This guide covers the cybersecurity education and career opportunities available in Louisana.
Louisiana earns a gross state product of over $264 billion, with its critical industries focused on manufacturing, aerospace, agribusiness, energy, processing, and software development.
Louisiana revolves highly around petroleum and gas sectors, as natural gas generates about half of the state’s energy supply and its manufacturing sectors make up roughly 16 percent of its gross domestic product.
Low energy prices and trade slowdowns have been having an impact on the state economy overall, with a weak total employment outlook, poor quality of life, and low education scores, according to Forbes. However, Louisiana benefits from low business tax costs, making establishing new companies a more straightforward process than most states.
The tech sector has an estimated economic impact of $8.2 billion, or about 3.6 percent of the entire Louisiana economy. The state has made multiple improvements to its economy over the past few years, including a $38 million investment in the computer science and engineering departments of higher education institutions. Lousiana thus has a high outlook for future tech employment growth at 73 percent as technologies, such as the internet of things, artificial intelligence, and blockchain, begin to emerge.
According to CompTIA, technical workers in other industries and self-employed technology workers’ employment will grow by 11.2 percent in Louisiana by 2026.
Net-tech employment in the state stands at 83,599 workers or approximately 4.1 percent of Louisiana’s total workforce, according to Cyberstates. The median tech occupation wage in Louisiana is $65,947, roughly 82 percent higher than the median salary for all other occupations.
Growing awareness of cybersecurity in Louisiana
Initially, in 2006, Louisana enacted the SB205 Act 499 – known as the Database Security Breach Notification Law – which requires notification to any Louisiana resident whose unencrypted personal information been acquired through a security breach. Also added to the law is the Database Breach Law, where any person that conducts business in the state should, following the discovery of a breach in security, notify any resident of Louisiana whose personal information was acquired by an unauthorized person.
Now, multiple initiatives in cybersecurity took place under the legislation of Governor John Bel Edwards, who made cybersecurity a top priority. In 2019, after hackers attacked government servers, Louisiana’s cybersecurity team completely shut down state servers and was able to protect their information. The Governor executed and signed a state of proclamation, outlining cybersecurity emergencies and maintaining direct order within the state.
In August, the Governor directed his administration to build a significant cybersecurity center in Baton Rouge, housing companies and facilities such as the Stephenson Technologies Corp.and Radiance Technologies, costing $1.5 billion to build. The National Governor’s Association helped to fund the resource center, giving Edwards alongside Arkansas’s Governor Asa Hutchinson the resources they need to plan cybersecurity protocols.
Louisiana’s cybersecurity commission center now negates cybersecurity attacks and issues public information to those within the state to learn more about cybersecurity practices and news, such as Louisiana Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The commission center also works on strategies and charters for future awareness and action against cyber attacks.
Cybersecurity education in Louisiana
Louisiana’s focus on cybersecurity has led multiple cities to work alongside cybersecurity centers to improve K-12 education and college education. Students within the state have the opportunity to gain the STEM seal on their certificates and diplomas by integrating the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center’s cybersecurity pathway. The pathway’s designed to initiate students into cybersecurity careers by allowing them to combine computer science, mathematics, and engineering, with hands-on projects. The Governor also launched a cybersecurity education center through a partnership between the state, Cybint Solutions, Bossier Parish Community College, and other local stakeholders.
Students attending Delgato Community College can earn an associate of applied science degree in information technology with a concentration in information assurance. The program teaches students the fundamentals of information technology, which include managing, maintaining, and implementing technology systems. The degree program also reinforces information technology solutions for businesses and organizations. Students who attend Delgato College also have the opportunity to learn cybersecurity tools through their cybersecurity training courses.
At Bossier Parish Community College, students have the ability to earn an associate of applied science degree in cyber technology with a concentration in network security. The network security concentration helps students interpret real-world security issues and implement computer networking techniques and firewalls through logical reasoning and investigation. Students can also specialize in programming analysis, which focuses on computer languages, vulnerability testing, and collecting technical data to improve any software.
Among Louisiana’s list of four-year universities, Tulane University offers students a bachelor of science degree in information technology with the option to concentrate in cybersecurity. The information technology degree teaches students effective IT solutions with professional certifications, career opportunities, and cloud virtualization courses.
Louisiana Tech University provides students with a bachelor of science degree program in cyber engineering, primarily focused on cryptography, forensics, and vulnerability assessments. The program’s a hybrid of its computer science, computer engineering, and mathematics degrees to help students gain an understanding of the sociological and political aspects of computer design and data protection.
Grambling University provides students with a bachelor of science in cybersecurity. The cybersecurity degree helps students concentrate on specific security areas such as software, databases, and networks and equips them with the ability to personalize their learning experiences. Students will learn skills such as evaluating security needs, identifying measures, and implementing solutions using the latest technologies.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette gives students various opportunities to learn about cybersecurity defense through its bachelor of science degree in Informatics, Computer Science, and Computer Engineering. All these degrees are part of the university’s center for critical infrastructure cybersecurity, and students in their programs can choose from a list of cyber defense classes ranging from fraud examination to data security.
The University of New Orleans supplies students attending with a bachelor of science degree in computer science with the option to earn a concentration in cybersecurity. Through the concentration degree, students can engage and learn valuable skills in reverse engineering, operating systems, digital forensics, and network security alongside computer science skills related to programming and networking.
Southern University and A & M College allow students to gain a bachelor of science degree in computer science with a concentration in cybersecurity. The computer science degree focuses on entry-level computer programming and technology basics.
At Tulane University, students can earn a master of professional studies in cybersecurity management as part of their IT career. The master’s degree program focuses on identifying security risks, develop management solutions, interpret cyberattack cases through the US law, and use government business processing frameworks to protect data and provide assurance. The degree program is offered both on-campus and online and helps progress any IT career forward.
At Loyola University, their master’s degree in criminal justice offers an online specialization in cyber forensics. The cyber forensics specialization helps to prepare students for IT careers with public or private sector companies by teaching them ways to analyze systems and prevent cybercrimes.
The University of New Orleans helps students advance their IT careers with a master’s degree in computer science, offering students the option to concentrate in cybersecurity. The cybersecurity concentration helps to add to the computer science degree by understanding the threats to computer systems and deploying solutions to solve computer hacks as they happen.
Cybersecurity certifications in Louisiana
At Louisiana Tech University, students can earn alongside their degree a graduate certificate in information assurance. The information assurance certificate can be taken in conjunction with the MBA with an Information Assurance Concentration, and covers the use of code encryption, building secure equipment, and testing networks.
Bossier Parish Community Colleges offers students a certificate of technical studies information systems security professionals. The certification helps students earn entry-level knowledge in network security, encryption techniques, and forensic analysis so they can help manage their organization’s network security needs.
Cybersecurity Jobs in Louisiana
With a total of 2,434 job openings in Louisiana, about 6,690 employees currently work in the cybersecurity industry, according to Cyberseek.
The average hourly salary for a cybersecurity analyst in Louisiana is $34.86, with the annual average wage at $72,570, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
Cybersecurity in Louisiana
Technology growth and network innovation endure in Louisiana, providing its citizens with numerous opportunities to maintain steady employment. Louisiana has a high outlook for development in the cybersecurity field. As its government sectors continue to prepare for new forms of job opportunities, Louisana’s higher education universities continue to establish degree opportunities for students who desire a prosperous career in information technology and computer science.