Illinois

Information Assurance and Cyber Security Degrees in Illinois

Home to the nation’s third-largest city, Illinois has a robust economy which includes a wealth of insurance and banking corporations and Fortune 500 companies, all employing experts with cyber security degrees. Burning Glass Technologies reported a 164% growth rate in cyber security job postings from 2010 to 2014, putting it 5th in the nation. Chicago has made cyber security degrees a focus for growth- the Chicago Community College system is the first and only community colleges system in the nation to adopt a high-quality cyber security training module from the U.S. military. With high job demand, robust salaries relative to cost of living and a number of outstanding options in cyber security degrees, Illinois is an attractive destination for students and experts alike.

Illinois Cyber Security Jobs

Illinois has a very large and highly-diversified economy, with no less than 34 Fortune 500 companies calling the state home. Much of Illinois’ economy is centered around business in the Windy City; Chicago was named the fourth-most important business center in the world in the MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index. It should come as no surprise, then, that the overwhelming majority of Illinois’ cyber security jobs are based in Chicago. Many of the city’s careers in cyber security involve protecting sensitive information for insurance and finance companies. Top employers here include Bank of America, TransUnion and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists a mean wage of $89,630 for cyber security analysts in Illinois, about on par with the national average, though top earners here can command much higher salaries than in other states. The state’s slightly lower-than-average cost of living, too, means that salaries here may go a bit farther.

Cyber Security Degrees in Illinois

Associate’s Degrees in cyber security are available through three schools, one of which, John A Logan College, is recognized by the NSA as a “National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Security” (CAE).

Bachelor’s Degrees in cyber security are offered by a total of four universities, three of them CAEs.

Master’s Degrees in cyber security are available through five schools in the state of Illinois, all CAEs.

Certificates and Doctoral Degrees in cyber security are offered by a number of schools in the state. No less than ten award certificates in cyber security, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, another CAE, confers a Juris Doctor degree in cyber security.

The 5 Best Cyber Security Degree Providers in Illinois

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are many high quality cyber security (and related field) degree providers in the state of Illinois. We’ve taken a look at all cyber security degree providers in the state (and you can too in our directory below) and pulled out the top programs based on our detailed ranking methodology. Factors in the ranking of a school include whether they are an NSA Center of Academic Excellence, the range of cyber security-related degrees offered, and a wide range of metrics checking out academic quality, affordability, return on investment, and student satisfaction. For a detailed rundown of our ranking methodology as well as national cyber security degree rankings, check out our rankings page.

1) Illinois Institute of Technology

IIT is a private, research university based in Chicago, Illinois. It’s known for its programming inI engineering, science, psychology, architecture, business, communications, industrial technology, information technology, design and law. IIT traces its lineage to 1890, when Chicago minister Frank Wakely Gunsaulus sought $1 million to make a school that prioritized “learn(ing) by doing.” That school, the Armour Institute, became IIT. Today it serves over 7,700 students and offers a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio. IIT was designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency in 2015 for its excellence in cybersecurity and digital forensics programming.

IIT offers Master Certificates in Cyber Security Management and Cyber Security Technologies, a Master’s degree in Cyber Forensics and Security, and a Certificate in Information Security and Assurance. The Master’s Certificate in Cyber Security Technologies requires the Cyber Security Technologies and Network+ Certification training courses and an elective, and can be completed in 16-32 weeks. The Master’s Certificate in Cyber Security Management is a longer program, requiring 30 degree credits. The Certificate in Information Security and Assurance requires 9 credit hours chosen from five courses. Finally, the Master’s degree in Cyber Forensics and Security requires at least 30 credit hours and features classes like Cyber Forensics, Vulnerability Analysis and Control, Cyber Security Technologies, and more.

  • Homepage
  • Average Net Price Undergrad: 15th-$25,847

Online Cybersecurity Degree Programs:

  • Some online courses available

2) Lewis University

Lewis was founded in 1932, in Romeoville, Illinois. It’s a Roman Catholic university. It serves over 6,500 (13:1 student-to-faculty ratio) students in over 80 undergraduate majors and 22 graduate programs. Lewis began as an aviation technology school for men, but evolved into co-ed school of science and technology. Recently it’s been recognized as a premier college and ranked in the midwest region by The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. USNR ranked Lewis among its best Midwest master’s-level universities, most recently placing 58 out of a total of 144 institutions. The Princeton Review called Lewis one of the “Best Midwestern Colleges,” with Lewis making a premier list of 23 Illinois colleges and 158 Midwest institutions. It has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the NSA and DHS.

Lewis offers an entirely online M.S. in Computer Science with a concentration in Cyber Security. The program’s mission is to give students technical training and managerial theory/ability. The program covers advanced aspects of information security, risk management, ethical hacking, security management and much more. Lewis also prepares students for top industry certifications like Security+, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Certified Information, Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) and
AccessData Certified Forensics Examiner (ACE). Sample courses include Digital Forensics, Enterprise Network Security, Encryption and Authentication, Intrusion Detection, Response and Recovery, and Wireless Security.

  • Homepage
  • Average Net Price Undergrad: 14th-$20,232

Online Cybersecurity Degree Programs:

  • Online M.S. in Computer Science with a concentration in Cyber Security

3) DePaul University

DePaul is a private university headquartered in Chicago and founded in 1898. By 1998, DePaul was attended by more students than any other American Catholic university. It’s known for its inclusivity, and has a student body made up of a large variety of religious and ethnic backgrounds, and attendees from more than 60 foreign countries. Over 23,100 students attend DePaul, which has a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio. In 2015, DePaul University was ranked the best computer programming school in the Midwestern United States by Computer Science Schools. In 2017, it was ranked 123rd in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. USNW has also ranked DePaul highly in service learning, and the school has frequently commended for its diversity and information technology programming. DePaul has been named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the NSA and DHS.

DePaul offers a Master of Science in Computer, Information and Network Security. The program comes in four concentrations: Computer Security, Information Systems Security, Network Security, and Governance, Risk and Compliance. All of the concentrations can be completed entirely online (except for the Governance, Risk and Compliance, which requires some on-campus courses). The programs will help students assess the information security risks for an organization, build network architecture that prevents attacks, manage evolving security infrastructure, understand policy, legislation, compliance requirements and market trends that impact organizational goals, and much more.

  • Homepage
  • Average Net Price Undergrad: 16th-$32,084

Online Cybersecurity Degree Programs:

  • Three of the four concentrations in Master of Science in Computer, Information and Network Security program

4) University of Illinois at Springfield

UIS is a public university, founded in 1969. It has over 5,400 students and a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio. UIS offers access to 27 undergraduate degree programs, 20 master’s degree programs, and a doctorate in Public Administration. Springfield regionally renowned school that has attained equal if not more acclaim for its online offerings. In the 2014 US News “Best Colleges” rankings, UIS ranked #8 in Top Public Schools (Midwest region) and #36 in Regional Universities (Midwest). Their online programming began in 1999, and frequently wins awards and distinctions. Since 2001, the Sloan Consortium has offered an award for “Most Outstanding Achievement by an Individual in Online Learning.” In 2002, 2003 and 2006 UIS professors won that award. UIS also ranked 11th among online universities in the U.S. on Guide to Online Schools’ 2013 Online College Rankings.

UIS offers an online B.S. in Information Systems Security. UIS has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the NSA and DHS. Learning outcomes include demonstrating an understanding of information systems security, communicating best security practices and ethics and designing and implementing secure systems. Students will be prepared to work in network and computer administration, system analysis, computer support, or continue their education at the graduate level in this field. Students will have access to a Sun fileserver, additional UNIX-based computers, a parallel processing cluster, microcomputers, and a hands-on network configuration laboratory. Graduates will be prepared to work in network and computer administration, system analysis, computer support, and more.

  • Homepage
  • Average Net Price Undergrad: 6th-$11,444

Online Cybersecurity Degree Programs:

  • Online B.S. in Information Systems Security

5) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois is a public research university and the flagship school of the University of Illinois system. It was founded in 1867, and its flagship campus is divided between the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana. The system is comprised of 16 schools and colleges, which offer over 150 undergraduate and over 100 graduate programs. USNR has ranked it 52nd among national universities, and it has been ranked 36th by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Nearly 47,000 students attend Illinois, which has a 20:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Illinois has been named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the NSA and DHS. It offers an undergraduate certificate in Global Security. The program covers many issues relating to national and global security, including attacks on systems, networks and information. Graduates will be prepared to work in a wide variety of positions in government, the private sector, NGOs, and academia, and in fields such as international relations, diplomacy, politics, business, law, health, finance, and media. Sample courses include Digital Forensics, Computer Security, Climate and Global Change, Forensic Science, and much more. The program requires 15 credit hours, 6 of which from social science/humanities courses, and six from natural science/engineering, technology courses.

  • Homepage
  • Average Net Price Undergrad: 10th-$16,683

Online Cybersecurity Degree Programs:

  • None

Cyber Security Resources in Illinois

Professional Association

Professional Association

Professional Association

Professional Association

Other Resource: Conference

Other Resource: Competition

Other Resource: Research Center

Cyber Security Degree Providers in Illinois

Below we’ve included some of the most pertinent information for choosing a cyber security degree program. Affordability looked at the average in-state tuition rate (where applicable) and divided the range of tuition rates into five bins. Each bin contains a roughly $8,000 jump in tuition. So one $ contains schools from roughly $1,000 in in-state tuition to $9,000, $$’s contains schools from >$9,000 to $17,000, and so forth. Retention rate is one of the best predictors of undergraduate education quality. While the NSA/CAE designation marks programs deemed excellent by the NSA.

DePaul University

Chicago, Illinois
$ $ $ $ $
Financial Aid Recipients
97%
Retention Rate
85%
NSA Designated
Yes
Degrees
  • Master of Science in Computer, Information and Network Security

Eastern Illinois University

Charleston, Illinois
$ $ $ $ $
Financial Aid Recipients
95%
Retention Rate
71%
NSA Designated
No
Degrees
  • Technology Security graduate certificate program

Elmhurst College

Elmhurst, Illinois
$ $ $ $ $
Financial Aid Recipients
99%
Retention Rate
84%
NSA Designated
No
Degrees
  • Certificate in Cyber Security

Illinois Institute of Technology

Chicago, Illinois
$ $ $ $ $
Financial Aid Recipients
100%
Retention Rate
90%
NSA Designated
Yes
Degrees
  • Certificate in Information Security and Assurance Master Certificate in Cyber Security Management Master Certificate in Cyber Security Technologies Master of Cyber Forensics and Security Program

Illinois State University

Normal, Illinois
$ $ $ $ $
Financial Aid Recipients
82%
Retention Rate
81%
NSA Designated
Yes
Degrees
  • Information Assurance and Security Graduate Certificate Master of Science in Information Systems-Network and Security Management

John A Logan College

Carterville, Illinois
$ $ $ $ $
Financial Aid Recipients
73%
Retention Rate
56%
NSA Designated
Yes
Degrees
  • Associate in Applied Science in Computer Forensics Associate in Applied Science in Cyber Security/Information Assurance

Joliet Junior College

Joliet, Illinois
$ $ $ $ $
Financial Aid Recipients
51%
Retention Rate
63%
NSA Designated
No
Degrees
  • Computer Information Systems Computer and Network Security Specialist, Certificate of Achievement

Lewis University

Romeoville, Illinois
$ $ $ $ $
Financial Aid Recipients
100%
Retention Rate
79%
NSA Designated
Yes
Degrees
  • Online Master of Science in Computer Science – Cyber Security Concentration

McHenry County College

Crystal Lake, Illinois
$ $ $ $ $
Financial Aid Recipients
47%
Retention Rate
64%
NSA Designated
No
Degrees
  • Cyber Security Certificate Network Security AAS

Moraine Valley Community College

Palos Hills, Illinois
$ $ $ $ $
Financial Aid Recipients
58%
Retention Rate
70%
NSA Designated
Yes
Degrees
  • IT Security Specialist Certificate

Northeastern Illinois University

Chicago, Illinois
$ $ $ $ $
Financial Aid Recipients
72%
Retention Rate
57%
NSA Designated
No
Degrees
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Computer Networks and Security concentration

Rock Valley College

Rockford, Illinois
$ $ $ $ $
Financial Aid Recipients
49%
Retention Rate
68%
NSA Designated
No
Degrees
  • Cisco CCNA Security/3776 Certificate Cisco CCNP Security/3777 Certificate Data Assurance & IT Security Degree

Shawnee Community College

Ullin, Illinois
$ $ $ $ $
Financial Aid Recipients
92%
Retention Rate
51%
NSA Designated
No
Degrees
  • Cyber Security and Computer Forensics Certificate

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Carbondale, Illinois
$ $ $ $ $
Financial Aid Recipients
95%
Retention Rate
64%
NSA Designated
Yes
Degrees
  • Bachelors in Information Systems Technologies – Network and Information Security Concentration

University of Illinois at Springfield

Springfield, Illinois
$ $ $ $ $
Financial Aid Recipients
95%
Retention Rate
73%
NSA Designated
Yes
Degrees
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Security

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, Illinois
$ $ $ $ $
Financial Aid Recipients
63%
Retention Rate
94%
NSA Designated
Yes
Degrees
  • Computer Security Certificate Undergraduate Certificate in Global Security