Protecting critical assets over the internet has taken a growing precedence in today’s business sectors. With increasing demands for online security and a growing concern for protecting private and trade secret data from hackers, the U.S. job market reflects the needs of cyber security in the field. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that cyber security jobs will grow 31% from 2019 to 2029.
AS and AAS Degrees… What is the Difference?
There is one major difference between an Associate in Science degree and an Associate in Applied Science degree – the speed of job placement. While an Associate in Science degree is targeted more for the transfer student in mind, an Associate in Applied Science prepares students right away for the job field with hands-on career training. This option, in turn, may create a faster return of investment for the cyber security worker.
Here are 20 colleges we have ranked with the best values their Associate Degree in Cyber Security curriculums. Keep in mind that the technical spelling of “cyber security” is sometimes a single word, and other times two words depending on the official name of the degree program. We have also created a list of the most affordable cyber security degree programs.
The 20 Best Colleges With at Least One Associate Degree in Cyber Security
College of the Albemarle
In a quiet corner of Northeastern North Carolina lies the best kept secret in cyber security education. Not only is the value amazing, students recieve practical high quality career application. The degree is just right for flexibility with entry-level jobs in the technology sector, including website administration, security, healthcare informatics, and more.
Forsyth Technical Community College
Attractive pricing and flexible class schedules help place Forsyth on the map in the #2 spot. Their associate degrees offer two areas of concentration, Criminal Justice and IT Systems Security. If a career involving forsenics and crime scenes is more your style, this is a great option for you.
Estrella Mountain Community College
Etrella Mountain’s cyber security education is astounding in quality for the price you pay. Their Cybersecurity Center of Excellence program is recognised as a National Center of Academic Excellence by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.
Wake Technical Community College
Students who take the AAS Degree in Cybersecurity have the chance to work with three computer system environments – Microsoft, Linux and Apple. Wake students can also pursue several certificates within the program, including CCNA Security, Certified Enterprise Defender, and Certified Ethical Hacker.
Western Nebraska Community College
Located in the pristine prairie hills, this beautiful college has flexible associate’s degrees in computer technology and cybersecurity, including online options. Graduates can pursue relevant jobs in their field to generate income right away, including computer support specialist, to fund their security passion.
Eastern Iowa Community College
Eastern Iowa offers an impressive lineup of 12 computer education programs that include certificates, associate’s degrees and more. The graduation rate is also a little higher, ranking it higher in the list.
Minnesota West Community and Technical College
MWCTC is no stranger to a quality program in computer security. Their online degree courses in Computer Information Security and Assurance are taught by the same faculty as their on-campus sessions. New students take an assessment exam that helps them determine course placement.
Oklahoma City Community College
OCCC’s Associate computer degree offerings are remarkable… There is not one, but 10! The school also recieved award recognition by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency for their cyber degree programs.
Mt. Hood Community College
The degree program for this Oregon-based school places more emphasis on the business side of cyber security. The program includes teaching programming principles, ethical hacking, and assessing the vulnerabilities of a company computer system.
West Virginia Northern Community College
This comprehensive cyber security program emphasises the understanding of Cloud computing, the internet framework, and hacker psychology to equip the cyber security specialist in making computer systems more secure in today’s world of technology. Training is also provided for dealing with hacker attack techniques and problem solving for typical occupational issues.
Southern Utah University
When it comes to cyber security degrees, Southern Utah University has just the right sampling of everything. Students who want to further their associate’s cyber security education can move up to get a master’s without ever having to leave the school. The master itself offers two kinds of emphasis – one in Cyber Operations, and the other in Information Assurance.
Palo Alto College
Palo Alto College’s cyber security degree features practical career training as an important curriculum element. Several of the courses are approved by the U.S. National Security Administration. Students learn relevant skills such as Linux systems configuration, computer forensics, incident response and handling, and more. The degree program also comes with an internship and the opportunity for students to submit job applications through ApplyTexas.
Spartanburg Community College
SCC touts that it offers the lowest tuition in the South Carolina Spartanburg region, and with its hefty AAS degrees, they’re a deal with a good value. Students can obtain an associate’s for transfer or a certificate to earn additional skills in their cyber security career.
Northeast Lakeview College
Located in “Cyber City, USA,” Lakeview’s location in the Alamo Colleges District, San Antonio is prime real estate for aspiring cyber security experts. Their Cyber Defense degree is ideal for careers for computer security jobs in the military sector, as San Antonio’s military history is familiar with the dawn of internet security in the 1980’s. They also embed the costs of all textbooks and training materials into the courses so students have no additional out of pocket expenses to buy books.
College of Southern Maryland
The Associate in Applied Science degree in Cybersecurity is designed for flexible needs. Students can graduate and pursue a career right away, or they can transfer to another school or take further study for a bachelor’s. Useful areas of study for this transfer include Criminal Justice, Homeland Security, Energy Systems Technology, and more.
University of Maine at Fort Kent
This New England school is a unique melting pot of American and Canadian culture. University of Maine students can take several online degree programs for cybersecurity which include the popular Associate of Science in Information Security program.
Dakota State University
High graduation rates are impressive for this school in the northern midwest U.S. region. Their cyber security programs are recognised by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security with a number of concentrations within the area. DSU even has a dedicated scholarship for cyber security students, making the dream of a cybersecurity career possible for many of them.
Saint Leo University
This popular school is reputed for its online programs, and the Associate in Cyber Security is no exception. Though pricier in comparison, the graduation rate is the highest overall, making Sant Leo a worthy choice in your lion’s share of school options.
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College
Three concentrations are offered for the associate’s degree in this Johnstown school… Server Administration, Network Administration, and Cyber Security. The options are designed for students to apply for entry-level career positions right away, making it an attractive option for residents in Pennsylvania.
MidAmerica Nazarene University
This private nonprofit school features small class sizes and hands-on learning, with a fully online cyber security degree available. Graduates are treated to immediate career opportunities in the school’s Silicon Prairie area from companies like Nikea, Sprint and Garmin. The AAS in Cybersecurity is offered through the School of Graduate and Professional Studies and can be completed in less than two years.
Our Ranking Methodology
Each of the schools were ranked by the annual tuition and fees per year, and the annual graduation rate. Colleges were ranked in a points system with the emphasis of lower tuition cost and higher graduation rate percentages. A weighted total of three-quarters tuition and fees and one-quarter graduation rate was then applied for the final score.
Questions About Your Ranking?
If you work at any of the aforementioned schools and / or see something in our rankings that need to be corrected, contact us at BestValueSchools.com. We strive to achieve the utmost accuracy in all of our school rankings. You can also reach out to us anytime for any other questions or comments you may have.