Best MBA in Cybersecurity Online Programs

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

Businesses are under ever-increasing cyber threats. These days, simply maximizing shareholder value isn’t enough. Companies must also protect their information, 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 will learn about advanced business concepts and get a better understanding of cyber threats and how to identify and manage them.

You likely have questions about where to find the right program, how much this type of program will cost, how to get admitted, and what kind of coursework you can expect once enrolled. To answer these and similar questions, we created the following guide. Read on to learn how an online MBA in cybersecurity can improve your career.

College Spotlights: Best MBA Cybersecurity Online Degrees in 2021

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 options, we’ve found three top-rated online MBA programs that offer a concentration in cybersecurity. These schools are notable for their accreditation, learning flexibility, and quality education. They will make up a larger list of ranked schools and programs coming out later this year.

University of South Florida

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 includes completing core MBA classes in topics like ethics, organizational theory, leadership, and financial analysis. The remaining 15 credits are electives. Students can choose to customize their curriculum or complete one of the four concentrations:

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

Regardless of the concentration, students will complete an MBA capstone. This is a chance to show what they’ve learned by creating actionable suggestions in a case environment. And while most of the coursework can be completed online in an asynchronous manner, students will have ample opportunity for in-person learning experiences. They can take short-term study abroad classes, complete immersion electives that allow them to learn about important business methodologies like Lean Six Sigma or attend the Online MBA Residency program. To maintain maximum convenience, only the Online MBA Residency program is required to graduate.

University of Dallas

At the University of Dallas’s online MBA program, it’s all about providing an AACBS-accredited business education in the most convenient manner possible. Students can choose from seven specializations, including cybersecurity. Classes can be completed 100% online, 100% on-campus, or a combination of both. Those classes last for six or 12 weeks 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 options, the University of Dallas also provides excellent learning experiences. In addition to the high-quality coursework, students can complete the Capstone Consulting Experience, where they tackle a real 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 a dilemma they face while also giving MBA students the chance to put their skills to a real-world challenge.

American University

american-university-washington-logo

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

There are four tracks in terms of pacing. For those who need to graduate as quickly as possible, the accelerated track allows program completion in 12 months. For those who want a little more time, there are 15 and 18 months completion tracks. Finally, there’s the 24-month track, which is what most students decide to take. Hello

The curriculum allows for two elective courses in addition to core and major classes. This gives further freedom for students interested in a cybersecurity concentration but still wants to explore other academic areas of study.

While most classes can be completed online, students must attend two in-person immersions. During these immersions, students work with classmates on group projects involving real companies. They also network with faculty members and other business professionals in the Washington, D.C. area.

What to Expect from an Online MBA in Cybersecurity Program

The MBA cybersecurity online program leads to a business degree, not a technical degree. 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 subject. This exposure will help graduates make business decisions that can better take into account cybersecurity threats. Many programs will often offer a capstone or other real-world experience opportunity that allows students to apply their knowledge to a real company’s strategic problem.

Depending on the program and their business training level, a student may need to take foundational business classes. If this is the case, they may not have the chance to take electives. This might come as a surprise to some. For students who can skip all or most of the prerequisites, taking one or two electives might be possible.

In most MBA cybersecurity online programs, all classes are online. Depending on the particular school, students may participate in a class in real-time or watch lectures and class discussions through recorded video. This latter format is referred to as asynchronous learning and will be common in many MBA programs because many students will be working full-time while going to school.

Common Courses

  • Managerial Economics

    Part of this curriculum will cover microeconomic and macroeconomic principles and theories. The rest teaches students how to apply those economic concepts to the business management context. Much of the classwork will involve analyzing business case studies that demonstrate 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 will analyze funding decisions regarding capital investments, short-term financing, and changes to companies’ capital structure.

  • Organization Strategy and Policy

    This class teaches how to pull together the various departments and areas of a business organization into a coherent business strategy plan. Students will learn how to consider 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 about how to find, gather, and analyze digital evidence. Part of the curriculum will address authentication issues and an overview of special hardware and software tools widely used throughout the information technology forensic industry.

  • Information Security Risk Management

    This class teaches various information security risk topics and skillsets, such as the types of information security risks commonly faced by companies. Industry standards regarding information technology risk management policies and plans will be discussed, as well as how to examine an organization to identify its vulnerabilities and design a risk mitigation plan to address those weak points.

What You Can Do with an MBA in Cybersecurity

The online MBA with cybersecurity concentration is a specific degree that prepares graduates for management and leadership positions, but with enough background in cybersecurity risks to make informed decisions when encountering issues concerning cyber threats. Many businesses will want managers with experience and training in the cybersecurity realm. Many graduates find themselves in high demand, with salaries to match. Let’s look at some of these careers and what you can expect to earn.

Information Systems Manager

Information systems managers take on a variety of responsibilities concerning the information technology activities in an organization. These duties may include ensuring digital and physical technology, designing a new computer system for the organization, and managing other 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 are usually found in large organizations. Their role often revolves around managing the information interests of their business. This may include operations like data mining, data analytics, and hardening the organization’s information technology assets from internal or external threats, whether natural or man-made. Having an MBA degree is common among top executives. The cybersecurity specialization provides a unique perspective to better understanding how to protect an organization.

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 poor accounting or business decisions, as well as market volatility. But more recently, some of these risks come from cybersecurity threats. The MBA in cybersecurity offers a balance of business and cybersecurity threat training to allow financial risk managers to better manage cyberattack risks to their organizations.

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 a cyberattack, monitoring an existing computer network’s status, or helping plan security systems. The online MBA degree in cybersecurity is not required for many information security analyst positions. However, many employers prefer new hires to have the additional business training to better understand the bigger picture considerations when 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 is also paramount. The online MBA in cybersecurity can be helpful as it provides the background training to make cybersecurity recommendations that also keep the organization’s 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 ways to help pay for your education. Some of the more popular financial aid sources include scholarships, grants, student loans, fellowships, and employer tuition assistance. This latter source of education funding is particularly popular in companies that encourage their employees to get additional business training. To learn more about the various sources of financial aid, visit our financial aid page.

How Much Your Online MBA in Cybersecurity Might Cost

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

Murray State University

30

$533

$15,990

Central Michigan University

36

$662

$23,832

Grand Canyon University

54

$615

$33,210

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 a minimum undergraduate GPA or already holding a business undergraduate degree from an AACSB-accredited program.

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

Yes. The Master of Business Administration program at Central Michigan University offers a cybersecurity emphasis on its AACSB-accredited business school offerings. And to gain admission into this selective program, no GMAT is required. But many other schools, such as the University of Texas at Tyler, will require the GMAT. However, they also offer a GMAT waiver. Waivers can be granted for many reasons, including having a good GPA or a certain amount of professional experience.

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

The average 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. Those who take classes full-time can often graduate in as little 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 will want to work while in school and will attend 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 earn their degree fully online. This means 100% of the coursework can be completed without any in-person requirement. Given the benefits of face-to-face learning and networking, a few programs will give students the option to take some of their classes on-campus or offer special “residency” opportunities. 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 will be devoted to business and management coursework. In contrast, a master of science in cybersecurity is almost completely dedicated to studying cybersecurity and other technically-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. But suppose you want to work in the field of cybersecurity and have little interest or use for business or management coursework. In that case, a master of science in cybersecurity might be a better option. If you think a master’s in cybersecurity might be a better fit for you, check out our guide to online master’s degrees in cybersecurity.