Earn a Certificate in Cybersecurity Online
- $330 per credit (18 credits)
- Ideal for those exploring a career in cybersecurity
- 3-course intro to information systems and computer networking
- No STEM background needed
- Complete in just over 6 months (full time)
- Certificate credits count toward many of SNHU's STEM degrees
Certificate in Cybersecurity Program Overview
Take the first step toward a high-demand career with the Certificate in Cybersecurity online at Southern New Hampshire University. Launched in 2023, this 6-course, accredited certificate program can help prepare you for an entry-level position in cybersecurity or get you started on your way to an associate or bachelor’s degree like SNHU's AS or BS in Cybersecurity programs.
At 18 credit hours and $330 per credit, the cybersecurity certificate comes in at just under $6k, total tuition. The courses were thoughtfully designed to give an aspiring cybersecurity professional a broad view of cyber careers and a foundational level of knowledge to enter the field of cybersecurity.
The Certificate in Cybersecurity program online covers a wide range of topics in cybersecurity, including defense strategies, human factors, emerging trends, and legal-ethical considerations. It lays the groundwork on which you can build more complex and specialized skills as you progress in your profession.
"While an IT or computer science background can be beneficial, it's not a requirement for this program," said Dr. Dennis Backherms, technical program facilitator for cybersecurity at SNHU. "The certificate is built for students with an interest in technology and curiosity for the cybersecurity profession."
Backherms says ethics and integrity are crucial for students coming into the program, as cybersecurity specialists often deal with sensitive information and play a key role in protecting digital assets.
What You'll Learn
- IT roles, tech tools and software basics
- Operating system fundamentals
- Hardware-software interactions
- How to design a simple network
- Problem-solving through systems thinking
- Tactics and strategies of cyber attackers
- Legal, ethical and defense strategies
How You'll Learn
At SNHU, you'll get support from day 1 to graduation and beyond. And with no set class times, 24/7 access to the online classroom, and helpful learning resources along the way, you'll have everything you need to reach your goals.
Cybersecurity Career Outlook
Cybersecurity is an attractive area in the technology field with in-demand jobs, higher-than-average salaries and potential remote work opportunities.1 This certificate program builds cybersecurity competencies critical for an entry-level job role or advancing in your career.
"For individuals already in the workforce, a cybersecurity certificate can be a stepping stone for career advancement," said Dr. Dennis Backherms, technical program facilitator for cybersecurity at SNHU. "It demonstrates a commitment to staying current in the field and acquiring specialized skills."
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 16,800 openings for information security analysts are projected each year, on average, over the next 10 years.2 Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force through retirement.
While information security analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree in computer and information technology or a related field, it's possible for some workers to enter the occupation with a high school diploma and relevant industry training, like a cybersecurity certificate.3
Job Growth and Salary
The BLS projects employment of information security analysts could increase 32% through 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.2
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for information security analysts was $112,000 in 2022.2
Understanding the Numbers
When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors — like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.
Where Could You Work?
According to CyberSeek.org, about 19% of online job listings require less than a bachelor’s degree. These include entry-level and common cybersecurity job titles such as:3
Lead security-related technical projects, monitor and report key security performance metrics and maintain security infrastructure and applications.
Information Security Specialist
Analyze security logs to detect and remediate threats, aid in incident response procedures and assist with patch management and vulnerability testing.
Analyze and report key security metrics and troubleshoot escalated user issues related to security across all technology and applications.
Information Security Analyst
Install and operate firewalls and data encryption programs, identify vulnerable areas and monitor organizations for security breaches.
Information security analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree; however, some workers enter the occupation with a high school diploma and relevant industry training and certifications.2
Start your Journey Toward an Online Certificate in Cybersecurity
Why SNHU for Your Cybersecurity Certificate
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7. You can also craft your educational pathway to fit your life and career. Some of our certificate programs, for example, can stack into an associate, bachelor’s or master’s program — helping you build the skills and credentials you need to succeed.
As part of our mission to make higher education more accessible, we’re committed to keeping our tuition rates low. In fact, we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.
You could also earn college credit for previous work experience or professional credentials — saving you time and money.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 160,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), a regional accreditor, which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
- U.S. News & World Report named SNHU the 2021 Most Innovative University in the North and one of the nation's "Best Regional Universities"
- Awarded the 21st Century Distance Learning Award for Excellence in Online Technology by The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
- A $1 million grant from Google.org to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 300,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
93.6% of online students would recommend SNHU (according to a 2022 survey with 17,000+ respondents). Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Expanding 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:
- Completed free undergraduate application
- Prior transcripts, which we can retrieve at no cost to you
- Test scores are not required as part of your application
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 6 (8-week) undergraduate terms.
How to Apply
If you’re ready to apply, follow these simple steps to get the process going:
- Complete free undergraduate application
- Submit any additional documents required
- Walk through the application process with an admission counselor
If you have questions or need help filling out your application, call 1.888.387.0861 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get Started on the Right Path
Dr. Dennis Backherms, technical program facilitator for cybersecurity
"Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field with a high demand for skilled professionals. A certificate in cybersecurity can help you adapt to ever-evolving cybersecurity challenges."
Courses & Curriculum
In the Certificate in Cybersecurity program, you'll start by learning the basics of computer systems and networks and how they influence cybersecurity practices. Then, you'll build on this solid base in computing fundamentals as you develop an adversarial mindset. By viewing security from the perspective of a potential attacker, you'll learn how to defend against cyber threats while also considering the impacts of legal and ethical concerns.
"You'll gain practical skills and knowledge of cybersecurity techniques," said Dr. Dennis Backherms, technical program facilitator for cybersecurity at SNHU. "This is highly valuable in the rapidly evolving field of cybersecurity."
Topics covered in the cybersecurity certificate program online include:
- An overview of information technology (IT) job roles, technology tools, software and computer operating systems
- Computer network basics such as hardware-software interactions and how to design a simple network
- How to solve problems using “systems thinking,” where all the parts of security (software, hardware, networks and people) fit together like puzzle pieces, so you can see the big picture and can identify weak spots
- Adversarial thinking to help you understand the tactics and strategies of attackers, how to outsmart them and proactively defend before they can cause trouble
- Essential cybersecurity principles including legal, ethical, privacy and defense strategies
The cybersecurity certificate is designed to stack into SNHU’s AS in Cybersecurity and BS in Cybersecurity degree programs. This is noteworthy as SNHU has recently been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and our BS in Cybersecurity is SNHU’s validated program of study.
"Students interested in pursuing additional industry certifications like CompTIA's A+, Network+ or Security+ may benefit from what they learn in the cybersecurity certificate," Backherms said.
Minimum Hardware Requirements
PC (Windows OS)
Apple (Mac OS)
Currently supported operating system from Microsoft.
Currently supported operating system from Apple.
8GB or higher
8GB or higher
100GB or higher
100GB or higher
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
SNHU Purchase Programs
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
- Laptop or desktop? Whichever you choose depends on your personal preference and work style, though laptops tend to offer more flexibility.
- Note: Chromebooks (Chrome OS) and iPads (iOS) do not meet the minimum requirements for coursework at SNHU. These offer limited functionality and do not work with some course technologies. They are not acceptable as the only device you use for coursework. While these devices are convenient and may be used for some course functions, they cannot be your primary device. SNHU does, however, have an affordable laptop option that it recommends: Dell Latitude 3301 with Windows 10.
- Office 365 Pro Plus is available free of charge to all SNHU students and faculty. The Office suite will remain free while you are a student at SNHU. Upon graduation you may convert to a paid subscription if you wish. Terms subject to change at Microsoft's discretion. Review system requirements for Microsoft 365 plans for business, education and government.
- Antivirus software: Check with your ISP as they may offer antivirus software free of charge to subscribers.
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog
|Certificate in Cybersecurity
|Courses May Include
|Certificate in Cybersecurity Online
|Fundamentals of Information Technology
|Students will learn about the fundamental knowledge and skills required in the information technology (IT) field. While exploring the various roles and functions of IT professionals, students will engage with basic technologies, hardware, software, and a systems thinking approach to solving problems.
|Computer Operating Systems
|Students will explore the different features and components of common operating systems while learning how industry best practices and organizational requirements impact the selection, implementation, and maintenance of their operating systems. Students will also learn how to troubleshoot and solve computing problems common to an organizational environment.
|Introduction to Computer Networks
|Students will learn the basics of interconnectivity of computing systems. With fundamental networking knowledge, students will design a basic and secure computing environment that consists of a network, server, client system, and firewall.
|Gain familiarity with foundational cybersecurity concepts and terms. Learn the difference between adversarial and environmental threats and analyze how security practitioners respond to each. Explore legal and human factors and examine how they influence the development of organizational security strategies.
|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 assets. Analyze the impact of emerging technologies and evolving social trends on the field of cybersecurity.
|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 combat human-focused cyber attacks. Examine the legal and ethical aspects of individual privacy, acceptable use, and other social concerns.
|Total Credits: 18
Tuition & Fees
At SNHU, we’re committed to making education more accessible, by making it more affordable.
Beyond low tuition rates, we help our students save through transfer credits, credit for prior learning, grants and scholarships, tuition assistance and more. U.S. service members, both full and part time, as well as the spouses of those on active duty are also eligible for a 30% tuition discount.
This certificate is eligible for federal financial aid. Students seeking alternatives to federal financial aid can explore tuition assistance, grants and scholarships, as well as private loans. To learn more about private loans, visit our Funding Your Education with Student Loans page.
|Online Undergraduate Programs
|Per Credit Hour
|Cost for 18 credits
|Degree/Certificates (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 the military discount rate are not eligible for additional discounts.
Additional Costs: No Application Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is cybersecurity?
According to CyberSeek.org, cybersecurity encompasses the tools and techniques used to protect technology devices, the data they contain and the functions they perform from people who want to steal, damage or misuse them.
As our world has become increasingly digital, cybersecurity is a critical component of personal, organizational and national security strategies to protect against cybercrimes like unauthorized access (commonly referred to as hacking) and data theft.
Learn more about the importance of cybersecurity.
Can I get certified in cybersecurity online?
Make sure you’re not confusing certificates with industry certifications. Even though they sound similar, a certification is usually awarded by a professional association or independent organization after passing rigorous and technical exams. On the other hand, a certificate – like SNHU’s online Certificate in Cybersecurity – is an educational credential awarded by a college or university.
Another difference is that certificates typically do not expire, whereas certifications are often time-based and must be renewed when they expire.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career and don’t yet have a college degree, certificate programs can help you gain the skills for an entry-level position.
If you already have a degree but want to advance your skills in a particular area, certificate programs can help you remain competitive in the workforce.
Even if you plan to get a specialized certification, it can be a good idea to get an academic certificate.
"Our certificate program can enhance your credibility in the job market," said Dr. Dennis Backherms, technical program facilitator for cybersecurity at SNHU.
Is a cybersecurity certificate worth it?
A cybersecurity certificate could be a worthy investment for several reasons. First, it's affordable. SNHU's online tuition rates are already some of the lowest in the nation. But when you also consider that our Certificate in Cybersecurity requires only 18 credits to complete, you'll save even more.
That's not even factoring in how quickly you can finish – as a full-time student (2 courses per term), you can complete all 6 certificate courses in just over 6 months. And, if you decide to continue your education, we also offer a seamless transfer pathway to a 2-year or 4-year program. Our AS in Cybersecurity and BS in Cybersecurity, for example, build upon the cybersecurity certificate perfectly.
Another benefit is that professionals with cybersecurity skills are in high demand. Through 2032, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 32% growth rate for information security analyst jobs – far above the national average for all occupations.2
Choosing a certificate program from a reputable and accredited institution is important as well. Accreditation ensures that the program meets specific educational standards and is recognized by employers.
"By understanding the industry demand, reviewing the curriculum and ensuring the program's accreditation, you'll be able to make an informed decision about pursuing a certificate in cybersecurity that aligns with your career goals," said Dr. Dennis Backherms, technical program facilitator for cybersecurity at SNHU.
Can I get a cybersecurity job with a certificate?
SNHU's Cybersecurity Certificate can help you build skills employers want to see, or can stack into our AS and BS programs to further your education. Whichever route you choose, the job outlook in the information security field is projected to grow over the next 10 years.2
"A cybersecurity certificate from a reputable university can add credibility to your resume," said Dr. Dennis Backherms, technical program facilitator for cybersecurity at SNHU. "Employers often recognize and value certificates from established institutions, which can enhance job prospects."
How much does a cybersecurity certificate cost?
The cost of a cybersecurity certificate can vary widely depending on the institution you attend and the length of the program you choose. The research shows that SNHU's cybersecurity certificate is one of the most affordable on the market at $5,940 in tuition. That’s 18 college credits for under $6k, and it’s 100% transferrable into an SNHU associate or bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity, saving you even more time and money if you decide to continue your education.
If you enroll full time (2 courses per term), you should be able to finish in just over 6 months. For part-time students (1 course per term), it could take about a year. The good news is, you can switch from full time to part time and back again as often as you need.
Regardless of cost, you'll want to make sure the program you choose is accredited. Accreditation ensures that the program meets specific educational standards desirable to employers.
Sources & Citations (1, 2, 3)
1 ISACA.org, on the internet, at https://www.isaca.org/resources/news-and-trends/newsletters/atisaca/2023/volume-13/tracking-the-evolving-cybersecurity-jobs-landscape-for-2023 (viewed Nov. 28, 2023)
2 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/information-security-analysts.htm#tab-1 (viewed Nov. 28, 2023). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
3 CyberSeek.org, on the internet, at https://www.cyberseek.org/pathway.html (viewed Nov. 28, 2023)