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Best MBA in Cybersecurity Online Programs

Some of the biggest threats to businesses today come in the form of cyberattacks. Learn how to lead teams to protect against them by earning your online MBA in cybersecurity. Keep reading to find out about today’s top programs.

Author: Shannon Lee

Editor: Staff Editor

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A female professional examines data on multiple computer screens in a high-tech cybersecurity control room environment.

Businesses today are under an ever-increasing threat of cyber terrorism. Companies must effectively protect their valuable information and corporate secrets, as well as the data of clients and customers. The MBA cybersecurity online degree exists to help business professionals meet this dual goal. In this program, students learn about advanced business concepts and get a better understanding of cyber threats and how to identify, eliminate, and protect against them.

If you’re reading this, you likely have a number of questions about cybersecurity degree programs: where to find the right program, how much programs cost, how to get admitted, and what kind of coursework you can expect once enrolled. We’ve created this guide to answer these and other related questions. So, read on to learn all about online MBA in cybersecurity degrees and how you can improve your career by earning one.

College Spotlights: Best MBA Cybersecurity Online Degrees in 2023

Online MBA degrees are quite popular. Even the more specialized MBA cybersecurity online degree can be found in numerous schools across the nation. To help you take the first step in narrowing down the degree options, we’ve identified and spotlighted below three top-rated online MBA programs that offer a concentration in cybersecurity. These programs are notable for their accreditation, learning flexibility, quality academics, access to student support services, and more. The spotlights also provide a preview of our full program rankings list coming out later this year, so be sure to check back.

University of South Florida

Logo of the University of South Florida featuring green and gold colors with a stylized bull symbol next to the text for Online Cybersecurity MBA Programs.

The University of South Florida’s Online Master of Business Administration program is accredited by the AACSB and offers a unique learning experience. Half of the program’s 30 credit curriculum consists of core MBA classes in topics like ethics, organizational theory, leadership, and financial analysis. The remaining 15 credits are electives that allow students to customize their curriculums or complete one of the four concentrations:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Healthcare Analytics
  • Data Analytics
  • Compliance, Risk and Anti-Money Laundering

Regardless of concentration, all students will additionally complete an MBA capstone project. The capstone offers students the opportunity to show what they’ve learned throughout the course of their studies by creating actionable suggestions in a case environment. While most of the program’s coursework can be completed online in an asynchronous format, students will have ample opportunity for in-person learning experiences as well. These include a required MBA residency and optional short-term study abroad classes and immersion electives in which students learn about important business methodologies.

University of Dallas

Logo of the University of Dallas for Online Cybersecurity MBA Programs in dark blue stylized lettering on a transparent background.

The University of Dallas offers an AACBS-accredited online MBA program designed for maximum study convenience. Students can choose from seven specializations, including cybersecurity. Coursework can be completed 100% online, 100% on-campus, or through a combination of both online and on-campus classes. Classes are either six or 12 weeks long and are available year-round. Applicants do not need to submit GRE or GMAT test scores as a part of the admissions application.

Besides the flexible admission and study options, the University of Dallas MBA program offers quality academics. In addition to the high-quality coursework, students can complete the Capstone Consulting Experience in which they tackle a real-world problem facing any number of for-profit and non-profit organizations. This experience is not a hypothetical exercise. Rather, it allows organizations to obtain a cost-effective solution to an actual cyber challenge while also giving MBA students the chance to put their newly-gained skills to work.

American University

american-university-washington-logo

The AACSB-accredited online Master of Business Administration program from American University is intended for working business professionals. As a result, it offers several features for maximum study flexibility and learning potential.

There are four track options available. For those who need to graduate as quickly as possible, the accelerated track allows for program completion in 12 months. Students with more time can opt for a 15-month, 18-month, or (most popular of all) 24-month track.

The curriculum includes for two elective courses in addition to core and major classes. This gives students interested in the cybersecurity concentration the ability to explore additional academic interests.

While most coursework is completed online, students must attend two in-person immersion sessions. Immersions are attended in Washington, D.C., and provide students the chance to work with fellow classmates on group projects and network with faculty members and other business professionals in the D.C. area.

What to Expect from an Online MBA in Cybersecurity Program

The MBA cybersecurity online program leads to a business-based degree, as opposed to a more technical-focused credential. This means the bulk of the coursework will be in subjects relating to business and management, with a few cybersecurity classes to provide a broad level of familiarity in the concentration. This exposure to the cybersecurity field provides students with a solid foundation in the subject to make business decisions that can better take into account cybersecurity threats. Many programs include a capstone project or other real-world experience that allows students to apply their knowledge to an actual company’s or organization’ cyber-related problem.

Depending on the specific program and student’s individual level of business experience, foundational business courses may be required in place of electives.

In most MBA cybersecurity online programs, all classes are attended entirely online. Depending on the particular program, students may attend classes in real-time or asynchronously through recorded lectures. Asynchronous coursework is especially beneficial to working professionals who must fit their degree studies into their busy job and family schedules.

Common Courses

  • Managerial Economics

    Managerial economics coursework includes both microeconomic and macroeconomic principles and theories of business management. Students additionally apply the principles and theories discussed to actual business case studies that that explore various economic topics.

  • Corporate Finance

    Most MBA students will have had at least an introductory course on the basics of finance. This class takes the next step by applying foundational principles to the corporate world. Students analyze funding decisions regarding capital investments, short-term financing, and changes to companies’ capital structure.

  • Organization Strategy and Policy

    This class teaches students how to pull together the various departments and areas of a business organization into a single coherent business strategy plan. Students are taught to incorporate their organization’s mission, short-term objectives, long-term goals, and company policies when formulating, implementing, and assessing their organization-wide strategy plan.

  • Forensic Examination and Analysis

    In this course, students learn how to find, gather, and analyze digital evidence. Coursework includes a review of relevant authentication issues and an overview of the hardware and software tools commonly used throughout the information technology forensic industry.

  • Information Security Risk Management

    This class offers a comprehensive review of the various types of information security risks commonly faced by companies and organizations. Industry standards regarding information technology risk management policies and plans are discussed, as well as how to examine an organization to identify its vulnerabilities and design a risk mitigation plan to address vulnerability issues.

What You Can Do with an MBA in Cybersecurity

The online MBA with cybersecurity concentration is specifically designed to prepare graduates for management and leadership positions, but with enough background in cybersecurity risks to make informed decisions when encountering cyber threats. Many businesses prefer managers with experience and training in the cybersecurity realm. As a result, graduates of cybersecurity MBA programs are in high demand and command higher salaries. Below are descriptions of some of the most common job titles for cybersecurity MBA degree holders.

Information Systems Manager

Information systems managers take on a variety of responsibilities concerning the information technology activities within an organization. These duties may include ensuring digital and physical technology, designing new computer systems, and managing other security professionals. An online MBA with a cybersecurity emphasis will offer the business and management skills needed to better understand the overall purpose of information systems within a company, including how to best protect those systems from cyber risks.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$87,480

$146,360

$208,000+

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021

Chief Information Officer

Chief information officers manage the information security interests and operations of large organizations. They are typically responsible for issues concerning data mining, data analytics, and the protection of information technologies from internal or external threats. Having an MBA degree is common among top executives, and the cybersecurity specialization provides a unique perspective to better understanding how to protect an organization’s valuable information assets.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$62,290

$184,460

$208,000+

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Financial Risk Manager

A financial risk manager’s mission is to reduce the risk to the health of a company, business, or other organization with financial operations. Many of these risks come from market volatility, but may also be the result of accounting errors or bad business decisions. In recent years, cybersecurity threats have become a major addition the list of common financial risks faced by organizations. The MBA in cybersecurity offers a balance of business and cybersecurity threat training to allow financial risk managers to better manage all forms of risk issues, including cyberattacks.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$68,370

$129,890

$208,000+

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Information Security Analyst

The job of an information security analyst is to protect the computer systems and networks of an organization. Job duties can include implementing security measures to prevent cyberattacks, monitoring existing computer network status, and helping design security systems. The online MBA degree in cybersecurity is not required for most information security analyst positions. However, many employers prefer new hires to have the additional business training to better understand the bigger picture when it comes to protecting an organization from cyber threats.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$57,810

$99,730

$158,860

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts examine the computer systems of an organization to provide suggestions for improving operations. While the recommendations often revolve around improving performance or reducing costs, protecting information systems from security breaches and cyberattacks is also of great importance. The online MBA in cybersecurity can be helpful as it provides the holders with the training needed to make cybersecurity recommendations that also keep the organization’s fundamental business interests in mind.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$55,180

$90,920

$147,670

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Costs and Financial Aid for Online MBA Degrees in Cybersecurity

Earning an MBA in cybersecurity online may seem like an easy decision right now, but figuring out how to pay for it might be the tough part. The good news is that there are plenty of resources available to help pay for your education. Common financial aid sources include scholarships, grants, student loans, fellowships, and employer tuition assistance. This latter source of education funding is particularly popular with companies that encourage their employees to get additional business training. To learn more about the various sources of financial aid, visit OMD’s financial aid page.

How Much Your Online MBA in Cybersecurity Might Cost

School Name No. of Credits Cost/Credit Est. Total Tuition Cost

30

$548.50

$16,455

36

$770

$27,720

54

$640

$34,560

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Cybersecurity MBA Degrees

What are the typical admissions requirements for an online MBA in cybersecurity?

The admissions process for MBA cybersecurity online programs can be very competitive. Generally speaking, most applicants will need to provide the following:

  • Official transcripts evidencing completion of a bachelor’s degree
  • GMAT or GRE score
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Completed application
  • Application fee

Keep in mind that some of these requirements may be adjusted based on the applicant’s credentials. For example, the GMAT or GRE may not be required if certain conditions are met, such as having met a stated minimum undergraduate GPA or holding a business undergraduate degree from an AACSB-accredited program.

Are there quality online cybersecurity MBA programs that don’t require the GMAT?

Yes. Central Michigan University is an example of an MBA program with a cybersecurity concentration that does not require applicants to submit GMAT scores. Other schools, such as the University of Texas at Tyler, require GMAT scores but provide waivers to qualifying applicants. Waivers maybe granted for many reasons, including an exceptional undergraduate GPA or qualifying amount of professional work experience.

How long will it take to finish my MBA in cybersecurity online?

The average cybersecurity MBA program is comprised of between 30 and 36 credits. Some students might need to complete additional credits if they lack foundational courses in economics, finance, and accounting. Students attending full-time may be able to graduate in as few as 12 months, as is the case at the University of Texas at Tyler. However, 18 months to two years is more common, as most students work while in school and attend to coursework on a part-time basis.

Can I earn my MBA in cybersecurity 100% online, or do I need to go to campus?

Most students can complete their degree programs fully online. This means 100% of the coursework can be completed without any on-campus or other in-person activities. Given the benefits of face-to-face learning and networking, a few programs offer students the option to take some of their classes on-campus or attend special residency experiences. These residencies allow students to spend a few days on campus interacting with their peers and professors.

What’s the difference between an MBA in cybersecurity and a master’s in cybersecurity?

The primary difference between these two degrees is the level of emphasis placed on cybersecurity coursework. With an MBA cybersecurity online degree, most of the curriculum focuses on business and management coursework. In contrast, a master of science in cybersecurity is almost completely dedicated to studying cybersecurity and other IT-related subjects.

If you’re working in business and want to use cybersecurity principles in your line of work, an online MBA with a cybersecurity concentration is a good choice. It you are inclined to concentrate on the cybersecurity field exclusively and have little interest in business or management, then a master of science in cybersecurity is likely the better option. If you think a master’s in cybersecurity might be a better fit for you, check out OMD’s guide to online master’s degrees in cybersecurity.