Cyber Security Schools In Minnesota – Before We Get Into The Topic, Let’s Learn Some Basic Of This Topic
New York. San Francisco. Minneapolis-St. Paul? It’s true. Cybersecurity jobs in the Twin Cities are more lucrative than those in coastal areas. Studying in Minnesota is the best way to get work. We will take you on a tour that includes online and traditional degrees, networking events for students and recent graduates, and scholarship opportunities. Are you already set on the Land of 10,000 Lakes Jump straight to our list of schools with cybersecurity programs?
Minnesota Cyber Security Study
You’ll soon discover that Minnesota’s distance education sphere is incredibly busy. Research and on-ground studies are often left behind. However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t some worthy achievements to be proud of.
- The University of Minnesota Technological Leadership Institute is a founding partner of the annual Cyber Security Summit. It was launched in 2011. This conference attracts speakers and attendees from all over the world.
- Saint Cloud State University was awarded a five-year grant by the National Science Foundation to fund multiple students every year with full scholarships to study cybersecurity. Students from Century College, Lake Superior College, and White Bear Lake can apply to the university’s cybersecurity program. Cloud
- Two-year colleges are legitimate options for cyber jobs. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security designate Lake Superior College a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. Minnesota Community and Technical College are also recognized for excellence in information assurance education.
Online Cyber Security Programs for Minnesota
Perhaps Minnesota’s winters are keeping students home. We say this because it is true. The state offers a remarkable range of cybersecurity programs online at almost every level, from undergraduate certificates to doctorates.
Minnesota’s largest online university is Capella University. Capella University offers everything online. Walden University, another non-profit university, is the same. Both universities, though they are proprietary institutions, have been regionally accredited and have been recognized as NSA/DHS National Centers of Academic Excellence. Lake Superior College is a strong choice for those who prefer public education at both the associate and certificate levels. You can find plenty more cybersecurity certificates and degrees at the online learning section of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities (MnSCU) website, which covers seven universities and 30 two-year colleges. Although the University of Minnesota has been slower to roll out cybersecurity degrees, keep tabs on any online program additions at the University of Minnesota Online.
Are you out of work and looking to get retrained in your job? The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) may allow you to receive money. If so, search for online cybersecurity programs that are WIOA-certified at the MnSCU CAREERwise website.
Although you could conduct a school-by-school search to find out what’s available in your area, we won’t force you to do that. We have researched to find out what is available.
Cyber Security Associate Degrees Online
You can choose from four online programs at the associate level. All are approved by the WIOA.
- Minnesota State College Southeast’s Associate of Applied Science in Cyber and Information Security, which is worth 60 credits, will attract students who are interested in working in criminal justice agencies investigating and preventing hacking.
- Minnesota West Community & Technical College offers a 60-credit AAS Information Security and Assurance. This course is a series of introductory courses that are designed for IT network professionals.
- The 66-credit AAS Network Administration and Security from Minnesota State Community and Technical College and Lake Superior College’s 72-credit AAS Network Administration and Cyber Security are also marketed to those who want to create and protect networks for their businesses. You should have either degree to be able to work as an IT staff member in a small business.
Online bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity
Minnesota schools can offer three online baccalaureates, all of which are offered by for-profit institutions:
- Capella offers a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a concentration on Information Assurance and Security. This four-year degree prepares graduates for multiple CompTIA certifications as well as a career as security analysts or specialists.
- There is a similar program at another university. Walden University offers a BS in Computer Information Systems and students can specialize in Cyber Security.
- More investigational-minded students might choose the Cyber Security and Forensics concentration in the BS in Information Technology program at Walden.
Cyber Security Master’s Degrees Online
There are still options available at the master’s degree level. Four schools offer relevant online degrees.
- Minnesota State University-Mankato offers a Professional Science Master’s degree program in Information Assurance and Information Risk for applicants who have an undergraduate IT degree. It helps them to develop the management skills necessary to be leaders in their company.
- The online MBA in Cybersecurity at Concordia University-Saint Paul has a similar mission, but it is structured so that anyone with a business background can get the technical knowledge needed to move towards risk management.
- Capella University’s MS Information Assurance and Security offers three specializations. Digital Forensics is for computer-science professionals who are interested in criminal justice, Health Care Security for medical information security officers, and Network Defense for people looking for government and military positions.
- Walden University’s MS Information Technology program focuses on workplace defense and threat detection.
Cyber Security Doctoral Degrees Online
Many states do not have an online doctorate in cybersecurity. Minnesota has two online doctorates in cybersecurity, though they are both offered at the same college. Capella’s Ph.D. is in Information Technology, with a specialization in Information Assurance and Security. It is designed for graduate students in the field looking to get faculty jobs. These graduates may also be eligible for executive-level corporate jobs, but the Doctor of Information Technology with a Specialization in Information Assurance and Security will help you achieve your professional goals.
Online Certificate Programs for Cyber Security
Lake Superior College is the leader in online bachelor certificates with two options
- Network Administration & Security Certificate, a 30-credit program that trains students for CompTIA+ certifications. It qualifies them for entry-level positions as network administrators and system administrators.
- The 58 credit Network Administration & Cybersecurity Diploma is a combination of the associate degree and certificate. It requires a commitment of two years, just like the former. Students don’t have to take general education courses, just like the former.
Minnesota West Community & Technical College also offers an online certificate in Information Security Management. Students will have a basic understanding of network security, but not necessarily technical, and can apply for jobs as IT managers after six courses.
Certificates are an option at the graduate level, and there are three colleges involved in the action.
- The online Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity from Concordia includes the technical components of the school’s MBA in Cybersecurity but does not include the business courses.
- Metropolitan State University’s Graduate Certificate Information Assurance and Information Technology Security (a long title) is a six-course program that is designed for IT professionals who have managerial aspirations.
- Certificates for two of Capella University’s MS in Information Assurance and Security specializations, Digital Forensics, and network defense, are now available. Each course cuts out core IT coursework. You can also choose to do only the core coursework and earn an Information Assurance and Security Graduate Certificate.
Cyber Security Scholarships for Minnesota
Most institutional scholarships are not difficult to obtain because you are automatically considered by the college or department upon your enrollment application. If you are not an online student, graduate students should look for assistantships or fellowships that require research and teaching in exchange for funding. Here are a few scholarships that cybersecurity students can receive:
- Bachelor’s IT Career Advancer + Sophia Scholarship: This scholarship incentivizes students to enroll sooner rather than later by shaving $5,000 off the price tag over 10 quarters and throwing in four free Sophia Pathways courses that can count toward students’ general education and elective requirements.
- Master’s IT Career Advancer Scholarship: Win $3,000 toward your degree if you make a quick decision on enrolling in any specialization of the master’s degree in Information Assurance and Security. The scholarship is distributed over the course of the program.
Inver Hills Community College
- Thomas Reuters Scholarship: Full-time enrollees in an IT program, which includes network security majors, can win the Reuters Scholarship. The committee prefers graduates from Apple Valley, Como, or Humboldt High Schools. They also want recipients to have strong academic records and financial needs.
Minnesota West Community and Technical College
- Cathy Paulson Memorial Scholarship: Information Security and Assurance students at the Granite Falls campus are eligible for a $250 award. To be eligible, students must have completed at least 12 credits and have a 2.5 cumulative GPA.
- Computer Support Technology Scholarship: The same requirements as above apply for this award. There is only one difference: Students can receive funding between $200 and $500.
Saint Cloud State University
- CyberCorps Scholarship for Service: Want free tuition and an annual stipend worth $22,500 to $34,000? The CyberCorps Scholarship is open to full-time students and undergrads in the school’s IT security or information assurance programs. The award includes a promise to continue seeking government employment for many years after graduation.
- Information Assurance Scholarship: $500 is available to graduate students in the MS in Information Assurance program with strong academic credentials.
- Kodak Professional Imaging Scholarship for Information Technology Security: IT Security majors with a 3.0 may qualify for this award, which varies in value.
Cyber Security Events in Minnesota
Cyber Security Meetups & Communities in Minnesota
You should network, no matter if you are an online student living in your bedroom or an off-campus student studying in the library. It’s a fun and easy way to learn new skills and to meet people who might be interested in your work. Here are seven communities that Minnesotan cybersecurity experts can find in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
- CryptoPartyMN – This group meets every other week at a bar or restaurant in the Twin Cities to discuss encryption and other techniques that can be used to make their internet browsing and computing safer.
- DC612: Born from the annual Las Vegas DEF CON events, DC612 gives MSP hackers a chance to come together once or twice a month for nourishment, hack challenges, and/or member presentations.
- (ISC)2 Twin Cities: The International Information System Security Certification Consortium is a membership organization that can help you attain CISSP certification. Although the group meets only a few times per year, it provides valuable connections to specialized training.
- Minnesota Chapter of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA): The Minnesota Chapter of ISSA was selected from over 100 ISSA chapters as the world’s best in 2016, which should let you know how active it is. To network with corporate sponsors and get an edge on job postings, join luncheons and chapter meetings and relax during “AfterHours” mixers, you should become a member.
- OWASP MSP: Sign on for membership to the local chapter of the Open Web Application Security Project to attend chapter meetings, where you’ll get to hear professional members and outside speakers present tricks and tools of the trade.
- Twin Cities Identity & Access Management User Group: TCIAMUG members meet quarterly to hear professional presentations on all things IAM.
Cyber Security Conferences and Workshops in Minnesota
We recommend attending regular cybersecurity conferences to get a concentrated dose of professional development and networking. These six events are worth adding to your Minnesota calendar.
- Cyber Security Summit: Every fall since 2011, tech professionals, business managers, government staff, and academics from across the country have descended on Minneapolis for two days of talks and expert panels. In the span of two days, there are multiple specialized events including a forum for small businesses.
- MN Digital Government Summit: Government Technology magazine sponsors one-day conferences in nearly every state, including Minnesota. Every year, government staff travel to St. Paul to learn more about cybersecurity in the state.
- Secure360 Twin Cities: A two-day conference (with the third day of pre-conference sessions) in MSP, Secure360 works hard to be relevant to everyone in the field. The conference is packed with speakers so attendees can choose from five to six talks in any time slot.
- Security B-Sides MSP: Spend a weekend with a diverse community of Minnesota information security professionals. The tickets are affordable and organizers coordinate hacking contests and hands-on workshops. They also manage to organize multiple speaker tracks where you can find out about the latest developments in the field. Take off school/work the Friday before for extra training workshops and fun events at BrrCon, a free side conference.
- Student360: Student360 alters the Secure360 format slightly. It’s now one day rather than two. It offers fewer tracks, which allows for a more targeted agenda. The conference also emphasizes career sessions, allowing attendees to interview with local companies.
Cyber Security Jobs in Minnesota
If you didn’t know, the majority of jobs in this field are located in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region. Hennepin County is home to all three businesses that make up the Cybersecurity 500, which lists the top companies in the sector. These include cloud security and data recovery experts Code42 and encryption software providers SDS. Secure Digital Solutions also has information security consultants. Don’t forget about security meetups and conferences that can help you connect with other local businesses such as RedTeam Security Consulting (a group of St. Paul-based trainers). Such companies helped land Minneapolis at #15 for total job postings in a 2015 report by Burning Glass Technologies. The entire state ranks 18th, which is slightly higher than the population would suggest.
The state is home to some Fortune 500 companies that have security teams in their IT departments. These include Target in Brooklyn Park, which is still trying to make amends for a large-scale data breach in 2014. Minnetonka’s UnitedHealth Group is the country’s largest insurance company. Xcel Energy in Minneapolis needs to maintain its vast transmission system to supply natural gas to eight states.
Cyber Security Salaries in Minnesota
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts in Minnesota earn an average salary of $88,700, slightly below the national figure. And statistics from Indeed.com show that those with the title of IT security specialist can command between $105,000 and $115,000, which is on par with national numbers.
But don’t worry. The picture changes when you look at Minneapolis in detail. In fact, by Indeed’s calculations, Minneapolis is the best-paying city for information security specialists in the country. How did they get there? The cost of living is taken into account and the metropolis ranks above expensive, high-paying cities like San Francisco, New York, Seattle, and New York. The Twin Cities are also not at saturation, which means it is still possible to get a high-paying position in the sector.