Nevada has to maintain solid security as the state is filled with personal information of millions of annual tourists in addition to millions of residents, billions of dollars in industry, host to hundreds of professional conferences each year, and more. As such, Nevada companies, governments, and schools understand the importance of protecting systems and information. Fortunately, there are cyber security options for students or professionals hoping to break into this growing field within the state of Nevada. According to the BLS, cyber security jobs will increase roughly 28% by 2028. In Nevada, you will find these jobs in all industries, including gaming, health care, banking, and data centers.
Why an Advanced Degree in Nevada is Needed
The best cyber security jobs with top employers will continue to be in great demand. One way to set yourself apart from the competition is to complete advanced degrees and/or specialized certificates. Cyber security is big business everywhere and, as a result, even entry-level positions in cyber security are beginning to require at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. It is possible to find entry-level work in IT with an associate degree or various certificates, but these may not offer much in the way of long-term success and promotions. If you continue your education after gaining a position in the industry and complete a bachelor’s degree, you can work your way up to cyber security and information assurance. Many people who have already completed a four-year degree in another field are actually choosing to complete specialized certificates to be able to change careers into cyber security. Anyone who wishes to pursue an executive or management career in this field should expect to complete a master’s degree and a PhD is ideal for individuals hoping to work in research or as a professor. The best cyber security programs in Nevada will have accreditation and be endorsed as Centers of Academic Excellence.
Nevada Cyber Security Education Degrees & Requirements
If you plan to start your cyber security career with an associate degree, you must have a high school diploma or its equivalent. You will take courses in a variety of subjects such as malware and software vulnerability analysis, network security, computer ethics, database design, and more. You can take these courses online or on campus. An associate degree is an ideal way to save money on the extraordinary expenses of higher learning. Be aware that you should try to complete an associate degree with a school that has a transfer pathway to a four-year college or university. This will prevent you from having to retake courses when you are ready to complete a bachelor’s degree.
Like many careers these days, cyber security jobs typically require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree for entry-level positions. You can choose to complete a bachelor’s degree in cyber security, information assurance, or other computer-related degrees. If possible, you should be sure to minor in cyber security. If you are unable to major or minor in cyber security, you may require at least an undergraduate certificate or other security certifications to qualify for cyber security positions. To qualify for a bachelor’s degree program, you’ll likely need to meet a minimum high school GPA or SAT/ACT score requirement. This requirement will vary based on the higher learning institution but may be a GPA of 2.5 or higher. If you wish to attend the best schools and programs, you should also consider expanding your extracurricular activities, volunteer hours, and/or work experience.
Today, most top employers require a master’s degree for cyber security managerial and executive positions, unless you can also bring decades of experience to the position. A master’s degree is also a fast way to boost your annual salary. Keep in mind that employers often pay for, in part or in full, advanced degrees, as long as the degree is beneficial to the work of the organization. You can complete master’s degrees online while you continue to work, though it’s possible you may have to make an appearance in person once or twice a semester, depending on the program. Master’s degrees in cyber security are an additional investment. However, you could easily increase your pay by at least $10,000 a year, if not more.
Certifications in Nevada
Cyber security certifications are a great idea if you already have a computer-related degree and you’re looking to shift into the security sector, or if you are looking to earn a promotion or increase your salary. For those in search of a career in cyber security, certifications are the ideal way to advance your professional knowhow without having to complete an entire degree. You can pursue an undergraduate, graduate, or professional certificate. Each certificate will have its own requirements for previous cyber security course completion and/or experience. You can also use certificates as a way to specialize, to continue your education, and stay current on trends and techniques.
Why is Accreditation Important?
It is highly important that your college or university is regionally accredited. The importance of this accreditation is significant, as it is considered the highest standard of accreditation that exists in higher education. When an employer sees that you graduated from a school with this accreditation, they immediately know that your education was held to the best standards available in the US. A degree from such schools could greatly impact your career opportunities and salary potential. It is also possible that your program could be accredited. Program accreditation is often directly related to top professional organizations, as well as state and government institutions. The combination of both a program and college or university accreditation would be the best possible situation. For cyber security programs in the US, you would want to look for a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE). Programs with this designation meet the high requirements of the NSA and Department Homeland Security, the two largest employers of cyber security experts in the US.
CAE Accredited Programs in Nevada
- College of Southern Nevada
CAE-2Y / 2018-2023
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas
CAE-CD / 2019-2024
Computer Science or IT Programs in Nevada
University of Phoenix Nevada
The University of Phoenix at Nevada is a part of the University of Phoenix family with a physical campus location in Las Vegas. You can also take any of the online courses available to all University of Phoenix students who qualify. They have several IT degrees and certificates centered around cyber security. They also have programs in computer networking, information technology, and software development. Nearly all programs are only offered online.
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance - Bachelor’s Degree
Computer Programming/Programmer - Bachelor’s Degree
Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst - Bachelor’s Degree
Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration - Bachelor’s Degree
Information Technology - Bachelor’s Degree
Network and System Administration/Administrator - Bachelor’s Degree
Average Net Price: $14,777
Retention Rate: 100% (Full-time Students)
University of Nevada Reno
The University of Nevada at Reno offers cyber security as a minor in various degree programs, as well as a graduate certificate and a master’s degree. These courses center around both technologically sophisticated threats and human errors and behaviors. The courses also focus on specific industries, strategic planning, and business implications.
Computer and Information Sciences - Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees
Computer Science - Bachelor’s Degree
Average Net Price: $15,723
Retention Rate: 81% (Full-time Students); 33% (Part-time Students)
College of Southern Nevada
The College of Southern Nevada has an extensive assortment of cyber security degrees and educational advancement. These programs are endorsed by the Centers of Academic Excellence demonstrating that they meet the demands of Homeland Security and the NSA. This endorsement will provide you with a tremendous career advantage once you complete a program. You can specialize in digital forensics or network security.
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance - Associate Degree & Undergraduate Certificate
Computer Programming/Programmer – Associate Degree & Undergraduate Certificate
Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst – Undergraduate Certificate
Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration – Associate Degree & Undergraduate Certificate
Information Technology - Associate Degree & Undergraduate Degree
Information Technology Project Management - Undergraduate Certificate
System, Networking, and LAN/WAN Management/Manager - Associate Degree & Undergraduate Certificate
Average Net Price: $7,591
Truckee Meadows Community College
Truckee Meadows Community College is another Nevada cyber security program that is endorsed by the Centers of Academic Excellence that requires programs to meet the cyber security demands of the NSA and Homeland Security. You can choose between professional certifications and associate degrees centered around the most relevant cyber security practices today. The associate degrees are part of a transfer pathway program to ensure you can more easily transfer to a four-year college or university upon graduation.
Computer and Information Sciences – Undergraduate Certificate
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Associate Degree
Computer Programming, Specific Applications - Associate Degree
Information Technology - Undergraduate Certificate
Average Net Price: $8,479
- SNCA and WGU Nevada Cyber Security Scholarships
Amount: $10,000 (2 Awards)
Deadline: December 31
The SNCA and WGU Nevada provide at least two cyber security scholarships each year to eligible candidates. You will be required to attend WGU Nevada’s College of IT. They hope to attract more women in STEM-related fields and to attract a diverse pool of students from whom to choose. Please note that the applications are open to all WGU Nevada College of IT students at this time.
- CyberStart Games and Competitions
The CyberStart games and competitions provide a platform for high school students and college students to make money and fill jobs. The goal is to build the skills of future cyber security professionals by creating a safe, fun, and highly competitive space for individuals seeking a career in cyber security to work on projects and try to prevent or create threats in a protected environment. Individuals who complete this program will be provided with internships and jobs.
- NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM)
Deadline: February 28
The NSF Scholarships in S-STEM are offered by the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. The goal is to increase the number of students pursuing degrees in STEM subjects. A total of 25 students will be awarded scholarships. Applicants must have a 3.4 GPA or higher in STEM courses, demonstrate a financial need, and be full-time students. You will be required to meet with members and participate in the program throughout the year if awarded this scholarship.
- International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts Scholarship
Application Deadline: March 1
The International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA) Scholarship is dedicated to students who intend to pursue careers or career advancement in intelligence. Only one scholarship is awarded each year to a qualifying and deserving student. To apply, you must have an active family member or be an active member of IALEIA, be enrolled part-time or full-time and participate in programs related to intelligence such as analysis, criminal justice, or statistics. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible.
- Ron and Linda Smith Family Scholarship
Application Deadline: April 30
The Ron and Linda Smith Family Scholarship offers $1,000 to a student at Truckee Meadows Community College and a few other local colleges in Nevada. You must be a Northern Nevada resident, have a high school diploma or equivalency, be at least a part-time student, and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA.
- UNR Presidential Scholarship
Amount: Up to $32,000 ($8,000/year)
Deadline: February 1
The UNR Presidential Scholarship is for students at the University of Nevada at Reno. The scholarship is often awarded to first-time freshmen who were high-achieving high school seniors. You must have at least a 3.5 GPA if you are a graduating high school senior, be enrolled full-time, have a minimum of a 31 ACT score or 1420 on the SAT and pay the registration deposit of $250.
Conferences and Workshops
University of Nevada Reno Cyber Security Conference
The University of Nevada at Reno hosts a Cyber security conference aimed to help protect the future of Nevada economies, such as defense, banking, healthcare, aerospace, media, online gaming, information technology, and much more. The conference unites both academia and businesses in a unique manner to develop collaborative ideas and strategies to a growing concern.
19th Annual Security Conference
The Annual Security Conference is held in Las Vegas each year as part of the Vegas Conferences hosted by the Information Institute. Each year, a wide array of industry professionals and educators gather to discuss the most pertinent topics of today and tomorrow, such as privacy, information assurance, and cyber security. You will find opportunities to network, forums, panel discussions, and much more.
Black Hat USA 2020 at Mandalay Bay
Black Hat USA 2020 is being held at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. This 20-year conference is held each year to confront the greatest threats of information and technology at present and in the future. Those who attend are often considered the best in the industry in both the public sector, the private sector, researchers, and academia.
Nevada Cyber Security Jobs and Salary
- Information Security Analysts:
There are roughly 510 information security analyst jobs in Nevada at this time, with a median annual salary of $89,530. Some daily tasks for these professionals include searching for security breaches, installing firewalls and encryption programs, performing penetration testing, and seeking out vulnerabilities.
- Computer Systems Analysts:
There are roughly 1,750 computer systems analyst jobs in Nevada right now, with a median annual salary of $80,580. Some of your daily tasks in this position might include collaborating with managers, researching new technologies, preparing cost and benefit analyses, and creating new computer system functionalities.
- Computer Programmers:
There are roughly 900 computer programmer jobs in Nevada now, with a median annual salary of $80,580. Some daily tasks for this position include writing code in at least a few different programming languages, testing and analyzing the same code, updating programs, integrating old and new systems, and using code libraries.
- Database Administrators:
There are roughly 600 database administrators in Nevada at this time, with a median annual salary of $89,320. Some daily tasks for these professionals might include organizing data, securing data, maintaining databases, updating permissions, restoring data, modifying database structures, and merging databases.
- Network and Computer Systems Administrators:
There are roughly 1,500 network and computer systems administrator jobs in Nevada right now, with a median annual salary of $84,330. Some daily tasks you might perform if you enter the job include managing network operations, supporting computer systems, determining needs, installing hardware and software, training end users, and solving daily problems.
Cyber Security Resources in Nevada
- Truckee Meadows Community College:
Truckee Meadows Community College offers various competitions for high schoolers and college students to help the future of cyber security professionals improve their real-world skills. Program participants develop a vast network of peers and potential future employers, as well as having the ability to join clubs and attend events. The site also offers a number of cyber security resources for everyone to protect their homes and businesses alike.
- Nevada Department of Public Safety Office of Cyber Defense Coordination:
This department provides some essential cyber security resources for the average internet user to help prevent attacks to their business and their home. The department also works to protect all Nevada residents from outside attacks.
- Southern Nevada Cyber Security Alliance:
This group is a community for cyber security professionals in Southern Nevada. Many members of various cyber security groups participate in the alliance such as the Las Vegas CISO Group, (ISC)², Infragard, ISSA, and ISACA. They offer scholarships, education, training, and more. It is one of the best cyber security communities in Nevada.