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The Best Colleges for Network Security in 2021

Network security is a crucial branch of cyber security. Earning a degree or certificate in this field can help you further your career. The best schools for network security don’t typically offer a direct degree for network security at an undergraduate level. You may need to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Cyber Security with a concentration in network security.

There are hundreds of cyber security schools in the United States where you can learn network security. This guide comprises the top 10 schools for network security in the United States. It contains details about the best degrees and certificate programs.

Top 10 Network Security Schools in 2021 at a Glance

The table below contains a few key details about the best cyber security schools and network security programs for you to consider. The table contains school and degree names, locations, and the estimated cost of tuition for each program. It is followed by a more detailed summary of the best schools for network security in 2021.

While the information was obtained directly from each school’s website, it is essential to note that the tuition figures listed below do not include living expenses and the cost of course materials. Unless otherwise specified, the quoted figures refer to the annual rate of tuition for full-time students.

School and Degrees State Tuition Notes
DePaul University
Bachelor of Science (BS) in Network Engineering
and Security
Master of Science (MS) in Network Engineering
and Security
(IL) $41,361
$882 per quarter hour
All BS students
All MS students
Drexel University
Bachelor of Science in Computing and
Security Technology (BSCST)
Master of Science (MS) in Cybersecurity
(PA) $54,766
$1,342 per credit hour
All BSCST students
All MS students
Illinois State University
Bachelor of Science (BS) in Network and
Telecommunications Management
Master of Science (MS) in Network and
Security Management
(IL) $384 per credit
$768 per credit
$403 per credit
$838 per credit
In-state BS students
Out-of-state BS students
In-state MS students
Out-of-state MS students
Maryville University
Bachelor of Science (BS) in Cybersecurity
Master of Science (MS) in Cybersecurity
(MO) $24,766
$816 per credit
All BS students
All MS students
Messiah University
Bachelor of Science (BS) in Cybersecurity
(PA) $37,430 All students
Roger Williams University
Bachelor of Science (BS) in Cybersecurity and
Networking
(RI) $39,264 All students
Seton Hill University
Bachelor of Science (BS) in Cybersecurity
(PA) $38,518 All students
Stanford University
Advanced Cybersecurity Certificate
(NJ) $3,045 total All students
University of California, Berkeley
Master of Information and Cyber Security (MICS)
(CA) $2,712 per credit All MICS students
University of San Diego
Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and
Leadership (MS-CSOL)
Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering (MS-CSE)
(CA) $925 per credit
$1,250 per credit
All MS-CSOL students
All MS-CSE students

Online vs In-Person Network Security Degrees

Network security is a tech discipline that you can pick up from anywhere in the world. This opens the door for online learning opportunities. The best online cyber security bachelor’s programs will allow you to learn at your own pace and balance your education with other activities.

In-person degrees, meanwhile, allow for networking and one-on-one interactions with teachers and colleagues. However, you can save money on the cost of attendance when you opt for online learning.

Choosing the Best School for You

If your primary concern is flexibility, you might be tempted to pursue an online degree. However, this might not be the right choice. There are other key factors you should consider when choosing the best program for network security.

Cost of Attendance and Financial Aid

Tuition isn’t the same as the cost of attendance. At every university, the cost of attendance includes tuition plus fees, accommodation, food, transportation, and other expenses you might incur during your education.

After estimating your total cost, you should look into financial aid. Apart from federal student aid, some schools offer loans, scholarships, and other sources of funding to ease the financial burden. Find out what is available at the school and use this information to make your financial plans.

Curriculum

The best cyber security and network security schools focus on building a strong foundation in computer science. To learn network security properly, you’ll want to look for curricula that include courses in ethical hacking, cyber defense, data analysis, basic programming, scripting, and cryptography.

Accreditation

The curriculum, cost, and financial aid may not matter if the university you attend isn’t accredited to award degrees. If you want your degree to be recognized on the job market, make sure that the school has regional or national accreditation from an official body.

The Best Network Security Schools in 2021

The Best Network Security Schools in 2021

The following list contains more details about the best universities that offer network security degrees. Both undergraduate and graduate programs are available. Every school on this list has an accredited curriculum and an upstanding reputation.

DePaul University

DePaul is a Chicago-based university that was established in 1898. It has a graduation rate of 73 percent and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It has a range of cyber security and network security courses across the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Their Bachelor of Science in Network Engineering and Security covers a range of topics, starting with computer science fundamentals. You will also learn technical writing, applied network security, applied network engineering, network protocols, and voice communication technologies.

DePaul University Network Security Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Network Engineering and Security
  • Master of Science in Network Engineering and Security

Drexel University

Drexel University is one of the oldest private universities in the United States. It has been around for 130 years. The school is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award post-secondary degrees. It has a graduation rate of 70 percent.

Drexel University doesn’t have a direct Bachelor’s Degree in Network Security, but it has cyber security degrees that allow you to specialize in computer security. This program is unique because it allows students to customize their education based on their interests.

Drexel University Network Security Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Computing and Security Technology (BSCST)
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Illinois State University

This university is another great option for every aspect of computing, including network security. The school was founded in 1857 and it has a graduation rate of 72 percent. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The School of Information Technology has several majors for undergraduate and graduate studies. Whether you major in cyber security or network and telecommunications management, you will get the knowledge you need.

Illinois State University Network Security Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Network and Telecommunications Management
  • Master of Science in Network and Security Management

Maryville University

Maryville University does not have an impressive graduation rate, but the job placement rate is 98 percent, with most graduates finding good careers within the first six months of graduation. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Maryville University has an online Bachelor’s Degree in Cyber Security, which covers digital forensics, ethical hacking, mobile security, applied operating systems, cyberlaw, and a host of other topics. Students may focus on either the defensive or offensive side of cyber security.

Maryville University Network Security Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity

Messiah University

This is a private Christian school located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1909 and it is open to anyone, not just Christians. It has a graduation rate of 76 percent.

The Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity covers ethical hacking, network security, operating systems, and more. Students have access to state-of-the-art technology during their studies. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Messiah University Network Security Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity

Roger Williams University

This Rhode Island-based university is relatively new. It was established only 65 years ago. However, it has maintained high standards over its brief existence. The school has a graduation rate of 63 percent and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Students are allowed to major or minor in Cybersecurity and Networking. The courses include cryptography, digital forensics, TCP/IP networking, and penetration testing.

Roger Williams University Network Security Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Networking

Seton Hill University

This Pennsylvania-based university was an all-women Catholic school when it was founded in 1885. In 2002, it became a coeducational school. It is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school claims that its cyber security graduates have a job placement rate of 95 percent.

The Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity is as extensive as it gets. It covers defensive and offensive cyber security. The credit requirement is 120 credit hours. It is a project-based curriculum. Students are also able to take an interdisciplinary approach to cyber security.

Seton Hill University Network Security Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity

Stanford University

This California school has been around since 1891. It is one of the most reputable schools in the world. Stanford is accredited by Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Graduates from Stanford University proceed to high-paying jobs across industries.

The Advanced Cybersecurity Certificate Program is self-paced. It is made up of eight courses and students can decide to take some or all of the courses. However, if you opt for a single course, you will not get the certificate.

Stanford Network Security Programs

  • Advanced Cybersecurity Certificate

University of California, Berkeley

This university is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. It was established in 1868. The graduation rate is 91.9 percent, but the admission rate is only 16 percent.

The school’s online Master’s Degree in Cyber Security is for professionals who already have undergraduate degrees in related fields. In terms of quality, it rivals the best online cyber security master’s degrees. The program’s part-time and online format allows you to enroll without giving up your daily routine.

UC Berkeley Network Security Programs

  • Master of Information and Cyber Security (MICS)

University of San Diego

This university was founded in 1949 as a private Catholic school. The school has a graduation rate of 78 percent and is accredited by the Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

This university offers network security courses as part of its cyber security master’s degree programs. It explores the real-world application of cyber security and is designed for professionals. You can earn the degree in 20 months or less.

University of San Diego Network Security Programs

  • Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership (MS-CSOL)
  • Master in Cyber Security Engineering (MS-CSE)

What Can You Do With a
Network Security Degree?

With a degree in network security, you can become an information security analyst, chief information security officer, lead software security engineer, or cyber security architect. You can also work as a product security engineer, data loss prevention expert, or computer forensic analyst, to list a few others.

When it comes to career opportunities, you don’t need to worry about your prospects. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 31 percent rise in employment for information security analysts and related occupations between 2019 and 2029.

How Much Can I Expect to Earn With a Degree in Network Security?

According to PayScale, those who hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Network Security earn an average of $68,755 per year. A graduate degree can significantly increase your earning potential. For example, a Master’s in Cyber Security is worth about $87,453 in earnings per year. Additional credentials, the company, and the location can also influence your salary.

39000
Min salary
68755
Average salary
151000
Top salary

Top Network Security Degree Careers

Profession Minimum Education Average Salary
Chief Information Security Officer Master’s Degree $159,877
Cyber Security Architect Bachelor’s Degree $146,768
Lead Software Security Engineer Master’s Degree $128,682
Cyber Security Sales Engineer Bachelor’s Degree $121,395
Information Security Analyst Bachelor’s Degree $99,944

Does It Matter What College I Go to for Network Security?

Yes, it does. If you want a career in network security, you need to attend a college that will equip you with the knowledge you need to thrive. Apart from course work, you will want a lot of hands-on, on-the-job experience to practice what you learn. Your chances of employment will be higher when you graduate from a prestigious college.

Should You Pursue a Degree in Network Security?

Yes, you should pursue a degree in network security if you’re looking for a rewarding career that is going to remain relevant in the years to come. Every tech company needs the services of a network security or cyber security expert. This includes companies like Deloitte, CACI, and PayPal.

If you don’t want to work for an existing company, you can start your own network security consulting business and work as an independent contractor. As an alternative to a degree, you can enroll in network security or ethical hacking bootcamp. The primary goal is to get educated so that you can find a good career.

Find a training program that will help you start your tech career journey.

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