able to reduce the time it takes to complete their degrees.
- Part- or full-time schedules. Some degree programs offer part-time tracks to help students balance work, life, and school. While part-time programs require less up-front commitment, they can also increase the time it takes to earn a degree.
Online vs. On-Campus Cybersecurity Programs
Online cybersecurity programs offer more flexibility to students. Remote learning options make it easier for students to attend classes and complete their degrees on their own time. As such, online degree programs may take longer if students choose to complete the coursework part time. On the other hand, students may be able to take advantage of the flexibility (and no commute time) to complete their online programs in less time than it would take to complete on-campus programs.
How Long Is a Cybersecurity Program at Maryville University?
Maryville’s online Master of Science in Cybersecurity program contains 30 credits and is conducted completely online — no campus visits required. Students complete their coursework using the Maryville Virtual Lab.
Due to the flexibility and autonomy that this program provides, students can graduate in as few as 12 months.
Benefits of an Online Cybersecurity Program
No matter how long it takes to get a cybersecurity degree, earning an advanced cybersecurity degree can provide students with the potential to earn a higher salary and pursue a wider range of jobs.
According to April 2021 data from PayScale, the median annual salary for professionals with a master’s in cybersecurity is about $88,000. Meanwhile, the median annual salary for those with a bachelor’s in cybersecurity is about $72,000. Even with the same job titles, such as cybersecurity analyst and cybersecurity engineer, people with master’s degrees earn higher incomes on average than those with bachelor’s degrees.
With a master’s degree in cybersecurity, graduates can also be better prepared to pursue advanced careers in management and executive positions, such as chief information security officer and information security manager.
Earning a cybersecurity degree through an online program also provides many benefits, including the following:
- Working professionals can better balance their jobs and academic experiences by taking virtual courses.
- Students with long commutes to their campuses or difficulty traveling can easily attend classes from the comfort of their homes.
- Many online programs allow students to make their own schedules and take ownership of their academics, helping them develop important skills in self-discipline and communication.