This guide covers the opportunities available at cybersecurity schools in Missouri. It also contains information about other kinds of cybersecurity training available in the state.
Many companies and corporations have invested heavily in Missouri in the cybersecurity sphere in recent years. This is, in large part, due to the decent number of educational institutions that offer cybersecurity degrees and which act as anchor points for cybersecurity organizations.
Cybersecurity development in Missouri
Missouri is a hub of cybersecurity activity, particularly in its two major cities of St. Louis and Kansas City. Since 2016, cybersecurity development has steadily increased in the state, largely thanks to the establishment of the Midwest Cyber Center. An organization located in St. Louis, it provides education, scholarships, internships, and several corporate and university partnerships for newer cybersecurity professionals.
Cybersecurity in the state of Missouri is overseen by the Missouri Office of Administration – Cybersecurity. This is a great place for budding cybersecurity professionals to obtain a government job in this competitive but rewarding career field.
Missouri’s cybersecurity state culture is quite robust. There are many cybersecurity communities located within the state, including a chapter from the Information Systems Security Association. They meet in Kansas City. This is a great way to network with fellow cybersecurity professionals.
Alternatively, cybersecurity workers in Missouri can take advantage of the high number of conferences or cybersecurity workshops. These include the Missouri Digital Government Summit or the traveling IT expo SecureWorld, which reaches St. Louis every fall. In a nutshell, there’s a lot of development in cybersecurity going on within Missouri’s borders.
Cybersecurity education in Missouri
There are multiple pathways to cybersecurity education in Missouri. It all depends on the kind of degree you wish to earn and, somewhat, what you want to do after graduation. Generally speaking, Missouri offers multiple excellent schools that have dedicated cybersecurity programs or networks.
One of the most notable of these is the Cybersecurity and Information Technology Innovation Lab, which is located at the University of Missouri St. Louis. Shortly after this lab was completed, this school received recognition as a Nation Center of Academic Excellence by the NSA.
The Missouri University of Science and Technology is also recognized by the NSA for similar excellence. It has an interdisciplinary Intelligent Systems Center, which is a group of research laboratories on the Missouri S&T campus that provides lots of opportunities for cybersecurity experimentation and development.
All in all, Missouri offers a wealth of cybersecurity educational opportunities no matter your experience level.
Missouri offers several schools that offer associate degrees in cybersecurity. These schools include Metropolitan Community College, St. Louis Community College, and St. Charles Community College. All of the associate’s degrees available in cybersecurity in the state of Missouri must be obtained on campus.
Campus-based degrees cybersecurity degrees in Missouri
Missouri has an excellent spread of bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity. Degrees are offered by Fontbonne University, Lindenwood University, the University of Central Missouri, University of Missouri St. Louis, and more.
Online degrees cybersecurity degrees in Missouri
There are also several online bachelor’s degrees you can obtain from Missouri schools. Maryville University’s online degree features three tracks to allows students to specialize your cybersecurity education.
On the other hand, WGU Missouri has an online bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. This also includes training for several industry certification exams, which includes a waiving of the normal fee. This makes this university a great choice if you plan to obtain a cybersecurity degree that may require additional credentials.
St. Louis University also offers an online bachelor’s degree. It concentrates on both information security and assurance, marking it as a versatile degree that includes several courses about other computing concepts, like programming or networking.
Campus-based master’s degrees
There are multiple on-campus master’s degree opportunities in Missouri, as well. Schools that offer such degrees include the University of Central Missouri, Webster University, and Washington University in St. Louis.
Online-based master’s degrees
Missouri’s online master’s degrees in cybersecurity are also great. Maryville University has an online program that provides lots of hands-on technical experience and focuses on the analytical side of cybersecurity as a field.
WGU Missouri’s online master’s program is in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. It emphasizes two EC-Council certifications, which can allow you to become a computer hacking forensic investigator or obtain a position focusing on ethical hacking and countermeasures.
The University of Missouri-Saint Louis will have an online master of science (MS) in cybersecurity coming in the fall of 2020. Students will have the opportunity to attend class on campus or online.
Missouri State University also offers an online master’s degree. Unlike most other online master’s degrees, it does not require attendees to have previous academic or professional cybersecurity experience. This makes it a great choice for professionals who are trying to change their career track.
Missouri’s university system offers several pathways to online certification. Missouri State University offers its entire cybersecurity program in the form of a graduate certificate. It’s only 12 credits, to boot.
Webster University also offers a 12-credit graduate certificate, although its cybersecurity certificate focuses on correct detection. It’s not the most hands-on or in-depth certificate, however.
Missouri University of Science and Technology offers a number of online certification programs. One of these is the Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance and Security Officer Essentials, which focuses on network security and only accepts students with undergraduate credentials in computer science or engineering. Other online certificate programs include a general cybersecurity graduate program and a graduate certificate program in big data management and security.
Additionally, there are a number of online-based cybersecurity certification programs available in Missouri, including:
Cybersecurity jobs in Missouri
At the moment, there are over 20,000 currently employed cybersecurity professionals in the state of Missouri. There is a very low supply of cybersecurity workers relative to the demand; Missouri scores 2.7 for its cybersecurity workforce supply/demand ratio, compared to the national average of 2.0. This has created a pressing need for skilled cybersecurity workers.
Indeed, 7507 cybersecurity jobs are currently open. This provides ample opportunities for cybersecurity professionals that are willing to move to Missouri or who can secure a remote position that they can complete from anywhere. The top cybersecurity job titles in the state include cybersecurity specialists and technicians, cybersecurity managers and administrators, cybersecurity consultants, and cybersecurity engineers and analysts.
There is a big spread of potential career opportunities for cybersecurity professionals. Some of them are closer to entry-level jobs while others are more managerial or administrative. However, salaries are generally quite high.
The average hourly salary for cybersecurity employees in Missouri is $43.85 per hour. Annual salaries are around $91,000 per year. While this is a little low compared to the BLS estimate for national salaries ($98,000 per year), this can still translate into quite a significant salary for anyone living within the state.
That’s because Missouri is one of the top 10 cheapest states in which to live in the United States. Basically, a dollar in Missouri goes much farther than a dollar in California. Looked at this way, a cybersecurity job in Missouri is a great path to a high quality of life.
Missouri and cybersecurity
All in all, Missouri is a great state in which to become a cybersecurity professional and continue to work in the field. It offers several excellent schools with multiple pathways to educational success and lots of employment opportunities, as well as some conferences and workshops that provide professional networking opportunities.