Cyber Security Degrees in Kansas
The state of Kansas has many institutions that are accredited as National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE), a joint collaboration between the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
NSA CAE Designated Institutions for Cyber Security in Kansas
This designation notes that the curriculum offered by these schools have gone through a rigorous review process and will provide thorough education for those looking to enter into the cyber security industry. A cyber defense certification has been given to popular public universities like Wichita State University and the University of Kansas, while Kansas State University specializes in cyber research.
Here is a list of Kansas cyber security degrees that are from NSA CAE Designated Institutions:
- Butler Community College 2 Year Cyber Security Program
- Fort Hays State University
- Johnson County Community College 2 Year Cyber Security Program
- Kansas State University
- University of Kansas
- Wichita State University
Online Cyber Security Programs in Kansas
Pursuing a degree online gives students the most flexibility when it comes to gaining an education, and those getting graduate degrees can easily continue working while taking classes later in the day or on weekends.
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.
Studying Cyber Security Online at Fort Hays State University
Fort Hays State University has a variety of programs available online, including the Master of Professional Studies with a concentration in Cybersecurity. Students can start the program in the spring, summer, or fall, as long as they meet the requirements of getting at least a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 undergraduate credit hours on their previous degree.
The Cyber Security specialization is through the Department of Informatics, so core courses will focus on research methods and professional topics in informatics. Courses that are in the field of cyber security include Penetration Testing, Advanced Routing, and Network Security - the latter course serving as preparation for the Cisco CCNA Security certification.
Master's in Cyber Security Degrees in Kansas
The Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at the University of Kansas has a concentration of Cyber Security in the disciplines of Master of Science in Computer Science and Master of Science in Computer Engineering. It is also available as a graduate certification for those looking at just the specific cyber security coursework. Students will gain the skills needed for cryptography, how to identify threats in a network, and learning the latest innovations in security. Other topics in the elective options include data mining, artificial intelligence, and working with wireless communication systems.
Gaining entry into a Master's program or the graduate certification requires students holding a Bachelor's degree in the field of computer science, three letters of recommendation, and at least two years of professional experience. Other submissions the school will need are official transcripts, updated resume, and a statement of purpose that details the goals of completing this higher education program.
Getting Started Working in Cyber Security in Kansas
There are a wealth of educational options in the state of Kansas to gain cyber security skills at any level. Those that are interested in pursuing programs on campus can look to the cities of El Dorado, Hays, Lawrence, Manhattan, Overland Park, and Wichita. Overland Park not only has the education, but are one of the top cities to find opportunities in the field, along with Kansas City.
- Undergraduate Degrees:
Wichita State University’s College of Engineering has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology with a concentration in Cybersecurity. The program requires 120 total credits to complete and there are many programs that are available online or at least in a hybrid format where face-to-face meetings are not always required. General education courses are common in the first few years, followed by foundational engineering courses. At the junior year, networking and engineering courses dominate the schedule.
The Butler Community College has an Associate in Applied Science for Cyber Security, providing students with the education necessary for entry-level positions and preparation in many industry certifications, such as CompTIA Network+ and Microsoft MCSA Windows 8. 60 total credits are needed to complete the degree, and the curriculum is divided up into 15 credits of general education and 45 credits related to the program. Some example courses are Information Technology Concepts, Principles of Information Assurance, and Digital Forensics. Incoming students should be proficient with computers. There is also a certification that will prepare students for the CompTIA certification exams.
- Masters and Continuing Education:
There are graduate education programs available at Fort Hays State University and the University of Kansas. Another option at FHSU is the concentration of Information Assurance Management for the Master of Professional Studies. Topics covered in the program include the core informatics courses, web security, risk management, securing the operating systems, and cyberspace law. The program culminates with a capstone project in informatics.
- Cyber Security Employment Options:
Overland Park and Kansas City are the most popular destinations to get a job in cyber security. Waddell and Reed is a financial services company that has its headquarters in Overland Park and has numerous cyber security positions, including risk and compliance. Cerner Corporation offers health information solutions and services and is headquartered in Kansas City, and there are multiple cyber security opportunities when it comes to protecting sensitive information in health care.
Kansas Cyber Security Careers
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts make an annual mean wage of $86,160, with that ranging between $52,010 to $125,670 on the extreme ends of the spectrum. Around 760 positions exist in the state, and most of that is spread out. When looking for job opportunities, Overland Park, Kansas City, and Wichita are frequent destinations that have availability.
Cyber Security and Tech Employers and Organizations
The Kansas City Cyber Security Conference is an annual event that takes place at the Overland Park Convention Center. This is limited to IT professionals and features keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities with other workers. Another opportunity to gain networking opportunity and additional skills in cyber security is going to SecKC, a hacking event that is also in the Kansas City and Overland Park locations.
- Cyber Defense CAE-CD