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Top 15 Online Bachelor’s in Information Systems Programs for 2017

The Information Age has ushered in a formidable list of new concerns for individuals, businesses, and government agencies. The field of information security sits at the forefront of the battle against cybercrime, and the demand for qualified security professionals has grown exponentially in the last two decades, a trend that isn’t expected to stop anytime soon. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 18% increase in information security positions between 2014 and 2024, a rate that’s about double the average of most other industries. The ranking below compiles some of the best options for earning an online information security degree.


How to Choose an Online Bachelor’s in Information Systems Program

You may be eager to start your online network security degree, but there are several factors to consider before committing to a school or program, including curriculum length and level of online support. The following questions will help you find the right network security degree online for you.

What Will I Learn In This Program?

Most information security online degrees offer similar core courses, but many include concentration options, allowing you to follow career and personal interests. Specializations, such as network administration, digital forensics, and information assurance, offer increased career opportunities by providing a more in-depth curriculum. Some career paths may require certain undergraduate courses or majors, so if you have a position in mind, research what sort of educational background employers look for.

How Long Will It Take To Complete This Program?

Online information security degrees are typically designed to accommodate working students, but different schools enact this in different ways. Some may offer an accelerated curriculum that allows you to quickly complete degree requirements and enter the workforce, while others adopt a part-time format that helps you balance school with other obligations like work and family. Some schools may even offer both options within the same program.

How Does This Program Support Online Students?

Online students are typically less connected to campus support services, so it’s important to determine what type of online resources are available. Does the school offer online access to academic advisers and career counselors? Does it offer online tutoring through its own tutoring center or an outside contractor? Do online students have opportunities to connect outside of class? School websites often list the resources available to online learners, so be sure to do your research. The resources offered will differ between schools.

Careers for Graduates of this Program

Graduates who hold network security online degrees are prepared to serve in many IT positions, which come with different opportunities. This chart compiles some of the most common positions in the field, along with a brief description of each job and its median salary.

Job Outlook and Salary

Given the increase of cyberattacks, graduates with online network security degrees are expected to have many career options available; the industry is projected to grow faster than computer and information technology as a whole. While job growth can vary depending on factors such as location, position, and specific industry of employment, the job outlook, in general, is strong. The chart below collects data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for projected growth of security analyst jobs, which show faster than average growth.

Employment Growth for Web Development
Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024
82,900 97,900

Source: BLS

Salary Growth By Experience

Information security offers significant increases in annual salary as professionals accumulate experience. After completing an information security degree online, you can expect increased wages in 5-10 years — particularly if you move into a managerial role. The chart below compiles median salary data for three popular positions at different career stages.

To determine the best online associate in economics programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the 10 best online associate in economics programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.