Cybersecurity…the need for professionals in this specialty is much needed and is on the rise. They are tasked with protecting the valuable and sensitive information stored in our computer systems against criminal activity and unauthorized use. As the need for Cybersecurity professionals continues to increase, future careers in this field will be available as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 32% expected job growth rate over the next ten years. The average salary in this field is approximately $98,000, depending on one’s position, education and job location. These top online doctorate programs in Cybersecurity will enable their recipients to be in the top of their field.
Congratulations… if you’ve decided to pursue a graduate degree in Cybersecurity. The below-referenced schools, offering the Best Online Doctor of Cybersecurity Degree Programs, are all exceptional schools, therefore, Online-PhD-degrees.com has chosen to rank these programs in random order. Each Online Cybersecurity doctorate on this list meets the following criteria:
- 100% Online or Hybrid Availability; utilizing collaborative learning and support through asynchronous coursework, online resources and close communication with advisors and faculty,
- Transfer of credit ease, easy-to-use Learning Management System,
- Available Financial Aid; Grants & Scholarships,
- Offering degree-specific program criteria necessary to earn a Doctorate degree in Cybersecurity; comprehensive and innovative coursework, offering the latest in technology,
- Prepares each student for Management or Leadership roles in Cybersecurity or a related field,
- Promotes Research, Analysis and the Dissertation process,
- Provides coursework for future academic educators in Cybersecurity at the university level, if desired,
- Designed for working adults with a desire to advance in their current career or pursue a lucrative position in federal or state governmental agencies, in private businesses or industries as a Security Consultant, Chief Information Officer, or an IT Strategist, among others.
Our hope is that the following school suggestions will assist you in pursuing an Online Doctoral Degree program in Cybersecurity that fits your needs. To learn more, feel free to check out our Methodology page.
DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY
PROGRAM STANDOUTS: The Doctor of Cybersecurity degree program at Dakota State University promotes core values such as academic freedom and student success, as well as, integrity, diversity, and respect. The program also focuses on the expectation of continuous improvement, paired with a special emphasis on the growing field of computer technology. Dakota State University provides their students with online programs designed to offer innovative teachings in all fields, however, they specialize in computer information-related career programs. Through DSU’s online Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) in Cybersecurity program, students become security experts. The program combines a background in computer science with applied research in information technology security. Through Dakota State University’s innovative doctoral program, students learn specialized techniques in the development of cyber operations activities, such as software exploitation, analysis of malicious code, data collection, and reverse engineering. Participation in a full-time program will take about three years to complete, however, if necessary, one can take up to seven years from their admission date to complete the program.
CAMPUS LOCATION: Madison, SD
ACCREDITATION: Dakota State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1441.
- Master’s degree with a bachelor’s or master’s in computer science,
- Undergraduate GPA minimum of 3.0.
- Online application with a $35 application fee
- Official transcripts
- GRE scores – may be waived if certain conditions are met
- Principles of Data Privacy
- Incident Response
- Intrusion Detection
PROGRAM OPTIONS: Also offered at Dakota State University are these related doctoral programs:
- Doctor of Philosophy in Cyber Operations
- Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems
DEGREE OUTCOMES: With an online Doctor of Cyber Defense degree, many career options are available. Possible job opportunities include a university professor or a researcher for government agencies or private firms. In addition, information technology security is required within most military and law enforcement organizations. Dakota State University partners with some of the largest organizations available who need cybersecurity professionals and researchers.
NEW JERSEY CITY UNIVERSITY
PROGRAM STANDOUTS: New Jersey City University offers one of the only cybersecurity-related degrees of its kind, accepting 30-35 students a year into its unique doctorate program. The degree program creates experts in three of the areas recognized by ASIS – International: National, Corporate, and Information Assurance/Cybersecurity. The Doctor of Science degree program is offered online with residence required during two summer weeks a year and four weekends throughout the year. Graduates acquire a scholar-practitioner degree which has a strong emphasis on research and analysis and includes a dissertation.
CAMPUS LOCATION: Jersey City, New Jersey
ACCREDITATION: New Jersey City University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
- Completed master’s degree
- A minimum of four years of relevant work experience in Security in any of the three domains of national, corporate and/or information assurance/cybersecurity.
- Current Issues in Civil Security Leadership, Management and Policy
- Civil Security Policy/Budget Development and Implementation
- Doctoral Colloquium in Emergency Operations and Management
Graduates of the Civil Security Leadership, Management and Policy Doctoral Program at New Jersey City University will be able to
- Use skills of research to apply to contemporary national security issues
- Apply policy measures to develop a national security strategy
- Research to develop and implement strategic communication plans, media relations and crisis communication
- Integrate strategies to proactively plan and respond to critical incidents in urban settings
- Demonstrate the ability to use quantitative and qualitative analysis to integrate current research with current data in national security initiatives.
COLORADO TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY
PROGRAM STANDOUTS: Colorado Technical University offers a 100% online Doctor of Computer Science – Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. The program assists students in expanding their expertise in the field in managing enterprise systems through Sarbanes-Oxley regulations, trust and privacy best practices, and tools such as CORBA and J2EE, XML, RDF, OWL, and UML. The doctoral program at Colorado Tech includes an online curriculum that allows for multiple start dates throughout the year, a possibility of three-year completion, dissertation development that is integrated into the degree program and in-person symposium experiences. Colorado Technical University assists graduate students in achieving the goal of completing their studies in the field of Cybersecurity and Information Assurance at a pace that fits their own schedule.
CAMPUS LOCATION: Colorado Springs, CO
ACCREDITATION: Colorado Technical University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1441.
- Online application
- Official transcripts
- Possible entrance essay
- Possible doctoral interview
- Security Management
- Futuring and Innovation
- Foundations of Digital Systems Security
RELATED AREAS OF STUDY AT COLORADO TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY:
- Doctorate in Big Data Analytics Online
- Online Doctorate in Computer Science
Graduates of the Doctorate of Computer Science – Cybersecurity and Information Assurance degree program have been educated in the current topics in the disciplines, research methods and qualitative techniques. The research component of the degree results in graduates being prepared in the field of Cybersecurity to integrate their concentrations into a relevant context.
PROGRAM STANDOUTS: Northcentral University offers one of the top online Doctor of Cybersecurity PhDs. The specialization in cybersecurity allows students to be leaders in battling hackers and security breaches in data systems. The program is designed to help students become innovative in applying research and technical knowledge to stay ahead of those who breach security systems.
This PhD Cybersecurity specialization will prepare you for a variety of technology leadership roles in both government and private organizations. Upon graduation, you will be well prepared to anticipate and mitigate risks in managing and deploying data-intensive systems.
CAMPUS LOCATION: Scottsdale, Arizona
ACCREDITATION: Northcentral University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 533 Airport Blvd, Burlingame, CA 94010.
- Master’s degree from an accredited institution
- Application for admission
- Official transcripts
- Computer Networks and Mobile Computing
- Technology Policy and Strategy
- Cyber Forensics
The Cybersecurity PhD at Northcentral University is awarded as a TIM or Technology and Innovation Management degree. Other doctoral specializations in the field include:
- Computer Science
- Information Systems
According to the Northcentral University website, the PhD in Cybersecurity prepares graduates “for a variety of technology leadership roles in both government and private organizations.” Graduates from the program will be prepared to foresee and minimize the risks that come from managing and running data-intensive systems.
PROGRAM STANDOUTS: Marymount University grants cybersecurity experts an opportunity to acquire one of the best online cybersecurity doctorates available. The Doctor of Science in Cybersecurity prepares professionals to be leaders in the complex challenges of the cyber world in which we live. They are taught to protect the infrastructures that are essential to the digital economy. Because, according to their website, Marymount University is located in a region that is home to more cybersecurity business than anywhere else in the United States, they are in a unique position to offer access to that community during and after students’ completion of the doctorate.
CAMPUS LOCATION: Arlington, Virginia
ACCREDITATION: Marymount University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033
- Official transcripts
- Up-to-date resume
- Statement of research, background and interests
- Advanced Computer Security
- Operating Systems
Marymount University is located in the heart of the government’s major cybersecurity initiatives. Because of its proximity to numerous federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, National Security Agency and others, Marymount has access to quality faculty who are currently engaged in federal initiatives as well as guest speakers who are experienced practitioners in the field of cybersecurity.
Graduates from the Doctor of Science in Cybersecurity from Marymount University will be prepared for:
- High-level positions in government and industry
- Leading efforts to secure digital assets in the public and private sectors
- Protecting intellectual property
- Securing technology used for social purposes
PURDUE UNIVERSITY POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE
PROGRAM STANDOUTS: Purdue University is one of the only tier-one research universities to offer a 100% online Doctor of Technology degree. With emphases on Global Supply Chain Management and Leadership of CyberSecurity and CyberForensics among others, the program offers students the opportunity to engage in world-changing research. The degree is research-based with direct applicability to practical and applied development. The dissertation process in the degree program focuses on research applied to professional practice.
CAMPUS LOCATION: West Lafayette, Indiana
ACCREDITATION: Purdue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1441.
- Certified master’s degree from an accredited university
- Complete online application
- Statement of purpose
- Three letters of recommendation
- Official transcripts from all institutions
- Leadership of Cybersecurity and CyberForensics
- Global Supply Chain Management
- Analysis of Research
- Leadership and Innovation – The leadership and innovation specialization offers a broad-based knowledge that combines with detailed training in management and business.
The online Doctor of Technology degree from Purdue University Polytechnic University enhances the skills of professionals toward the end of advancing their careers. Graduates have a greater understanding of technology, research, and development in order to develop and implement innovative strategies in the Tech world. Practices and knowledge gained from the degree program can be implemented in business, government, industry, and other organizations as well as entrepreneurial work.
UNIVERSITY OF THE CUMBERLANDS
PROGRAM STANDOUTS: The University of the Cumberlands, nationally ranked in the top 300 by U.S. News and World Report, offers one of the top online PhD programs in Information Technology. The degree program focuses on enhancing the credentials of professionals in the areas of predictive analysis, cyber crime security and smart technology among others. The online IT degree gives graduates the tools they need to be any company’s IT expert.
CAMPUS LOCATION: Williamsburg, Kentucky
ACCREDITATION: The University of the Cumberlands is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033
- Application and fee
- Official transcripts
- Cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above
- Written interview/writing sample
- Emerging Threats and Countermeasures
- Information Governance
- Enterprise Risk Management
- Information Systems Security
- Information Technology
- Digital Forensics
According to their website, the University of the Cumberlands equips graduates “to meet the aggressive demand for qualified data scientists in virtually every sector of the economy.”
UNIVERSITY OF FAIRFAX
PROGRAM STANDOUTS: The University of Fairfax specializes in cybersecurity and information assurance, offering one of the best online doctorates in cybersecurity. As the global marketplace is constantly changing, the University of Fairfax provides students with a quality and flexible program to give the kind of training that employers require. The program provides students with exceptional critical thinking, communication, and interpersonal skills and the knowledge needed to excel in the field of cybersecurity. Students will also learn how to conduct valuable research and contribute to their career field. The Doctorate of Information Assurance (DIA) from the University of Fairfax keeps students in close communication with their advisor and enables them to complete the terminal degree in their field.
CAMPUS LOCATION: Salem, VA
ACCREDITATION: The University of Fairfax is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), 1101 17th St. NW, Suite 808, Washington, DC 20036.
- Online application with a $75 application fee
- Transcripts and diploma
- Summary of employment history
- Telephone interview by an Admissions Officer is required to assess interest and potential for completing a DIA program
- Five years of work experience with a master’s degree
- Emerging Issues in Financial Management
- Management Theory in a Global Economy
- Designing Organizational Structures
PROGRAM SPECIALIZATIONS: UF offers 100% online classes for the busy adult who works full-time and manages a busy home life. Students can learn from anywhere, at any time. Online classes are given by two techniques. One can attend synchronous classes that are recorded for use when convenient for the student, and asynchronous classes that provide access to discussions with peers and faculty. Students will also have access to a 24/7 Help Desk and online chat rooms for support.
DEGREE OUTCOMES: Graduates from the Doctor of Information Assurance degree program from the University of Fairfax will be prepared for any number of careers within the industry of cybersecurity. Whether it be in a high-powered position as a Chief Information Officer or as a University Professor and/or Researcher, the program assures an exceptional education in the modern industry of cybersecurity and information assurance management.
CAPITOL TECHNOLOGY UNIVERSITY
PROGRAM STANDOUTS: The Doctorate of Science at Capitol Technology University is offered completely online and affords students the opportunity to achieve a terminal degree at their own pace. Capitol Technology University specializes in information technology, computer science, and engineering. Their exceptional programs focus on academic excellence and incorporating practical learning experiences. Capitol Tech’s Doctorate in Cybersecurity (DSc) degree program will educate students about today’s need for cybersecurity, how to combat cybersecurity threats, as well as how to conduct research to meet the ever-changing challenges of the field. Students are instructed by skilled, experienced faculty who are experts in the world of cybersecurity.
CAMPUS LOCATION: Laurel, MD
ACCREDITATION: Capitol Technology University is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middles States Association of Colleges and Schools (Commission on Higher Education, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia PA 19104, 215-662-5606).
- Current resume with 5 years of work experience
- Recommendation form
- Master’s degree in a relevant field
- Information Assurance Research Literature
- Professional Ethics and Leadership
- Special Topics in Information Assurance
PROGRAM SPECIALIZATION: Capitol Technology University offers a low residency requirement – Students are required to attend an annual residency in which they will work closely with faculty to discuss research ideas and a dissertation project.
Capitol Tech is designated a National Center of Excellence in Cyber Defense by the Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency.
DEGREE OUTCOMES: Many of the world’s top industry leaders are interested in protecting their businesses by hiring graduates with a doctoral degree in cybersecurity. As the need for professionals in this field is on the rise, credentials from Capitol Tech will allow graduates to obtain positions within:
- The healthcare industry
- Information assurance strategic management
- Software assurance development
The doctoral program at Capitol Technology provides students with the communication, critical and analytical thinking skills needed in today’s evolving cybersecurity workforce.
NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY
PROGRAM STANDOUTS: Nova Southeastern University offers one of the best online Doctorate programs in Cybersecurity. The university, ranked #246 nationally grants a doctor of philosophy in cybersecurity management that is a “comprehensive, multidisciplinary, research program.” The curriculum is designed to be technically intensive and management-focused. The security courses give a holistic approach to the field of information security and cybersecurity management. Students must complete seven core courses, two doctoral research courses and a research dissertation.
CAMPUS LOCATION: Davie, FL
ACCREDITATION: Nova Southeastern University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1441.
- Online application and fee
- Earned master’s degree with GPA of at least 3.25
- Sealed official transcripts
- Resume or CV
- Letters of recommendation
- Information Privacy
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Knowledge Management
PROGRAM FORMAT: The doctoral program at NSU is a hybrid program. Students must be able to attend some doctoral coursework in a face to face format on the main campus once a term. Between on campus meetings, students can complete required assignments and research through an online format. Students may also participate in online discussions with faculty and fellow students.
DEGREE OUTCOMES: Graduates from the PhD in Cybersecurity Management from Nova Southeastern University will be equipped to work in the following positions among others:
- Chief information security officer
- College/University faculty member
- Information security consultant
- Research and development
- Vice President of information security
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is the defense of hardware, software and data and other digital systems from cyberattacks. According to cybintsolutions.com, cyber attacks occur every 39 seconds and affect one in three Americans every year. Cybersecurity experts are trained, hopefully more than hackers, to prevent and respond to such attacks. Cyberattacks are usually aimed toward acquiring sensitive information, destroying information, altering files, stealing credit card information or otherwise extorting funds or even hacking in to one computer in order to hack another. Cybersecurity limits the risk of these attacks and creates a network of protection for IT assets. According to the same article on Cybint, most companies take nearly 6 months to recognize a data breach which can cost a company millions of dollars. Needless to say, with cyberattacks on the increase along with technology, the digital world will need more and more innovative thought and experts to combat malicious internet activity.
What is the difference between a Doctor of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy in Cybersecurity?
There are several different ways to approach the field of cybersecurity. Different degree programs give one a different aspect of inquiry into the field of cyberattacks and security as well as a different key role in fixing the problem.
Although any doctorate in the field will put its recipient into an expert position to deal with cyberattacks, a Doctor of Science in Cybersecurity will usually lead graduates to work in practical application of theory and research. The scholarly inquiry of a graduate with a Doctor of Science degree will apply itself directly to policy, ethics, management and data science.
A Doctor of Philosophy is geared more toward continued research in the field of Cybersecurity. The PhD in Cybersecurity involves many of the same studies as a Doctor of Science, such as learning data collection techniques, analysis of code and reverse engineering. However, those holding a PhD will usually use their special area of knowledge to research and develop theories concerning Cybersecurity or to work as a professor in the field.
What is the career outlook for those with a Doctorate in Cybersecurity?
With the continuing expansion of the digital world and the alarming statistics of cyberattacks, one would guess that the employability of those able to combat the attacks would also be growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics backs up this surmise. The expected job growth rate of security analysts between 2018 – 2028 is around 32%. Demand for experts in the field is expected to be very high as more innovative methods are required in order to prevent the breach of data and information. With the online expansion of cybersecurity doctoral degrees, it is becoming more and more convenient for qualified persons to become experts in cybersecurity.
What kind of jobs can one pursue with a Doctor of Cybersecurity degree?
The type of jobs that require a doctorate in cybersecurity may not be labeled as such. Most students of cybersecurity have already acquired many years of experience in the field of computer science and/or information technology. Some of the jobs that are available for those with doctorates include:
- Network Architect
- Security Analyst
- Security Engineer
- Forensics Investigator
- Systems Engineer
Those working in the field of cybersecurity may work for small businesses, government or non-government organizations or large corporations. According to an article by Cybintsolutions.com, more than 77% of organizations do not have a Cyber Security Incident response plan. Along with that statistic is another alarming one: Over 54% of companies say that they have experienced a cyberattack within the last 12 months.
Cybersecurity experts usually are well trained in handling incidents, skills in firewall and other protection implementation, detecting intrusion, intelligence in preventing attacks among other skills. Obtaining a doctorate in cybersecurity will usually entail a close concentration of skills toward one area of expertise.
A few of the main industries that will be hiring cybersecurity professionals are Government, Banking and Consulting companies. Any other industries which operate with sensitive information and commonly experience cyberattacks will also be looking to hire more cyber professionals. This means that most of these jobs will be located in metropolitan areas such as Washington and New York.
What courses does one take throughout a Doctor of Cybersecurity degree program?
Some Doctor of Cybersecurity degree programs have specializations which would change the direction of the courses that a student takes. The courses and specialization would be oriented toward a student’s specific interests. In degree programs which require the completion of a dissertation, the topic of the dissertation would also be taken into account as one makes choices about course study. The core courses studied during a doctorate of cybersecurity include such areas as:
- Advanced Computer Security
- Computer Forensics or Cyber Forensics
- Operating Systems
- Global Operations
- Technology Leadership
- Qualitative and Quantitative Research
Specializations in the field can include areas such as:
- Information Systems
- Computer Science
- Digital Forensics
- Information Systems Security