A master’s in cybersecurity accelerated program offers quite a few advantages in terms of getting a degree quickly, starting a career sooner, or enhancing an existing career in less time. The masters in cybersecurity accelerated program provides the same education as a traditional 2-year program, but in a shorter amount of time. Most accelerated cybersecurity MBA programs are completed in 10 to 15 months instead of two to three years. Taking the option to earn an advanced degree in about a year’s time provides an advantage to a student who needs to start their career sooner than later.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of entering into an accelerated cybersecurity MBA program is the fact that employers won’t see the time spent in school as a gap in employment. A potential employer is more likely to look favorably upon the gap as proof that you are willing and able to work on making yourself into a valuable employee by advancing your skill set and earning a cybersecurity MBA.
Methodology: Ranking the Best Master’s in Cybersecurity Accelerated Program
Students looking for the fastest cybersecurity MBA online program want more than just speed. After all, a fast degree that doesn’t help your career isn’t worth much. That’s why Great Business Schools editors focus on accredited, trusted institutions offering accelerated programs. Each is ranked according to other factors such as tuition, reputation, and alumni salary, with data from IPEDS and Niche.
1. University of South Florida
The online MBA in cybersecurity from the University of South Florida is one of the fastest cybersecurity MBA online degrees available. Full-time students can complete the program in as little as one year. Students learn how to face the challenges they will encounter in the business world and gain the skills they’ll need to become tomorrow’s business leaders. The program enhances students’ creativity and helps them develop the analytical skills they need to understand data and use it to make sound decisions.
The Muma College of Business has a top-notch MBA program and outstanding faculty for its research program. The school is AACSB-accredited, and the online MBA program is ranked #25 in the nation. Muma has a high job-placement rate and a Business Honors Program. The Corporate Mentor Program has mentors from 42 area businesses.
Highlight: The program is fully online, so there is no need to attend in-person classes.
Degree: Cybersecurity, MBA
2. Baker College
Baker College offers an MS in Information Systems that is a great choice for students interested in cybersecurity. This program encourages students to develop strong leadership skills and learn to use technology to advance their careers. The program consists of 36 credit hours and takes 1.5-2 years to complete. Students learn the skills they will need to succeed in high-level IT roles. Graduates are prepared to handle the challenges they will face on the job in the information systems world.
The College of Engineering and Information Technology places an emphasis on the importance of computers in our everyday lives, especially in the business world. At Baker College, graduate programs are designed to help students succeed in the real world after graduation. They are also designed to be convenient for working professionals, with online options and flexible scheduling, students can fit their studies around their busy work schedules.
Highlight: This program is available online.
Degree: Cloud Security Risk Management, MBA
3. California State University, San Marcos
The MS in Cybersecurity from California State University, San Marcos is another of the fastest cybersecurity MBA online programs in the nation. This fully online program combines MBA courses, technical courses, and real-world experience. Students learn about risk analysis, security management, incident response, network protocols, ethical hacking, encryption algorithms, intrusion detection, and more. Students who have earned a certificate in Cybersecurity Management, Risk and Governance or Cybersecurity Technologies can apply those courses to the MS in Cybersecurity.
The CSUSM Extended Learning branch offers degree completion programs, certificate programs, a summer session, and fully online degree programs. Extended Learning tailors its educational offerings to the students’ needs.
Highlight: CSUSM has been designated as a National Center of Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency.
Degree: Cybersecurity, MS
4. University of Texas at Tyler
The MBA in Cyber Security is an online program at the University of Texas at Tyler. This program is one of the fastest cybersecurity MBA online programs available. The program prepares students for management positions in information security in a variety of different industries. Students gain a foundation in business knowledge along with an understanding of the strategies and concepts needed to protect companies from cyber security threats. The program prepares students to be leaders in the area of data protection.
The University of Texas at Tyler offers four online MBA programs that allow students to specialize in different areas. The school’s MBA program is ranked as one of the best online MBA programs by US News & World Report and the MBA in Healthcare Management has been recognized as a top program as well. The College of Business and Technology at the University of Texas at Tyler is AACSB-accredited.
Highlight: This online program can be completed as quickly as 12 months.
Degree: Cybersecurity, MBA
5. Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University offers an MS in Computer Science with a concentration in cybersecurity engineering. This masters in cybersecurity accelerated program helps students learn to develop procedures and policies that protect valuable networks, devices, and data. The program has been ranked among the best online graduate computer tech programs for six years in a row by US News & World Report. This online program is flexible enough to accommodate busy students’ schedules.
Colorado Technical University is focused on diversity and innovation. The school offers many options on how and where to pursue your degree. CTU prides itself on flexibility, innovation, and excellence at every degree level. The school embraces new technology and uses it to enhance its students’ learning experiences.
Highlight: According to the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, this program maps to the DHS/NSA cybersecurity knowledge units.
Degree: Computer Science: Cybersecurity Engineering, MS
6. Missouri State University
Missouri State University offers an MBA in Information Technology and Cybersecurity. This is one of the fastest cybersecurity MBA online programs in the US. The program is designed to be relatively inexpensive and to allow the flexibility for students to work full-time and fit their studies around their work. Graduates of the program often land highly sought-after jobs with prestigious organizations. Students who complete the program will be prepared to do what needs to be done to protect the data of the organizations they serve.
The Department of Information Technology and Cybersecurity at Missouri State University links tech with business to help students gain the skills they need to help their companies get the most out of the available technology. The department’s programs are AACSB-accredited and graduates are top candidates for a variety of high-tech jobs after completing the program.
Highlight: This program is available as a traditional program, an accelerated program, an online program, or an evening program.
Degree: Information Technology and Cybersecurity, MBA
7. Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University offers an MBA Cyber Security degree. This masters in cybersecurity accelerated degree program provides students with both the business knowledge and technical skills they need to come out victorious against those who would attempt to steal their companies’ data. The program also has a strong emphasis on leadership skills. Students who wish to enroll in the program must have a technical background or take classes at Saint Leo to fill in the gaps in their educational backgrounds.
Saint Leo University is a Catholic institution and is one of the top schools in Florida. The school welcomes students of all faiths. Saint Leo is a liberal arts university that values diversity, technology, and community service. The school seeks to give students a balanced education that addresses mind, body, and spirit.
Highlight: This program can be completed in as little as one year.
Degree: Cybersecurity, MBA
8. Cedarville University
Cedarville University offers a MBA in cybersecurity. This is another of the fastest cybersecurity MBA online programs. This degree prepares students to face the growing threats that exist in cyberspace. The cybersecurity professional works to protect our data and keep it safe. This is one of the fastest-growing careers and the demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to increase. Students who complete this program will be prepared to serve in advanced positions in the cybersecurity field.
Cedarville University is a Christian school with a biblical worldview. There is biblical integration worked into every single course. The school’s daily chapel is the heartbeat of the community. Its academic objectives are to glorify God, think deeply and broadly, communicate effectively, develop professionally and academically, and engage for Christ. Cedarville graduates are highly sought-after by employers. The school has a 98.5% placement rate.
Highlight: Courses include cybersecurity law and policy, foundations of risk management, enterprise security architecture, and introduction to cybersecurity.
Degree: Master’s in Cybersecurity Management
9. Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University offers an MBA with an emphasis in cybersecurity. This program is designed for top executives and members of middle management who are concerned about cybersecurity threats. Some of the required courses include cyber warfare and applications, leadership and organizations, strategic management, enterprise security infrastructure design, and operations management. Students learn about financial forecasting, security solutions, cost control, budgeting, and management of working capital.
The Colangelo College of Business offers programs that fill the demand from the business world. The school encourages the entrepreneurial spirit and provides opportunities to help students succeed. The culture is student-centric and focuses on both academic success and the students’ higher purpose. Grand Canyon University is a Christian school that provides a values-based education.
Highlight: This masters in cybersecurity accelerated program consists of 54 credits and can be completed 100% online.
Degree: Cybersecurity, MBA
10. James Madison University
James Madison University offers an Information Security MBA. This masters in cybersecurity accelerated program is intended to help students become leaders and managers who understand the fundamentals of business and also have a solid foundation in information security. The program focuses on communication, problem solving, and decision making within a cybersecurity framework. Students learn about potential risks to businesses, tools to gauge those risks, and the management of talent in the field of cybersecurity as well as gaining a basic understanding of information technology.
The James Madison University College of Business is dedicated to producing graduates who are engaged leaders and professionals with strong values. The school values respect, honesty, responsible behavior, and ethical reasoning. It strives to deliver an exemplary business education and create a global mindset among its students. James Madison University is an inclusive community that values diverse backgrounds and ideas.
Highlight: 99% of the program’s alumni would recommend it to their friends.
Degree: Information Security, MBA
What are the Advantages of an Accelerated Cybersecurity MBA?
Accelerated MBA programs have been commonplace in Europe for decades and proves that the accelerated pace of education can and does work. The major advantage of the accelerated cybersecurity MBA is that it allows working professionals to take less time out of their career to learn new skills and improve their employment prospects. Students are taught the latest in cybersecurity techniques and business management theories and learn how to bring the two skill sets together.
The cybersecurity MBA is a hybrid degree that’s aimed at working professionals who have experience working in the cybersecurity field and have a desire to enter the role of management. The business management portion of the degree teaches students how a business operates, the framework on a majority of businesses are built upon, and how to manage the expectations of employees and executives. Someone who has been working in the IT department and managing the security aspects of the IT infrastructure benefits from earning an MBA in cybersecurity. An accelerated cybersecurity MBA program helps the student stay current on their IT knowledge while adding a set of skills that can advance their career.
What if I Already Have an MBA?
If you already have an MBA, it doesn’t make sense to enroll for another full MBA program. You could ask that the school exempt you from the classes you’ve already taken, but that can create its own set of problems when it comes to completing the coursework. Instead of going back to school, consider getting a cybersecurity graduate certificate instead.
The cybersecurity graduate certificate gives you the education you’re seeking and in less time. The education offered by a cybersecurity graduate certificate enhances your existing MBA and adds a new credential to your skill set that’s respected by employers. Getting a graduate certificate in cybersecurity offers you the same employment opportunities as a cybersecurity MBA and puts you on the career path to working in cybersecurity management.
The main difference between a graduate certificate and an undergraduate certificate comes down to one’s level of education. That is, an undergraduate that hasn’t earned a college degree won’t be able to take a graduate certificate course. However, someone with a master’s degree is best served by taking a cybersecurity graduate certificate course instead of engaging in an accelerated master’s degree program in cybersecurity. Earning a graduate certificate in cybersecurity usually requires about 12 to 15 credit hours which enables a working professional with an MBA to add to their knowledge base in less time.
Working professionals don’t always have the time to devote to the credit hours needed for a graduate certificate in cybersecurity. However, a lack of time doesn’t mean a lack of desire. Online graduate certificate programs in cybersecurity give the working professional the opportunity to attend classes and complete coursework on their personal schedule. The student can earn their certificate as long as they complete their work by the stated deadlines.
A working professional who wants to earn their certificate quickly have the option to take accelerated classes to earn a cybersecurity graduate certificate online. The coursework and classes are the same as the slower-paced schedule, but require completion on short deadlines. A fast paced certificate program may be a lot of work, but for those who want to get their education done and over with, an accelerated onilne cybersecurity graduate certificate program is an option.
Can Executives Benefit from a Cybersecurity MBA?
Absolutely. Cybersecurity for executives helps executives step out of their organizational silo and learn more about the threats their organization faces from cybercrime. Executives frequently fail to understand the complexities and seriousness of cybercrime and instead look at the IT department as a money sink instead of a vital part of the organization. Executives that take the time to learn about cybersecurity are executives that are taking a forward-facing look at the role of the IT department and how the IT workforce puts forth their best efforts to protect the company from infiltration. Cybersecurity for executives helps those at the top become more engaged with the IT department in general and helps the executive understand and comprehend the threat poised by cybercrime to their operations.