California Cybersecurity Degree Programs

Written by Laurie VanderWal
Laurie VanderWal, Master's of Arts in Management (Bellevue University), cybersecurity and compliance/insurance specialist.
Last reviewed March 7, 2024
School Program Admissions
University of California, Berkeley Master’s in Cybersecurity
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California Cybersecurity Degrees Overview

There are over a dozen different schools with a cybersecurity degree in California, including online Master's in Cyber Security programs at universities such as the University of California Berkeley.

Are there online cybersecurity degrees in California?

Yes, there are online cybersecurity degrees programs at California universities, at multiple levels. Many people are now considering an online cybersecurity program in particular for their graduate degree in cybersecurity, and California has plenty of options. The online Masters in Cybersecurity degree is the most popular offered in an entirely online format. For example, the University of California Berkeley has an online Master of Cybersecurity degree.

Jump to list of campus and online California cybersecurity degrees.

Are there NSA CAE designated cyber security degrees in California?

Yes. Here is a list of California universities that are NSA CAE Designated Institutions and have a cybersecurity degree.

Why consider NSA CAE Designated Institutions for cyber security in California?

In order to be assured that students are receiving quality education to become a top cybersecurity professional, it is important to look for universities and programs that are recognized by the National Centers of Academic Excellence. This is a joint accreditation partnership between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA). Designations are divided up into the following designations: cyber defense for undergraduate and graduate programs, cyber defense for associate degrees and certifications, cyber defense research, and cyber operations. All schools must reapply for this recognition every five years in order to establish the program's proficiency in cybersecurity education.

In Depth Review of the Best Online Master's in Cyber Security Degrees in California

University of California - Berkeley - Online Master of Information and Cybersecurity

The University of California-Berkeley has an online Master of Information and Cybersecurity (MICS). Students will have a strong understanding in national security, cryptography, legal and ethical issues within security, and engineering a secure network. The curriculum consists of nine courses that can be completed in 20 months. There is a required on-campus residency or at a related location approved by the program. The course management system is through the I School, and it offers on-demand coursework access around the clock, personal coaching, and continuously updated educational resources after graduation.

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University of Southern California Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering

This cyber security engineering degree focus supports students looking to move on after graduation and obtain a doctorate with a concentration in information security. Admission application submission includes transcripts, a resume, and a personal statement. Students should review each university for details on admission and any English requirements. There are a total of 28 units to graduate and a minimum GPA of 3.0 is required. Tuition is affordable and the same whether a student chooses the classroom experience or the online platform option.

Coursework is designed to offer the fundamentals of developing, engineering, and the operation of securing information systems. Students learn how workplace policy drives technical decision making and it is showcased in this graduate program. Hands-on real-world case studies are designed by industry professionals with backgrounds as information security practitioners. It is a specialized degree for students looking to lead a team that designs the computer network operation for security. Challenging content and topics on cybersecurity are taught along with the skill set needed to secure networks using tools like cryptography and key management.

Coursework Highlights

California State Polytechnic University - Ponoma Masters of Science in Information Security

Computer system security is at the forefront of all cybersecurity degrees. This Master's degree program is specialized for professionals looking to pursue careers in computer forensics, auditing, and information security. The coursework is for a 2-year program and is classroom oriented. Live classroom attendance is required one night per week. The admissions is general, so prepare a resume, and personal statement, and preferably students will have an undergraduate degree in Information Systems or a related field. International students should review English and other general requirements for application submission. The coursework is technical in nature, so students may need to take additional undergraduate courses if the experience is lacking. There are 10 courses in the program and 1 comprehensive exam. The program falls under the College of Business Administration. A unique option in this graduate study is the ability to take a course more than once and receive additional credit for the same course. It is a confirmation that the cyber arena is advancing rapidly.

Coursework Highlights

University of California - Irvine Online Information Systems Security

Another online option is completing a certification from the University of California-Irvine. They offer an Information Systems Security certificate that can be completed in as little as nine months if the courses are available - options will change in each of the four quarters. This program is for already-established professionals that need to gain specific certification to change or advance in their career. Required courses in the program include an Introduction to Cyber Security, Secure Systems, and Security Architecture and Design. Graduates from this program will be prepared for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional exam.

UC Irvine also has a cybersecurity certificate and boot camp

The cybersecurity threat continues evolving and UC-Irvine undergraduate curriculum continues to be re-evaluated and upgraded to include the most current cybersecurity resources and coursework in the state. Each set of curricula achieve the goals for both beginners joining the fight against cyber-crime and experienced IT professionals looking for a specific set of knowledge and skills. Professionals working in software development that require certifications like a Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) certification find the course work supports testing preparation for the CISSP. The tuition for both programs are affordable. Both have accelerated formats. The certificate can be completed within 9-15 months and just 24 weeks to graduate from the Cybersecurity Boot Camp. The Boot Camp is a part-time multidisciplinary approach to cyber security and is an intense concentrated program. Graduating students gain knowledge on working with internet or application service providers (ISP or ASP), system integrators, or security auditors and should achieve a skill level for future employment within the cyber arena.

Students develop a set of best practices for cybersecurity that can be transferred to the workplace for real-world application against cyber-crime. Risk management, cryptography, vulnerability assessment as well as ethical hacking techniques round out the courses in Cybersecurity Boot Camp. Admissions to the program are easily attainable by anyone.

Certificate Coursework Highlights

Boot Camp Course Highlights

California State University - San Bernardino (CSUSB) Online Master's of Science in Cybersecurity and Analytics

Data can be a friend or foe in this complicated cyber arena. When a loss of data occurs, the industry needs highly skilled professionals to mediate cyber crime, hacking events, or even staff error that caused a cyber event. CSUSB has a concentrated Master's of Science degree in Cybersecurity and Analytics and is available online for graduate students. Network security courses are continue foundations learned in under graduate courses on protecting data from loss. Risk assessment and management can change weekly. Topics and content in these areas are a focus of the Master's program. Six hours of coursework continue to assess current issues and discuss new cyber threats. New cybersecurity tools are being created which lead to intensive interactive classroom training while managing the threat of continued cyber disruption on business. As the threat of electronically generated data increases, so does the need for visual and fundamental data analytic techniques. Students can become proficient in data analytics.

Admissions are similar to other Master's programs with undergraduate completion requirements; necessary transcripts; a personal statement, a resume, and letters of recommendation. English proficiency is required and a business aptitude requirement must be met. The program requires a 30 semester hours minimum to graduate including 21 at CSUSB and the hours must be at an advanced level coursework schedule. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 for graduation is necessary. The university has been designated both a CAE-CD and CAE-C.

Coursework Highlights

Note on Masters in Cybersecurity programs admission requirements

Pursuing a higher-level program, such as a Master's degree, in cybersecurity will have many requirements for admission. Holding an undergraduate degree, typically a Bachelor's degree, with a cumulative 3.0 GPA is at least recommended. Higher scores are especially beneficial in the later years of the program. Prior coursework should be completed in multiple levels of calculus and computer programming. In some cases, entrance exam scores, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), will need to be submitted, or they will be optional and prospective students can use them to enhance their application.

Review of undergraduate cybersecurity degree programs in California

Most online cybersecurity degrees in California are at the Masters level, but there are multiple options for associates and bachelors in cybersecurity degrees.

California State University - San Bernardino online Bachelors program

Within the undergraduate selections, the Bachelors of Science in Information Systems Technology has options within Cybersecurity and Intelligence, and there is a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with an option in Crime Analysis with Proficiency in Cybersecurity. The latter of these options requires 37 credit hours to complete with required courses in Cyber Defense, Computer Forensics, Information Networking and Security, and there is an option to complete an internship.

Coastline College Cybersecurity Center

The Coastline College Cybersecurity Center has a number of associate degrees and certification selections. The Associate of Science in Cybersecurity requires 60 credit units to complete and it aids the graduate in starting their career at an entry-level position. Education will consist of an in-depth look at security within the Windows and Linux operating systems, Python programming, how to protect private information through the internet, and firewall protection. Examples of the Certifications of Accomplishment, which requires up to 12 credit units to complete, include Cybersecurity Fundamentals, IT Foundation, and Penetration Testing.

Featured online cybersecurity programs:

List of the best cyber security degrees in California

Undergraduate Cybersecurity Degrees

Click to view all online Associate and Bachelor in Cyber Security degrees that are taking applications.

School Program City
California State Polytechnic University - Pomona
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science: Cyber Security Career Focus Pomona
California State Polytechnic University - Pomona
Computer Information Systems Undergraduate Program: Information Assurance Track Pomona
California State University - San Bernardino
B.A. Criminal Justice: Crime Analysis, Technical Proficiency Cyber Security San Bernardino
California State University - San Bernardino
B.S. Information Systems & Technology: Cyber Security Intelligence San Bernardino
City College of San Francisco
2 Year Cyber Security Program San Francisco
Coastline Community College
Associate of Science in Cybersecurity Fountain Valley
Cypress College
Associate of Science in Cyber Defense Cypress
Long Beach City College
2 Year Cyber Security Program Long Beach
Los Medanos College
Networking and Security AAS Pittsburg
MiraCosta College
Associate of Science in Cybersecurity Oceanside
Ohlone College
2 Year Cyber Security Program Fremont
Palomar College
Associate of Science in Cybersecurity San Marcos
Sacramento City College
Associate in Science in Information Systems Security Sacramento

California Graduate Cybersecurity Degrees

School Program Admissions
Pace University Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity Website
Maryville University Master of Science in Cybersecurity Website
University of California, Berkeley Master’s in Cybersecurity Website
University of West Florida Online Master's in Cybersecurity Website
Syracuse University Master of Science in Cybersecurity Website
Arizona State University Online Master of Computer Science - Cybersecurity Website
Utica University Online MS in Cybersecurity Website
Fairleigh Dickinson University Master of Science in Cyber and Homeland Security Website
Stevens Institute of Technology Master of Science in Computer Science Website
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Click to view all online Graduate level Cyber Security degrees (Master and Doctorate) that are taking applications.

School Program City
California State Polytechnic University - Pomona
Master of Science in Computer Science: Cyber Security Career Focus Pomona
California State University - Dominguez Hills
Master of Science in Cyber Security (MSCY) Carson
California State University - San Bernardino
Master of Business Administration: Cybersecurity Focus San Bernardino
California State University - San Bernardino
Master of Public Administration: Cyber Security Concentration San Bernardino
California State University - San Bernardino
Master of Science: National Security Studies: Cybersecurity Concentration San Bernardino
Naval Postgraduate School
M.S. in Computer Science, Cyber Systems and Operations Specialization Monterey
Naval Postgraduate School
Ph.D. in Computer Science (may elect Computer Systems and Security specialization) Monterey
San Jose State University
Master of Science in Software Engineering: Cybersecurity Concentration San Jose
University of California-Davis
Ph.D. in Computer Science: Information Assurance Focus Davis
University of San Diego
Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering San Diego
University of the Pacific
Master of Science in Cybersecurity Stockton
Notice a missing or inaccurate program? Our data is hand-collected and edited. If you notice a missing data science program, please contact us on our About page to request a cybersecurity program to be reviewed or to adjust a current listing.

Getting Started Working in Cyber Security in California

Obtaining a cybersecurity degree in California is important when it comes to beginning a career with competition in the growing industry. There are plenty of NSA-designated programs at various education levels in the state of California, with some universities having programs available online for additional flexibility. Regardless of getting foundational education or pursuing further education to advance or change an established career, there are a large variety of choices in the state where companies are focused on enhancing their cybersecurity efforts.

Courses can be offered in synchronous format, where students can watch lectures remotely and participate in a virtual classroom, or they can watch on-demand videos of recorded lectures from the professor. Coursework can usually be done at any time of the day, and this will either be done at the students’ own pace or they will need to meet weekly deadlines to keep up with the rest of the class. All communication is done through the university’s content management system, with tools such as chat rooms, discussion boards, and instant messaging.

California Cyber Security Careers

According to CompTIA, the largest sector of tech occupations is among software and web developers in California, with cybersecurity analysts coming in second. Nearly 9.4 percent of all workers in the state represent the tech industry, which is over 1.78 million people, and the average salary for tech employees is over $96,200. Much of this opportunity is centered around Silicon Valley and its massive growth with established tech giants and numerous startups. Specific to cybersecurity, the salary range for a typical analyst falls between $77,763 to $108,998, and the higher-paying opportunities are located in places like Santa Clara, San Jose, and Mountain View.

California Cybersecurity Employment Options

There are many cybersecurity positions available in the state’s biggest cities – San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Plenty of opportunities exist at some of the largest tech firms in the world, such as Apple, Facebook, and Cisco. An IT compliance analyst at Cisco works with a performance monitoring solution in order to create a successful governance process. Tasks include training others and providing information to other employees on governance and risk, auditing IT controls, and improve compliance across the IT sector.

Top Cyber Security and Tech Employers and Organizations in California

Simplicit Technologies is an information technology service provider that is located both in the Los Angeles and New York locations. They provide traditional services in this category, managing network security, data backup solutions, and disaster recovery for their clients. Some of the operations within network security includes implementing and maintaining enterprise-level firewalls, blocking out any vulnerable software and blocking viruses and malware that can infiltrate the system, and provides reports on various activities to determine any potential problems in the future. They have partnerships with some of the biggest tech companies in the world, including Microsoft, Google, Cisco, and Trend Micro.

The Cyber Defense Group was created in 2016 in Los Angeles to help create the solution for more cybersecurity consulting options, giving companies the tools and knowledge needed to protect themselves from internet attacks. They work with organizations to determine if they are following the California Consumer Privacy Act and protecting people’s identification and information securely, and if they are meeting General Data Protection Regulation if they have any business with the European Union.