A Complete Guide to Cybersecurity Associate’s Degree

Cybersecurity Degree

First, the bad news: Our increasingly interconnected world, as you are probably aware, is susceptible and becoming more fragile by the day.

Crazy hacker activity, malware, spyware, social engineering, and dreaded computer viruses all seem to be in the headlines on a regular basis.

As key information (not just our personal information like vital records and financial data, but also extremely essential corporate and government data) migrates to data centres, clouds, and internet servers, the risk of it being stolen or corrupted increases.

It’s what security experts and analysts refer to as an expanding attack surface. As the internet becomes increasingly important for almost every function, the risk that some criminal organisation will try to steal data grows tremendously.

After all, data is now as valuable as cash.

So, here’s the good news: the burgeoning sector of cybersecurity offers a plethora of (and profitable) options. Cybersecurity is now a growing profession covering a variety of different types of employment needing various backgrounds and skill levels. It was once the territory of government contractors and computer experts with specific abilities.

In-house cybersecurity professionals are being sought by businesses of all sizes. Firms and organisations that specialise in cybersecurity issues — anything from ethical hacking and penetration testing to information technology infrastructure and networking — are also increasing in number, in order to meet the growing need for safe and secure computing.

There are a few ways to get started in this rapidly expanding sector. Obtaining an associate’s degree in cybersecurity is a fantastic place to start.

An associate’s degree was traditionally a two-year programme at a college or university that provided entry-level instruction (the curriculum equal of the first and second years of a four-year degree) for students seeking a higher education than a high school diploma.

An associate’s degree was a good way to learn the skills needed to get hired into a skilled entry-level career-track work in some industries, such as nursing, or professions such as data entry or occupations like paralegal.

The types of associate’s degree programmes available today are expanding, and the new options are meant to help students land high-demand employment in a booming area.

The Upside of a Cybersecurity Associate’s Degree

So, how does an associate’s degree in cybersecurity fit into the picture of a successful cybersecurity career? Hands-on expertise and industry credentials are the two things that employers seek for when hiring for cybersecurity positions, according to research.

And cybersecurity associate degree programmes excel in obtaining skills and experience, as well as preparing for cybersecurity industry certifications. Whether as stand-alone programmes or as part of broader funnels to serve as stepping stones to higher cybersecurity education, such as a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or a cybersecurity master’s or Ph.D.

Another factor that attracts many students to associate degrees is that they are now available in a variety of formats, including on-campus, online, and a hybrid method that combines online learning with more traditional campus-based study.

Finally, many cybersecurity associate’s degree programmes offer scheduling flexibility, making them an excellent choice for students who need to work or have other obligations that prevent them from enrolling full-time.

What to Look for in a Cybersecurity Associate’s Degree Programme

A variety of factors will determine whether or not a cybersecurity associate’s degree programme is a good fit for prospective students. Other elements such as the possible return on investment and career services and support should also play a vital role in assessing whether or not certain cybersecurity programmes are worth pursuing.

When considering enrolling in a cybersecurity associate’s degree programme, geography and schedule are always important factors to consider. And new programmes that provide online or self-paced teaching help with schedule and location (since students are no longer need to reside near the institution they attend), making this type of education more accessible.

The entire programme cost is another important factor for prospective cybersecurity associate degree programme students – perhaps the most important. Like any other undergraduate or graduate school, associate degree training is measured in terms of credit cost and then overall programme cost. The good news is that an associate’s degree is usually the most economical option among all post-secondary career preparation alternatives because it only requires half the number of credits as a bachelor’s programme.

Tuition for associate’s degree programmes in cybersecurity varies greatly, ranging from $3,000 to $4,000 for entirely remote, online degree programmes to $18,000 to $20,000 for on-campus instruction.

Concentrations/Focus Areas

Some associate degree programmes in cybersecurity may be organised under a school’s computer science or information technology departments. Other schools, on the other hand, have separate cybersecurity programmes with specialised resources and services. One thing to bear in mind is that cybersecurity has many different components, thus colleges and universities may have different concentration areas.

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A couple of popular cybersecurity focus areas are as follows:

  • Network security is the study of how things like passwords, firewalls, and hacks function in order to protect networks from assault or corruption.
  • Computer security experts are concerned with securing individual machines on a network, which typically necessitates familiarity with the security requirements of particular hardware and software components.
  • Information security, often known as InfoSec, is the study of how to secure and preserve data such that it remains private and only the intended users have access to it.

Length of Programme

In most cases, associate degrees in cybersecurity require 60 credit hours to accomplish. Those credit hours are split between general education classes and cybersecurity training that is more targeted and specialised.

A cybersecurity associate’s degree can take anywhere from two to four years to complete, depending on the number of courses available and how frequently they are offered, as well as the degree requirements.

Cybersecurity Associate’s Degree Admission Requirements

The prerequisites for a cybersecurity associate’s degree are quite conventional, and they are similar to those for associate degree programmes. Prospective candidates must possess a high school diploma, have completed prerequisite math and scientific courses (precise criteria vary by degree), and be skilled in English.

General Associate Degree Level Career Outlook

An associate’s degree in cybersecurity can help you launch a successful career.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), entry-level cybersecurity positions such as information security analysts will rise by about 30% over the next few years, outpacing chances in other industries.

For more information on specific programmes, look through these school lists.

SchoolLocationLink to Program Website
Alamo Colleges District – Northeast Lakeview CollegeUniversal City, TexasCyber Defense-A.A.S.
Alexandria Technical and Community CollegeAlexandria, MinnesotaCybersecurity, Virtualization, & Networking AAS Degree
Alexandria Technical and Community CollegeAlexandria, MinnesotaComputer Information Systems – A.S. Degree
Amarillo CollegeAmarillo, TexasA.A.S. in Computer Networking/Cyber Security
Anne Arundel Community CollegeArnold, MarylandA.A.S. in Digital Forensics, Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
Anne Arundel Community CollegeArnold, MarylandA.A.S. in Networking, Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
Anne Arundel Community CollegeArnold, MarylandA.A.S. in Security, Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
ASA CollegeBrooklyn, New YorkAssociate of Occupational Studies in Network Administration and Security
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community CollegeAsheville, North CarolinaInformation Systems Security A.A.S.
Baltimore City Community CollegeBaltimore, MarylandCyber Security and Assurance Degree
Beaufort County Community CollegeWashington, North CarolinaA.A.S. in Information Technology – Network Management
Blue Ridge Community and Technical CollegeMartinsburg, West VirginiaA.A.S. in Cyber Security
Bristol Community CollegeFall River, MassachusettsAssociate in Science in Computer Information Systems
Butler Community CollegeEl Dorado, KansasAssociate in Applied Science in Cyber Security
Butler County Community CollegeButler, PennsylvaniaAssociate in Applied Science in Computer Information Systems – Computer Forensics and Security
Cameron UniversityLawton, OklahomaAssociate in Applied Science in IT – Information Assurance/Security
Cape Cod Community CollegeWest Barnstable, MassachusettsAS IT: Cybersecurity Concentration
Capital Community CollegeHartford, ConnecticutA.S. in Computer Networking: Cybersecurity Option
Casper CollegeCasper, WyomingA.A.S in Cybersecurity
Casper CollegeCasper, WyomingAssociate of Applied Science in Computer Security
Central Maine Community CollegeAuburn, MaineAssociate in Applied Science in Network Security / Computer Forensics
Central Texas CollegeKilleen, TexasAssociate of Science in Cyber Defense-Information Assurance
Clark State Community CollegeSpringfield, OhioAssociate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity / Information Assurance
Coastline Community CollegeFountain Valley, CaliforniaAssociate of Science in Cybersecurity
Cochise CollegeDouglas, ArizonaAssociate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity
College of DuPageGlen Ellyn, IllinoisAssociate in Applied Science in Cybersecurity and Defense
College of Southern MarylandLa Plata, MarylandCybersecurity AAS
College of Southern NevadaLas Vegas, NevadaAssociate of Applied Science in Computing & Information Technology – Cyber Security – Digital Forensics
College of Southern NevadaLas Vegas, NevadaAssociate of Applied Science in Computing & Information Technology – Cyber Security – Network Security
College of Western IdahoNampa, IdahoAssociate of Applied Science in Cisco Networking and Security Technologies
Community College of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia, PennsylvaniaAssociate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) – Cyber Security
Craven Community CollegeNew Bern, North CarolinaAssociate in Applied Science- CTI-Cybersecurity
Cypress CollegeCypress, CaliforniaAssociate of Science in Cyber Defense
Dallas County Community College DistrictDallas, TexasAAS in Cyber Security – Cyber Defense
Dallas County Community College DistrictDallas, TexasAAS in Cyber Security – Digital Forensics
Dallas County Community College DistrictDallas, TexasAAS in Cyber Security – Information Assurance
Dallas County Community College DistrictDallas, TexasAAS in Cyber Security – Network Security Administration
Dallas County Community College DistrictDallas, TexasAAS in Cyber Security – System Security Administration
Eastern Iowa Community College DistrictDavenport, IowaAssociate in Applied Science – Information Technology, Security and Forensics Track
Eastern New Mexico University-Ruidoso CampusRuidoso, New MexicoAssociate of Applied Science in Information Systems Cybersecurity
Edmonds Community CollegeLynnwood, WashingtonAssociate of Technical Arts in Computer Information Systems – Cyber Defense and Digital Forensics
El Paso Community CollegeEl Paso, TexasAssociate of Applied Science in Information Technology Systems – Information Security and Assurance
Estrella Mountain Community CollegeAvondale, ArizonaCybersecurity Center of Excellence
Ferris State UniversityBig Rapids, MichiganAssociate in Applied Science in Information Security and Intelligence
Forsyth Technical Community CollegeWinston Salem, North CarolinaAssociate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology/Forensic Science
Forsyth Technical Community CollegeWinston Salem, North CarolinaAssociate in Applied Science in IT – Systems Security
Fox Valley Technical CollegeAppleton, WisconsinAssociate of Applied Science – Information Systems Security Specialist
Front Range Community CollegeWestminster, ColoradoA.A.S. in Cybersecurity & Cloud Computing
Georgia Military CollegeWarner Robins, GeorgiaCybersecurity Associate Degree
Grand Rapids Community CollegeGrand Rapids, MichiganAssociates of Arts in Information Security
Grand Rapids Community CollegeGrand Rapids, MichiganAssociates of Arts in Network Administration
Great Bay Community CollegePortsmouth, New HampshireAssociate in Science in Cyber Security Infrastructure
Hagerstown Community CollegeHagerstown, MarylandCybersecurity, A.A.S.
Hagerstown Community CollegeHagerstown, MarylandCybersecurity, A.S.
Harford Community CollegeBel Air, MarylandAssociate of Applied Sciences in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
Henry Ford Community CollegeDearborn, MichiganAssociate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems – Cybersecurity
Hill CollegeHillsboro, TexasNetworking Cybersecurity Degree
Honolulu Community CollegeHonolulu, HawaiiAssociate of Science in CENT – Information Assurance
Howard Community CollegeColumbia, MarylandA.A. in Cybersecurity
Howard Community CollegeColumbia, MarylandAssociate of Applied Science in Cyber Forensics Technology
Howard Community CollegeColumbia, MarylandAssociate of Applied Science in Information Systems Assurance
Idaho State UniversityPocatello, IdahoAssociate of Applied Science in Cyber-Physical Security
Indian Hills Community CollegeOttumwa, IowaAssociate of Applied Science in Computer Networks and Security
Inver Hills Community CollegeInver Grove Heights, MinnesotaA.A.S., Network Technology and Security
Jackson Community CollegeJackson, MichiganAssociate in Applied Science – Cyber Security
Jackson State Community CollegeJackson, TennesseeAssociate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems: Cyber Defense Concentration
James A Rhodes State CollegeLima, OhioAssociate of Applied Science in Network Security
John A Logan CollegeCarterville, IllinoisAssociate in Applied Science in Computer Forensics
John A Logan CollegeCarterville, IllinoisAssociate in Applied Science in Cyber Security/Information Assurance
John C Calhoun State Community CollegeTanner, AlabamaCIS AAS Degree in Cybersecurity
Lake Area Technical InstituteWatertown, South DakotaAssociate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems – Security Specialist
Lake Washington Institute of TechnologyKirkland, WashingtonComputer Security & Network Technology AAS degree
Lane Community CollegeEugene, OregonAssociate of Applied Science in Computer Network Operations
Laramie County Community CollegeCheyenne, WyomingAssociate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity
Laredo Community CollegeLaredo, TexasAssociate in Applied Science in Computer Information Systems – Network and Cyber Security Technology
Lehigh Carbon Community CollegeSchnecksville, PennsylvaniaAssociate of Applied Science in Computer Specialist – Network Technology Track
Lehigh Carbon Community CollegeSchnecksville, PennsylvaniaAssociate of Science in Computer Forensics and Digital Security
Lincoln Land Community CollegeSpringfield, IllinoisAssociate in Applied Science in Computer Systems – Networking Track
Lord Fairfax Community CollegeMiddletown, VirginiaAssociate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity
Los Medanos CollegePittsburg, CaliforniaNetworking and Security AAS
Macomb Community CollegeWarren, MichiganAssociate of Applied Science in Information Technology – Network Security
Madison Area Technical CollegeMadison, WisconsinAssociate in Applied Science – IT Network Security Specialist
Manchester Community CollegeManchester, New HampshireAssociate in Cybersecurity Investigations
MassBay Community CollegeFramingham, MassachusettsCyber Security Associate in Science Degree
McHenry County CollegeCrystal Lake, IllinoisNetwork Security AAS
Metropolitan Community CollegeKansas City, MissouriAssociate of Applied Science in Computer Science and Information Systems – Cyber Security Track
Metropolitan Community CollegeKansas City, MissouriAssociate of Applied Science in CSIS: Advanced Networking emphasis
Metropolitan Community CollegeKansas City, MissouriAssociate of Applied Science in CSIS: Cisco Security emphasis
Middlesex Community CollegeBedford, MassachusettsAssociate in Science in Liberal Studies Information Technology – Cybersecurity Transfer
Miami Dade CollegeMiami, FloridaCybersecurity Associate in Science
Milwaukee Area Technical CollegeMilwaukee, WisconsinAssociate in Applied Science – IT Information Systems Security Specialist
Minneapolis Community and Technical CollegeMinneapolis, MinnesotaComputer Forensics A.A.S. Degree
MiraCosta CollegeOceanside, CaliforniaAssociate of Science in Cybersecurity
Monroe County Community CollegeMonroe, MichiganComputer Information Systems – Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
Montgomery CollegeRockville, MarylandCybersecurity AAS
Motlow State Community CollegeTullahoma, TennesseeA.A.S. in Computer Information Technology – Cyber Defense Concentration
Mountain View CollegeDallas, TexasAssociate in Applied Sciences – Computer Information Technology (Networking Security Awards)
Mt Hood Community CollegeGresham, OregonAssociate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity and Networking
Nashua Community CollegeNashua, New HampshireAssociate in Science in Cybersecurity Networking
Northampton Community CollegeBethlehem, PennsylvaniaInformation Security (InfoSec), Associate in Applied Science
North Idaho CollegeCoeur D’Alene, IdahoAssociate of Applied Science in Network Security Administration
North Iowa Area Community CollegeMason City, IowaAssociate in Applied Science – Information Assurance and Security
Northern Virginia Community CollegeAnnandale, VirginiaAssociate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity
Norwalk Community CollegeNorwalk, ConnecticutA.S. in Computer Security
Oakland Community CollegeBloomfield, Hills, MichiganComputer Information Systems – Cybersecurity Option (CIS.CYS.AAS)
Oklahoma City Community CollegeOklahoma City, OklahomaOCCC Associate Degree in Applied Science in Cyber Information Security
Oklahoma City Community CollegeOklahoma City, OklahomaOCCC Associate Degree in Science in Cyber Information Security
Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma CityOklahoma City, OklahomaAssociate in Applied Science in Information Technology – Computer Forensics Option
Onondaga Community CollegeSyracuse, New YorkComputer Forensics A.S.
Palm Beach State CollegeLake Worth, FloridaAssociate in Science – Networking Administrator
Palomar CollegeSan Marcos, CaliforniaAssociate of Science in Cybersecurity
Pasco-Hernando State CollegeNew Port Richey, FloridaCyber and Information Security – Associate in Science
Pasco-Hernando State CollegeNew Port Richey, FloridaCyber and Information Security – Associate in Science
Piedmont Virginia Community CollegeCharlottesville, VirginiaAssociate Degree in Cybersecurity
Pikes Peak Community CollegeColorado Springs, ColoradoAssociate of Applied Science in Cyber Security
Pikes Peak Community CollegeColorado Springs, ColoradoDual Degree: Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security and Associate of Applied Science in Computer Networking
Pima Community CollegeTucson, ArizonaAssociate of Applied Science in Computer Programmer / Analyst – Cyber Operations Programming Concentration
Pima Community CollegeTucson, ArizonaAssociate of Applied Science in Computer Systems Administration / Networking – Cyber Security Focus
Prince George’s Community CollegeLargo, MarylandCybersecurity Assoc. of Applied Science
Pueblo Community CollegePueblo Community CollegeAAS in Networking Cyber Security – On Campus
Quincy CollegeQuincy, MassachusettsComputer Science: Cyber Security Associate in Science Degree
Red Rocks Community CollegeLakewood, ColoradoAAS in Cyber Security Specialist
Richland CollegeDallas, TexasAAS in Cyber Security
Rock Valley CollegeRockford, IllinoisData Assurance & IT Security Degree
Rose State CollegeMidwest City, OklahomaCyber Security/Digital Forensics Associate in Applied Science Degree, Cyber Science Option
Rowan-Cabarrus Community CollegeSalisbury, North CarolinaAssociate in Applied Science in Cyber Security
Sacramento City CollegeSacramento, CaliforniaAssociate in Science in Information Systems Security
Saint Leo UniversitySaint Leo, FloridaCyber Security Associate Degree
Saint Louis Community CollegeSaint Louis, MissouriAssociate in Applied Science in Cybersecurity
Sheridan CollegeSheridan, WyomingAssociate of Applied Science in Cyber Security
Sinclair Community CollegeDayton, OhioSecure System Administration – Associate of Applied Science
South State Community CollegeHillsboro, OhioAA in Cyber Security & Forensics
South Texas CollegeMcAllen, TexasCybersecurity Specialist Associate of Applied Science
Southeast Technical InstituteSioux Falls, South DakotaAssociate of Applied Science in Information Technology Security
Southern Maine Community CollegeSouth Portland, MaineAssociate Degree in Cyber Security
Southern Utah UniversityCedar City, UtahAssociate of Applied Science in Computer & Information Systems Security
Spartanburg Community CollegeSpartanburg, South CarolinaComputer Technology, Networking/Cybersecurity, AAS
St Charles Community CollegeCottleville, MissouriAssociate of Applied Science in Cyber Security
St Philip’s CollegeSan Antonio, TexasInformation Technology Cybersecurity Specialist, A.A.S.
St. John’s UniversityQueens, New YorkCyber Security Systems, Associate of Science
Terra State Community CollegeFremont, OhioAssociate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems – Cyber Defense
Terra State Community CollegeFremont, OhioAssociate of Applied Science in Systems and Networking Support – Cyber Defense
Texas State Technical College-SystemWaco, TexasAssociate of Applied Science – Computer Networking & Security Technology
Texas State Technical College-SystemWaco, TexasAssociate of Applied Science – Cyber Security
The Community College of Baltimore CountyCatonsville, MarylandAAS in Cybersecurity
The University of MontanaMissoula, MontanaAssociate of Applied Science – Network Administration & Security option
Thomas Nelson Community CollegeHampton, VirginiaAssociate of Applied Science in Information Systems Technology – Cybersecurity Pathway
Tidewater Community CollegeNorfolk, VirginiaAssociate of Applied Science in Information Systems Technology – Cyber Security Concentration
Truckee Meadows Community CollegeReno, NevadaAssociate of Applied Science in Computer Information Technology – Cyber Security Emphasis
University of Alaska FairbanksFairbanks, AlaskaInformation Technology – Network and Cybersecurity AAS
University of New Mexico-Los Alamos CampusLos Alamos, New MexicoAssociate of Applied Science in Information Technology – Cybersecurity Emphasis
Wake Technical Community CollegeRaleigh, North CarolinaCybersecurity – AAS Degree
Washtenaw Community CollegeAnn Arbor, MichiganCybersecurity (APCSCY)
Waukesha County Technical CollegePewaukee, WisconsinAssociate of Applied Science
Wayne County Community College DistrictDetroit, MichiganAssociate in Applied Science in Computer Information Systems: Cybersecurity
West Virginia Northern Community CollegeWheeling, West VirginiaA.A.S. in Cyber Security
Western Iowa Tech Community CollegeSioux City, IowaAssociate of Applied Science in Cyber Security & Digital Crime
Western Iowa Tech Community CollegeSioux City, IowaAssociate of Applied Science in Networking Administration and Security
Whatcom Community CollegeBellingham, WashingtonAssociate of Applied Science – Transfer degree in Cybersecurity
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