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Best Online Cybersecurity Graduate Certificates
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A great way to dive into the field of cybersecurity or take your already established related career to the next level is by achieving a cybersecurity graduate certificate. Such programs come in many shapes in sizes, though many are available even to students who do not have a background in the computer sciences. Though, many programs require students without a computer science background to take a prerequisite class that will bring them up to speed. Generally, they require students to at least have a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. Graduate certificate programs enable students to learn the ins and outs of cybersecurity and decrease the threats associated with cybercrime. Some topics that are generally engaged in these programs include digital forensics, gauging security risks and understanding appropriate interventions, online privacy, and cloud computing, among others. Many programs offer a pathway to a related master’s degree program if that is of interest to the student. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs related to cybersecurity are projected to grow by 31 percent within the next ten years. That is a much higher jump than most professions. There are many programs that are delivered in a flexible online format that enables students the convenience of learning from the comfort of their homes on a schedule that works for them. We have ranked the best online cybersecurity certificate programs for you using the following metric:

  • Cost
  • Reputation
  • Students Success Rate

1

Colorado School of Mines
Golden, CO

To kick off our list is the Colorado School of Mines, which offer a graduate certificate in cybersecurity online. Their graduate certificate cybersecurity for cyber-physical systems, is delivered through the department of computer science. The certificate consists of four courses, fundamentals of computer networks, theory of cryptography, information security and privacy, and cyber-physical systems security. Earning a graduate certificate is a shorter route to qualifying for the myriad of positions available in cybersecurity. A graduate certificate is a bit more advanced than a certificate, for acceptance into the program applicants will have to show an undergraduate knowledge of programming skills, statics, and discrete mathematics. The admission requirements are listed in detail on the website. Career opportunities upon completion of this graduate certificate include security analyst, security software developer, security architect.  Some of the best online cybersecurity certificates create exceptional opportunities for students. This pathway to an advanced position is preferable, to those with less time or financial security to go after a master’s degree or advanced learning in a field they are somewhat familiar with. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity

2

Purdue University Global

Going back to school can be both time consuming, and expensive, graduate certificates are a tailored form of study for novices or entry-level professionals to learn the information they need to advance in their field. Purdue University offers a graduate certificate in information security, helping students to become more confident, skilled, and knowledgeable professionals. The entire program consists of 16 credit hours of coursework. This certificate can prepare you for several things, the CISSP exam to obtain certification, a master’s degree in information security, or to obtain a job in cybersecurity. Purdue offers multiple start dates so you can begin learning on your schedule, not theirs. Within this students will challenge themselves with critical knowledge and technical skill, and pull back the secrets of ethical hacking to sit for the certification. If you feel behind on the security trends because they change so fast this is the best online cybersecurity certificate to catch up. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate in Information Security

3

Boston University
Boston, MA

Boston University has a graduate certificate program in information security, the online format of this program unchains students from the desk and allows for flexible learning. The best online cybersecurity certificate encompasses a theoretical understanding of cyber defense. The entire course of study is 16 credit hours that can be completed in 8-12 months. A strict understanding of the laws and policies that govern private and confidential information is at the root of understanding cybersecurity and how technology can be used. This is the core learning objective of this certificate, students will select four courses from the following course, database security, IT security policies and procedures, network security, digital forensics, and investigation, mobile forensics and security, and enterprise cybersecurity. These courses will inject a large dose of the legal procedures in place that require cybersecurity to be a modern-day necessity, similar to electricity. There are several financial aids and scholarship opportunities. Additionally, Boston University offers several other graduate certificates including cybercrime & cybersecurity. 

Degree: Information Security Graduate Certificate

4

Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, TX

Join the conversation online by taking the graduate certificate in cybersecurity program from Sam Houston State University. Take a minute to grasp the importance of this industry’s purpose. This certificate is available to students with an undergraduate degree in computer science or other related fields with a GPA of 3.0 or better. Enrollment options are fall or spring, the entire program may take one to two semesters to complete. The course work includes 15 credit hours totaling five 3 credit hours each course. This program is qualified for financial aid funding. Cryptography & steganography, malware, network, and cybersecurity, cyber war, and terrorism are some key topics of the certificate. Creating the best online cybersecurity certificate takes dedication to impact the issues like cyber threats. The online format is making it doable for students out of college to advance in their field and continue to maintain a full-time job. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity

5

University of Massachusetts-Lowell
Lowell, MA

The University of Massachusetts offers a graduate certificate in cyber security online, for individuals interested in obtaining advanced certification after their undergraduate degree. The department of computer science is offering this best online cybersecurity certificate to professionals in IT with a bachelor’s degree, yet they must be in a related field and be somewhat familiar with programming to be successful.  For completion of the certificate, graduates must complete all the courses within a five-year period and have maintained a 3.0 GPA. Download a fresh look at cybersecurity with courses in cloud computing, secure mobile networks, and computer network security. This program will infuse a new dose of advanced skills in cybersecurity that will give you just enough to advance into a higher position and higher salary. Program courses stray from the on-campus standard. This program focuses on real-world application based on case studies, and the operational framework used by the professionals of today. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity

6

University of Louisville
Louisville, KY

Don’t get left behind in a fast-evolving industry. IT professionals are relearning skills and theory to advance in their fields. Being the best online cybersecurity certificate program is not the most important fact or their program. It is that today as millions of people each minute use the world wide web to manage their lives, cybersecurity is held in place by the desire to keep their information private. So with that being said, there are thousands of jobs in cybersecurity that need more IT professionals. This 12 credit hour program is built to offer graduates of computer science to get a crash course in cybersecurity. Study areas including information security data mining, mobile commuting to advance in the tech world. The University of Louisville’s online cybersecurity certificate will do just that. Students can complete the certificate in 1 year. The online format will ensure work cant get in the way because you choose when you study. 

Degree: Cybersecurity Certificate

7

Colorado State University-Fort Collins
Fort Collins, CO

IT professionals or computer science graduates are at the forefront of the growing need for cybersecurity professionals. What you may not know is that one of the best online cybersecurity certificate programs is offered at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Their graduate certificate in cyber security is delivered online and offers all the flexibility of choosing online learning. Course credit includes 12 credit hours that can be completed in three semesters. This AACSB accredited program can reshape your understanding of cybersecurity for applications in the business world and the private sector. Students will have the opportunity to test and put to practice methods of penetrating and protecting virtual spaces, networks, and databases. Applicants of this program must have an undergraduate degree in computer science or some other related field. Revive your career with a dose of cybersecurity, learn to respond to cyber threats, and return to the IT world with fresh skills. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity

8

Auburn University
Auburn, AL

Auburn University offers a graduate certificate in cyber security engineering, is curated for engineers with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, its equivalent or experience to show they will be successful in the program. This program is delivered online, students will engage in coursework, submit assignments and participate in classroom discussion all online. Graduates of this program will be able to identify and respond to cyber threats. Additionally, they will be able to implement software and cybersecurity plans that will defend networks and software from being compromised. The entire certificate is 9 credit hours or three courses. Choosing to continue learning costs time and money, this program will pay itself off faster than it took to get the certification. The job demand for cybersecurity professionals is constantly growing, employment opportunities are abundant once these concepts are mastered. This is also a very flexible way to work towards a future master’s degree in the field. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Engineering

9

University of Maryland - Global Campus

Maryland is one of the leading cities in the country with cybersecurity salaries and job positions. There is a strong demand for professionals to join the federal government’s fight against cyber crime. The University of Maryland offers a graduate certificate in cyber technology online. The entire course of study is 18 credit hours of coursework that will train students to analyze system vulnerabilities, identify security breaches and engage using cyber mitigation tactics. Applicants may transfer in up to 6 credits towards this certificate program. rest assured that you are learning from the best online cybersecurity certificate, as this program has been designated a CAE by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. This program is available to anyone that is interested in cybersecurity however preparing for success requires some skills you might not have. The University of Maryland offers a bridge course that will prepare you to complete the course work in the certificate program. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate in Cyber Technology

10

University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK

If you are a planner with leadership skills this is the program for you. The University of Alaska Fairbanks offers a graduate certificate in cybersecurity management. This is a real need in the industry right now as large companies have hundreds of IT professionals working under one roof. Cybersecurity management is the glue that holds it all together; they are like the majors of the cyberwar field. An exciting aspect of this program is they offer in-state tuition to all the online applicants to the program. So no matter where you are located you will be able to take the course at the same rate as in-state applicants. The entire course loads in 12 credits, which can be completed in two semesters. Students will choose from course curricula like cybersecurity management, cybersecurity resilience, cyber threats, and vulnerabilities.   The program website is full of information on how to apply and what the qualifications are, speaking to an academic advisor is helpful to students to be sure the courses they are signing up for will work towards their certificate. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity management

11

University of Rhode Island
Kingston, RI

The graduate certificate in cybersecurity is a university-issued graduate degree and as such requires admission into the graduate program. The University of Rhode Island’s graduate certificate in cyber security, was created with professionals that wanted to streamline their graduate experience and tailor their graduate degree to a focused subject. Applicants must have a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals required to take the Net+ certification. Although that certification is not required it acts like a base place to start for student knowledge if they want to be successful in the certificate program. The entire course of study is 16 credits that can be completed in 9 months. There are mandatory courses, and core courses, these topics will introduce the advanced skills and technological techniques in handling cyber threats on a systematic level. Courses taken towards a certificate program can go towards a master’s or doctorate program. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security

12

Missouri State University-Springfield
Springfield, MO

Missouri State University offers a graduate certificate program in cybersecurity that can be completed entirely online. This is delivered through the department of information technology and cyber security. This program is perfect for those who are interested in advancing a career they already have in the field of cybersecurity or building on skills to get them where they want to go. There are many hands-on opportunities in this program. Prospective students must apply online to the graduate school at Missouri State. The required classes make up twelve credit hours in total including: foundations of cybersecurity, management of information security, telecommunications, and network security, ethical hacking and incident response, web application security, computer forensics, legal issues in cybersecurity, and an independent study in information technology and cybersecurity. Students can transfer their courses into the graduate program if they achieve a minimum of a 3.0.

Degree: Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity

13

Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, MI

Central Michigan University’s Global Campus offers a graduate certificate in cybersecurity that is delivered entirely online. This best online cybersecurity certificate is made up of 15 credit hours in total. CMU is an excellent choice to undergo this education, because they have, what is called, a cyber center, which not only acts as a hub for students, but also faculty. Students will have many opportunities to get their hands dirty in virtual lab environments to utilize forensic computer tools and configure security systems for cloud computing. They will also have the opportunity to network with experts in cybersecurity throughout the course of the program. These experts may be leaders in government and/ or business, as students will have opportunities to attend related panels and workshops. The program trains professionals to thwart a variety of hackers in competitions in the style of capture the flag, at virtual events that occur multiple times per year. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity

14

Lamar University
Beaumont, TX

Lamar University offers a graduate certificate program in cybersecurity that can be completed entirely online. The program is made up of 15 credit hours. It is offered through their extensive department of computer science through their college of arts and sciences. This is in collaboration with other departments including: department of electrical engineering, the department of information systems and analysis, and the college of engineering. The program is made up of five classes, which include: cybersecurity management, secure software engineering, communication networks, cybersecurity, and computer network security. Students are able to undergo the program if they do not have a background in computer programming, but they will be required to take the prerequisite course called programming for graduate students. Not only will students learn critical hard skills, but the soft skills offer so much value, including critical thinking, communicating technical information effectively among others. Students will walk away with the ability to design secure software. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity

15

St. Bonaventure University

St. Bonaventure University offers a graduate certificate program in cybersecurity that is delivered entirely online. This best online cybersecurity program can be completed from anywhere in the world. They make it easy to matriculate with six start date options. Students are not required to have a background in the computer sciences. One of the real perks of the program is the fact that they offer students access to real-world professionals in the field, as they have extensive partnerships with the security operations center and the WNY cybersecurity research center. This enables students to have valuable current industry information and networking opportunities. The program also makes it easy for students to prepare for certifications. They do this through their partnerships with CISCO Academy and EC-Council. The course offerings include: computers and cyber world, foundations of cybersecurity, ethical hacking, and penetration testing, introduction to databases, computer networks, and introduction to programming. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity

16

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Fairleigh Dickinson University offers a graduate certificate program in cybersecurity administration that is delivered entirely online. This best online cybersecurity certificate program offers flexible coursework delivered in an asynchronous model. This means there are no set login times and students can work when it is convenient for them. Each class runs for three weeks and is delivered in this summer session. Even though the classes are online, they are serious about ensuring students have hands on and real world experience. They do this by utilizing case studies within a lab based environment. There are many program perks, including the fact that students can apply their coursework to a masters of science degree program in homeland security administration. There are many classes students can choose including: introduction to network and internet traffic flow, cyber forensics and threat mitigation, and infrastructure security and administration. Students can choose to take all of these classes or just one or two. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate: Cybersecurity Administration

17

Dakota State University
Madison, SD

Dakota State University offers a graduate certificate program in cyber security that is delivered entirely online. This best online cybersecurity certificate program offers students an opportunity to gain such critical industry-standard skills as: risk assessment, crisis management, security models, among many others. Coursework will look deeply at access control, network security, encryption, and social engineering. Object-oriented programming methodologies are covered at great length, including Unified Modeling Language (UML) introductions. Many students choose this program to expand on a career they already have, including within such professions as programming, software engineering, military positions, computer science, among many others. The entire program is made up of twelve credit hours. Students will take such classes as: software exploitation, intrusion detection, wireless security, cryptography, defensive network security, and secure software engineering. Each of the courses listed above is three credit hours in length. They make it easy to ask questions as a prospective student, so feel free to reach out to the program. 

Degree: Cyber Security Graduate Certificate

18

Metropolitan State University of Denver
Denver, CO

The Metropolitan State University of Denver offers one of the best online cybersecurity certificate programs. It is delivered through their department of criminal justice and criminology. In fact, they offer three programs that are relevant including their graduate certificate or cyber defense. The others include cybercrime investigation and cybersecurity leadership. The online classes are convenient and flexible, enabling students to continue working and attending to their other life commitments. Students will generally take one class per semester. Nine credit hours are required for the completion of cyber defense and cybersecurity leadership. Cyber crime investigation requires the completion of twelve credit hours. Even the online classes offer intimate class sizes that make it easy to learn from your peers and ask important questions of faculty members. There is flexibility as far as how long students take to complete their programming; as long as they complete their program within six calendar years. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate of Cyber Defense

19

Saint Joseph's University
Philadelphia, PA

Saint Joseph’s University offers a graduate certificate in cybersecurity that is delivered entirely online. One perk about this best online cybersecurity certificate program is that there is no requirement to have a background in the computer sciences. This program is also known for offering opportunities to tailor the coursework to the student’s unique academic and career goals. Students will walk away from the program with a thorough understanding of topics such as: cyber attacks, digital forensics, report writing techniques, evidence collection, cyberlaw and ethics, risk management, among others. This program is known for being what is called a “stackable certificate. This means you are able to utilize the credits you achieve by putting them towards a master’s degree program if you are interested. Many students use this certificate as an opportunity to advance in the careers they already have or embark on a new career pathway that utilizes the tenets in the program. 

Degree: Graduate Cybersecurity Certificate

20

California University of Pennsylvania
California, PA

California University of Pennsylvania offers a graduate certificate program in cybersecurity that is delivered online. This best online cybersecurity certificate program offers extensive insight on how to interpret a cybersecurity attack as well as potential virus interventions. This certificate program is one aspect of a professional master’s degree program that started in 2015. It was designed exclusively for professionals in a variety of fields including business, nonprofit organizations, and government. The entire course of study is made up of 12 credit hours. If you choose to undergo the program on a full-time study basis, you can complete all of the coursework in one year. All of the faculty in this program are known for being experts in their field. Some potential courses in this program include: computer and networking, cybersecurity risk management and assessment, applied cryptography, biometrics, and wireless networks and security. Graduates will be prepared to take their cybersecurity careers to the next level. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity

21

Walden University
Minneapolis, MN

Walden University offers a graduate certificate program in advanced cyber security. This best online cybersecurity certificate program will train you on how to protect your business or organization and prevent such things as ransomware attacks. Students will also gain the skills to intervene on potential security risks before they are risks, and implement strategies and mitigating controls to ensure the environment is as protected as possible. The entire program is made up of nine-semester credits. The courses include: topics in high assurance computing, information, and systems security, and information and systems security. The majority of students in Walden’s graduate programs receive some form of financial aid. There are also some tuition reduction opportunities for students in a variety of circumstances. The program emphasizes current and cutting-edge trends that will bring students to the front lines of the industry of cyber security. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate in Advanced Cyber Security

22

Colorado Christian University
Lakewood, CO

Colorado Christian University offers a graduate certificate in cybersecurity. This is considered one of the best online cybersecurity certificate programs out there and therefore made our list. They actually offer a variety of certificate programs including: the online criminology certificate, the online cyber defense certificate, the online cyber offense certificate, and the online cyber policy certificate. Each of these programs are made up of nine credit hours, making it easy to take on more than one. A wide range of skills related to the field of cyber security are touched upon throughout these programs. They highlight the fact that they will take you into the thinking of a cyber criminal, so you will be able to offer effective interventions. Students will gain the insight required to do such things as ethical hacking, and within the cyber offense programs, gain insight into what is known as white hat hacking, or cyber offense. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity

23

DeSales University
Center Valley, PA

DeSales University offers a graduate certificate program in cybersecurity that is delivered entirely online The online coursework was designed to be incredibly flexible, with perks that include a variety of start dates enabling students to enter when they are ready. The coursework provides a variety of skills and competencies including: method systems that are HIPAA preferred that can accommodate the IT needs of the healthcare system, an understanding of secure communication pathways that support both systems and people, ways to establish custody of data, and the ways to store it securely as well as transport it, and prepare for such certifications as a wireless technology specialist and certified information systems professional certification. They pride themselves on their expert faculty who are all working professionals in the field. They utilize blackboard for their learning management system, which supports all of the online coursework and meetings. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity

24

Mercyhurst University
Erie, PA

Mercyhurst University offers an extensive graduate certificate program in cybersecurity. This fully online cybersecurity graduate certificate program has some exciting features, including the potential to turn your certificate into a master’s completion program. The entire program is made up of 12 credit hours. Students can complete the program in just nine months’ time, at minimum. This course of study offers rolling admissions, meaning you don’t have to wait to begin; just submit your application when you are ready. Students will gain a foundation in understanding cyber threats and the ways computers can be vulnerable. Students will also be able to look deeply at the risks associated with network organizations and develop appropriate interventions. Some of the classes offered in this program include: system and application security, cryptography and network security, cyber risk management, and system and application security.If students decide they want to continue on from the certificate to complete a master’s, they will have to take an addition of eight courses. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity

25

University of Denver
Denver, CO

The University of Denver offers a graduate certificate in cybersecurity management, a specialized program curated for IT professionals or undergraduate students that want an advanced degree in cybersecurity. Courses are available online, in 10-week sessions with flexible start times. There are two options: the 4-course certificate or the 6-course certificate, although the university does not offer financial aid for the four-course certificate program. The length of the program can be completed in 6 months to a year. The purpose of this best online cybersecurity certificate is to narrow down one aspect or specialization with cybersecurity, and excel at it. In this case cybersecurity management, students will learn skills and knowledge of that specialization. Courses include cybersecurity management, cybersecurity policy, cyber security risk management, and incident response, and cybersecurity leadership and strategic planning. There are no GRE or GMAT scores required for admission into this program. Get prepared to lead with an advanced cybersecurity graduate certificate. 

Degree: Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Management

Why Should I Get a Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity?

Certificate programs are today what online learning was 10 years ago. The student loan debt ratio to unemployment rate has potential applicants looking skeptically at 40k-80k dollar graduate programs. With cybersecurity emerging as the hottest career so many professionals are looking for a streamlined version of an advanced degree. Universities have responded by creating programs to help professionals become more competitive in the job market. There are a number of reasons to get a graduate certificate in cybersecurity, first, let’s evaluate the facts. Graduate certificates are a condensed version of a graduate program. In some cases, you will have to apply to the college into their graduate program to be allowed to take a course towards a certificate. Most online graduate certificate programs in cybersecurity require applicants to have some computer programming knowledge and a bachelor’s degree. If you have the chops and are confident you can make it through the program, a prime reason to get a cybersecurity graduate certificate online is to become a more valuable asset to your organization. As an IT professional maybe you need more training to apply for a position to make more money or you want to branch out and try a different specialty. Either way, a graduate certificate in cybersecurity is a part of the first step to exploring new options in the field of cybersecurity. 

How Much Can I Make with a Cybersecurity Graduate Certificate?

Let’s not fight it, cybersecurity pays well, we know that, it’s no secret. With a cybersecurity certificate salary range, one good thing about that is, the sky’s the limit for a talented IT professional with a specialization in cybersecurity. Obtaining a graduate certificate is considered an advanced program so the chances are looking good that you will increase your marketability. Don’t get stuck on a cybersecurity salary with a certificate, figure out what you are good at. There are certificate programs that specialize in ethical hacking, leadership and management, and counter-terrorism. With a certificate in cybersecurity salary can make $84,027 as an information systems manager and that is just the average. According to payscale a data company that evaluates the job market to provide accurate information to organizations hiring professionals. With a graduate certificate, a common job like cyber security analyst or consultant salary for cyber security certificate can average $76,626 annually. For a more in-depth look at graduate certificate careers and salaries check out, What Can I Do with a Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity?

Can I Get a Cybersecurity Certificate for Free?

With the employment gap growing wider and wider and the number of cybercrimes growing with it, tech companies are incentivizing institutions and organizations to put out free cybersecurity taster courses. Taster courses are free courses to get an understanding of the principles of cybersecurity. Also known as teaser courses. These courses are led by knowledgeable instructors and obtain solid course work. In most cases, these courses can lead to a certificate with a fee attached, so although the courses are free the certificate may cost a bit more. Free cybersecurity degree certificates are free in part, yet this is a great way to decide if you want to break into a new career without the cost of a full-time degree. 

Related:

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What Can I Do with a Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity?

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