According to the FBI, there was an average of 900 cyber-crimes reported in the US every day in 2018. These crimes came in the form of personal data breaches, extortion, and non-delivery scams. And with each passing day, at least one more cyber-criminal learns the trade while thousands of others go undetected and are free to destroy more innocent lives, both financially and personally. If you are looking for a way to fight or thwart potentially dangerous criminals all over the world without leaving the safety of your computer screen, a career in cyber security could be for you.
Why an Advanced Degree in Nebraska is Needed
Nebraska is a progressive education state where employers often require a bachelor’s degree as a minimum requirement for even entry-level positions. It is important to note that you do not have to complete a bachelor’s degree straight away to begin working indirectly in cyber security. It is possible to complete an associate degree or various certificate programs to seek out IT support jobs that can help provide you with the necessary experience for career advancement. You should continue your four-year degree while you gain this experience, as a bachelor’s degree will be required for entry-level cyber security positions. If you wish to earn higher pay and to acquire promotions throughout your career, you will need to complete specialized cyber security certifications or a master’s degree. For individuals who are interested in becoming a professor or conducting research a PhD will likely be required. Be sure that you seek out education from accredited higher learning institutions to gain access to the greatest opportunities for career success.
Nebraska Cyber Security Education Degrees & Requirements
Today, an associate degree is an ideal stepping stone for long-term career opportunities. Many people are also changing career paths to get into more in-demand and relevant careers, such as cyber security. If you already have a four-year degree in another field, an associate degree is an ideal way to move into your new career. It is also a perfect opportunity for individuals who do not have the grades or work experience to qualify for entry into a four-year institution. And it’s also possible to complete these degrees online while you keep working or caring for your family. As an added bonus, associate degrees are typically available at community colleges and vocational and technical schools; that means they will cost significantly less than four-year degrees. You might take courses in cyber security relating to network security, introduction to computer science, and programming.
A bachelor’s degree is often considered the standard education requirement for most professional entry-level positions in any field or industry today. You can choose between online courses, classroom programs, or a combination of both. You will be required to have a minimum GPA from high school or a GED to apply to four-year degree programs. It is also possible to use your associate degree GPA or your relevant work experience to apply. Many colleges and universities are offering dual degree programs of many kinds to help reduce the amount of time it takes to complete two essential degrees as more and more professions begin to experience crossover job requirements. Dual degree programs come in the form of two bachelor’s degrees in three years or a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in four to five years.
A master’s degree is becoming a requirement for any managerial or executive position. Continued education remains critical in all technology-related fields. However, it is even more critical in cyber security as criminals continue to stay ahead of the curve. To complete this type of degree, you must have first completed a bachelor’s degree and some programs have work experience requirements as well. Many professionals keep working while they take courses online. Be sure to speak with your employer about your plans to return to school, as they may very well offer tuition reimbursement to employees who are pursuing degrees that will help the organization upon completion. However, if you receive assistance from them, you might have to commit to working for that employer for a set number of years after you graduate. Some courses you might complete at this level include information assurance practices, ethical information policies, and network security protection.
Certifications in Nebraska
Cyber security certifications come in many forms and levels. Each certificate will require at least some course completion or equivalent work experience. This will vary based on the higher institution where you complete them. Keep in mind that you can complete undergraduate certificates, graduate certificates, and professional certificates. Each certification program allows you to specialize in specific areas of cyber security, such as cyber forensics or penetration testing. These are all excellent ways to continue your education at a more affordable price without having to complete yet another degree and you can take most of them online or in classrooms just like other degrees.
Why is Accreditation Important?
The proper accreditation will help you attain more desirable positions with better pay more easily. It is important to look at both the accreditation of the college or university and the accreditation of the program. If you are applying to four-year higher learning institutions, it is important that you look for schools that are regionally accredited. This type of accreditation is the most highly regarded accreditation in terms of guaranteed quality of education standards for the entire school. Programs can also be individually accredited by a number of different accrediting bodies such as professional organizations, government affiliations, and more. The best educational scenario is to graduate from both a regionally accredited college or university, as well as an accredited program. Keep in mind that with cyber security, you’re looking for a program that is approved as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE). The number of programs in the US that are endorsed as CAE are growing, as employers and educational institutions realize how important cyber security really is. This endorsement means that the cyber security program meets the demands required by Homeland Security and the NSA and only graduates from these programs or with appropriate certification can move into positions offered by these two government departments.
CAE Accredited Programs in Nebraska
- Bellevue University
CAE-CD / 2014-2021
- Metropolitan Community College
CAE-2Y / 2018-2023
- Northeast Community College
CAE-2Y / 2018-2023
- University of Nebraska, Omaha
CAE-CD / 2014-2021
CAE-CO / 2017-2022
Computer Science or IT Bachelor’s & Master’s Programs in Nebraska
University of Nebraska - Omaha
The University of Nebraska at Omaha has a few cyber security-related degrees along with other similar technology degree types in biomedical informatics, computer science, IT innovation, MIS, and more. The cyber security department focuses on network and information security problem areas and it is endorsed by the Centers of Academic Excellence.
Computer and Information Sciences - Bachelor’s Degree & Undergraduate Certificate
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance - Bachelor’s, Master’s Degrees & Postgraduate Certificate
Computer Science - Bachelor’s, Master’s Degrees & Postgraduate Certificate
Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst - Postgraduate Certificate
Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration – Undergraduate Certificate
Informatics – Master’s Degree
Information Science/Studies – Bachelor’s, Master’s Degrees & Postgraduate Certificate
Information Technology – Bachelor’s & Doctoral Degrees
Information Technology Project Management – Postgraduate Certificate
Network and System Administration/Administrator – Undergraduate Certificate
Average Net Price: $12,105
College Retention Rate: 75% (Full-time Students); 35% (Part-time Students)
Bellevue University offers cyber security degrees both online and in traditional classrooms. Each program offers the same learning material, only presented in a slightly different manner. The courses focus on critical areas of concern such as concepts, strategies, response preparation, vulnerabilities, threats, non-technical and technical security solutions, and much more.
Computer and Information Sciences – Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees
Computer Programming/Programmer – Bachelor’s Degree
Information Science/Studies – Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees
Information Technology – Bachelor’s Degree
Network and System Administration/Administrator – Bachelor’s Degree
Average Net Price: $9,635
College Retention Rate: 77% (Full-time Students); 36% (Part-time Students)
Creighton University offers degrees and certificates in computer science and informatics. They do not have a specific degree in cyber security; however, they do have courses on cyber security within the degree offerings. You will learn all the essential skills you require to become employed in technology and information. And it is highly likely they will have a dedicated cyber security program in the very near future.
Computer Science – Associate, Bachelor’s Degrees & Undergraduate Certificate
Information Technology – Bachelor’s, Master’s Degrees & Postgraduate Certificate
Average Net Price: $31,317
College Retention Rate: 89% (Full-time Students)
University of Nebraska – Lincoln
The University of Nebraska at Lincoln features programs in general computer science with an emphasis in various areas including artificial intelligence, foundations, informatics, networking, and high-end computing. Many of these areas of emphasis will prepare you for a solid future as a cyber security professional. The programs also allow you to select a minor in a complementary area, as well as to double major to improve your skillset upon graduation.
Computer and Information Sciences – Bachelor’s, Master’s & Doctoral Degrees
Average Net Price: $17,315
College Retention Rate: 83% (Full-time Students); 50% (Part-time Students)
Nebraska Colleges Offering Certificates and Associate Degrees
The Nebraska colleges below offer both certificates and associate degrees in cyber security, computer and information science, or other technology-related fields. These certificate programs will typically take between one and two years to complete. An associate degree is often a dedicated two-year program. If you wish to pursue a four-year degree one day, whether immediately following your associate degree or in the future, make sure that the college either has a transfer path program that works with four-year schools, or at the very least is fully accredited. Transfer path programs are specifically designed to ensure all of your credits transfer so that you do not have to pay more and take more time to retake the same classes.
Metropolitan Community College Area
Average Net Price: $4,863
College Retention Rate: 53% (Full-time Students); 43% (Part-time Students)
Northeast Community College
Average Net Price: $8,457
College Retention Rate: 67% (Full-time Students); 28% (Part-time Students)
Central Community College
Average Net Price: $8,220
College Retention Rate: 67% (Full-time Students); 49% (Part-time Students)
BSF - Cinco de Mayo Math, Engineering, Architecture and Technology Scholarship
The BSF - Cinco de Mayo Math, Engineering, Architecture, and Technology Scholarship is part of the Barrientos Scholarship Foundation. The scholarship is dedicated to one Latino student in pursuit of careers in technology and other related fields. You must attend an accredited college in Nebraska and your GPA, resume, essay, and ACT Score will directly impact your award chances. It might also improve your chances if you can demonstrate financial need.
Nebraska Wesleyan STEM Professions Scholarship Event
Deadline: February 4 (Essay); February 7 (Attend Event)
The Nebraska Wesleyan STEM Professions Scholarship Event is held at Nebraska Wesleyan and is dedicated to students pursuing careers in STEM. Those who attend are eligible for a $4,000 scholarship to be distributed as $1,000 per year for four years. It is possible to compete for an extra $6,000 by entering the essay contest scholarship. The program also provides access to additional opportunities in global studies, research, and internships.
Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation Scholarship
Amount: $4,250 per semester
Deadline: March 1
The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation Scholarship is committed to students who intend to attend any public community college, college or university in Nebraska. To be eligible, you must be enrolled as a full-time student and a first-time freshman. You must also be able to demonstrate your financial need to qualify.
Conferences and Workshops
The INTERFACE-Nebraska 2019 event is hosted by F2F Events and it is dedicated to Chiefs and Officers of businesses and organizations. The event will focus on a variety of cyber security areas, such as enterprise communications, IT security, cyber investigations and cyber forensics. The event will also feature presentations, exhibits and panel discussions.
Omaha Cyber Security Conference
The Omaha Cyber Security Conference is hosted by the Nebraska government and it is dedicated to businesses throughout Nebraska. The event will focus on keeping computing environments secure from cyber-threats. Attendees will be able to demo technologies and engage with top security leaders in the country and world.
Nebraska IT Symposium
The Nebraska IT Symposium is one day dedicated to IT executives. The topics will cover borderless digital environments and their challenges, global trend awareness, strategy integration, and staying agile. Throughout the day attendees can network, collaborate, listen to keynote speakers, watch panel discussions and more.
Nebraska Cyber Security Jobs and Salary
Information Security Analysts
There are currently roughly 670 information security analysts in Nebraska, with a median salary of $84,540 annually. Workers in this job can expect some of their daily tasks to include network monitoring, preventing attacks, repairing damage, and staying current on the latest trends and threats.
Computer Systems Analysts
There are currently roughly 380 computer systems analysts in Nebraska, with a median annual salary of $77,240. In this career, you can expect some of your daily tasks to include design solutions analysis, optimize performance, implement improvements, and system enhancements.
There are currently roughly 2,430 computer programmers in Nebraska, with a median salary of $76,540 annually. If you enter this position, you can expect some of your daily tasks to include writing code, analyzing code, and testing code for improvements. You will likely have to know at least a few programming languages.
There are currently roughly 860 database administrators in Nebraska with a median annual salary of $82,500. You can expect this position’s daily tasks to include data loss prevention, database improvements, permission updates, and team collaborations.
Network and Computer Systems Administrators
There are currently roughly 2,800 network and computer systems administrators in Nebraska, with a median salary of $78,620 annually. These professionals perform computer system upgrades, maintain network system security, solve problems, and train end users.
- National Cyber Security Awareness Month
All University of Nebraska locations participate in National Cyber Security Awareness Month. They host several events throughout the month to make everyone in the state aware of the importance of cyber security. The events offer training and education for students, businesses, and individuals who use technology so that everyone stays safe in their internet activities.
- University of Nebraska at Omaha
The University of Nebraska at Omaha hosts IT Security Awareness Training for free to all student workers, staff, and faculty. The training focuses on keeping data secure, protecting accounts, and maintaining safe devices. This program helps people in their professional lives and personal lives and could save people thousands of dollars by teaching them how to avoid being the victims of cyber-crimes.
- The Nebraska Office of the CIO
The Nebraska Office of the CIO works to keep all Nebraskans safe. They do not provide many resources for the public to reference; however, they do host the Nebraska Cyber Security Conference.