Information Assurance and Cyber Security Degrees in Nebraska
Boasting one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country (as of this writing, below 3%), Nebraska offers a number of opportunities for cyber security professionals. The state’s largest employer, Offutt Air Force Base, represents a wide range of potential cyber defense roles, from ethical hacking to forensics and security architecture and engineering. From there, healthcare is a major job source, followed by financial services, professional and business services, insurance, and communications. To meet the need of cyber security professionals in Nebraska, three community colleges offer certificates and associate degrees in IT, information security, and cyber security.
Cyber Security Jobs in Nebraska
Unsurprisingly, Omaha is far and away the biggest hub for cyber security jobs, accounting for about half of Nebraska’s open roles, followed by Offutt Air Force Base, Lincoln, and Bellevue. As mentioned, cyber security experts in Nebraska will find a number or roles in military operations, but major private companies are worth researching too. For instance, Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway holding company, which wholly owns companies like GEICO, Fruit of the Loom, and NetJets, with significant minority ownership in Coca Cola, American Express, and IBM, among others. Mutual of Omaha, TD Ameritrade, Valmont Industries, Union Pacific Railroad, and Gallup are a few other major private organizations headquartered in Nebraska, all of which require cyber security professionals to manage, monitor, and protect highly sensitive information. About of 20% of cyber jobs currently available in the state offer $100k+ salaries, which appears to include mid- and senior-level positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nebraska’s mean pay for an entry-level role like information security analyst ranges from $45-80k (May 2016), which is slightly below the national level median.
Cyber Security Degrees in Nebraska
A certificate in Information Security is available from Northeast Community College, which includes 18 credit hours in courses like Network Servers, Operating Systems, and CompTIA Security+Certification.
Associate degrees in Computer Information Technology and Cyber Security are offered by Southeast Community College Area and Western Nebraska Community College, respectively. The former features a focus in Networking Security & Support, and both tracks include in-depth classroom studies and hands-on experience.
Bachelor’smaster’s degrees in cyber security are available from University of Nebraska at Omaha and Bellevue University, each of which are CAE-designated by the NSA and DHS.