The news these days is full of reports of cyberattacks resulting in massive financial and reputation losses for companies of all sizes. Therefore, it’s not surprising that there’s a high demand for experts to manage these threats and keep organizations’ information secure.
A PhD cybersecurity online degree can equip you with the necessary skills and expertise to manage these challenges and more.
Capitol Tech University is a leader in STEM-designated programs in Washington DC which Forbes named the second-best city for STEM education. This doctorate in cyber security online program offers comprehensive education on the subject without treating it as a standalone discipline, but instead looking at how it impacts organizational decision-making.
Courses include: Applied research in information assurance, information assurance strategic management, and healthcare information security.
Colorado Technical University offers many online programs online, promoting education for working professionals, military personnel, and retirees. The institution believes in mentoring relationships and accessible education through multiple channels, including mobile devices and social media. This is one of the most flexible cybersecurity PhD programs online that allows you to tailor your study schedule around your other commitments and offers multiple start dates every year. The dissertation is integrated into the program and you can complete your studies in three years.
Courses include: Foundations of digital systems security, security management, and enterprise security architecture.
The University of Fairfax strives to extend learner-centered education through distance means to working professionals on various subjects, including cybersecurity. You can choose to pursue this online PhD in cyber security program in a hybrid format, where part of the program is delivered face to face through an on-campus residency.
Courses include: Information security systems and organizational awareness, business and security risk analysis, and cybersecurity insurance.
Dakota State University has been named one of the best colleges in South Dakota and offers affordable education to working professionals, especially in fields like cybersecurity. This PhD in cyber security online program focuses on cyber ethics, including integrating ethical frameworks with cybersecurity decision-making. Although mostly online, the program has a minimal annual residency of three to four days to attend seminars. You can also choose to complete it fully on-campus if you prefer.
Courses include: Managing security risks, security metrics, and computer forensics.
New Jersey City University started as the country’s first teachers’ training school. Today, it offers a number of programs across a wide range of fields to a diverse student population. This doctorate centers around civil security and so is not technically an online PhD cyber security program. However, information assurance/cyber security is one of the integral parts of the curriculum, so it could equip you for a career in the field.
Courses include: Current issues in civil security leadership, management, and policy, emergency operations & management, and data analysis for civil security leadership, management, and policy.
Northcentral University is a renowned, regionally-accredited university that offers a wide range of exclusive online programs to students all over the world. This online PhD cybersecurity program aims to mold technology and innovation leaders who will develop solutions to global cyber security issues.
Courses include: Cyber automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, cyber risk, contingencies, and incident, and secure globally distributed infrastructure and support.
The School of Technology and Innovation at Marymount University strives to fill the critical global technology workforce shortage by offering programs and training in advanced technological disciplines, including data sciences, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. This cybersecurity PhD online program aims to equip students to address present and future cybersecurity issues through innovation, as well as advanced tools like Artificial Intelligence.
The University of the Cumberlands is a well-known, military-friendly university and ranks among the top ten such private schools that offer doctorate degrees. This online cybersecurity PhD program empowers students to dig deep into the industry’s IT and cybersecurity challenges, with high-level knowledge of evolving cyber threats, as well as tools like analytics and Machine Learning.
Courses include: Security architecture & design, information governance, and legal regulations, compliance, and investigation.
Nova Southeastern University strives to offer the latest cybersecurity education with a continually-evolving curriculum that meets the changing needs of the industry and ranks among the top fifteen schools for a number of online cybersecurity graduate programs. This program allows students to develop a deep level of cybersecurity knowledge, with an ethical approach to the discipline. Instead of getting this cybersecurity PhD online, students can also choose the on-campus option at the Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus.
Courses include: Information security governance, ethics in computing, and information system auditing.
Capella University was founded in 1993 and is well-known for its flex-path online programs that allow working professionals to design their own schedule according to their needs. This online doctorate in information technology is essentially the equivalent of a PhD cyber security online degree, with a strong focus on cybersecurity and information assurance.
Courses include: Assurance controls and compliance management, system and application security advances, and advanced risk management systems and research.
Financial aid: Scholarships, grants, military discounts, and work-study.
Acceptance rate: 100%
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
What Do You Need to Get an Online PhD in Cybersecurity?
To be accepted into an online PhD in cybersecurity program, you’ll typically need to have an MS or BS qualification in computer science or another STEM field. For more competitive programs, you may need to have a GPA of 3.0 or more.
Once admitted to an online PhD in cybersecurity, you’ll usually need to enroll in core and elective courses in cybersecurity and related subjects. For most programs, you’ll need to successfully complete coursework, exams, and a final dissertation to earn your doctorate.
Jobs and Salaries for Doctors of Cybersecurity
A PhD in Cybersecurity can help you to land one of the many well-paid jobs available in cybersecurity and information systems and network administration.
Some of the most common roles for doctors of cybersecurity (with the annual median salary for each) are:
The tuition for online PhD cybersecurity degrees can vary widely based on various factors, including whether you choose a public or private university, and if you are a resident of the state or an out-of-state student. Tuition can also vary based on things like the university’s reputation, faculty, and facilities.
In general, you can expect the tuition for doctorate cybersecurity online programs to be in the range of $20,000 to $100,000 in total.
Besides tuition, you may also have other expenses, such as study materials and technology fees.
However, on-campus living expenses can be saved for online programs. Scholarships and grants can reduce expenses to a significant extent.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Online PhD in Cybersecurity?
Most universities allow you to complete your online cybersecurity PhD degree in around three to seven years. However, this timeline may push out if you take more time to complete your dissertation. Some universities say you need to complete the program within a certain number of years. For example, for NSU Florida, you need to earn your doctorate within ten years.
Why You Should Get a Doctorate in Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity professionals are in extremely high demand and a qualification in this area can promise you a lucrative career. A doctorate in cybersecurity can equip you with advanced theoretical and practical knowledge, qualifying you for a range of senior positions in cybersecurity management, education, and research. According to the BLS, information security analyst jobs are predicted to grow by a whopping 35% between 2021 and 2031.
What Skills Do You Get from Doing an Online PhD in Cybersecurity?
An online PhD in cybersecurity can equip you with many transferable skills, including:
Advanced research skills
Strong foundational theoretical knowledge
IT forensic skills
Management & leadership skills
How to Choose an Online PhD in Cybersecurity
Although it is ultimately a personal decision, here are some key factors to keep in mind when choosing an online PhD in Cybersecurity:
School’s reputation: First and foremost, look for a school that has a good reputation and the appropriate accreditations.
Specializations: You should also make sure the program you choose offers courses in the fields you wish to specialize in.
Tuition and scholarships: It’s essential that the tuition fits your budget, or that the school offers good scholarships and financial aid options.
Faculty and research facilities: It’s also important to research the school’s faculty, their reputation, and their areas of specialty.
Accreditation for Online PhD Programs in Cybersecurity
The best online PhD programs in cybersecurity have accreditations that ensure that it meets certain standards. Accreditations ensure you will receive high standards of education and that your qualification will be valuable and highly regarded within the industry.
The job outlook within the cybersecurity industry is extremely strong, with the sector expected to witness rapid growth over the next ten years, and a PhD cybersecurity online degree can prepare you for a career in the field.
Having said that, cyber threats are ever-evolving and so it’s important to commit to ongoing education even as an established professional, to keep up to date with the latest changes, trends, and threats.
Lisa is a full-time writer specializing in career advice, further education, and personal development. She works from all over the world, and when not writing you'll find her hiking, practicing yoga, or enjoying a glass of Malbec.