Cybersecurity Degrees and Careers Indiana Guide

Learn About Studying Cyber Security in Indiana, Requirements and Job Growth Careers Guide

Indiana is centrally located in the US. This gives it a prime opportunity to provide cyber security education to college students who will be able to secure jobs close by upon graduation. Several of the universities and colleges in Indiana report a 97% success rate for students gaining employment or being accepted into a graduate program within six months of getting a bachelor's degree. Many areas of the state have a need for cyber security professionals.

Why an Advanced Degree in Indiana is Needed

The cyber security industry by its nature typically requires a degree of some kind, and if you plan to have a career in this field, you should be prepared to get an advanced degree. Indiana is a hub of activity in transportation and other industries, all of which need cyber security workers. The available jobs can sometimes be inundated with applications, creating fierce competition. An advanced degree can give you an edge over those with only an associate.

The available types of degrees in cyber security are:

  • Associate
  • Bachelor's
  • Master’s
  • PhD
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Indiana Cyber Security Education Degrees & Requirements

Associate’s Degree

Throughout Indiana, an associate degree is obtained through either a community college or an online school program. An associate degree typically takes two years to complete, however, it can be done more quickly if you attend year-round or take more than an average course load online or on campus.

For admission, you will need transcripts from your last school (whether high school or college); there might be immunization requirements, depending on the year you were born; and some schools might require placement testing for some of the core subjects.

Courses at this level might include:

  • Introduction to Cyber Security
  • Introduction to Network Systems
  • Coding 101

Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor's degree generally takes four years to complete, depending on how many classes you complete each semester and whether or not you attend year round.

Three ways exist to get a bachelor's degree:

  • Get your associate degree from a community college and then transfer into a four-year university to finish the final two years
  • Start as a freshman at the four-year university and complete your four-year program.
  • Attend an accredited online college that offers a bachelor's degree in cyber security

Admissions will be the same as community college admissions if you are entering ta four-year school as a freshman. For those of you who enter after obtaining an associate degree, you’ll need transcripts from your community college. You will also likely need to provide your test scores from the ACT or SAT, and many four-year colleges have stricter GPA standards than community colleges, meaning, if you didn’t do well in school you might not get in easily, or you will be required to take remedial courses.

Master’s Degree

A master’s degree takes approximately 18 months to two years to complete after you get your bachelor's. Both online and on campus programs are offered. Entry into a master’s program usually has more stringent requirements than bachelor’s degree programs. You’ll need to have already completed a bachelor’s degree, provide your transcripts, meet certain GPA requirements, provide test scores for the GRE or GMAT, and some programs will require that you turn in a resume showing a certain amount of work experience to even be considered.

Certifications in Indiana

Certification programs allow you to quickly complete core subjects geared to cyber security, without typically requiring any general education classes. Some certification programs will require that you pass a basic reading and math assessment to ensure you are able to keep up with the certification classes. Depending on the program they can be completed in 9 months to 2 years. While colleges and universities offer some certifications, they are often used as continuing education to combat deficiencies in knowledge within an ever-changing field. Other certifications are available for specific programs, such as Microsoft and Cisco. What type of certification you are looking for depends on whether you are looking to expand your skillset, shift into a new position (from IT to cyber security for example), or just continue your education in order to maintain top skills.

Why is Accreditation Important?

Accreditation is important because employers need to know that you have been educated at a college that met standardized, rigorous educational benchmarks. This means the standards of education are trustworthy. In addition, if you want to transfer credits from one college to another you will need the first school to be accredited, or the credits will not be accepted.

There are more than 161 colleges and universities in Indiana that hold accreditation.

Universities in Indiana get accreditation through one of the following agencies:

  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
  • Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training
  • Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Council on Occupational Education
  • Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • Higher Learning Commission

Regional accreditation is the most accepted form of accreditation in general; in Indiana it is offered by the Higher Learning Commission and you should not attend a school which is not accredited by this group. However, there are also programs in Indiana that hold the distinction of being recognized as National Centers for Academic Excellence (CAE). This recognition is different than accreditation. It is given by the US National Security Agency and focuses on examining standards of cyber security programs at the university. The program gives its stamp of approval to the school's cyber security education program and is the gold standard in programmatic accreditation for cyber security.

CAE Accredited Programs in Indiana

  • Indiana University
    CAE-CD / 2014-2021
    CAE-R / 2014-2021
  • Ivy Tech Community College
    CAE-2Y / 2017-2022
  • Purdue University
    CAE-R / 2019-2024
  • Purdue University Northwest
    CAE-CD / 2019-2024
  • Purdue University Global
    CAE-CD / 2020-2025

Computer Science or IT Programs in Indiana

  • Indiana University – Bloomington

    The facility at Bloomington opened its doors in 1820. According to school statistics, 95% of the students graduating from this college say they feel confident that they were taught work-related skills to prepare them for the job market in their chosen field of study.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Master’s Degree
    Computer Science – Bachelor’s, Master’s & Doctorate Degrees
    Computer/Information Technology Services Administration and Management – Master’s Degree
    Informatics – Bachelor’s, Master’s & Doctorate Degrees

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $10,681
    Out-of-State: $35,456
    Average Net Price: $11,931
    College Retention Rate: 91% (Full-time Students); 61% (Part-time Students)

  • Valparaiso University

    Situated one hour outside of Chicago, this Lutheran-based university offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in areas of cyber security. In addition, there are several related postgraduate certificate programs available. The school was founded in 1859 and today, 97% of its overall graduates have jobs or are in graduate programs pursuing an advanced degree.

    Programs offered relating to cyber security:

    Computer Engineering – Bachelor's Degree
    Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Postgraduate Certificate
    Computer Programming/Programmer – Undergraduate Certificate
    Computer Science - Bachelor's Degree
    Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst – Undergraduate Certificate
    Computer/Information Technology Services Administration and Management – Postgraduate Certificate
    Information Technology – Master’s Degree & Postgraduate Certificate

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $40,260
    Average Net Price: $23,916
    College Retention Rate: 80% (Full-time Students)

  • Purdue University Northwest

    Purdue University Northwest was established in 2016 and as of May 2019, graduates receive degrees with Purdue University Northwest printed on them. The school has an overall acceptance rate of 58.7%. In addition to offering several programs that can open the door to a career in cyber security, while students are attending school, they can join the R.O.A.R Cyber Club.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer Science - Bachelor's & Master’s Degrees
    Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst – Bachelor’s Degree
    Information Technology – Bachelor’s Degree

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $7,691
    Out-of-State: $17,367
    Average Net Price: $9,747
    College Retention Rate: 69% (Full-time Students); 45% (Part-time Students)

  • Indiana University – Purdue University – Indianapolis

    The campus of this school is always active according to the school's website. With focus groups, town hall meetings, and other outlets for students to voice opinions, this 50 plus year old school offers several computer related degree programs.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer and Information Sciences – Master's Degree
    Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Undergraduate Certificate
    Computer Science – Bachelor’s, Master’s & Doctorate Degrees
    Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst – Undergraduate Certificate
    Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration – Postgraduate Certificate
    Informatics – Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate Degrees & Undergraduate Certificate
    Information Technology – Bachelor’s Degree & Undergraduate Certificate
    Computer Engineering Technology/Technician – Bachelor’s Degree

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $9,465
    Out-of-State: $29,821
    Average Net Price: $9,371
    College Retention Rate: 72% (Full-time Students); 46% (Part-time Students)

  • Taylor University

    Having opened its doors as an all-women’s college in 1848, this school is now co-ed. Among all universities and colleges in Indiana, Taylor University ranks second. Being a bible-based educational institution, the school includes worship, bible study, and other traditional Christian events throughout the campus.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer Science – Bachelor's Degree
    Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Bachelor’s Degree
    Computer Engineering – Bachelor's Degree
    Computer and Information Sciences – Bachelor’s Degree

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $34,114
    Out-of-State: $29,066
    Average Net Price: $25,382
    College Retention Rate: 86% (Full-time Students)

Scholarships

  • (ISC)2 Women’s Scholarships

    Amount: $1,000-$6,000
    Deadline: February 17
    Link: https://www.iamcybersafe.org/s/womens-scholarships
    This scholarship is for female students who have a goal of a degree in cyber security. On a 4.0 scale, applicants must have at least a 3.3 GPA. Applicants can be graduating high school students, undergraduates, graduate school students, or postgraduate students.

  • School of Informatics and Computing Graduate Assistantship

    Amount: $18,000 plus tuition discount
    Deadline: Varies
    Link: https://soic.iupui.edu/graduate/tuition-and-financial-aid/
    This is awarded to students who are pursuing a master’s degree in one of the cyber security or related fields. The student will work part-time during the week and receive a stipend, as well as reduced tuition each semester this is awarded.

  • (ISC)² Undergraduate Cybersecurity Scholarship

    Amount: $1,000-$5,000
    Deadline: February 24
    Link: https://iamcybersafe.org/s/undergraduate-scholarships
    This scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students or high school graduating students who have at least a 3.3 GPA and are going to study for a bachelor's degree in cyber security or a related field such as information systems or cyber forensics.

Conferences and Workshops

Indianapolis Cyber Security Conference

The goal of this annual conference is to continue working toward a safer cyber environment on a national and international level. Discussions and exhibits are focused on wireless security, social media security, email security, and USB drive security.

Link: https://www.gisec.ae/welcome

FutureCon: Indianapolis

FutureCon events are one day conferences throughout the nation, including Indianapolis. The day is jam-packed with education events and min-training seminars in a cross section of cyber security relevant topics.

Link: https://infosec-conferences.com/events-in-2019/futurecon-indianapolis/

CyberTech Midwest Conference

As one of the biggest cyber security conferences in the Midwest; promoters combine exhibits, educational events, and speakers to give attendees a well-rounded experience. In addition, there are several panelists recruited for panel discussions with the attendees.

Link: https://infosec-conferences.com/events-in-2020/cybertech-midwest/

Indiana Cyber Security Jobs and Salary

If you plan to stay in Indiana and work in cyber security following graduation, you should be able to break into the industry and start building your career without a lot of trouble. There are many computer-related positions that will lead you along the cyber security path, and for the most part, projected job growth overall in the computer industry in Indiana is looking good.

Anticipated job growth over the next few years in the Hoozier state include:

  • Software Developers, Applications - 36.6%
  • Computer Systems Analysts - 10.7%
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrators - 6.9%
  • Web Developers - 10.9%
  • Software Developers, Systems Software - 14.2%
  • Database Administrators - 9.9%
  • Computer Network Architects - 11.3%

Salaries

The average salary for a worker who held a bachelor's degree in 2018, was just over $59,000. The average salary for those in the computer-related professions, including cyber security, fare significantly better than that.

  • Computer and Information Research Scientists
    $107,150
  • Computer Systems Analysts
    $79,750
  • Information Security Analysts
    $80,080
  • Computer Programmers
    $80,850
  • Software Developers, Applications
    $88,570
  • Software Developers, Systems Software
    $90,850
  • Database Administrators
    $74,340
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrators
    $75,500
  • Computer Network Architects
    $88,210

Resources

  • Central Indiana Computer Information Systems Association
    This cyber security professional organization holds monthly meetings to share knowledge and tips about information security. The chapter promotes educational topics, speakers, and consulting.
    Link: https://ci-issa.org/
  • Indiana University Cybersecurity Clinic
    This clinic provides a hub for those in the area to come and learn how to keep their businesses, non-profits, and other entities safe from cyber-attacks. Business leaders, students, and others are encouraged to take part in the clinics when they are held. It is also a good network building opportunity.
    Link: https://www.cisomag.com/indiana-university-launches-cybersecurity-clinic-to-train-security-professionals/
  • Cyber Leadership Alliance
    This organization's goal is to utilize leaders from commercial, military, government, and academic sectors and promote innovative ways to collaborate with regard to cyber security trends, needs, and issues.
    Link: http://www.cyberleaders.org/
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