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Top 10 Computer Forensics Degree Programs for 2020

If you’re thinking about getting a computer forensics degree online, you’re making a smart move. Also known as cyber forensics, the field of computer forensics is on the rise. While the field has been around for decades, shows like Law and Order and CSI have opened the world of computer forensics to people everywhere. Colleges that offer computer forensics degrees are seeing an increase in applications, so it’s a good idea to make your move now. Getting your online computer forensics degree is a great way to learn new, career-advancing skills on your own time.

Getting an online computer forensics degree is a great idea for nontraditional students, people who want to advance their career while also taking care of a family, and for anyone who learns better outside of the traditional classroom environment. Getting your degree online allows you to learn on your own time, at your own pace. 

Our Process: Ranking the Best Online Computer Forensics Degrees

For students who want to advance their careers, or move into a computer forensics career, Criminal Justice Degree Hub editors have ranked the best computer forensic degrees online. Editors considered only accredited, reputable institutions, ranking them according to the Tuition Cost, Student Satisfaction, and Salary Expectations, using data from Niche, IPEDS, and College Scorecard. 

1. Purdue University Global

The decision to pursue an online degree in computer forensics allows you to focus on your career goals. The Computer Forensics Post-baccalaureate Certificate from Purdue offers students the chance to learn to use computer forensics software and appropriate strategies for the detection of hacking or other computer-related crimes. The program offers the opportunity to prepare for appropriate tests and exams related to the computer forensics field to enhance student career opportunities.

Purdue University Global differs from other schools by preparing students for three computer forensic exams. Students will be able to take the CompTIA Network, CompTIA Security, and the EnCase Certified Examiner exams after completing the certification. The exams offer professional designations that allow students to take on specific roles within a company or government agency with a focus on computer forensics. Purdue University Global allows students to start taking courses for computer forensic certification four times each year.

Degree: Computer Forensics Postbaccalaureate Certificate

2. Penn State World Campus

When you are looking into computer forensic degrees online, the Bachelor of Science in Security and Risk Analysis with an option to study Information and Cyber Security at Penn State World Campus is a good option for your goals. The degree program focuses on identifying data breaches, phishing, or other cybersecurity threats to a company or government agency. Students learn to identify potential risks, address the underlying problems, and prevent future attacks through appropriate software and forensic tools.

A key way Penn State World Campus stands out is the focus on flexibility within the program. The school has offered online courses for more than ten years and has experience developing classwork and assignments that help students stay motivated and engaged in the material. The school also has a long history of providing an excellent education to students on-campus for more than 100 years. The school provides the same high-quality education to students who take online courses. Penn State World Campus is recognized by U.S. News and World Reports as one of the best online schools for its bachelor’s degree programs.

Degree: BS in Security and Risk Analysis – Information and Cyber Security Option

3. National University

The online degree in computer forensics from National University prepares students for the challenges of identifying risks to a computer network as well as measures to address breaches, malware, or other potential problems. The bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity with a concentration in Digital Forensics focuses on providing students with the skills they need to prevent a security breach as well as the ethical standards that apply to the cybersecurity industry.

National University differs from other schools by offering accelerated courses and year-round options to start a degree program. Students can finish a class in four weeks, which allows students to complete a bachelor’s degree in a short amount of time. Due to the one-month class schedule, the school also allows students to transfer credits or start a new degree at multiple times throughout the year. That gives students the flexibility to work on a degree when they have time. National University offers tuition discounts to active-duty military servicemen and women, as well as their children. It is considered a military-friendly university.

Degree: BS in Cybersecurity – Digital Forensics

4. Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State University offers a BS in Digital and Cyber Forensic Engineering Technology degree that prepares students to work in the computer forensics industry. The degree program focuses on collecting and preserving digital evidence of a crime to ensure that a company is able to report the problem. Students may also work on computer forensics within the government or through a law enforcement agency.

Sam Houston State University allows students to transfer into the bachelor’s degree program and continue working on developing computer forensic skills for a career in law enforcement. It recognizes the potential challenges that may arise when working with modern technology and prepares students for the rigors of up-to-date strategies to address risks to a company or government agency. Sam Houston State University offers a variety of scholarships for students in the Digital and Cyber Forensic Engineering Technology program through the school.

Degree: BS in Digital and Cyber Forensic Engineering Technology

5. Pace University

When looking at computer forensic degrees online, you may notice the program at Pace University. The BS in Professional Technology Studies with a concentration in Computer Forensics prepares students for the challenges they may face when working in cybersecurity. The program offers a strong foundation in information technology and teaches students the specialized skills they need to work in forensics. It also offers classes in criminal justice to help students understand the role of law enforcement in computer forensics.

Pace University takes a holistic approach to the study of computer forensics. It recognizes that students may need to understand information technology, programming, and related skills to evaluate risks and take measures to prevent cyber crimes. It also gives students a strong foundation in criminal justice to ensure they are able to provide appropriate evidence for a case when working in law enforcement. Pace University teaches students how to address risks associated with tablets, phones, and other mobile devices.

Degree: BS in Professional Technology Studies – Computer Forensics

6. Stevenson University

Stevenson University offers a BS in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics online that prepares students to handle the challenges of modern cyber crimes. The degree program recognizes that the number of cyber crimes is rising and it takes measures to prepare students to handle the problems that may arise as technology changes and improves. It teaches students to recognize a data breach, malware attacks, and hacking attempts so that they are ready to address the underlying problems, trace attacks, and prevent future risks.

The way Stevenson University differs from other online programs is the focus on convenience. The online degree works around the needs of working adults and allows students to complete work at their own pace. The faculty has real-world experience from working in law enforcement or corporate settings to give students a clear view of how to apply the skills they learn in a real-world environment. Stevenson University provides a supportive community to online students to ensure each student has personalized attention and help when developing their educational goals.

Degree: BS in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics

7. University of the Potomac

The University of the Potomac offers a BS in Cybersecurity and Policy that prepares students to address risks within a company or corporation. The degree program teaches students to design networks that are able to reflect the potential security risks associated with using the Internet. The degree program also focuses on teaching students how to develop policies and protocols for a company to take countermeasures against threats and security risks. 

The University of the Potomac offers a well-rounded view of cybersecurity and the solutions available to address potential problems within the industry. It recognizes that students must know how to address a data breach and provide evidence to appropriate authorities as well as the processes used to prevent attacks on a company or agency. The University of the Potomac offers four concentrations in Cybersecurity and Policy that cater to specific industries.

Degree: BS in Cybersecurity and Policy

8. University of Advancing Technology

The University of Advancing Technology offers a BS in Technology Forensics that focuses on preparing students to investigate and analyze network data for security breaches and related risks. The degree program focuses on ensuring that students are able to work in a variety of environments, including government agencies, law enforcement, and the military. It provides a well-rounded view of online security threats and the measures students can take to mitigate a threat.

The University of Advancing Technology is a military-friendly school that offers financial aid and assistance to military veterans and active-duty servicemen and women. The online degree program offers flexibility to allow active-duty members of the military to obtain a bachelor’s degree while keeping up with their orders. It allows students to work on the degree when they have time and advance in their military career or to move into a civilian lifestyle. The University of Advancing Technology is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission for its technology forensics degree.

Degree: BS in Technology Forensics

9. Robert Morris University

Robert Morris University offers a BS in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics that gives students the skills they need to detect an intrusion into a network and respond to the situation. It also teaches students the appropriate measures to prevent a security breach in the future. The bachelor’s degree prepares students to work in law enforcement, private organizations, or government agencies.

The way Robert Morris University stands out is the flexibility of the digital forensics program. The school offers on-campus and online classes that allow students to work at their own pace. Students can take online classes to keep up with long-term goals when addressing concerns related to personal and professional obligations. They also have the option to study on-campus if they prefer the traditional environment for study. Robert Morris University is ABET-accredited under the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET for the digital forensics program.

Degree: BS in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics

10. Regent University

Regent University offers a BS in Cyber and Digital Forensics degree program online that combines technology and digital forensic studies with criminal justice studies to prepare students for a law enforcement position or working in a government agency. The degree program ensures that students are able to handle the challenges of addressing the threat of a security breach in a modern work environment.

Regent University takes a Christian approach to studies. The school sets high standards for student behavior and teaches students ethics from a Christian perspective. It gives students an interesting view of digital forensics while still focusing on the relevant skills that apply to modern technology. Regent University is one of the best online programs in Virginia with a degree program in cyber and digital forensics.

Degree: BS in Cyber and Digital Forensics

Should I Get a Computer Forensics Degree Online?

Many schools offer lower tuition rates to students who fulfill all of their class requirements online. You’ll also want to talk with your employer to find out if they offer a tuition reimbursement program to help you pay for your online computer forensics degree. When you get your computer forensics degree online, you become a desired asset to many law enforcement organizations at the local, state, and federal levels. Finding colleges that offer computer forensics degree is becoming easier than ever, due to the growing popularity of the field.

What Will I Learn in a Computer Forensics Program?

When researching how to get a degree in computer forensics, it’s important that you understand what you’ll learn while you’re getting your degree. The goal of a computer forensics expert is to examine and investigate digital evidence associated with crimes. In most cases, a computer forensics analyst will make a digital copy of computer-based evidence (keeping a close watch on the evidence chain). Using the copy, the analyst will search every corner of the device for digital evidence related to the crime. This can include deleted files, encrypted files, hidden pictures, and more.

As you research more about how to get a degree in computer forensics, it’s likely that you’ll notice computer forensics degree requirements change. Since the field is constantly changing, so are computer forensics degree requirements. By getting your degree in computer forensics now, you’re getting into the field at a time when pivotal changes are being made in technology.

What Can I Do with a Computer Forensics Degree?

While computer forensics jobs sound like a cool idea, it’s important to understand what you’ll actually do at digital forensics jobs. There are many different careers in digital forensics. A forensics computer analyst works to investigate digital equipment associated with crimes. The computer analyst job description often includes working with detectives, finding and presenting evidence, participating in continuing education to stay on top of trends in the field, and educating law enforcement professionals on how to preserve digital data at a crime scene. A forensics computer analyst may work odd hours, with scheduling contingent on the needs of the police force. 

The computer forensic investigator description is similar and may include naming and interviewing suspects based on the digital evidence found. Both the computer analyst job description and the computer forensic investigator job description include the importance of tech know-how, communication, and investigative skills. People who have computer forensics jobs are in high demand. Careers in digital forensics are expected to be on the rise in the coming decade. If you’re looking for a career with staying power, digital forensics jobs are the right move.

How Much Can I Make in Computer Forensics?

If you’re wondering about your computer forensics career salary, that’s a good thing. When you’re thinking about going back to school to get your degree, it’s important to consider how you’ll benefit after you graduate. Your computer forensics career salary can depend on many factors, including how much work experience you had before you earned your degree, your GPA while you earned your degree, and the area in which you live.

Here’s a look at some of the potential salaries you can expect to make after you finish your computer forensics degree. Computer forensic analyst salary on average is $69,000. Computer forensics and security salary, forensic computer examiner salary, and computer forensic scientist salary all come in around $96,000. The computer forensics investigator salary is one of the highest salaries in the field, with the average computer forensics investigator salary coming in around $98,000. Whether you’re interested in earning a computer forensic analyst salary, a computer forensics and security salary, a forensic computer examiner salary, a computer forensic scientist salary, or a computer forensics investigator salary, you’ll be doing parts of the same important work: using your tech knowledge to catch people engaging in illegal activities.

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Criminaljusticedegreehub.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.