Cybersecurity is the field of keeping information systems safe from theft, disruption, and damage. It is a field that has grown in importance in our personal lives, as well as in business. President Obama said that cybersecurity is one of the most important challenges we face as a Nation.
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Businesses have moved to online information systems for everyday individual business practices, as well as using these systems as a major communication and data tool between them and the outside consumer. This means that businesses hold their own valuable information digitally, as well as virtually handle their customers’ personal information. This high level of digital interactivity demands the need for digital information security, aka cybersecurity. This has manifested itself into a high demand of information security professionals. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects that the jobs for information security analysts will grow at a huge 18% over the next ten years, which is almost three times as high as the average vocation growth.
An MBA degree with specific courses solely focused in the area of cybersecurity provides the knowledge and skills critical to today’s business leaders. This cybersecurity training and development can give business leaders a significant competitive advantage in today’s business world. An online cybersecurity MBA is additionally advantageous for busy professionals because these programs give optimal flexibility. An online degree program allows students to manage their current professional and personal responsibilities while gaining the critical degree to help them reach their next step in their career. Here is our list of the Top 10 Online MBA degrees in the field of cybersecurity.
The goal of this ranking was to get the best online MBA degree available in the area of cybersecurity. A list of over 350 school programs was obtained and then vetted based on the following five factors:
Estimated Tuition Cost: When looking at possible future online MBA programs, affordability should always be taken into account, because it plays an important role when discovering a Return on Investment (ROI). Each program was valued based on the estimated tuition. The tuition of each program was gathered from the most recent data given on their specific program or school website. The lowest tuition on the list was $9,405 and the highest came in at $52,500.
Accreditation: Accreditation always matters. Not only is it an outside party giving testimony to the quality of a program, but it adds to the brand of a school, which inevitably adds to each students professional marketability. Every program in this ranking is accredited by one of the six regional higher accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The programs with additional business accreditations were scored higher. These accredited bodies were IACBE, ACBSP, and AACSB. AACSB International-accredited schools were given the highest marks, as they are perceived as the most elite business schools.
PayScale Early Career Salary: This data was taken from the 2015-2016 PayScale College Salary Report. This report gives a ranking from over 1,000 schools by graduate salary potential. This gives students an idea on the average salary from graduates early on in their career, as well as their mid-career salary. The highest early career salary in the ranking is $71,100.
Prestige: Data for this criterion was taken from the online MBA rankings on US News and World Report, the Princeton Review, the Financial Times, and Quacquarelli Symonds. Schools were valued on how many online mba rankings they were included in, from some of the most prestigious education sites today.
Overall Graduation Rates: Each school’s overall graduation rate was collected from the National Center for Education Statistics. This factor shows a school’s pattern on student satisfaction. Were students motivated to finish their degrees and shown the value of the time and money they were investing?
After gathering the data for each criterion, all data was weighted the same and then put in ranking order. By weighing the tuition cost, accreditation, early career salary, prestige, and graduation rates, we are confident that this ranking can help potential Cybersecurity professionals and managers find the highest quality online MBA for them.
#10 Utica College School of Business and Justice Studies
Utica College’s School of Business and Justice Studies offers an online Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Cybersecurity. This regionally accredited program offers students an MBA in a flexible format with cybersecurity courses and foundational business courses at an affordable tuition.
Utica College is a small, four-year, private, nonprofit university that sits in Utica, the heart of Central New York. They are a comprehensive university that was founded in 1946 by Syracuse University. Utica offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degreed to a student body numbering just over 4,200. The university is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Utica’s School of Business and Justice Studies offers a Master of Business Administration. The mission of this program is to develop the next generation of great business leaders, and we strive to give our students as much flexibility as possible to acquire the skills needed for business success. Students can attend class in-person, in an online, synchronous, interactive session, or access the recorded lectures online. This MBA consists of 15 hours of business core courses, followed by four specialization courses, and a final capstone course. Students can choose from the following specializations: Finance/Accounting, Insurance & Risk Management, Cybersecurity, Cyber Policy, Health Care Management, and General.
The Cybersecurity specialization provides students with the advanced understanding of the history and evolution of cyber intelligence, as well as the impact cybersecurity networks, protocols and associated systems have on institutions, privacy, business, and government applications. Courses within this concentration include: Principles of Cybersecurity, Cyber Intelligence, Critical National Infrastructures and National Security, and Principles of Cybercrime Investigations.
Applicants for the online MBA program at Utica College are required to have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and at least two years of work experience. There is no GRE or GMAT requirement for admissions.
Estimated Program Tuition: $19,500
#9 Maryville University John E. Simon School Of Business
Maryville University’s John E. Simon School Of Business offers an online Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Cybersecurity. This flexible program is fully accredited, and offers students classes and optional certification with a cybersecurity focus. This program offers a highly accessible program with six start dates and no standardized test or previous professional requirements.
Maryville University is a four-year, private, nonprofit university that is located in Saint Louis, Missouri. The university was founded in 1872 and is one of the oldest private institutions in its region. They offer over 90 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs to over 5,900 students annually. The university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Maryville’s Simon School of Business delivers practical curriculum with hands-on business training to develop competent and confident business leaders. They have ACBSP-accredited on-campus and online MA, MS, and MBA degrees available. The 36-credit hour Master of Business Administration allows students the flexibility to enroll in the program online, on-campus, or with a mixture of both formats depending on the student’s needs and desires.
After completing the core business and management curriculum, students can choose between a list of 12 different MBA concentration options, including a concentration in Cybersecurity. The courses within this concentration include: Controls for Effective Cyber Defense, Pen Testing, Forensic Examination and Analysis, and Legal Issues of Privacy and Compliance. Additionally, students can earn graduate certificates in any concentration area. Students interested in Cybersecurity can choose a certificate in General Cybersecurity, Offensive Cybersecurity, or Defensive Cybersecurity.
Maryville has a highly accessible application process. They desire motivated candidates and allow them to start the MBA program at any of the six semester start dates throughout the year. No official GMAT or GRE score is required, nor specific business experience or application fees.
Estimated Program Tuition: $25,200
#8 [This school has been removed from ranking]
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#7 Worcester Polytechnic Institute Robert A. Foisie School of Business
Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Robert A. Foisie School of Business offers a highly accredited Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Information Security Management. This elite MBA not only offers students high quality courses, but the highest early career salary of graduates included in this ranking.
The Worcester Polytechnic Institute is a four-year, private, nonprofit, technology university located in Worcester, Massachusetts. WPI was founded in 1865 to create and convey the latest science and engineering knowledge to society. Today, they offer over 50 bachelor’s, master’s, PhD, and certificate programs to over 6,300 students every year. The university is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.
The Robert A. Foisie School of Business is a globally renowned AACSB International-accredited business school. They are committed to a global perspective and are invested in multi-disciplinary, project-based education that integrates theory and practice, and builds on our relationships with technology intensive organizations in all sectors of the economy. The Foisie School offers an Innovator’s Master of Business Administration with a Flex Track, a Cohort Track, and an Evening Track in order to be flexible to students with schedule constraints. The Cohort and Flex track deliver the MBA in a blended learning format with on-campus visits every five to seven weeks.
The program is committed to deliver the critical business and management curriculum in theory and practice so that students can immediately start implementing what they learn. The curriculum consists of ten required business core courses, two required projects courses, and four elective courses. Students can choose between ten different academic specializations to tailor their studies, including Information Security Management.
Admission into the Foisie School of Business is competitive because classes are strategically kept small to maximize learning and interaction. Students can enroll in the fall, spring, or summer semesters. Official GMAT or GRE scores are required, with a minimum GMAT score requirement of 500. Prospective MBA students are also required to have a minimum of two years of work experience.
Estimated Program Tuition: $67,584
#6 Saint Leo University Donald R. Tapia School of Business
Saint Leo University’s Tapia School of Business offers an accredited and highly flexible Master of Business Administration with 11 different concentration options. The MBA concentration in Information Security Management teaches students to manage the protection of resources in a company’s information system.
Saint Leo University is a four-year, private, nonprofit, Catholic university that was founded in 1889 by the Order of Saint Benedict of Florida. Saint Leo sits in Saint Leo, Florida and offers high quality undergraduate and graduate, on-campus and online degree programs, to over 16,000 students across the globe. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The Donald R. Tapia School of Business is the largest Catholic business school in the country, with more than 8,000 students enrolled in their online programs. The IACBE-accredited Tapia School of Business’s mission is to provide a values-centered education that develops tomorrow’s business leaders. Among the online programs available, is an online Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Information Security Management.
This 36-credit hour MBA will start students in fundamental business courses in order for them to build a strong foundation to become successful business leaders. This MBA’s concentration in Information Security Management ensures graduates have the technical skills and business knowledge to lead individuals at the forefront of the war against those who would prey upon us via electronic media. Courses within this concentration include: Management of Information Security,
Systems Security Risk Management, Network Security Management, Strategic Planning for Information Security, Disaster Recovery Management, and Web Security Management.
The online programs at Saint Leo accept applications on a rolling basis and offer six convenient start dates throughout the year. Applications should be completed 60 days before the beginning of desired start of term. Official GMAT scores are required for students with an undergraduate GPA under 3.0. Students within the information security management concentration should have prior knowledge of computer operations, networking, and other areas in the computer field.
Estimated Program Tuition: $25,020
#5 Bellevue University College of Business
Bellevue University’s College of Business offers a 100% online, IACBE-accredited MBA with a concentration in Cybersecurity. This program offers a very affordable tuition, with a higher than average salary reported for college graduates.
Bellevue University is a four-year, private, nonprofit university located in Bellevue, Nebraska. Bellevue was founded in 1966 with the desire to make high quality education accessible to all. Today, Bellevue offers over 70 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees to nearly 10,000 students throughout their 15 campuses. The university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Bellevue’s College of Business offers online and on-campus IACBE-accredited programs for business students. They integrate hands-on, applied learning with theory to deliver a transformative student learning experience. Their Master of Business Administration is designed to develop influential leaders with strong decision-making skills who are able to apply learned business concepts effectively. Students can choose from one of 19 different concentrations, including Cybersecurity.
The curriculum within this program will first cover a core set of courses laying a business and management foundation and developing a valuable skillset including communication, critical thinking, and complex problem solving. Then the concentration in cybersecurity provides students with an advanced understanding of the technical aspects of information security. The curriculum will cover the critical knowledge and abilities needed to operate and manage security technologies. Courses within this concentration include: Computer Forensics, Information Security Management, Information Warfare, Cloud Computing, Security Architecture and Design, and Ethical Hacking and Response.
Application requirements for this program include a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited university with a GPA of 2.5-3.0 or better, with occasional letters of recommendations and essays required. No official GRE/GMAT scores are listed on the application requirements. Students within the cybersecurity concentration are required to have an established technical background and knowledge level.
Estimated Program Tuition: $18,900
#4 University of Dallas Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business
University of Dallas’ Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business offers a highly-accredited Master of Business Administration in Cybersecurity. This program is delivered completely in an online format which gives students optimal flexibility.
The University of Dallas is a four-year, private, nonprofit, Catholic university that was founded in 1956 in Irving, Texas. The university offers 29 undergraduate majors, 30 master’s, and four doctoral programs to over 2,500 students every year. UD is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
UD’s Gupta College of Business offers students AACSB International-accredited Bachelor of Arts, MS programs, MBA, and DBA programs. Thier goal is to prepare its students to become competent and responsible managers who are also principled and moral leaders. The MBA in the Gupta College is taught on-campus, as wall as in an entirely online format.
The online MBA, with a concentration in Cybersecurity, is a highly accredited and flexible program with national distinction. This cybersecurity program is designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cybersecurity by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The 42-credit hour curriculum starts with core business classes laying the foundation for sound organizational management. The cybersecurity concentration explores the topics of network security with the following courses: Data Protection, Compliance and Legal Issues, Operational Cybersecurity Management, and Strategic Cybersecurity Management.
The Gupta School has an online application for admissions in the MBA program. Official GMAT/GRE scores are not required but can be submitted to strengthen an application. Applicants ideally have some business background, either through previous academic or professional work.
Estimated Program Tuition: $52,500
#3 Florida Institute of Technology Nathan M. Bisk College of Business
Florida Institute of Technology’s College of Business offers a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in cybersecurity. This program offers a solid business program focusing on the security of network systems. Graduates from this school show an average early career salary over the median from this ranking, giving students a great return on investment.
Florida Tech’s Nathan M. Bisk College of Business offers online and on-campus, IACBE-accredited business and management programs. They have 11 different online Master of Business Administration programs. The curriculum has a broad business foundation and then allows students a wide variety of specializations to choose from, including Cybersecurity.
This 36-credit hour cybersecurity program emphasizes the protection and securing of information while thwarting the efforts of cyber criminals. The curriculum highlights the interconnections between security solutions and networks and communication. Courses within this specialization include: Introduction to Information Security Management, Security in Enterprise, Host-Based Security, and Secure Networks and Communication.
Applicants can apply for this program through an online application. There is no GMAT or GRE requirement during this application process. Students must meet the following prerequisite requirements: three credit hours of statistics, three credit hours of discrete mathematics, and nine credit hours of computer programming with data structures.
Estimated Program Tuition: $32,256
#2 Missouri State University College of Business
Missouri State University’s College of Business offers an AACSB International-accredited online MBA. This MBA offers students a graduate certificate in Cybersecurity, and has the most affordable tuition in this ranking.
Missouri State’s College of Business offers AACSB International-accredited on-campus and online MBA programs. They offer high quality 100% online programs and couple that with a commitment to affordability. They offer in-state tuition to online students, no matter their residency status.
The MSU online MBA consists of 33-credit hours. This program offers 18 hours of foundation courses, and then students can finish their degree with elective courses or complete a graduate certificate. Certificates available to online MBA students include: Computer Information Systems, Cybersecurity, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Financial Analysis, International Business, Leadership, Management, and Marketing. The graduate certificate in Cybersecurity consists of the following courses: Telecommunications and Network Security, Legal Issues in Cybersecurity, and Cloud Computing.
Admissions into this online MBA program is competitive and applications are reviews and decisions made on a rolling basis. Official GMAT/GRE scores are required during the application process. Waivers may be awarded for applicants who have met English proficiency requirements and have completed a minimum of 80 hours of business study with a 3.25 GPA from an AACSB International-accredited school in the past five years.
Estimated Program Tuition: $9,405
#1 James Madison University College of Business
James Madison University’s College of Business offers an AACSB International-accredited Information Security MBA that develops strong business leaders who understand the business implications of information security. They are the only school in this list that are nationally ranked by US News and World Report and The Princeton Review.
James Madison University is a four-year, public university that sits in Harrisonburg, Virginia. It was founded in 1908 as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg. Today, JMU is a comprehensive university offering 72 undergraduate, 40 master’s, two educational specialist, and eight doctoral degrees to over 20,800 students. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
JMU’s College of Business offers on-campus and online AACSB-accredited programs. Their business curriculum is designed to prepare students to understand the interrelations of business systems. They offer a blended MBA program with three distinct concentrations, an Innovation MBA, an Information Security MBA, and an Executive Leadership MBA. JMU has been teaching courses in information security since 1997 when they received a grant from the National Security Agency and currently serves students from the Department of Defense, FBI, NSA, Defense Intelligence Agency and many private sector corporations.
The 42-credit hour Information Security MBA focuses on creating new managers who understand the business implications of information security. It uses a blended style format that requires a face-to-face class every eight weeks. Students will cover a core business acumen that address some issues of information security as it relates to the specific discipline, followed by four courses specifically focused on information security topics that managers in today’s business environment need to know. In completing this program, students are not only awarded their MBA degree, but an additional NSA-approved certificate: Information Systems Security (INFOSEC) Professionals (NSTISSI No. 4011). Courses within this program include: Managerial Computer Forensics, Information Systems Strategy, Information Security Ethics & Policy, Intro to Information Security, and Managing System Network.
Admission into this program is accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants must send in official GMAT scores, and are required to have at least two years of professional work experience. Admissions can be competitive because JMU only admits cohorts of 25 or fewer students.
Estimated Program Tuition: $37,800
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