In September 2019, the FBI began to investigate a cyber-crime that stole $4.2 million from Oklahoma pensions dedicated to retired state agents, troopers, park rangers, and other vital law enforcement members. This is just one example of the billion-dollar market that is cyber-crime and the desperate need for well-trained and educated cyber security and information assurance professionals. Fortunately, the state of Oklahoma has plenty of educational opportunities if you’re looking to pursue a career in cyber security. You might start with an associate degree and end with a master’s degree to secure career advancement along with regular salary increases. The educational possibilities and combinations are nearly endless.
Why an Advanced Degree in Oklahoma is Needed
An advanced degree in cyber security is required in Oklahoma if you wish to advance your career, make more money, and secure top jobs. You can choose from a wide variety of degrees that will aid your future cyber security career including computer science, information assurance, cyber forensics, information security, cyber security policies, and much more. It is important to search out degree programs that focus on both the technological aspects of cyber-crime and the human behavior that allows cyber-criminals to attack businesses more easily. An entry-level position with a bachelor’s degree could lead you to a salary of roughly $60,000 a year to begin. Keep in mind that while cyber security pays extraordinarily well, it is critical to continue your education throughout your entire career due to the fact that technology and cyber-crime change so quickly.
Oklahoma Cyber Security Education Degrees & Requirements
An associate degree in cyber security will provide you with limited job opportunities in cyber security. These roles are often support-based rather than being more hands-on or influential in processes or procedures as positions you might qualify for with a bachelor’s degree. You will require a GED or a high school diploma to apply. Community colleges are more likely to have an associate degree in cyber security or something related over vocational colleges. If you are interested in obtaining a bachelor’s degree one day, it is important to select a program that works with four-year higher learning institutes to ensure all of your credits will transfer, or at the very least to ensure they have appropriate accreditation, as your credits won’t transfer without it. An associate degree in cyber security is also ideal for individuals looking for a career change.
A bachelor’s degree in cyber security could be your golden career ticket. For the next 10 to 20 years, cyber security is going to be one of the hottest and most in-demand careers in the world. To pursue such a degree, you must send your high school records or proof and a GED to the school of your choice. They may also require that you send in ACT/SAT scores and may require you to have received a certain minimum score if they have a more exclusive program. You can expect to take prerequisite courses, fundamental cyber security courses, and advanced professional courses. Today, many people choose to complete a double major in their undergraduate programs, such as business and cyber security, to improve their skillset and employability. The same is true of completing a dual bachelor’s and master’s degree to reduce the time and money spent on both programs.
A master’s degree will be critical if you want to eventually obtain a decision-making position such as managerial, executive, and C-suite positions. It is possible to combine a cyber security emphasis and an MBA for those with leadership ambitions. If you plan to have a more hands-on role in the cyber security policy, procedure, and initiative creation of your organization, you should seek out a master’s degree with a cyber security specialization. Keep in mind that your undergraduate GPA could greatly influence the college or university at which you are able to complete your degree. And it is important to attend a cyber security program at all levels that are accredited or even endorsed by the Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE).
Certifications in Oklahoma
A cyber security certificate can be completed at any educational level. You can also select professional certifications that are often centered around the most relevant issues of today. You can choose from a variety of certificate types such as ethical hacking, computer forensics, information security management, intrusion detection, and cyber security framework. These certificates are ideal for continuing your education, some might be required by your employer, and they are also a faster way to change careers rather than completing an entire additional degree.
Why is Accreditation Important?
Essentially, accreditation is the standard by which the higher learning institution you attend is graded by governing bodies. If your college or university is accredited by a regional governing body, it then becomes common knowledge that your school has superior educational standards for students who attend. If your college or university is only nationally accredited, it is accepted that your education will not be to the level and meet the expectations of a regionally accredited school. If your school has no accreditation, it could be difficult to find a job in your field or move on with your education. At the same time, programs within a college or university can be accredited outside of the national or regional accreditation. In cyber security, you want your program to be endorsed by the Centers of Academic Excellence in operations, defense, or research if possible. With this type of program accreditation, you can expect to find a job far more easily and receive higher salaries earlier in your career.
CAE Accredited Programs in Oklahoma
- Oklahoma City Community College
CAE-2Y / 2016-2021
- Oklahoma State University
CAE-CD / 2014-2020
CAE-R / 2014-2020
- Rose State College
CAE-2Y / 2014-2020
- University of Tulsa
CAE-CD / 2014-2020
CAE-R / 2014-2020
Computer Science or IT Programs in Oklahoma
Oklahoma State University – Main Campus
Oklahoma State University has a dedicated cyber security and digital forensics program that focuses on computer security, IT security, computer forensics, and information assurance. Students will learn ways to analyze, investigate, find and resolve cyber-attacks, as well as learn practices to prevent attacks in the future.
Computer and Information Sciences - Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral Degrees & Postgraduate Certificate
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance - Postgraduate Certificate
Information Technology - Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees
Average Net Price: $15,009
College Retention Rate: 82% (Full-time Students); 65% (Part-time Students)
University of Tulsa
The University of Tulsa’s cyber security program is endorsed by the CAE and has been CAE-approved since 2000. Graduates work in academia and both the public and private sectors. You can focus on system or network administration, policy, management, and more.
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Master’s Degree
Computer Science - Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate Degrees & Postgraduate Certificate
Information Science/Studies – Bachelor’s Degree
Information Technology - Bachelor’s Degree & Postgraduate Certificate
Average Net Price: $25,436
College Retention Rate: 88% (Full-time Students); 75% (Part-time Students)
Rogers State University (RSU)
Rogers State University is a regional four-year university serving northeastern Oklahoma. IACE approval requires that courses meet all of the elements of the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) National Training Standard. RSU’s courses presented in this certificate via ISSA series have been validated for two specific standards Information Systems Security (INFOSEC) Professionals & System Administrators, CNSSI No. 4013 Advanced Level - These standards are based on the CNSS course certifications and designation of Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE/IA).
Business Information Technology – Bachelor of Science Degree
Justice Administration - Bachelor’s Degree
Applied Technology/Cyber Security and Information Assurance – Bachelor of Technology Degree
Average Net Price: $14,007
College Retention Rate: 62% (Full-time Students); 40% (Part-time Students)
Cameron University offers options in information assurance and security rather than dedicated cyber security degrees. These programs focus on computer networking, information assurance, cyber security, and computer programming. Students who begin as part of the associate degree program can easily transfer to the bachelor’s degree with the right grades. Many graduates become an IT specialist in information assurance or cyber security.
Computer Science – Bachelor’s Degree
Information Technology with Cyber security Focus – Associate & Bachelor’s Degrees
Average Net Price: $9,294
College Retention Rate: 60% (Full-time Students); 33% (Part-time Students)
Oklahoma Colleges Offering Certificates and Associate Degrees
Oklahoma has many colleges and universities that offer an associate degree or a certificate in cyber security, information sciences, computer sciences, or a related field. A certificate program might last up to two years; however, many certificates only take one year to complete. An associate degree is typically a two-year commitment. If you take an associate degree online, it could take more or less time depending on if you choose to use a part-time schedule. It will depend upon the number of courses you are capable of completing at one time. Certificates at these higher learning institutions are wonderful ways to advance your career or change careers altogether. Keep in mind you might be required to complete some prerequisite courses prior to being allowed to complete a certificate.
Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City
Average Net Price: $5,678
Francis Tuttle Technology Center
Average Net Price: $7,633
College Retention Rate: 36% (Full-time Students); 31% (Part-time Students)
Oklahoma City Community College
Average Net Price: $7,685
College Retention Rate: 48% (Full-time Students); 32% (Part-time Students)
Rogers State University
Average Net Price: $14,007
College Retention Rate: 62% (Full-time Students); 40% (Part-time Students)
Tulsa Technology Center
Average Net Price: $5,567
College Retention Rate: 82% (Full-time Students); 70% (Part-time Students)
CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) program at Oklahoma City Community College
Amount: Full Tuition+
Deadline: April 29
The CyberCorps SFS program at OCCC is funded by the National Science Foundation and offers cyber security scholarships to eligible candidates. You will receive full tuition, up to $22,500 in an annual stipend, books, travel, health insurance, and more. It is an SFS scholarship, which means that you will be required to work for a government entity upon graduation.
Morphisec Women in Cybersecurity Scholarships
Amount: up to $5,000
The Morphisec Women in Cybersecurity Scholarships go to three women in pursuit of cyber security careers. You can attend any college or university of your choice as long as your degree is centered around cyber or information security and you intend to work in that field. Their plan is to boost the presence of women in the industry across the globe.
Microsoft STEM Scholarships Program
Amount: Up to Full Tuition
The Microsoft STEM Scholarships Program is designed to ensure more minorities enter STEM careers. This annual scholarship will be awarded to a select group of minorities who are interested in STEM-related degrees, including computer science and computer engineering. You must be in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree full-time within the US, Canada, or Mexico with at least a 3.0 GPA.
AFCEA STEM Major Scholarships
Deadline: April 10
These AFCEA Scholarships are dedicated to students in pursuit of careers in STEM fields including computer science and cyber security-related degrees. You can be in pursuit of an associate degree with plans to continue on to a four-year degree in cyber security, a high school senior, or a freshman to senior at a four-year college or university.
InfoSec Undergraduate Cybersecurity Scholarship
Amount: $39,000 of Total Aid Available
Deadline: August 31
The InfoSec Undergraduate Cybersecurity Scholarship is for students in pursuit of either an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree in a field related to cyber security. You must have at least a 3.0 GPA, be a US resident, and expect to complete the degree within two years. You will also be required to submit an essay of up to 1,000 words.
Conferences and Workshops
Cyber Security Conference
The Cyber Security Conference is dedicated to experts in cyber security both locally and nationally each year. You will learn about the latest methodologies for protecting personal and business information, as well as new processes and technologies. The event is sponsored by the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University.
The BSidesOK Conference offers professional insights into practical cyber security know-how for free. You will learn new skills, share information, attend training sessions, and network. You will listen to speakers about the latest technology and research regarding information security and much more.
INTERFACE - Oklahoma City
The INTERFACE - Oklahoma City event is a technology conference for IT professionals and experts. This conference will focus on cloud service and cyber security service providers throughout Oklahoma and the country. You can listen to seminars, network, participate, and even train at this F2F event.
Oklahoma Cyber Security Jobs and Salary
- Information Security Analysts:
Information security analysts currently hold roughly 830 jobs in Oklahoma with a median salary of $81,900. As an information security analyst, you will be responsible for all software upgrades and installations, examine current security practices, and implement improvements to the existing system and network.
- Computer Systems Analysts:
computer systems analysts currently hold roughly 3,280 jobs in Oklahoma with a median salary of $79,950. As a computer systems analyst, you will be required to carefully analyze the current design and process of each system. You will also provide efficient and effective solutions to improve upon practices. A solid understanding of both IT and business is also a requirement.
- Computer Programmers:
computer programmers currently hold roughly 1,530 jobs in Oklahoma with a median salary of $82,090. As a computer programmer, you will be required to write in several programming languages, as well as test and repair code that already exists.
- Database Administrators:
database administrators currently hold roughly 1,520 jobs in Oklahoma with a median salary of $74,110. As a database administrator, you will collaborate with various team members to ensure all databases work together properly, as well as to create new databases, merge databases, and eliminate outdated and ineffective databases.
- Network and Computer Systems Administrators:
Network and computer systems administrators currently hold roughly 2,950 jobs in Oklahoma with a median salary of $73,130. As one of these professionals, you will manage the daily operations of any and all networks and computer systems.
- Software Application Developers:
Software application developers currently comprise roughly 4,320 jobs in Oklahoma with a median salary of $86,360. As a professional in this position, you will develop new applications based on end-user needs, tool limitations, budget constraints, and deadlines.
- Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security
The Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security offers basic resources that will assist both individuals and businesses in the fight against cyber-crime. They provide links and information regarding cyber security on their website.
- Oklahoma’s Small Business Development Centers
Oklahoma’s Small Business Development Centers are perfect places for entrepreneurs and small business owners to visit both online and in person. These centers provide quality online resources, workbooks, whitepapers, guides, and quizzes. They work to raise awareness of cyber security risks and current security trends.
- OK Manufacturing Alliance
The OK Manufacturing Alliance is also doing its part to help businesses in Oklahoma by providing a detailed guide about cyber security practices and prevention methodologies. The guide explains everything so that a non-technical person is able to understand the necessary steps that must be taken to protect one’s business.