Cyber Security Degrees in Nebraska
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA) have designated four different colleges and universities in Nebraska as National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) within the cyber security sector.
NSA CAE Designated Institutions for Cyber Security in Nebraska
These institutions have demonstrated their achievements in creating a program that will fully prepare their students to protect sensitive information on any network and to be proficient in determining any vulnerable areas and taking preventative measures to avoid any data breaches. There are plenty of opportunities in education and starting a career in Omaha, but there are some programs that can be taken online.
Here is a list of Nebraska cyber security degrees that are from NSA CAE Designated Institutions:
- Bellevue University
- Metropolitan Community College 2 Year Cyber Security Program
- Northeast Community College 2 Year Cyber Security Program
- University of Nebraska Omaha B.S. in Cybersecurity, Special Track in Cyber Operations
- University of Nebraska, Omaha
Online Cyber Security Programs in Nebraska
Bellevue University offers one of the few higher-level programs in Nebraska, the Master of Science in Cybersecurity, completely online. There is an alternative accelerated option for those that already have work experience and has obtained certification within information security.
The traditional format is also available on-campus. 36 credit hours are needed to complete the degree - 27 credits are required for all students and nine of those are reserved for electives. Example courses that are available to take as electives are Introduction to Cyber Ethics, Cyber-war and Cyber-deterrence, Cloud Computing, and Business Continuity and Recovery Planning.
Why Consider Studying Cyber Security Online?
Online programs are ideal for those that need more flexibility in their schedule and cannot commit to a full higher education program. For students to gain admittance into this program, they must possess a Bachelor's degree from an accredited university, or a Master's degree.
They must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher, or within the most recent 60 credits of coursework in their Bachelor's degree. Balancing a 3.0 GPA is required as the student completes the degree. Personal essays detailing career goals and letters of recommendation may be required.
Master's in Cyber Security Degrees in Nebraska
Omaha's lone Master of Science in Cybersecurity can be taken at the University of Nebraska. This is an established program that has been around since 2012 and students will select between the Systems or Management track to prepare for their career. The difference between the two are systems has a more technical approach with it, such as actually shutting down the vulnerability issues in a network and encrypting sensitive information. That focuses more on the computer science aspect, while the latter is best suited for those that have a background in management information systems. Regardless of choice, it will take 33 credit hours to complete.
Similar Masters Programs
There is a possibility to pursue a different Master's degree, either in computer science or management information systems, and select a cyber security concentration. This is an alternative approach for those that are interested in cyber security, but may not pursue a full career. Those taking the MS in Cybersecurity will also decide between finishing the program with a thesis or capstone project. Students are able to enroll into the program before the fall, spring, and summer terms. Some submissions required for admittance are three letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and an updated resume.
Getting Started Working in Cyber Security in Nebraska
With a handful of cyber security education opportunities in the state of Nebraska, there is enough variety from inexperienced newcomers in the IT sector up to mid-career professionals to get a footing into the cyber security industry. Omaha has a significant share of the jobs available in the state and the education available, but Bellevue is home to online opportunities and there is Northeast Community College in Norfolk.
- Undergraduate Degrees:
In addition to the graduate program Bellevue University offers, students are able to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity that can be completed on-campus or online. There are a total of 127 credit hours to complete the program, and students take an average rate of four years. Foundational courses will consist of how to use software tools and utilizing techniques to analyze risk and determine vulnerabilities, while also participating in investigations when an organization’s network becomes attacked. Required courses related to cyber security include Cyber Investigations and Forensics, Securing Access Control, and Introduction to Cyber Threats, Technologies, and Security.
- Masters and Continuing Education:
At the Department of Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis, students are able to pursue a graduate certificate in Information Assurance. Graduate certificates typically require the same admission standards as Master’s degrees, but they are a truncated version that focuses on the specialization exclusively. Information assurance will provide the skills needed to analyze risk when it comes to the hardware and software used in an organization’s network. Prerequisite needs for this certification include the completion of ethics in information systems, and systems development and management. The certificate requires 12 credit hours to complete, and the courses are Computer Security Management, Information Security Policy and Ethics, Security Risk Management and Assessment, and an elective option.
- Cyber Security Employment Options:
One of the top employers in the state is the Offutt Air Force Base located near Omaha. Owned by the Department of Defense, those interested in joining the military and have proper education can become systems administrators and engineers. Recent graduates have the ability to get trained in data management, monitoring weather information and migrating services to a cloud-based network.
Nebraska Cyber Security Careers
While the tech industry hovers slightly below the median in the state of Nebraska when compared to the rest of the United States, the amount of opportunities are growing. Various sectors, such as information tech services and engineering, have seen at least a 2 percent year-over-year boost based on CompTIA’s estimates. Information security analysts have a median salary of $84,540 and there are over 650 positions in the state – the majority of those landing in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Cyber Security and Tech Employers and Organizations
Omaha provides the largest amount of cyber security positions on the market in the state of Nebraska, with multiple opportunities at BNP Paribas, Bank of the West, and Perspecta. The latter provides services to the US government and has a connection with the Offutt Air Force Base. A cyber network defense operator will maintain and utilize the United States Strategic Command system at the base with duties to protect sensitive customer information, set up and monitor firewalls within the network to secure this information, and they will become subject matter experts for consulting and improvement purposes on specific hardware.