South Dakota

Information Assurance and Cyber Security Degrees in South Dakota

With a $48 billion GDP, South Dakota ranks among the smallest in the US, but cyber security professionals still have plenty of opportunities. The unemployment rate is just 3%, and CNBC has recognized South Dakota as a top-10 state for business. Retail, finance, and health care are the largest industries, but military and defense make up a major part of the economy, as well. To help train future IS professionals and grow the state’s tech sector, three universities and technical institutes offer cyber security programs.

Cyber Security Jobs in South Dakota

South Dakota has above-average wages for IS analysts relative to comparable states, with an annual mean pay between $80-90k. Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Pierre, and Watertown are the largest cyber job hubs, and about two-thirds of openings are for entry-level positions, making South Dakota a great place to start your career. In addition to cyber defense opportunities at Ellsworth Air Force Base, the state’s second-largest employer, numerous medical centers, health insurers, banks, private companies, and government agencies are in need of qualified IS experts to secure data, detect vulnerabilities, and develop new security tools. Over 80% of jobs are full-time, but contract, commission, and part-time work is available, as well.

Cyber Security Degrees in South Dakota

Two-year associate degrees in cyber security are available from Lake Area Technical Institute, Southeast Technical Institute, and Dakota State University, whose program includes CAE-designation by the NSA and DHS.

For those interested in advanced undergraduate and graduate programs, Dakota State also offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in information security specializations like Cyber Operations, Network and Security Administration, and Computer Security & Information Assurance, plus a unique PhD in Cyber Security (one of the few of its kind in the region) and graduate certificates in Ethical Hacking and Banking Security, which are especially relevant for professionals in cyber defense, systems administration, and security engineering.

Cyber Security Resources in South Dakota

State Government Entity/Resource

Professsional Association

Other Resource: Conference

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Other Resource: Conference

Cyber Security Degree Providers in South Dakota

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.

Dakota State University

Madison, South Dakota
$ $ $ $ $
Financial Aid Recipients
93%
Retention Rate
72%
NSA Designated
Yes
Degrees
  • Associate of Science in Network and Security Administration Bachelor of Science in Network and Security Administration Cyber Operations, B.S. Doctor of Science in Cyber Security Graduate Certificate in Banking Security Graduate Certificate in Ethical Hacking Master of Science in Information Assurance & Computer Security (MSIA)

Lake Area Technical Institute

Watertown, South Dakota
$ $ $ $ $
Financial Aid Recipients
91%
Retention Rate
88%
NSA Designated
No
Degrees
  • Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems – Security Specialist

Southeast Technical Institute

Sioux Falls, South Dakota
$ $ $ $ $
Financial Aid Recipients
89%
Retention Rate
64%
NSA Designated
No
Degrees
  • Associate of Applied Science in Computer Network Security Technician