Online Classes for Cyber Security and Program Information

Cyber security is all about stopping hackers, worms and viruses from infecting, controlling and compromising computers and data. Computer security analysts can be called IT security analysts, ethical hackers, and penetration testers and can work alone or in teams to assess a network's potential weaknesses and implement security measures.

Accredited Online Programs for Cyber Security - What You May Learn

While IT security schools can teach a combination of computer science and computer programming to students (bls.gov/ooh, 2012), there has also been a long push on schools to teach hacking as well (securityfocus.com, 2007). Computer science can provide the foundation for students to understand how a security protocol works, how methods of attack work, and why security failures happen. Computer programming can allow students to understand and reverse engineer security programs such as worms, viruses and Trojans while also guarding against them. Finally, classes and programs in hacking provide students with the real world understanding of how computer science and computer programming can be used together to break security protocols or ensure the security of sensitive data (schneier.com, 2006).

IT security classes students may encounter during a degree program can include the following:

  • Emerging Threats and & Defenses - Learn about the next big thing and how to stop it.
  • Mobile Security - Protect data and hardware in the increasingly personal mobile market.
  • Security Protocols - Learn industry best practices for safeguarding data.
  • Computer Security & Cryptography - Discover how complex puzzle and code breaking elements can help computer security and password protection.
  • Cloud Computing, Privacy & Security - As the cloud becomes ever larger, learn how to safeguard remote data.
  • Security Risk Management - Learn how to minimize the risk of attack and damage, as nothing can be completely secure.
  • Disaster Recovery - When attacks do occur and data is lost, learn how to get back on your feet fast.

Online college degrees in computer security can be earned from the associate to doctorate level, usually in computer science but also in related fields such as information systems or computer programming. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, prospective information security analysts may also benefit from earning an MBA in information systems and generally require prior work experience in the IT field (bls.gov/ooh, 2012).

College Internships You Can Get For Cyber Security

Internships can be offered by companies, schools and government agencies such as the National Surveillance Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Internships for companies and schools may involve, or rely heavily upon, creating security code and software, analyzing historic attacks, and creating and analyzing honeypot security measures, digital traps that can help thwart incoming attacks. Some companies may include instruction in hacking and the importance of a hacker's mindset while building a security system.

Internships for the NSA and DHS can combine both offensive and defensive IT security techniques along with forensic analysis and identifying malicious code (dhs.gov, 2012). This can involve dissecting computer viruses and worms, setting up protective protocols and even attempting to break into government sites in controlled penetration tests. Some programs can lead to employment opportunities or fellowship programs. Be sure to check with the DHS or NSA to learn more about possible outcomes of the internships and requirements for admission.

Cyber Security Career Outlook

As of May 2012, the national median annual wage of information security analysts was reported by the BLS as $86,170, with the highest and lowest 10 percent earning up to $135,600 and $49,960 respectively (bls.gov/oes, 2013). States with the highest employment level of information security analysts were Virginia, Texas, California, New York and Maryland. From 2010 to 2020, professionals in this field can expect to see job growth of 22 percent on a national scale. Demand for security analysts should be high due to a rise in cyberattacks and the need to defend against them (bls.gov/ooh, 2012).

Life of a Cyber Security Major

If you're interested in protecting computer networks from hackers, viruses and fraud, you may want to consider earning an online cyber security degree. Online cyber security classes will introduce you to the world of cyber crime and deterrence, as you learn to detect criminal activity and strategize ways to safeguard against it. An online cyber security degree could lead to a career as an information security analyst. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts monitor their organization's systems for signs of a security breach, develop security standards, and research and install security software designed to protect sensitive information (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). See online IT colleges for more degree options.

Online Associate Programs in Cyber Security: Class Overview

As a cyber security major, you'll learn the basics of information and cyber security, as well as why they're so crucial in a modern business environment. In addition to the principles of information security, you may also study topics such as network security, cyber forensics, and secure electronic commerce.

The following table provides an in-depth look at concepts associate degree students will study in online cyber security classes:

C and C++ Programming

Examine the use of this powerful programming language.


Study the ethical issues that commonly arise in the world of digital information.


Learn to identify electronic evidence and use it to uncover criminal activity.

Criminal Justice

Study the history and philosophy of the criminal courts system.

Cyber Security Basics

Learn about some of the most popular forms of intrusion, including hacking, viruses, spyware, and virus attacks.

*Hagerstown Community College, A.S. Cybersecurity

Online Bachelor Programs in Cyber Security: Class Overview

As a cyber security major working toward a bachelor's degree, you'll learn intermediate concepts within the field of data protection. Top colleges for cyber security will teach you to identify security threats and deploy countermeasures, assist in the forensic analysis of cyber incidents, and help your organization create and implement security policies and strategies.

The following table provides an in-depth look at concepts bachelor's degree students will study in online cyber security classes:

Cybersecurity Policy and Law

Learn the role of government in cyberspace security including which federal, state, and local entities are involved.

Prevention Strategies

Examine best practices for the prevention of cyber attacks. Learn about encryption, VPNs, firewalls and anti-virus.

Emerging Technologies

Take an in-depth look at up and coming technologies in cyber security and evaluate how they could be implemented in organizations.

Security Policy Analysis

Examine key analysis procedures and explore how current legislation and policy decisions can impact an organization's security policy.

Networking Fundamentals

Learn to determine which type of network is appropriate for a specific situation. Study the OSI model, security, networking protocols.

*University of Maryland University College, B.S. in Cybersecurity

Online Master Programs in Cyber Security: Class Overview

Cyber security master's degree programs could prepare you for management and leadership roles in cyber security and cyber operations. You'll study advanced topics related to cyberspace infrastructure and cybercrime deterrence, focusing on prevention, detection and recovery. You'll also study cyber security from a managerial perspective and learn to use skills and expertise for the protection of an organization's cyber assets.

The following table provides an in-depth look at concepts master's degree students will study in online cyber security classes:

Cyber Crime Investigation

Study advanced strategies in cybercrime detection and investigation using all types of digital forensics.

Cyber Security Psychology

Gain an in-depth understanding of potential motivations for cybercrimes.

Prevention Strategies

Study advanced methods for cybercrime prevention and explore the benefits and drawbacks of those methods.

Computer Systems

Examine common system vulnerabilities and brainstorm strategies for overcoming them.

Legal Issues

Gain an in-depth understanding of relevant laws, regulations, and policies that impact the world of cyber crime prevention.

*University of Maryland University College, Master of Science in Cybersecurity


  1. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Student Opportunities, 2013 - http://www.dhs.gov/student-opportunities
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Information Security Analysts, Web Developers, and Computer Network Architects - http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts-web-developers-and-computer-network-architects.htm
  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2012, Information Security Analysts, Web Developers, and Computer Network Architects -http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151142.htm
  4. Schneier on Security, What is a Hacker, 2006 - http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/09/what_is_a_hacke.html
  5. Infoworld.com, Microsoft Asks Colleges to Teach Hacking, 2002 - http://www.infoworld.com/d/developer-world/microsoft-asks-colleges-teach-hacking-609
  6. SecurityFocus.com, Teaching Hacking Helps Students, Professor Says, Robert Lemos, 2007 - http://www.securityfocus.com/news/11480
  7. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition," Information Security Analysts, Web Developers, and Computer Network Architects, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts-web-developers-and-computer-network-architects.htm#tab-1
  8. Hagerstown Community College, A.S. Cybersecurity, 2013, http://catalog.hagerstowncc.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=3&poid=364&returnto=121
  9. University of Maryland University College, B.S. in Cybersecurity, 2013, http://www.umuc.edu/academic-programs/bachelors-degrees/cybersecurity-major.cfm
  10. University of Maryland University College, Master of Science in Cybersecurity, 2013, http://www.umuc.edu/academic-programs/masters-degrees/cybersecurity.cfm

View Online College Courses Below