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WESTERN GOVERNORS UNIVERSITY B.S. or M.S. in Cybersecurity

Ready to Level Up In Your Career?

Get started on a cybersecurity program of your choice from WGU.

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Get a degree from a respected and affordable university. WGU is a University Research and Review Best Value School.

If you’re ready to move forward in a career focused on cybersecurity, the next step is figuring out how to get there. Earning a degree in cybersecurity is a great place to start and can increase your career options, earning potential, and opportunities for advancement. But is a bachelor’s or master’s degree right for your skill level?

This guide will explain the different cybersecurity degrees offered at WGU so you can decide which might be a better fit with your experience and interests.

Cybersecurity and Information Assurance – B.S.

Protect your career and earning potential with this degree....

Protect your career and earning potential with...

Protect your career and earning potential with this degree.

  • Employer approval: 74% of graduates finish within 18 months.
  • Tuition: $3,950 per 6-month term.

Some careers and jobs this degree will prepare you for:

  • Cyber crimes investigator
  • Director of cybersecurity
  • Chief of cyber counterintelligence
  • Cybersecurity engineer
  • Cyber operations planner

Certifications included in this program at no extra cost include:

  • Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) - Associate of (ISC)2 designation
  • Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) - Associate of (ISC)2 designation
  • ITIL® Foundation Certification
  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst Certification (CySA+)
  • CompTIA IT Operations Specialist
  • CompTIA Network+
  • CompTIA Network Vulnerability Assessment Professional
  • CompTIA Network Security Professional
  • CompTIA PenTest+
  • CompTIA Project+
  • CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist
  • CompTIA Security+
  • CompTIA Security Analytics Professional

 

Cybersecurity and Information Assurance – M.S.

Become the authority on keeping infrastructures and information...

Become the authority on keeping infrastructures...

Become the authority on keeping infrastructures and information safe.

  • Time: 76% of graduates finish within 24 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $4,295 per 6-month term.
  • Certifications: cost of two EC-Council certs, included.

The curriculum is closely aligned with the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Workforce Framework, plus includes the opportunity to earn these certifications:

  • EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker
  • EC-Council Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI)

This program was designed in collaboration with national intelligence organizations and IT industry leaders, ensuring you'll learn emerging technologies and best practices in security governance.

Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance

Two colleague discussing new project.
Two developers look over some code within an office.

Who Should Pursue a B.S. in Cybersecurity?

This degree option is best if you already have some previous IT or STEM courses under your belt or if you have significant IT experience or certifications. 

In order to qualify for this program, you’ll need a high school diploma (or its equivalent) AND demonstrate program readiness through one of the following: 

  • Option 1: Submit transcripts documenting completion of previous IT coursework. IT coursework must be 300-level or higher.
  • Option 2:  Possess a bachelor’s or associate degree (A.A, A.S., or A.A.S. acceptable) from an accredited post-secondary institution.
  • Option 3: Demonstrate at least two years of IT work experience through résumé review.
  • Option 4: Submit official records of completion of current and active IT certifications, some of which may provide transfer credit into various programs.
  • Option 5: Submit high school transcripts with a minimum GPA of 2.75 GPA and a B grade or higher in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) course. Only advanced mathematics courses will satisfy this requirement.

These qualifications ensure that you’re not entering the IT realm and the rigor it requires for the first time. However, if you have good grades in advanced math courses or demonstrated experience in IT, you can come into this program directly from high school.

What are the Courses in the B.S. Cybersecurity and Information Assurance Program?

In this program, you can expect to learn:

  • Secure Systems Analysis and Design
  • IT Fundamentals
  • Business of IT
  • Web Development
  • Network and Security
  • Scripting and Programming
  • Information Assurance
  • Data Management
  • Digital Forensics and Incident Response
  • Technical Writing
  • Ethics and Cyber Law
  • Web and Cloud Security
  • Wireless and Mobile Technologies
  • Risk Management
  • Hacking Countermeasures and Techniques
  • Penetration Testing

What Certifications Will I Earn in this Program?

When you earn a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity at WGU, you’ll not only gain fundamental IT skills, you’ll also be prepared for many of the top-industry certifications listed below. Plus, the certification exam fees are covered as part of your tuition.

  • Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) - Associate of (ISC)2 designation
  • Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) - Associate of (ISC)2 designation
  • ITIL® Foundation Certification
  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst Certification (CySA+)
  • CompTIA IT Operations Specialist
  • CompTIA Network+
  • CompTIA Network Vulnerability Assessment Professional
  • CompTIA Network Security Professional
  • CompTIA PenTest+
  • CompTIA Project+
  • CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist
  • CompTIA Security+
  • CompTIA Security Analytics Professional

What Career Opportunities are Available with a B.S. in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance?

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

A group of IT professionals look at a laptop screen.
Chief technology officer in meeting

Who Should Pursue a Master's Degree in Cybersecurity?

If you already have a bachelor’s degree, currently work in IT or security, and want to advance in your field, a cybersecurity master's degree from WGU can prepare you to move up the career ladder into positions such as a CISO, CIO, CTO, cybersecurity manager, cybersecurity director, and more. It will give you more skills and knowledge about cybersecurity management and structure, digital forensics, and information assurance.

Keep in mind that this is an advanced program with rigorous coursework. For this reason, you’ll need to meet specific qualifications to ensure you’re set up for success. To be considered for enrollment in WGU’s M.S. in Cybersecurity program, you must:

1. Possess a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field, a business degree (quantitative analysis, accounting, economics, finance), or degree with a similar quantitative focus. 

OR

2. Possess any bachelor’s degree PLUS one of the following:

  • Two years of related work experience
  • Relevant and current IT certification
  • Related IT coursework 

What Certifications Will I Earn in this M.S. Cybersecurity Program?

With a master’s degree in cybersecurity from WGU, you’ll be prepared for the following industry certifications:

  • EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker
  • EC-Council Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI)

Just like WGU’s bachelor’s in IT program, you don't have to pay for expensive certification preparation courses or books, or pay for the exam. Instead, all the exam costs are included in your tuition.

What Courses are in the M.S. Cybersecurity Program?

Some of the courses you’ll take as a part of this program include: 

  • Secure Systems Analysis and Design
  • Network Design and Management
  • Cybersecurity Management
  • Security
  • Hacking
  • Forensics and Network Intrusion

What Career Opportunities are Available with an M.S. in Cybersecurity?

A master’s degree in cybersecurity paves the way for the following career paths:

What are the Program Differences Between the B.S. and M.S. in Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is a highly specialized area of IT, and the key to success for either degree path is making sure you’re ready. While you’ll need some level of IT knowledge for both programs, the amount of experience required is the biggest differentiator. So, even if you have a bachelor’s degree, you’re not automatically qualified for the master’s in cybersecurity. You’ll need a significant amount of preparation, relevant experience, and coursework to pursue a master’s degree versus a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity.

If you’re weighing your degree options, it’s important to do your research to truly understand which one fits your experience level and career aspirations. Learn more about WGU’s cybersecurity and information technology degrees and find your perfect fit today!



Why WGU?

There are a wide variety of career opportunities open to students of both degree programs. There are also major benefits associated with pursuing a degree program with WGU, including a flexible schedule, coursework and lessons that are fully accessible online, affordable options for every student, and more.  Either degree can help you achieve your goals—it just depends on your experience and what you want your future to be.

It's Affordable

Tuition is charged per six-month term—not per credit hour—which means you can complete more courses in one term without paying more money.

It's at Your Pace

Competency-based education means you can use your knowledge and professional experience to your advantage. Move through courses at your own pace to accelerate your program and graduate faster.

It's Flexible

Because our courses are all online, you can continue to work full-time and manage your responsibilities while earning your degree. You don't have to leave your job to pursue your MBA—something you and your employer will both appreciate.

"I chose WGU because of its ease, price, and the possibility of gaining IT certifications along with my degree. Now that I've graduated, I have four years of IT experience, a bachelor's degree, and five IT certifications that help show that my skills are valuable. That's a really good jumpstart for a career. After I graduated from WGU I quickly got a much better job and nearly doubled my salary." Eric Gardner
B.S. Information Technology

WGU Alumni Shine on the Job

They're Prepared

97% said that their WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs

97% of employers said that WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs.

They're Top Candidates

95% said they would hire another WGU graduate

95% of employers said they would hire another WGU graduate.

They Wow

98% of employers said WGU graduates meet or exceed expectations

98% of employers said WGU graduates met or exceeded expectations.

Source: 2021 Harris Poll survey of 300 employers