Earn Your AS in Cyber Security Online:
- $320/credit (60 total credits)
- Transfer up to 45 credits (including credits for certifications like CompTIA A+)
- Participate in National Cyber League competitions
- Get hands-on experience with online cyber labs
- Save time and money with open-source software and course materials
- Transfer all 60 credits into SNHU's BS in Cyber Security
Associate Degree in Cyber Security Program Overview
Start your cybersecurity career with Southern New Hampshire University’s Associate of Science (AS) in Cyber Security online program.
The AS in Cyber Security degree combines the hands-on experiences, networking opportunities and expert instruction you need to break into a growing field.
Whether you've finished some college or you're just getting started, this 60-credit program offers a perfect pathway to launch your cybersecurity career.
You'll engage with a number of industry-standard operating systems, security software, computer networking devices, simulation tools and programming and scripting languages.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation – and save even more by transferring up to 45 credits for previous experience, including industry credentials like the CompTia A+ certification.
Our curriculum is built to position you for success in the industry. The AS in Cyber Security aligns with recognized standards such as NIST's NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework and CSEC Cyber Security Education Consortium.
Learn how to:
- Apply security principles and practices to all components of a system
- Design, implement and evaluate computer-based solutions
- Identify and define the computing requirements to solve problems
- Communicate technical information effectively with a range of audiences
Looking to earn your Bachelor's in Cyber Security? Upon finishing your associate degree, you can transfer all 60 credits toward your BS in Cyber Security degree online – halfway to your bachelor's degree. That could mean 2 degrees in as few as 4 years – both of which can help you enter (or advance in) the cybersecurity profession.
Interested in exploring some of our other technology degree options. Check out our IT associate degree, associate in computer science or a number of other associate and bachelor's technology programs.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a high demand for cybersecurity jobs in the coming years. Prospects for information security analysts are set to soar 31% through 2029 – far faster than the national average for all occupations.1
While many of these jobs do require a bachelor's at the entry-level, those who earn an associate degree could still qualify for various roles.
Upon earning your associate degree in cybersecurity, you may qualify for the following entry-level occupations:
- Cybersecurity specialist
- Cybersecurity technician
- Cybersecurity analyst
For those looking to progress to a bachelor's degree, our AS in Cyber Security also provides a seamless path for continued advancement. All 60 credits can be transferred to our BS in Cyber Security, which means you'll satisfy half of the required credits you need to earn your bachelor's degree.
Higher degree attainment could open up new opportunities, and even lead to higher earning potential. According to the BLS, those with a bachelor's degree made $1,305 in median weekly earnings in 20201 – that's 39% more than those with an associate degree.
"There is limitless potential when it comes to job opportunities within the cybersecurity career field," said Terry Winn, an adjunct instructor at SNHU.
"As technology continues to evolve, the need for the protection of the systems/information comes into focus. From being a cybersecurity analyst to an IT security auditor to penetration tester to cybersecurity engineer and to a chief information security officer there are entry-level through senior management opportunities available in the cybersecurity career field."
Start Your Journey Toward an Online Cyber Security Degree
Why SNHU for Your Cyber Security Degree
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify. We also make it easy to transfer to SNHU by accepting up to 90 credits for a bachelor's degree and 45 credits for an associate degree from your previous institution.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, Southern New Hampshire University has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
- “Most Innovative” regional university honors from U.S. News & World Report each year since 2015
- A $1 million grant from Google.org to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth
- Recognition as a 2017 Digital Learning Innovator by the Online Learning Consortium
As an SNHU student, you can tap into a powerful network of peers, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate your industry.
Opportunities to prepare you for your career:
- Technology competitions: Outside the classroom, participate in National Cyber League (NCL) competitions to demonstrate cyber expertise valued by employers. SNHU students and teams have multiple Top 10 finishes and fielded the first all-female team.
- Technology conferences: SNHU also sends leading female technology students to the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women of Computing, the world's largest conference and hiring fair for women technologists, as well as the Women in Cyber Security Symposium (WiCyS).
- Cyber Security Center of Excellence: Through our Cyber Security Center of Excellence, SNHU proudly supports cyber security students across the globe. To learn more about our contributions to the field, and connect with our academic leaders, visit our Cyber Security Center of Excellence page.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.2 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Part of our mission to expand access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials.
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 6 (8-week) undergraduate terms.
How to Apply
Simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions and walk you through the application process. Start by:
- Completing a free undergraduate application
- Providing previous institutions attended – so we can retrieve transcripts for you at no cost
Test scores are not required as part of your application.
Courses & Curriculum
Our AS in Cyber Security program is built to help prepare you for entry-level roles in cybersecurity. That means learning the skills and industry tools you need to get your foot in the door.
"The curriculum works well in the online environment because of the strong focus on skill development," said Jonathan Kamyck, associate dean of cyber security programs at SNHU. "Students will use online labs and explore simulated operating environments."
You'll use a number of industry-standard tools and platforms, including:
- Popular operating systems like Windows and Linux
- Computer networking devices and simulation tools, such as Cisco Packet Tracer and pfSense
- Programming and scripting languages like Python, Java, Linux shells and Microsoft PowerShell
- Security software such as OpenVAS, Snort, Kali Linux, Metasploit and more
To complete the program, you'll earn 21 credits for general education courses, 18 credits for computer core courses, 18 credits for major courses and 3 credits for 1 elective course.
Major courses include:
- Cybersecurity Foundations. Explore foundational cybersecurity concepts and terms. Learn the difference between adversarial and environmental threats and analyze how security practitioners respond to each. Identify legal and human factors and examine how they can influence the development of organizational security strategies.
- Computer Networking. Learn the basics of computer networking, including different network architectures and approaches to network design. Gain practical experience by performing common network implementation and administration tasks.
- Operating System Security. Learn the techniques and strategies used to protect modern operating systems. Employ best practices to securely provision operating system components and services. Troubleshoot insecure settings to reduce the risk of system compromise.
- Application Security. Explore the fundamental principles and practices of application security. Identify common software vulnerabilities and develop strategies to reduce their potential impact. Analyze and assess the security posture of multi-tiered web applications.
- Legal and Human Factors of Cybersecurity. Examine security concerns associated with humans and their interactions with information systems. Learn about social engineering and how to protect against human-focused cyber-attacks. Examine the legal and ethical aspects of individual privacy, acceptable use and other social concerns.
- Cyber Defense. Explore common strategies and tactics employed by security practitioners to protect networks, systems, applications and data. Learn the principles of cryptography and examine the critical role it plays in protecting information. Analyze the impact of emerging technologies and evolving social trends on the field of cybersecurity.
Curriculum Requirements & Resources
- General education courses: All bachelor's students are required to take general education classes, if not obtained in prior coursework. Through these foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.
- Technology resources: We provide cloud-based virtual environments in some courses to give you access to the technology you need for your degree – and your career. Learn more about our virtual environments.
- Earn math credits for what you already know: Save time and tuition with our Pathways to Math Success assessments. Depending on your scores, you could earn up to 12 math credits – the equivalent of 4 courses – toward your degree for less than $50 per assessment.
- Transfer credits for tech credentials: Earn transfer credits for popular industry certifications you already have, including CompTIA A+, Network+ and Linux+.
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog|
|AS in Cybersecurity|
Tuition & Fees
As a private, nonprofit university, we’re committed to making college more accessible by making it more affordable. That’s why we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation—and haven't raised our costs in a decade.
We also offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
|Online Undergraduate Programs||Per Course||Per Credit Hour||Annual Cost for 30 credits|
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.
No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you get a job with an associate in cyber security?
The short answer is, yes. While many employers do seek candidates with a bachelor's degree, an associate can help put you on track to pursue some entry-level roles. You may, for example, qualify for positions such as:
- Cybersecurity specialist
- Cybersecurity technician
- Cybersecurity analyst
What can I do with an associate degree in cyber security?
This all depends on the degree. At SNHU, our curriculum is industry-aligned and features practical application throughout. That means you'll build the skills you need to succeed in a number of different industries.
“The classes are 100% online but [also include some] hands-on labs where you learn how to use industry-standard tools and techniques," said Dr. Denise Kinsey, technical program facilitator of cyber security programs at SNHU.
An associate in cybersecurity presents opportunities to use technology in a meaningful way. For this reason, those interested in areas like psychology and criminal justice may be well-suited for this career track.
"Cybersecurity touches every aspect of our lives, from the physical locks on our doors, to our financial and medical records, our ability to communicate and share information, and essentially function in today’s world," Dr. Kinsey said. "The skills you learn in [these courses] will provide the basis for protecting that information."
How much can you make with an associate in cyber security?
Earning your associate degree is just one factor. The amount you make will also vary depending on years of experience, location, past credentials and job title. That said, the BLS does note promising earning potential for cybersecurity professionals – even for those entering the field.
- Information security analysts, an occupation the BLS predicts will grow 31% through 2029, earned an annual median salary of $103,590 in May 2020.1 It should be noted that typical entry-level education for these roles is a bachelor's.1 However, this is a highly desired field that could be a strong option for those looking to build their skills and continue their education in cybersecurity.
- Computer support specialists earned an annual median salary of $55,510 in May 2020.1 While some in the field have attained a bachelor's degree, not all employees require it – making these jobs particularly attractive for those with an associate degree.1
- Network and computer system administrators, on the other hand, reportedly earned a median annual salary of $84,810 in May 2020.1 The BLS notes that, while most employers seek bachelor's level attainment, a postsecondary certificate or associate degree could be a sufficient entryway for some.1
- Computer systems analysts are also paid well above the national average for all occupations.1 In May 2020, computer systems analysts reported earning a median salary of $93,730.1 While many in the field have a bachelor's, it's worth noting that even the lowest 10% earners made about $56,510 that year.1
It's important to note, too, that further degree attainment may result in higher earning potential and lower unemployment rates – even outside of cybersecurity.
According to the BLS, associate degree holders earned a median weekly salary of $938 in May 2020.1 By comparison, those with a bachelor's earned $1305 weekly.1 That's a 39% increase in pay. And those with a master's earn even more.1
That's why at SNHU we also offer a seamless transfer from your AS in Cyber Security to a BS in Cyber Security. We even offer an online master's in cyber security, if you want to keep going.
How long does it take to get an associate degree in cyber security?
Generally, for a part-time student (one class per term) with no transfer credits, an associate degree in as few as 2 years. But at SNHU, we offer pathways to fast-track your goals, too.
First, we accept up to 45 transfer credits for all associate-level programs. Of these credits, 21 are for general education courses. That means, even if you have previous college credits that aren't necessarily in the field of cybersecurity, you could still position yourself to earn a degree faster.
Next, our online class schedules can give you the flexibility you need to graduate sooner. Full-time students take 2 courses per term. Even without transfer credits under your belt, that could mean finishing your degree in a little over 1.5 years instead of 2.
Finally, with six 8-week terms per year, you progress from one class to the next, without ever losing momentum.
And if, for whatever reason, you need to take a term off, you'll have the ability to do that, too.
How much does it cost to get an associate degree in cyber security?
The price of your associate degree in cyber security depends on multiple factors – such as cost of tuition, credits to complete, number of transfer credits and more. At SNHU, we're proud to say we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation – and we've kept them that way for about a decade.
As a university built for people, not for profit, our mission is to make education as affordable as possible.
That's why the cost per credit for our AS in Cyber Security is $320. With 60 credits required to complete the program, that means a total tuition cost of $19,200.
If you have previous education credits, you could transfer them to lower the cost of your degree even more.
You may also be eligible for one of our merit-based scholarships, grants and tuition discounts. U.S. Active Duty, National Guard and Selected Reserve and the spouses of those on active duty, for example, may be eligible for up to 30% tuition discounts.
Curious about more ways to save? Talk to one of our financial advisors to learn more.
How do I get into cyber security?
Everybody's pathway is different, but there are 2 major advantages that can help you land a role in the industry: education and networking.
The AS in Cyber Security is affordable, fast and aligned with industry standards – making it a great place to start. We also offer some exciting networking opportunities as part of the program.
National Cyber League (NCL). If you're looking for hands-on experience, the National Cyber League is a fun and engaging way to enter the arena.
Terry Winn, an adjunct instructor at SNHU, describes NCL as a “capture-the-flag” style competition. "With a small out-of-pocket cost, [you're given] a training platform and compete in various events to further hone [your] cybersecurity skills," he said. "You'll get hands-on experience with many of the cybersecurity tools being used in the field today."
SNHU students and teams have had multiple Top 10 finishes over the years – and even fielded the first-ever all-female team. Not only that, but NCL can also help prepare you to sit for formal certification examinations.
Technology conferences. At SNHU, we recognize how challenging it can be for women to break into technology professions – especially women of color and those within LGBTQ+ communities.
That's why we select leading female technology students each year to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women of Computing, the world's largest conference and hiring fair for women technologists. We also send students to the Women in Cyber Security Symposium (WiCyS) each year, adding to our continued efforts to level the field for diverse talent in STEM.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
Sources & Citations (1, 2)
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-support-specialists.htm#tab-1 (viewed May 17, 2021)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm#tab-1 (viewed May 17, 2021)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm#tab-1 (viewed May 17, 2021)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm#tab-1 (viewed May 17, 2021)
- https://www.bls.gov/emp/chart-unemployment-earnings-education.htm (viewed May 17, 2021)
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
2 According to more than 9,200 SNHU online students in survey responses from the fall of 2019.