This guide is about cybersecurity schools in Michigan as well as other training and certification options.
Michigan is far from the most populated state, but its history is the center of automotive development in America has kept it from remaining entirely rural at the same time. Its population centers are bustling zones of commerce and development and many of Michigan’s cities are hubs for digital innovation and cybersecurity progress.
In fact, Michigan is one of the national leaders in cybersecurity employment, research, and education. The state emphasizes its cybersecurity resources as a major source of economic income and renown.
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As a result, it’s one of the best states for cybersecurity professionals to investigate, either for educational or employment opportunities.
Cybersecurity in Michigan
As cybersecurity continues to progress in importance across the country, Michigan is rapidly shoring up its share of the high-tech sector. Since the early 2000s, Michigan has continued to employ more and more high-tech workers that require a significant college education.
As a traditional center of automotive development, it’s no surprise that Michigan leads the nation in terms of automotive cybersecurity research and development.
As a leader of cybersecurity R&D, Michigan is an excellent state for cybersecurity professionals looking for long-term employment.
Because cars are becoming more automated, especially with the incoming advent of self-driving vehicles, adequate cybersecurity will become a necessity for the automotive industry. This has necessitated a focus on cybersecurity more than physical automobile manufacturing as in decades past.
Michigan is further proven to be a cybersecurity-focused state thanks to its high concentration of universities that award appropriate degrees or certificates for cybersecurity professionals. This combined with a low cost of living has enabled a high concentration of cybersecurity workers to take up positions within the state, although many job openings still require filling.
Cybersecurity education in Michigan
In Michigan, it’s possible to achieve all the education required to become a cybersecurity professional through its University system. There are also several certificates or doctoral degrees available in Michigan through several schools. Educational options are diverse, granting students different pathways to success based on their budget or need for distance education.
Michigan Cyber Range Network
Established in 2012, the Michigan Cyber Range network was designed to teach cybersecurity certification courses and to enhance the cybersecurity educational network of the state. It operates from Ann Arbor but has physical locations at several of the below universities.
Essentially, the Cyber Range network helps cybersecurity students on their skills by responding to cyber-attacks or incursions on real servers with simulated conditions. It’s one of the major ways in which Michigan continues to lead the charge in cybersecurity education and innovation.
The Cyber Range Network has locations that Ferris State University, Northern Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, and Battle Creek.
There are nine schools in Michigan in total that award associate degrees with cybersecurity focuses. These degrees are usually Associate in Applied Science degrees with specializations or emphasis in cybersecurity, requiring students to take several focused classes about the topic.
There are a whopping 20 schools in Michigan that award bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity, although the degrees may be titled something slightly different, such as information technology and security. Furthermore, students have three schools from which they can earn the degree online: Ferris State University, Davenport University, and Baker College.
Regardless of where the degree is earned, students will complete curricula focusing on all aspects of cybersecurity, with several schools offering specialized courses for automotive security given the Michigan job market’s bias toward professions of this type.
Because much of Michigan’s cybersecurity force is focused on automotive security, there are several degrees available at focus on digital forensics over classic cybersecurity. This will allow professionals to adequately assist police investigators regarding lost vehicles or in other matters.
Six of the schools which offer cybersecurity degrees are CAE-rated, or approved by the National Center of Academic Excellence by the NSA. The NSA, one of the premier employers of cybersecurity experts, is known to hire straight out of some of these universities.
To be approved by the CAE, a school’s curriculum must:
- Emphasis cyber defense research and expertise
- Promote higher cybersecurity education
- Have a history of producing cybersecurity professionals
Put simply, any CAE-rated school is a university of excellence that would be a great choice for any cybersecurity student.
Online bachelor’s degrees in Michigan
While each of the online bachelor’s degree options for cybersecurity is worthwhile, Ferris State University’s program is particularly notable because it’s a 5-year bachelor’s and master’s combined program. This could potentially allow you to complete all your education in less time than other programs. Being able to complete it online is a convenient bonus.
Michigan’s school system has four schools that offer various certificates in cybersecurity, although the exact certificate options vary from university to university.
Two of these certificates can be earned online through Central Michigan University, as undergraduate and graduate certificates in cybersecurity, respectively. These allow students to obtain some proficiency in this field while pursuing a degree of a different type.
The other certificates offered can be attained on the campuses of the colleges that offer them. These are similar to the above certificates, marking one as proficient in the area of cybersecurity. This is often enough to get a job in the cybersecurity field provided that your main degree is in a related field such as computer science or programming.
Michigan also offers six master’s degrees in cybersecurity, with two of them being offered online by Davenport University and the University of Detroit Mercy. These degrees are referred to either as Masters of Science in Cybersecurity or Masters of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity.
Either way, these degrees are a great way for professionals to earn higher salaries and become team leaders of cybersecurity groups. They often include some management or decision-making courses as part of their curricula, reflecting the focus on problem-solving and innovation rather than merely completing cybersecurity tasks assigned by a superior.
Those with master’s degrees in cybersecurity will also be better educated and better positioned to develop their own cybersecurity software or innovate for their employing company. It will be easier to get a cybersecurity job in Michigan, given its focus and draw for cybersecurity professionals around the nation, with a master’s degree as opposed to a bachelor’s.
Three of the schools are designated CAEs.
Cybersecurity jobs in Michigan
With such an emphasis on cybersecurity research and development, it’s no wonder that Michigan is home to a high number of cybersecurity job openings: 18,649 according to CyberSeek. This is even including their currently employed cybersecurity workforce of 21,316, indicating that the automotive and high-tech industries in Michigan are still looking to grow their workforces despite their current concentration.
In fact, they have a very low supply of cybersecurity workers at this time. With a supply/demand ratio of 2.1, this is about the national average for cybersecurity workers across the country but still much lower than the general supply/demand ratio for jobs of all types.
In simpler terms:
- The Michigan ratio is 2.1
- The national cybersecurity ratio is 2.0
- The national general employment ratio is 4.6
Essentially, there are plenty of cybersecurity openings available and employers are seeking talented professionals right now.
The cybersecurity jobs available can vary greatly in terms of their exact title or salary. Titles can range from cybersecurity engineer to cybersecurity analyst to cybersecurity consultant, all of which are less managerial and not usually involved in leadership or research.
But there are other positions available, such as network engineers are architects or cybersecurity administrators, that do have greater responsibilities and higher salaries as a result.
This wide range of possible job openings is good news for any aspiring cybersecurity professional, as it indicates that there is room for anyone to enter the market at any level of experience, plus plenty of room to grow as one gains skills and experience.
Regardless of the exact position held, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average salary for cybersecurity professionals in Michigan is $94,780 per year. Hourly rates are around $45.57 per hour. This indicates that most cybersecurity jobs in Michigan will pay excellently, especially compared to national employment rates.
Michigan and cybersecurity
Although car manufacturing and Michigan go hand in hand, it’s long since shifted in form. As automobiles become more affected by digital elements, so too does its automotive industry and the statewide job market. As of now, Michigan already has a sizable population of cybersecurity personnel performing innovation and development to determine the market’s path in the future.
With more job openings on the way and plenty of room for growth, the state will likely see a significant economic boom in the cybersecurity sphere, at least in the near future.
Its other benefits, such as its plethora of natural beauty and low cost of living, mark this as a valuable state for any young professional looking to build a career.