7 Top Cyber Security Schools in the United States
Knowing that modern age brings modern inventions, such as smartphones, smartwatches, or the Internet of Things (IoT), many students-to-be often decide to dedicate themselves to researching the field of technology, computer science, or cybersecurity.
All tech programs offered by universities are vital for today’s professions, but cybersecurity jobs are always in high demand. Therefore, most colleges offer students the opportunity to participate in hands-on security researches and learn the fundamentals of protecting systems and networks from the most advanced cyberattacks.
To help you decide which program suits you best, we’ve prepared a list of 7 prestigious cyber security schools around the U.S., having in mind the courses they offer, professional designations, and certification, as well as the tuition.
How to Know That You’re Prepared to Study Cyber Security?
Most cyber security schools provide a list of prerequisites you should complete before enrolling in the wanted program. That usually means that students should possess advanced skills in mathematics, be analytical, and have some knowledge of coding.
Apart from that, some universities require a certain grade point average (GPA) from high school in order to get accepted, and some of them offer programs at the master’s level only, which means that you must have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or information technology before applying.
Overall, make sure you read all the prerequisites required by the university you want to enroll in – they are usually found on the university’s official website, but if they’re unclear to you, contact a person in charge and ask all the questions you may have.
How to Choose Among the Best Cyber Security Schools?
Students who want to pursue a cybersecurity career usually enroll in undergraduate or graduate programs in network, computer, or cybersecurity.
Not all the employers will ask you for a college diploma, but if you’re considering graduate studies (master’s or doctoral), you should own a bachelor of science in cybersecurity degree.
Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security
You will earn a bachelor of science in cybersecurity once you’ve completed a four-year college program, which usually combines the study of computer science and mathematics.
Additionally, such programs offer a general knowledge of ethics and practices regarding working in the network and computer security, which means that students will learn the importance of risk assessment and protecting sensitive data.
By the end of the program, students will be prepared for careers in network and computer security, but they’ll also be able to work in the field of information assurance.
Master of Science in Cyber Security
Master studies usually last 1 – 2 years, and they are designed to provide working professionals with extra background regarding computer science or security.
Not all the organizations will require a master’s degree, but if you want to specialize in a particular field, you’re advised to continue with your studies. Master programs usually culminate in a master’s thesis or graduate project.
Are There Cyber Security Schools Online?
Not all the students are 18-year-old freshmen who can’t wait to start their campus life far from their homes. Instead, most individuals who decide to begin their studies today are already working professionals who need a degree to get the promotion or upgrade their knowledge and skills in a particular field.
Therefore, most of the prestigious universities offer online cybersecurity programs that are flexible, efficient, and accreditable, and they are available on both undergraduate and graduate-level of studies.
The best online schools for cyber security allow you to post assignments on-the-go, which is suitable for those who can’t afford to travel to the university’s physical location every day. However, students are required to complete their tasks on time and respect daily and weekly schedules set by their instructors.
What are the 7 Best Schools for Cyber Security?
As you search for the best cyber security school, you should have in mind some things that would help you make your final decision. For instance, your criteria should be based on the following ideas:
- Offered opportunities: The program you choose should provide you with valuable opportunities for hands-on experience with advanced lab work in an enclosed network.
- Student-to-faculty ratio: This is the factor that determines the number of students who attend the university divided by the number of teachers in the school. Such consideration is essential for cybersecurity students since most of their lab work requires the supervision of faculty members. A good student-to-faculty ratio in U.S. colleges should meet the national average of 18 students per faculty member.
- School designation: Some students choose the faculty based on their classification – namely, you would go to the college that’s been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.
- Financial aid options: Most colleges offer a bunch of financial aid options and scholarship opportunities that may help you overcome the high costs of cyber security schooling.
1. Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Georgia)
Students who want to specialize in the area of cybersecurity and accomplish research work for military, government, and private industry can apply for Georgia Tech’s Institute for Information Security & Privacy (IISP).
The IISP continually creates new cybersecurity solutions that strengthen national defense, ensure economic continuity, and protect individual freedom. All institute members aim to anticipate and overcome the most advanced cyber threats using innovative techniques and curriculum.
The IISP currently coordinates 13 labs and centers aimed at solving the greatest challenges of cybersecurity settings.
Georgia Tech’s Institute for Information Security and Privacy is an excellent choice for those who want to continue with graduate studies. Namely, the Institute offers master’s and doctoral degrees in fields of cybersecurity and computer science, and you can attend classes either online or on-campus.
The IIST’s official website: http://cyber.gatech.edu/.
2. Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Virginia)
Academic opportunities offered by Virginia Tech are various, especially when it comes to computer science, engineering, and cybersecurity.
Cyber security education programs on Virginia Tech provide options for undergraduate and graduate levels, but there is also a Student Club where students can engage in cybersecurity events, talks, and competitors outside the classroom.
Apart from the academic programs, Virginia Tech has a broad range of research opportunities in cybersecurity such as:
- Cyber-Physical System Security
- Cybersecurity Policy and Governance
- Wireless Communications and Networking Security
Thanks to the multidisciplinary opportunities regarding cybersecurity provided by this faculty, the students will become familiar with information security, network security, software security, and hardware security, and such knowledge will enhance their chances of finding the best employment in the future.
The Virginia Tech Cybersecurity’s official website: https://cyber.vt.edu/.
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3. Bellevue University (Bellevue, Nebraska)
Bellevue University is a private faculty situated in Bellevue, Nebraska. It provides various in-class and online programs on bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. levels, and it’s a great choice for both students and working professionals who don’t have time to dedicate to on-campus courses.
If you want to start your undergraduate studies on Bellevue University, you can opt for Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity program, which is about protecting computers, applications, networks, data, and sensitive information from any attempt of unauthorized access, theft, or other types of cybercrime we know today, such as ransomware.
By the end of the program, you’ll be able to use various tools, techniques, and technologies for identifying and mitigating security risks, investigate breaches in the company’s networks, develop and apply plans for responding to cyberthreats, and apply acquired knowledge to real-life situations.
Bellevue University’s official website: https://www.bellevue.edu/degrees/bachelor/cybersecurity-bs/.
4. The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA)
UTSA is one of the best schools for cyber security you can find today, and that’s because its programs prepare students for some of the best-paid and high-in-demand job positions in the field of computer science and cybersecurity.
The University of Texas has three research centers – the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security, the Institute for Cyber Security, and the Cyber Center for Security and Analytics. The primary goal of these centers is to combat the most common security challenges discovered by individuals, industries, government, or the military.
Accordingly, students who enroll in the UTSA will become skillful in information security management and strategy, applied network and information systems security, administrative and industrial security management, and secure hardware and software design and engineering.
The UTSA’s official website: http://www.utsa.edu/.
5. University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2) is a special branch of the University of Maryland, and it is specifically aimed at bringing together faculty, researches, and students that work in the field of cybersecurity from several departments and schools across campus.
The best thing about choosing the Maryland Cybersecurity Center is the fact that it accepts not only the students with expertise in the areas of computer sciences and electrical engineering, but also those who are dedicated to social sciences, economics, human-computer interaction, and other areas of engineering.
That way, students from different programs have the opportunity to become familiar with the core concepts of cryptography, programming languages, software security, behavioral aspects of security, and cybersecurity economics.
One of the major missions of the MC2 is to facilitate cooperation between leading companies and the faculty, which means that their corporate partners often recruit students at both undergraduate and graduate levels, allowing them to apply their knowledge on practical tasks.
Besides, the faculty organizes public events such as annual symposiums and lecture series, which help them reach out to the broader community.
The Maryland Cybersecurity Center’s official website: http://www.cyber.umd.edu/.
6. Boston University (Boston, Massachusetts)
Boston University offers a special Graduate Certificate in Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity (CIC) program, which allows students to develop their competence and upgrade their practical knowledge by working with different issues related to cyber threats.
By attending this course, students gain the opportunity to learn the fundamental concepts of cyber criminology, legal practices, and policies essential for cybersecurity risk assessment.
Additionally, they’ll be able to identify, respond, and control malicious attacks, formulate criminological strategies for preventing cybercrime, and apply many other successful methods for solving the most comprehensive cybercrime-related issues.
All the classes can be attended both online and on-campus, and after the successful completion of the certificate program, students are eligible to take the forensic examiner exams.
7. New York University Tandon School of Engineering (Brooklyn, New York)
Tandon School of Engineering is among the oldest private and technology schools in the U.S., which provides the learning of the latest cybersecurity settings, methods, techniques, and strategies needed for overcoming the broad range of online threats.
It offers undergraduate programs in computer science and graduate programs in cybersecurity (MS), cybersecurity risk and strategy (MS), and computer science (MS and Ph.D.).
Tandon School of Engineering’s Master of Science Cybersecurity program is designed for those who want to dedicate themselves to protecting the vast amount of sensitive data, including social security numbers, financial records, and matters of national security from malicious activities.
The program is offered in online and on-campus format, but as a student, you are allowed to opt for Blended Learning, which is the way of taking courses both online and on-site – still, you must apply for one of the mentioned formats first.
Another way to engage in the cybersecurity field is to become a member of the NYU Center for Cybersecurity (CSS), which is an interdisciplinary research institute dedicated to training current and future generations for professions regarding securing organizations’ networks, systems, and hardware.
The NYU Center for Cybersecurity participates in many activities and events, including conferences, workshops, and roundtables, where professionals discuss many essential field-related topics that future experts find interesting and helpful.
The NYU Tendon School of Engineering’s official website: https://engineering.nyu.edu/.
Instead of Conclusion – Never Stop Exploring Schools for Cyber Security
The country offers innumerable choices for students eager to learn the fundamentals of cybersecurity, and even if you can’t afford traveling and visiting the campus, online programs can always come in handy.
Cyber security degree schools are ideal for both professionals who want to bring their knowledge and skills to next level and students who wish to dedicate themselves to protecting vital data stored online – therefore, don’t hesitate to check the offered examples and start your career now!