Top (30) Online Certificate Programs
Cybersecurity continues to develop as it is a field that is continually being updated. Innovation and state of the art technology are at the core of this field and it has also become a necessary part of our everyday lives. It has also created an entirely new industry that is adding new workers by the day. During a time when many jobs are either being outsourced or discontinued, the cybersecurity field continues to expand. That has opened a whole new realm of career opportunities. Those who start out at entry-level positions have the opportunity to rise through the ranks in this ever-growing industry.
Earning a cybersecurity certificate is an excellent way to get started in this field. It is a credential that will allow individuals to get started working in the exciting world of cybersecurity. This could involve an entry-level position working network security, database security, and a host of other areas. Those who hold a cybersecurity certificate could expect to gain employment as a security technician, penetration tester, risk management strategist, in addition to several other positions.
A cybersecurity certificate can also be the starting point for higher levels of education. Many schools will allow students to use this type of certificate towards an associate or bachelor’s degree. Earning a cybersecurity certificate could also be just the starting point for a blossoming career in a field that needs new employees. Joining this profession could lead to a lifetime of job stability and it could all begin by attaining a certificate in cybersecurity.
How Do You Qualify “The Top 30”
There are a lot of online cybersecurity certificate online programs throughout the country. There are a lot of options as certificate programs fall into all types of budgetary ranges. There is also the consideration of attending a public or private college. Our list has not gauged universities and colleges solely based on cost. We have taken cost into consideration, but rank schools based more on value.
One major factor in online education is the duration of a program. Fast graduation times are not always the most credible ones, although quality education combined with fast graduation times definitely has an advantage. The online format should allow students to attain a certificate at a more rapid pace than if they were attending classes on campus. That is because of the asynchronous format and self-paced learning that comes with online education. We examined those factors when compiling this list.
There is an urgent need for more cybersecurity professionals as just 3% of college graduates possess the necessary skills to establish themselves in the field of cybersecurity. With a projected vacancy of 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs in 2021, those with relevant cybersecurity training are going to find a choice of employment options. That is why faster certificate completion dates are of value.
Rounding out the factors that went into our compilation is the graduation rate, retention rate and faculty to student ratio. These provide indications of how the program is received by its students \and a lot of that has to do with the level of attention devoted on an individual basis. We also consider reviews from students and take note of national rankings. All those factors comprise the overall value of cybersecurity education.
The additional benefits of miscellaneous program offerings assist in completing this list. A higher number of resources equates to a better experience and a more qualified certificate recipient. The information collected serves as a way of assisting those interested in earning a cybersecurity certificate with an ample amount of options when choosing a cybersecurity certificate program.
Cyber Security Certificate
Cost Per Credit: $319 (in-state) $419 (out-of-state)
- There are four specialized track options to choose in what is one of the more abundant online offerings for cybersecurity certificates
Located in Connecticut, Charter Oak State College offers the most variety of cybersecurity certificate tracks for online students. There is the option of earning a Fundamental Cybersecurity Certificate (18 credits), although students can choose more specialized routes, including a Security Strategies Application Certificate (15 credits), a Cybersecurity Investigation Certificate (15 credits), or Technical Security Investigation Certificate (18 credits). Charter Oak State College is a public university that conducts all of its classes online and was recently ranked the top school for adult education by Best College Reviews.
Cost Per Credit: $330 (in-state) $509 (out-of-state)
- Quick completion time from a reputable university that is well known on the national landscape.
This certificate is attained by completing four required courses which include an introduction to cybersecurity and the option of selecting three out of five other cybersecurity courses. These credits are transferrable to UC’s other cybersecurity tracks. It is a reputable certificate from a well-known and respected university that can be completed in a relatively quick time frame. This is a non-degree program, offering courses during the fall and spring semester. The University of Colorado has earned high marks as it checks in as the No.44 public university in the U.S. and the 104th national university, according to the U.S. News & World Report.
Cyber Security Technical Certificate
Cost Per Credit: $145 (in-state) $170 (out-of-state)
- The detailed courses, variety of certificates and low tuition makes the certificate programs at Ivy Tech an excellent option with a high level of value.
There is more than one online option when it comes to earning a cyber-related certificate at Ivy Tech, which has multiple campuses throughout the state of Indiana. There is also the option of earning a certificate in Network Security, Network Penetration, and Digital Forensics. Those tracks all require 27 credits to complete as opposed to the technical certificate, which requires 33 credits. Ivy Tech also offers students a pair of free introductory courses that will prepare them for this program. Ivy Tech also features its own Center for Cyber Security that houses a wide variety of resources to students in any of these programs.
Cost Per Credit: $165
- One of the most affordable online cybersecurity certificate programs that provide high-quality courses
Minnesota State and Technical College offers a 30-credit course that can be completed concurrently in the fall and spring semesters. There is no difference in cost for in-state or out-of-state students. The courses offered are unique in that they delve deeper into cybersecurity topics than many other certificate programs. Students get to take courses individually titled Linux and CISCO. Minnesota State has achieved multiple high rankings by numerous services and that is attributed to the academic resources it offers online students as well as the quality of the faculty and student services.
Information Technology Cybersecurity Specialist Certificate
Cost Per Credit: $215 (in-state) $466 (out-of-state)
- Affordable certificate program and one of the limited number of historically black colleges with such an offering
St. Phillips is a historically Black College and Hispanic Serving Institution. This certificate program requires the completion of six courses, which equate to a total of 20 credits. St. Peter’s is part of the Alamo Colleges District which is comprised of a number of Texas schools. St. Phillip’s College is also very highly reviewed by former students as a rewarding and beneficial experience. The overall cybersecurity program is also designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.
Cost Per Credit: $76 (in-state) $268 (out-of-state)
Security Essentials Certificate
- There is a variety of similar cyber-related certificates available as students can benefit from that abundance in classes and resources.
The Security Essentials certificate requires the completion of 15 credits and that can be accomplished in one semester since there is no introductory course required. There are a variety of certificate programs offered online at RCCC in addition to associate degrees of applied science that award a Cyber Investigations Certificate, Cybercrime Essentials Certificate, and a Security Fundamentals Certificate. There are required courses need for each area, and all courses offer very competitive pricing. RCCC is based out of North Carolina and earning these certificates typically requires meeting the admission requirements for an associate degree.
Cyber Security and Digital Forensics Certificate
Cost Per Semester: $5,940
A private college that has produced the top earning graduates in the state of Oregon.
Based out of Oregon, Lindfield College offers a five-course cybersecurity certificate program that finishes with a four-credit capstone project. The prior courses in this certificate program include an introductory course followed by Systems Administration and Networking, Digital Forensics and Computer Security. Lindfield College offers its pricing on a per-semester basis for full-time or part-time students. The tuition fees are a bit higher than public colleges, although the private college degree is typically much higher in cost. However, Money Magazine named Lindfield as the best value among colleges in the state of Oregon.
Cost Per Credit: $351
- Four-credit certificate program offered by one of the region’s respected colleges of cyber sciences
Dakota State University allows students to use the courses in this certificate program to use those credits towards any one of its degree programs. This can be completed relatively quickly as it consists of four courses which are Information Security Fundamentals, Computer Science,
Software Security, and Computer Science II. Located in South Dakota, Dakota State has long-standing roots in the pacific northwest as it was founded in 1881. The cybersecurity certificate program is provided through Dakota State’s Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences, which has earned praise for its innovativeness and success rates among graduates.
Cybersecurity Technology Certificate
Cost Per Credit: $1,600 per semester (in-state) $3,125 (out-of-state)
- Two separate program tracks offered as it is one of the more in-depth cybersecurity certificate programs
This program is part of HCC’s career and technical training. There are two tracks available for students as they can choose from a 30-credit career training path or a 45-credit technical training path. There are similarities to both programs although the technical track includes five more courses, which requires an additional semester. Tuition costs are based on taking 15-21 credits per semester as the career program takes two semesters to complete on a full-time basis while the technical route takes three. HCC is based out of Mississippi and has been teaching students for more than 100 years.
Cost Per Credit: $635
- Private college education that offers a good deal of individualized attention to students.
The cybersecurity certificate program requires the completion of five four-credit courses. There is a lot of individual attention devoted to students as the faculty to student ratio remains at 13:1. Elmhurst was voted the No.13 most innovative school in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Elmhurst is a private Christian university located in the Chicago area. Faculty resources and credentials remain high in the cybersecurity track as Elmhurst continually receives high marks from professional and individual reviews.
Computer Forensics, Digital and Mobile Certificate
Cost of Program: $3,280
- Program explores a variety of areas involving cybercrime and is a helpful tool in gaining employment once the program is completed.
Cal State’s online program comes with a flat cost and the time frame for completion is 9-10 months. The curriculum involves various aspects of cybersecurity and is comprised of five courses. Cal-State is an internationally recognized university and this certificate carries with it the credibility that has been built by the university over the decades. Cal State is also renowned for its research in various fields and continues to receive high rankings by numerous services. The value in this certificate comes with the information attained, but the prestige of earning a Cal State Fullerton degree is also considered an esteemed credential.
Certificate of Technical Studies in Cybersecurity
Cost Per Credit: $220 (in-state) $449 (out-of-state)
The program can be fast tracked and its six course offerings are generally higher than a number of other comparable programs.
The curriculum within the Montana certificate program is based on core knowledge that has been developed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA). The Missoula campus offers an online learning program that consists of six courses specific to cybersecurity. There is the option of completing the program within as little as nine months. The University of Montana offers reduced tuition rates for in-state students, making it an extremely affordable option for residents.
Cost Per Credit: $814
- Unique online learning program developed by Radnor University provides a number of benefits
Radford has developed its own online learning format, which is called IMPACT (Innovative Mobile Personalized Accelerated Competency Training). One of the features of this program is to allow students the freedom to learn at their own pace. The competency component emphasizes real-world skills that will be relevant in the workplace. Another benefit of the IMPACT program is that it has developed pre-existing relationships with employers that can facilitate the process of gaining employment when the program is completed. Students can fast track their online educational experience at Radnor through the IMPACT program.
Certificate in Cybersecurity Strategy
Cost Per Course: $1,055
- Obtaining a certificate from this renowned university that holds a lot of value when navigating through the employment search.
The prestigious Georgetown University offers a professional certificate program that consists of six courses. The total program cost, combined with the prestige of Georgetown credential, provides graduates with a high level of value. The program can be completed as a learner’s own pace, which can span anywhere from 12 weeks to two years. Georgetown houses a team of experienced and accomplished faculty members in this field. The program is easily handled by students who have some type of technical background, although it is not a prerequisite. This program helps students to develop cybersecurity strategies that could build on their expertise in this field.
Cost Per Credit: $278
- Comprehensive course offerings through several specific classes provide high-quality content of course material.
This program requires the completion of 10 courses, which is generally done over the course of two semesters. The courses are divvied up into very specific areas, including Windows Client Management Systems and Linux Systems. These specific areas allow for a broad range of subject areas to be taught within this certificate program. The cost of this program is for residents of Wyoming, although there is a reduced rate for students residing in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington. That rate equates to about $100 more per credit.
Cost Per Credit: $111 (in-state) $387 (out-of-state)
- DHS and NSA certified program that features some unique courses
One of the lowest-priced in-state cybersecurity programs for Florida residents, these courses can also be applied to an associate degree in information technology. The National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security have named St. Petersburg College a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense. This certificate program features six courses including a pair of unique ones not found in most programs. Ethical Hacking and Network Defense and Countermeasures differentiate this certificate program from other comparable ones in the southeastern part of the country. The tuition cost is also much lower than other state universities.
Cost Per Credit: $343
- Fairly priced certificate program with some unique curriculum content
This 18-credit program is based on the core knowledge provided by the National Security Agency (NSA). Some of the coursework goes beyond the ordinary courses typically associated with online certificate programs. NKU offers an advanced cybersecurity course as one of the six needs to complete this certificate program. More than half of the students at KNU receive some form of financial aid. The cost of tuition for the online program remains the same for out of state students looking to pursue this distance learning option.
Cost Per Course: $1,500
- Unique three-course program provides a great deal of depth from a widely recognized university.
This program is priced per course and requires the completion of three courses. These are in-depth courses on Network Security, Computer Security and a final one entitled Cybersecurity Expert. While the three-course program may seem abbreviated, each course goes into a great deal and is very comprehensive. The program was designed by the University of Arizona professor Dr. Salim Hariri, who also serves as the co-director of the NSF Center for Cloud and Autonomic Computing. The University of Arizona was established in 1885 and is widely recognized on a national level.
Cost Per Credit: $423
- Reputable program with high success rates among recent graduates.
Based out of Florida, this certificate can be combined with another major to give students a minor in cybersecurity from Mid-American should they decide to go that route. This program will also allow up to 13 transfer credits. Completion time without transfer credits is generally 12 months, but could be done in less time. Graduates of St. Petersburg College rank No.1 in entry wages among all two-year colleges in the state of Florida. Students can rely on the schools’ academic pathway tool for guidance on how to take the courses offered through this major.
Cybersecurity Fundamentals Diploma
Cost Per Credit: $148 (in-state) $197 (WUE rate)
- Economical choice as the low cost of tuition extends to 15 other states.
To complete this program, students must complete 27 credits, which is typically done during two semesters. The in-state tuition is extremely low while LCCC also offers reduced costs to residents in neighboring states. The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program is available to residents of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming, where LCC is located. This has allowed WUE member states to offer the LCCC cybersecurity program to its residents at one of the lower tuition rates available anywhere for this type of online program.
Computer Technology Cybersecurity Certificate
Cost Per Credit: $129 (in-county) $247 (out-of-county) $314 (out-of-state)
- The certificate program is part of a larger Computer Technology program that has become widely respected with a sizeable faculty that provides a lot of individualized instruction.
This certificate program is reasonably priced, regardless of residence. It is a 30-credit program designed to be completed over the course of two semesters. Allegany is a public university with small faculty to student ratio of 12 to 1. This allows for a lot of individual attention and that also applies to online students. There are a number of computer technology programs offered at Allegany and this certificate program can be applied to an associate degree. There is a good-sized and accomplished faculty for being a small public college.
Program Cost: $9,597
- This is a highly intensive, three-part sequential program that offers a hands-on approach to the course material.
This program has a unique design as it includes three courses that span a total of 33 weeks. The Immediate Immersion into Cybersecurity is the first phase, which last six weeks. That is followed by a Cybersecurity Defense phase that spans 12 weeks and the program culminates with a 15-week Cybersecurity Attack phase. These three courses have to be taken sequentially. This program is considered intensive and allows students to take a hands-on approach. The program was also partially funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. This Cybersecurity Certificate Program was also honored by receiving the Brandon Hall Gold Award for Best Advance in Unique Learning Technology. The certification also comes from a highly recognized university with a long-standing history in American education.
Cybersecurity Technologies Certificate
Cost Per Credit: $475
- Fast graduation times and large faculty are the two major highlights of the offerings of this program at Utica.
Utica houses an accomplished faculty that is quite extensive in number. The investment in so many faculty members is also indicative of the quality of education within all of Utica’s computer science programs. This certificate program consists of six courses, all of which are eight weeks in length. This allows students the option of earning a certificate in less than six months. This program is revered for its value as students are exposed to a wealth of information during these eight-week courses. Utica was also ranked in the top 10% of the colleges providing the best value by the College Factual ranking service.
Cost Per Credit: $417
- This certificate program from a respected university and is capable of being completed in a relatively short span of time.
CMU offers a certificate program that consists of 15 credits. The classes are shortened to just eight weeks, which can make for quick completion rates. These classes are also transferable into any of CMU’s bachelor degree programs. There is no differentiation in tuition costs for in-state and out-of-state residents. The CMU certificate carries a good deal of credibility, considering it is awarded by a university and not a two-year school. The CMU certificate packs a good deal of information into each class, creating a comprehensive learning experience that exposes students to a lot of information.
Cybersecurity Operations Certificate
Cost Per Credit: $76.00 (in-state) $268.00 (out-of-state)
- A large number of computer information technology programs have made this school a prime choice for those serious about a career in cybersecurity.
The Computer Information Technology programs at FTCC have become quite expansive. There is a long list of programs to choose from, many of which are offered in an online capacity. There are 29 certificate programs for students to choose from. These programs typically take two to three semesters to complete. There are also a pair of cybercrime certificate programs, as well as a network defense specialist certificate program. Students have the option of earning multiple certificates that can help strengthen their overall knowledge and skill level. FTCC has received a wealth of lofty rankings by numerous services throughout the country.
Advanced Networking and Cybersecurity Certificate
Cost Per Credit: $160
- A wide array of concepts taught in what is an extremely affordable certificate program.
One of the lowest priced certificate programs that combine a quality education. This program features 9 courses that build a solid foundation for students looking to begin a career in network security. The content in the curriculum touches on important areas of network security and also includes relevant topics, such as e-commerce, hacking, and legal issues in the field. The certificate is also stackable, meaning it can be used towards more advanced degrees. The level of content in this certificate program prepares graduates for several types of positions. The broad reach of concepts may be the most notable component of this certificate program.
Cybersecurity Technician Certificate
Cost Per Credit: $46 (in-state) $329 (out-of-state)
- Revered for its low tuition cost, this program is also good preparation for students looking to move on to an undergraduate program.
Located in the state of California, this program may be one of the most affordable college programs anywhere. The curriculum requires eight computer courses and one math course for completion. The in-state price is one of the lowest in the country and contributes to be of very high value for what is offered. This program is also considered a preparatory program for students looking to pursue a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. Students generally complete the program in two to three semesters and finish without a level of knowledge needed to confidently take on an undergraduate course load.
Cybersecurity and Cyber Defense – Computer Networking Professional Development Certificate
Cost Per Credit: $370
- The vast amount of resources available to students in what has become a highly reputable polytechnic university.
This program combines cybersecurity and cyber defense as it provides a strong background for individuals to begin a career in computer security. UW-Stout provides online students access to its ethical hacking lab, in addition to a variety of other resources. UW-Stout is considered to be Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University and continues to provide state-of-the-art resources and curriculums that challenge students. Customized instruction is also available to students who qualify for this distinction. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to take the necessary industry exams to receive all relevant certifications, such as the Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT), Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Cisco Certified Network Associate-Security (CCNA-Security) and EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH).
Cybercrime Investigation Certificate
Cost Per Credit: $550
- Different approach to teaching cybersecurity is one of the main highlights of this program while it can be fast tracked and completed in as little as six months.
This undergraduate certificate program takes a bit of a different approach as it fuses criminal justice with cybercrime challenges presented to businesses. The curriculum is comprised of five courses that are offered in six-week increments. The enhanced curriculum is also based on core concepts used in the Department of Defense. Southwestern College has been rated as one of the top accredited online colleges. Students do not need to complete any prerequisites before starting this certificate program. There is a unique blend of classes offered in this program which sets itself aside because of its design.
Cost Per Credit: $209
- A low-cost program that is geared towards preparing students to take and pass the Ethical Hacker Certification.
The Cybersecurity certificate program offered at Lake Superior consists of 18 credits and entrance into the program requires a minimum English and Math score. Lake Superior also offers a cyber defense certificate that consists of four more classes. Students can use the cybersecurity certificate courses towards an additional cyber defense certificate if they choose. The program will also prepare students to take the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification. Located in Minnesota, Lake Superior makes no distinction between in-state and out-of-state tuition costs. Lake Superior also features its own LSC Center for Cybersecurity that provides an ample amount of resources to online students.