Online MBA in Cybersecurity Programs

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In August 2021, Forbes shared the following advice with its readers: cybersecurity is no longer optional for businesses. Modern hackers aren’t just going after big targets like Target, Home Depot, the U.S. government, or other prominent victims of the past. There is currently potential for hackers to target anyone. Forbes noted that 51 percent of businesses were hit by ransomware in 2020 alone, with an average demand of $178,000.

With Business Wire’s prediction that by 2025, the Internet of Things (IoT) will reach a market value of over $480 billion, data vulnerability will require much attention. Companies will need high-level insight into what hardware, software, and processes need to be established or replaced to maintain effective defenses against cybercriminals. For those interested in helping businesses keep data secure, an MBA in cybersecurity can lead to a purpose-filled, challenging, and lucrative career path in a fast-growing field.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2022) reports that opportunities for information security analysts—one of many potential career paths open to cybersecurity professionals—are expected to swell 35 percent between 2021 and 2031.

By understanding the inner workings of business and mastering the computer skills to keep data secure and keep intruders out, those who earn an MBA in cybersecurity can qualify for a range of positions, including security consultant, systems administrator, IT manager, database and network administrator, digital forensic specialist, and more.

In response to the need to offer professional development that fits into already-established lives, many MBA programs are now offered fully online or in hybrid online/on-campus formats. These distance learning formats allow students to complete coursework on their own schedule within some parameters. In addition, distance learning programs don’t require students to physically relocate to complete the program and have no or minimal requirements for on-campus visits.

Because business education recognizes the need for quality programming that is also flexible, there is a wide range of high-quality online MBAs in cybersecurity taught by highly qualified and experienced professors.

Read on to learn more about online MBA programs in cybersecurity, including details about the expected curriculum and distinguished faculty.

Featured Cybersecurity Programs
Maryville University MBA - Cybersecurity View Full Profile
American University [email protected] Online MBA - Cybersecurity View Full Profile
Grand Canyon University Online MBA - Cybersecurity View Full Profile
Pepperdine University Online MBA - Digital Innovation and Information Systems View Full Profile
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Post-Bachelor's Cybersecurity Management Certificate View Full Profile
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Post-Bachelor's Cybersecurity Technology Certificate View Full Profile
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Featured Business Schools with Online MBAs in Cybersecurity

Students pursuing an online MBA with a concentration in cybersecurity at American University learn about risk management, database management, and cybersecurity governance. Graduates can be prepared to help companies, organizations, and agencies improve their defenses and investigational abilities through coursework in cybersecurity risk management; cybersecurity governance; database & big data; fraud examination; litigation support; and general forensic accounting.

The 48-credit program also includes an overview of business fundamentals, accounting, and finance. Courses are designed in coordination with the school’s Kogod Cybersecurity Governance Center, an entity focused on technology research and policy. Though American’s MBA in cybersecurity is primarily online, students must visit the campus for three- to four-day practicums throughout the program.

Location: Washington, D.C.
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International); Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Expected Time to Completion: 18 to 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $1,866 per credit

Maryville’s online MBA program offers twelve concentrations, including cybersecurity. Students enrolled in the cybersecurity concentration learn hands-on skills like PEN testing and forensic examination and can gain analytical and theoretical information like the legal aspects of privacy and compliance. Creating strong defensive cyber systems is the main emphasis of this program.

The 39-credit online program also includes core MBA courses in business and leadership skills, and aims to prepare students with the required information to apply for certifications such as Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Information Systems Security Professional, and EnCase Certified Examiner. Courses in the concentration include controls for effective cyber defense; ethical hacking; cybersecurity incident response and examination; and legal aspects of privacy and compliance.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Expected Time to Completion: 14 months
Estimated Tuition: $714 per credit

Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management offers online MBA programs, including a concentration in digital innovation and information systems. This program is closely related to cybersecurity and includes training in designing, sourcing, and building digital platforms; business process analysis and innovation; managing cyber security, risk, and privacy; databases and big data management; and digital innovation and strategy.

Notably, classes are limited to 15 to 20 students for a favorable student-to-professor ratio. Also, there is a required one-weekend immersion on the Los Angeles campus, where students receive hands-on instruction to complement their distance-based education and case studies.

Location: Malibu, California
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International); Western Association of Schools and Colleges—Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $1,995 per credit

Strayer University offers several online MBA programs, including a concentration in IT security management. In addition to core courses in graduate business fundamentals, these students learn about information systems for decision-making; theories of security management; and IT risk management.

No GMAT, GRE scores, or work experience is required to apply to this 45-credit program. Students use the Blackboard LMS, which boasts mentoring services, discussion boards, and student and alumni support networks, among other resources. Also, this program requires no in-person immersion as it is 100 percent online.

Location: Washington, D.C.
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP); Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Expected Time to Completion: 12 to 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $2,985 per course

Southern New Hampshire University’s online MBA program offers more than fifteen concentration options allowing students to tailor their program more closely to their personal interests. One such concentration is in information technology management. This program closely relates to cybersecurity, positioning students for a high-level career in digital commerce, IT management, telecommunications, and e-business.

Made up of 30 credits, the program includes 21 credits of core courses and 9 credits from the information technology management concentration. Major courses include leading people and organizations; organizational strategy in a global environment; measuring success in an organization; optimizing brands; and leading organizational change. Courses in the concentration include advanced information technology; management of information technology; and enterprise resource planning.

Graduates with IT expertise will be ready for roles such as computer and information systems managers, business analysts, systems analysts, and data processing managers.

Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP); New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
Expected Time to Completion: 12 months
Estimated Tuition: $627 per credit

The McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte offers an online MBA specializing in cybersecurity management. Designed for students looking to start or advance in diverse management-related cybersecurity careers, this cybersecurity management concentration will allow students to examine how information systems are developed and used in organizations to achieve business success and competitive advantage. GRE or GMAT scores are not required for admission.

This program will prepare students for administrative positions in cybersecurity careers. It will allow them to interface with security experts, study real cybersecurity breach cases, collaborate on problem-solving projects, write their own reports, and conduct lab simulations and penetration testing.

This 39-credit program includes courses such as managerial accounting; marketing management; business analytics; organizational behavior; and information systems management. Courses in the concentration include data protection; compliance and legal issues; and operational cybersecurity management.

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International); Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Expected Time to Completion: 30 months
Estimated Tuition: $1,165 per credit

University of West Alabama’s online MBA program offers several concentration options and “cybersecurity, cybercrime, and policy” is one of them. The cybersecurity, cybercrime, and policy concentration prepares students to lead international and national cyber objectives in business. Graduates of this program will have gained experience with a project, and they’ll be ready to manage issues in cybercrime, organizational policy, software systems, and cyber laws to help keep their organization safe.

The 33-credit program includes core courses in emerging technologies; managerial economics; financial management; strategic management and business policy; and marketing management. Courses in the concentration include cybersecurity and society; cybersecurity organizational policy and management issues; cybercrime and legal issues; and globalism, cybersecurity, and cybercrime.

Location: Livingston, Alabama
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP); Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Expected Time to Completion: 12 months
Estimated Tuition: $429 per credit

St. Thomas University offers an online MBA with a concentration in cyber security management, providing students with the processes and tools required for protecting information technology assets from attacks and threats. Students will learn about the cutting-edge aspects of network neutrality, software and internet law, and news misappropriation. They will also study how to develop a security program and implement an information security vision and strategy.

This 36-credit program’s core curriculum emphasizes a wide range of skills in policy and planning, managerial accounting, international business, strategy systems, financial management, organizational behavior, and data analytics. Courses in the concentration include cyber security management law; information ethics; entrepreneurship; enterprise information security. GMAT or GRE scores are not required to apply.

Location: Miami Gardens, Florida
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Expected Time to Completion: 12 months
Estimated Tuition: $530 per credit

Drake University’s online MBA program can be completed entirely online and has no in-person requirements. Offering several concentration options, the program is taught by expert faculty members who are experienced practitioners and recognized scholars. Drake’s part-time MBA curriculum focuses on a balance of ethical leadership, analytical reasoning, and strategic decision-making that can be brought into any workplace immediately.

Made up of 36 credits, the program requires six credits of foundational coursework, 21 core credits, and nine credits in the cybersecurity concentration. Core courses include financial reporting and analysis; creating customer value through marketing; corporate finance; leadership & human capital development; information technology and business; and strategic business processes.

In the cybersecurity concentration, students can choose three classes from a list of seven. They include fraud examination; internal auditing; practical interpretation; operational risk management; cybersecurity management; cyber attack prevention & mitigation; and IT auditing.

Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $718 per credit

Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business offers an online MBA emphasizing cybersecurity. Blending studies in business management with cybersecurity, this online MBA prepares students to meet the diverse challenges of the modern workplace. Graduates of this program will be able to effectively design cybersecurity programs for preventing and correcting security weaknesses.

Comprising 54 credits, the program includes courses such as marketing management; managerial accounting; operations management; leadership and organizations; strategic management; cyber warfare and applications; enterprise security infrastructure design; and quantitative methods.

Graduates will be ready to take up positions such as operations managers, administrative services managers, senior project managers, chief information security officers, chief information officers, and implementation managers, among others.

Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $630 per credit

The Florida Institute of Technology offers an MBA with a specialization in cybersecurity. In this program, students begin studies focusing on business principles, followed by an overview of the fundamentals of modern cybersecurity terminology and practices. In an online format, students discover skills in risk assessment and how to create or maintain secure networks and communications systems.

In the 36-credit program, students also learn about current vulnerabilities and threats, how to prepare to defend against them, and how to prevent threats from affecting workplace secure networks. Courses in the concentration include an introduction to information security management; host-based security; security in the enterprise; and secure networks and communication.

Location: Melbourne, Florida
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Expected Time to Completion: 18 to 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $896 per credit

The MBA with a cybersecurity management concentration at St. Leo’s provides the technical skills and tools to create solid policies and defenses against cyber threats, blended with foundations of leadership, interpersonal communication, and team-building.

The 36-credit online curriculum emphasizes ethical business decisions and the role of technology related to management issues. This program includes courses on network security fundamentals, disaster recovery, web security, general security principles, and strategic planning for future defenses and intrusion efforts.

Location: St. Leo, Florida
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP); Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Expected Time to Completion: Two years part-time, 18 months with permission
Estimated Tuition: $780 per credit

Within the Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business, students can seek a 42-credit MBA with a cybersecurity concentration. The program includes an overview of business-focused courses such as finance, value-based marketing, and operations management.

The cybersecurity track covers topics such as foundations of cybersecurity; data protection; compliance and legal issues; and operational cybersecurity management. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have designated the business school as a Center for Academic Excellence.

Location: Irving, Texas
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International); Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Expected Time to Completion: 18 months to three years
Estimated Tuition: $1,250 per credit

The Muma College of Business at USF invites MBA students to concentrate on cybersecurity. This program includes courses on strategies in risk management to try to create strong defenses and disaster recovery methods if a system fails. Students also learn about database management, cryptology, legal compliance, and general information security topics.

The 33-credit online program is designed to help people do well in highly technical security fields, including working on projects and putting policies together. Students are required to visit campus for a three-day final capstone course. Notably, Students entering without a bachelor’s in business from an accredited institution complete a minimum of 49 credits.

Location: Tampa, Florida
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International); Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Expected Time to Completion: Full-time (12 months); part-time (24 to 36 months)
Estimated Tuition: $750 per credit

The 36-credit online MBA program includes a cybersecurity component and is recommended for people who want to be facilitators between IT teams and upper-level management. The program provides an overview of modern business foundations and theories, plus computer terminology, which can be useful in creating or updating corporate security policies.

The online program also teaches students how to assess system security, create disaster responses, and work with common cryptographic algorithms. Core courses include strategic leadership processes; accounting for management control; advanced financial management; strategic human resource management; and organizational behavior. Concentration courses include cybersecurity; cybersecurity management; and cybersecurity risk analysis.

Location: Tyler, Texas
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International); Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Expected Time to Completion: 12 to 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $856.10 per credit

The online MBA program at the Missouri State University College of Business has several graduate certificates students can complete, including one in cybersecurity. This certificate consists of 12 credits (four courses).

After taking the courses on the foundations of cybersecurity, students can choose three classes from a list of seven. They include telecommunications and network security; ethical hacking and incident response; legal issues in cybersecurity; computer forensics; web application security; and more. To be eligible to complete this graduate certificate program, students must be enrolled as MBA students.

Location: Springfield, Missouri
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $13,767 for the entire online program

Professionals with at least two years of work experience can complete the online MBA with a concentration in information security at the James Madison University College of Business. This program aims to prepare graduates to work in information security management and focuses on problem-solving, decision-making, and communication.

Upon completing this program, students will be able to explain complex information technology concepts, assess information security risks, mitigate any potential risks, and manage staff. Classes are offered synchronously and asynchronously, allowing individual and collective learning experiences. This 42-credit program includes courses such as organizational behavior; statistical analysis for decision-making; accounting for decision-making and control; and microeconomics of business decision-making.

Location: Harrisonburg, Virginia
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International); Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Expected Time to Completion: 28 months
Estimated Tuition: $900 per credit
18 Bellevue University – College of Business

The online MBA at Bellevue University College of Business offers a cybersecurity concentration. This program trains students with the necessary skills to detect, deter, prevent, and respond to digital attacks.

In addition to the nine credits of required cybersecurity coursework, students must complete 27 hours of core coursework. These classes include accounting, finance, management, marketing, and strategy. Admissions to this program are relatively straightforward, with the only requirements being already having completed a bachelor’s degree and having at least a 2.5 GPA. No GMAT or GRE scores are required.

Courses in the concentration include computer forensics; cloud computing; information security management; security architecture and design; information warfare; and ethical hacking and response.

Location: Bellevue, Nebraska
Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $630 per credit

Admission Requirements to Online MBA Programs

Each MBA program is different in what requirements they expect of applicants. While it is important that prospective students understand each school’s individual requirements, general requirements often include:

  • A bachelor’s degree in a related field (business, sometimes computer science)
  • A minimum GPA (at least 2.5 or 3.0)
  • A personal statement expressing interest
  • Letters of reference from professionals in the field
  • GRE/GMAT scores, which can be waived based on significant professional experience or other graduate-level courses
  • TOEFL scores for foreign students

Accreditation and State Authorization in Online MBA Programs

Accreditation is how universities indicate to prospective and current students that they are teaching relevant, high-quality information. To earn accreditation, universities and business schools allow industry organizations to perform evaluations to ensure that programming meets certain quality standards. On an institutional level, more than 3,000 colleges and universities seek accreditation from entities approved by the Council for Higher Accreditation (CHEA).

The two main accreditation organizations for business education include the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (AABSP) and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Both groups verify that correct, industry-relevant information is being delivered, and ensure that business programs (or schools) have other assets such as career placement, qualified faculty, and alumni and community support.

While certification is not required to work in cybersecurity, individuals can pursue post-graduate certification as a way to show potential employers that they possess specific schools. Those seeking additional certification in different realms of cyber security can explore the following certification entities: CompTIA Security+, Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Information Security Manager, or Certified Information Systems Security Professional.

Finally, if a student wishes to enroll in a program offered by an online university outside their state of residence, it is important to ensure that the intended university has the authorization to provide education in their home state. Students can learn this information by checking the program’s website, speaking to an admissions officer, or researching if their intended program participates in universal state reciprocity as delineated by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).

MBA in Cybersecurity Faculty To Know

  • Manish Agrawal, PhD University of South Florida

    Dr. Manish Agrawal is considered an expert in cybersecurity, social media, software quality, and decision fusion. He teaches various courses at USF, including business data communications, information assurance, and application development. His research interests include social media analytics, extreme event response, decision fusion, and software quality. His research has been published in prominent journals such as Management Science, the Journal of Management Information Systems, and the Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce.

    Dr. Agrawal received his doctorate in information systems from SUNY Buffalo and completed his master of technology and bachelor of technology programs in electrical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in India.

  • Sandra Blake, PhD University of Dallas

    Dr. Sandra Blake is the director of the University of Dallas Center for Cyber Security Education, an associate professor in cyber security education, and the chair of the Management Technology department. She specializes in management and disaster recovery, and her expertise includes cybersecurity, risk management, and cyber insurance. She has taught at UD since 2005 and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional.

    Before becoming a professor, she worked at Verizon in enterprise technology and network operations. She has also given presentations about cyber vulnerabilities in health care.

  • Brian M. Gant, PhD Maryville University

    Dr. Brian Gant is the program lead for the undergraduate cybersecurity program at Maryville University. He is also an assistant professor and teaches cybersecurity for the Simon School of Business. He completed his undergrad at Maryville in 2003 in management information systems and his doctor of education in 2021 in higher education leadership and security.

    Dr. Gant’s teaching career is supplemented by more than 20 years of work experience for the FBI, Secret Service, and the US Postal Service. He is an advisor for the Men of Color Brotherhood (MOC) and the Maryville Cyber Association (MCA).

Kimmy Gustafson
Kimmy Gustafson
Writer

Kimmy is a freelance writer with a passion for sharing stories of bravery. Her love for world-traveling began when her family moved to Spain when she was six and since then, she has lived overseas extensively, visited six continents, and has traveled to over 25 countries. She is fluent in Spanish and conversational in French. When not writing or parenting she can be found kiteboarding, hiking, or cooking.

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