Cybersecurity Degrees and Careers Kansas Guide

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

Before the Internet age, bills were paid by checks in the mail, people went to the bank to cash their paychecks and withdraw money, and most shopping was done at the department store or the mall. But with the advent of web technology that allows people to do all these things on a device that fits in their pocket, and can be remotely accessed by those who know how, the need for security products is always increasing. Cyber-attacks on both individuals and organizations poses a serious threat. The cyber security field has been created to help combat and prevent these attacks from happening. If being on the front line of this protection interests you, keep reading for more information about what you need to enter and be successful in this emerging field.

Why an Advanced Degree in Kansas is Needed

Working in cyber security requires specific knowledge in whatever your chosen focus may be. This often means taking courses to learn the information as well as work experience and even certification. If a worker wants to progress in the field of cyber security, an advanced degree is often needed for several reasons. First, studying under industry experts is a good way to learn the information you don’t get while working. Second, to advance in the field, certain certifications are required and to qualify for many of them you’ll need a degree. For workers with certificates and associate degrees, attaining a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree can provide a platform on which they can build a career in cyber security.

Kansas Cyber Security Education Degrees & Requirements

Each school has its own requirements in regard to admissions. There are also several options when it comes to how you want to attend school. These options can include on-campus programs, online programs, or a hybrid program that combines online and on-campus courses.

Some of the most common admission requirements include:

  • Completed application and any fees required
  • Transcripts from all schools attended: For an associate degree that would mean high school transcripts - for a bachelor’s degree this includes high school transcripts and if you earned a two-year degree, transcripts from the school you attended
  • ACT/SAT scores if required - For those seeking a master’s degree, GRE/GMAT scores may also be required
  • Some programs might require an essay or a response to a question posed by the school
  • A resume detailing work experience, volunteer experience, etc.

Associate’s Degree

Associate degrees are completed in two years and are the lowest level of degree. Associate degrees are often hands-on programs that enable a graduate to immediately start their careers. Most of the classes are directly related to their major, but there are some general course requirements such as English or math.

Some courses in cyber security degrees may include:

  • Intro to Information Technology
  • Cyber Security, I
  • Intro to Information Security

Bachelor’s Degree

Attaining a bachelor’s degree opens up options for anyone looking to work in cyber security. If you have an associate degree, there’s a good chance that credits earned for that degree could apply to your four-year degree. A bachelor’s degree requires more courses, including additional general requirements such as biology, a foreign language, and other classes.

A couple of courses which may be included are:

  • Discrete structures, I
  • Database Management
  • Programming
  • Information Systems

Master’s Degree

Master degree programs are often customized to fit the student’s specific needs, so there isn’t always a set curriculum for the program. Programs can take from a year to three years to complete and often include a project, capstone, or thesis. Along with all the requirements for admission listed above, a relevant bachelor’s degree, professional and personal references, and letters of intent are often required as part of the application process for a master’s program. You can find both online and on-campus programs in most areas of cyber security.

Certifications in Kansas

Certificates can be attained in six months for undergraduates but may take up to three years for post-graduate certificates. Certificates are tailored for the type and level of certification a person is seeking. They can be vendor-specific, teaching you how to work with a specific program, or they may test your work within a certain discipline, like web security or cyber forensics.

Why is Accreditation Important?

When you are choosing a school or program, it is best to pick one that is accredited. There are several types of accreditation, but the most respected is regional accreditation. Schools and programs that hold this type of accreditation have proven to agencies approved by the US Department of Education that their programs are legitimate and provide the highest level of education for students. Attending a school that is not accredited can hamper a person’s career opportunities because many organizations require their employees to have degrees from accredited schools. Also, in the case of those who want to work in cyber security, certain certifications require applicants to have degrees from accredited schools, and the requirement is often for regional accreditation. An additional level of accreditation called Centers in Academic Excellence is awarded to schools with cyber security programs that have been certified by the National Security Administration.

CAE Accredited Programs in Kansas

  • Butler Community College
    CAE-2Y / 2019-2024
  • Fort Hays State University
    CAE-CD / 2014-2020
  • Johnson County Community College
    CAE-2Y / 2019-2024
  • Kansas State University
    CAE-R / 2019-2024
  • University of Kansas
    CAE-CD / 2014-2020
    CAE-R / 2019-2024
  • Wichita State University
    CAE-CD / 2019-2024

Computer Science & IT Programs in Kansas

  • University of Kansas

    Located in Lawerence, the University of Kansas has an enrollment of almost 28,000 students. The school offers programs that range from undergraduate certificates up to and including doctorate programs. Although the campus population is large, there is still a decent student-to-faculty ratio of 17 to 1. The university is one of two schools in the state that hold CAE accreditation, which means its computer and information technology majors are some of the most well-regarded in the country.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer and Information Sciences - Bachelor’s, Master’s & Doctoral Degrees
    Information Technology - Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees, Postgraduate Certificate

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $11,148
    Out-of-State: $27,358
    Average Net Price: $18,415
    Retention Rate: Full-time - 84%; Part-time - 58%

  • Kansas State University

    Kansas State University is located in Manhattan and is the school of choice for over 22,000 students. The university offers programs from certificates to the doctorate level and has a student-faculty ratio of 18:1.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer and Information Sciences – Bachelor’s, Master’s & Doctoral degrees
    Computer Programming/Programmer – Master’s Degree
    Information Science/Studies - Bachelor’s Degree

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $10,383
    Out-of-State: $25,887
    Average Net Price: $18,002
    College Retention Rate: Full-time - 85%; Part-time - 55%

  • Friends University

    Wichita is the home of the small, private Friends University. The student population is 1,926. The school offers students programs that include bachelor’s and master’s degrees. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 11 to 1, students can reach out to professors while also enjoying peer interaction during classroom discussions.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer and Information Science – Bachelor’s Degree
    Computer and Information Systems Security\Information Assurance – Master’s Degree
    Computer\Information Technology Services Administration and Management - Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees
    Information Science/Studies - Bachelor’s Degree

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $28,415
    Average Net Price: $18,780
    College Retention Rate: Full-time - 75%; Part-time - 50%

  • Wichita State University

    Wichita State University offers programs that award certificates, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees and graduate degrees to its student population of almost 16,000. The student to faculty ratio is 19 to 1.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer Science – Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees
    Information Technology – Bachelor’s Degree

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $8,270
    Out-of-State: $17,452
    Average Net Price: $14,256
    College Retention Rate: Full-time - 73%; Part-time - 36%

  • Rasmussen College – Kansas

    A small private college in Overland Park, Rasmussen College has a student population on 554. It offers programs from undergraduate certificates up to master’s degrees. For students who prefer smaller class sizes, this school is ideal for personal learning and getting to know fellow classmates. The school has a student to faculty ratio of 22 to 1.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer and Information Systems Security\Information Assurance – Bachelor’s Degree
    Computer Science – Bachelor’s Degree
    Network and Systems Administration - Associate & Bachelor’s Degrees
    Computer Software Engineering - Associate Degree & Undergraduate Certificate

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $10,935
    Average Net Price: $18,639

  • Fort Hays University

    Fort Hays University is a public university located in Hays, Kansas. It has a student population of over 15,000 and offers its students programs that culminate in postgraduate certificates, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees. Fort Hays has been granted CAE accreditation, which means it’s cyber security programs are some of the best in the country. The school has a student to faculty ratio of 18 to 1.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer and Information Sciences – Bachelor’s Degree
    Computer Programming/Programmer – Bachelor’s Degree
    Information Science/Studies - Bachelor’s Degree

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $5,130
    Out-of-State: $15,210
    Average Net Price: $12,420
    College Retention Rate: Full-time - 73%; Part-time - 51%

Kansas Colleges Offering Certificates and Associate Degrees

The following schools offer certificates or associate degrees in computer and information science. Community colleges differ from universities because, often, the highest degree you can attain from these schools are two-year degrees. If students want to pursue a four-year degree or higher, they will need to attend a four-year college or university. On the plus side, an associate degree can be sufficient to secure an entry-level position in the cyber security field. In many cases, credits from an associate degree can also transfer and apply toward a four-year degree.

  • Cowley County Community College

    Tuition Cost

    In-District: $3,000
    In-State: $3,300
    Out-of-State: $4,170
    Average Net Price: $9,122
    Retention Rate: Full-time - 62%; Part-time - 32%

  • Manhattan Area Technical College

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $6,750
    Average Net Price: $12,285
    Retention Rate: Full-time - 53%; Part-time - 57%

  • Butler Community College

    Tuition Cost

    In-District: $3,180
    In-State: $3,510
    Out-of-State: $5,310
    Average Net Price: $8,223
    College Retention Rate: Full-time - 60%; Part-time - 36%

Scholarships

  • (ISC)2 Undergrad Cybersecurity Scholarship

    Amount: $1,000-$5,000
    Deadline: February
    Link: https://iamcybersafe.org/s/undergraduate-scholarships
    The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium provides the (ISC)2 Undergraduate Cyber security Scholarship. It is awarded to students pursuing a degree in cyber security, information assurance, or a related field. Applicants should have a minimum of a 3.3 GPA.

  • BA Rudolph Foundation STEM Scholarship

    Amount: $4,800
    Deadline: April
    Link: http://barudolphfoundation.org/applynow/
    The BA Rudolph STEM Scholarship provides a stipend for women in STEM fields who have secured summer internships that are underfunded. Recipients will receive $1,600 a month or for the duration of the internship.

  • Harmony Tech Undergrad Information Security Scholarship

    Amount: $1,000
    Deadline: August
    Link: https://www.harmony-tech.com/about/scholarships/undergraduate-information-security-scholarship/
    The Harmony Tech Undergraduate Information Security Scholarship is awarded to students enrolled in undergraduate programs with a cyber security, information assurance, or information security focus. To qualify, applicants must have a minimum of a 3.5 GPA, must attend a regionally accredited school, and study either on-campus or online.

  • Snort Scholarship

    Amount: $10,000
    Deadline: Spring and Fall of each year
    Link: https://snort.org/community/scholarship
    The Snort scholarship is offered by Cisco and is offered to several qualified computer science or computer information security majors. Students can be enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs, must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher, and must meet the requirements and provide all required information as detailed on the application.

Conferences and Workshops

KC CyberSecuity Conference

This is a one-day conference for IT executives that helps IT professionals stay abreast of the latest tech threats and trends. The conference includes peer-led keynotes, panels, and networking sessions with leaders in the IT/cyber security field.

The Next Generation: Cybersecurity Conference

A panel of C-level executives explain how to handle cyber-attacks and how to build cyber-resilient organizations. The conference is sponsored by ISSA, Infosec, and CISCO.

Heartland Tech Conference - Overland Park

This is a conference for IT professionals that includes exhibits, discussions, and seminars for IT professionals and business owners. Attendees learn new strategies and discover new technology to help combat cyber security issues.

Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security

This is a research event centered on the science of security. The presentations address the fundamental problems of security and present advancements of research methods. There is also a demonstration of new research. The symposium is sponsored by the National Security Agency.

Kansas Cyber Security Jobs and Salary

In the state of Kansas, there are approximately 13,600 workers in the cyber security field. With salaries that are $75,000 and higher, all of these are careers worth pursuing. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for workers in the cyber security field is expected to increase by 32% between 2018 and 2028. Below are the salary and number of employees in the most common cyber security field positions in Kansas.

  • Information Security Analyst - 5% of the job market
    • Number of employees: 710
    • Average Wage: $86,160
  • Computer Systems Analyst - 35% of the market
    • Number of employees: 4,810
    • Average Wage: $78,520
  • Computer Programmer - 11% of the job market
    • Number of employees: 1,530
    • Average Wage: $75,780
  • Database Administrators - 5% of the market
    • Number of employees: 730
    • Average Wage: $82,430
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrators - 43% of the market
    • Number of employees: 5,820
    • Average Wage: $75,940

Resources

  • The Institute of Internal Auditors - Topeka Chapter

    An organization for auditors, assessors, and other IT professionals.
    Link: https://chapters.theiia.org/topeka/Pages/default.aspx

  • International Institution of Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2

    This is an organization for IT professionals. Along with networking opportunities, the ISC2 provides training and certifications in a variety of cyber security areas.
    Link: https://isc.org

  • ISACA

    The Information Systems Audit and Control Association is an organization for auditors, assessors, and administrators. There are several branches of the organization in Idaho.
    Link: https://isaca.org

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