Ohio Colleges With Cyber Security Degrees – Before We Get Into The Topic, let’s Learn Some Basic Of This Topic
Ohio might not be the first state that comes to your mind when you think about cybersecurity. There is plenty of technology activity in Ohio thanks to its top-ranked research universities and numerous Fortune 500 companies. Continue reading to find out more about Ohio’s schools and online degrees. Or skip to our complete list of degree programs to navigate on your own.
Cybersecurity Education in Ohio
Three Ohio community colleges and three Ohio universities have been designated National Centers of Academic Excellence by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency in the areas of cyber defense and information assurance. Because they have access to more research funding and educational grants, these schools are often the best place to start when exploring degree options in Ohio. Let’s see what they are doing:
- The Air Force Institute of Technology is linked to the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security. AFIT’s Center for Cyberspace Research oversees six laboratories covering hardware reverse engineering, industrial control systems, malware testing, radiofrequency signals exploitation, top-secret research capabilities, and wireless/cellular exploitation. Although we would like to tell you what AFIT is doing, it’s classified.
- The Ohio State University is an enormous research institution. Faculty at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering have many interests. They are particularly interested in smart grids and wireless network security for mobile phones, IoT devices, and homomorphic encryption. For example, in 2016, an assistant professor received seed money to help her continue her research on how to stop cyberattacks against power grids.
- The University of Cincinnati’s most unique program is in the School of Information Technology, School of Criminal Justice, and Department of Political Science. They all share responsibility for the Foundations of Cybersecurity program. It is still a research university with a strong research focus, and recently received grants from NASA, National Security Agency, World Bank, and NASA for cyber operations research.
- Through the Center for Cyber Defense Education, students at Clark State Community College participate in state and national competitions, including the National Cyber League. Dual enrollment is also offered by the center for secondary students in the area who wish to get a head start.
- Computer Information Systems students at Sinclair Community College learn how to fix malware and diagnose problems at the SCOPE Lab. (SCOPE stands for “Students Correcting Open-door PC Emergencies.”) For more complex maneuvers, they head to the Cyber Security Center, which is stocked with hardware to be used for studies and student competitions.
- Terra State Community College in Ohio is the latest school to be awarded the National Center of Academic Excellence (NCAE) designation. It was awarded in February 2017.
Ohio Cybersecurity Programs Online
It is difficult to find online cybersecurity certificates in Ohio. But that can change instantly, so we urge you to use the search function at the Ohio Learns degree catalog, which links to every online degree in the state. Here’s what’s at the moment:
Cybersecurity Associate Degrees Online
Sinclair Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Information Systems/Secure System Administration. This program is ideal for students who wish to take the CompTIA and Microsoft certifications in security, networking, and/or Linux. A degree and certifications are enough to get an entry-level position in an IT department of a company.
Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degrees Online
Online baccalaureates can be obtained from two schools. Students who have already completed a bachelor’s in another field can choose to take an online BS degree in Cyber Security from Franklin University. Both degrees are technical and should be able to prepare graduates for managing computer networks and company systems.
Kent State also offers a Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies, which focuses on Applied Computer Security and Forensics Technology. This program teaches students how to network and detect threats. Online Computer Forensics and Security minors are also offered by the university.
Cybersecurity Master’s Degrees Online
You may be interested in an online degree in Ohio if you aren’t sure what you want. The University of Cincinnati offers the Online Master of Science Information Technology, which allows you to focus on cybersecurity. Candidates without an IT degree can still apply, but they will need to complete prerequisites before beginning the core coursework.
Ohio Cybersecurity Scholarships
There are many scholarships available for students in the tech field. Many Ohio colleges participate in the Choose Ohio First Scholarship program. These awards scholarships to STEMM majors who are eligible for science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine. More specific options exist as well, such as the McKenna Memorial College Scholarship, which goes to students studying IT in Southwest Ohio. Let’s not forget about the cybersecurity scholarships that Ohio colleges offer. Graduate students should also pursue assistantships or departmental fellowships in addition to the ones we have listed.
Air Force Institute Of Technology-Graduate School Of Engineering & Management
- CyberCorps Scholarship for Service: Civilian students plugging away at a masters in Cyber Operations can get two years of free tuition, a $25,000 annual stipend, and professional development funds. They will be required to work for two years after graduation.
- Information Assurance Scholarship: This award, which is not available every year, is funded by the Department of Defense (DoD). This scholarship allows master’s and doctoral students at AFIT and participating schools to receive full tuition and substantial stipends in return for working with DoD after graduation.
Ohio State University-Main Campus
- College of Engineering Scholarships: Undergrads focusing on Information Security while pursuing either a BS in Computer and Information Science (BS CIS) or BS in Computer Science and Engineering (BS CSE) are eligible for multiple departmental scholarships within the College of Engineering.
- Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP): Although it’s been on hiatus for a few years, hopefully, the IASP will come back to OSU soon. Students in the CSE and CIS programs have the opportunity to receive large financial awards as well as internships at the National Security Agency.
Sinclair Community College
- Kittyhawk Chapter of Association of Old Crows (AOC) Scholarship: Computer Information Systems is just one of five majors eligible for a $750 award from the AOC, which rewards students interested in cyber defense careers.
- Larry and Kathleen Adkins Memorial Scholarship: This award is explicitly for adult enrollees in a Computer Information Systems program. Students must have completed eight credits in college coursework to be eligible.
Cybersecurity Events in Ohio
Cybersecurity Meetups and Communities in Ohio
Networking is essential to seamlessly transition between a college education in Ohio and work in the field. Finding cybersecurity professionals is the best way to do this. These are some communities that will allow you to do exactly that:
- Columbus Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP): This local branch of OWASP meets once a month to listen to seminars from outside speakers and get their fingers limber with security workshops. A sponsor may also provide lunch as a bonus.
- gives: Cleveland professionals come together every few months for hands-on tutorials, informal presentations, and a bit of networking.
- ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association): ISACA is a membership organization for IT professionals, with its primary focus on security and risk mitigation. Students memberships are affordable and allow you to attend chapter meetings and workshops where you can make connections with potential employers. There are four active chapters in the Buckeye State: Northwest Ohio, Cincinnati, and Northeast Ohio.
- ISSA (Information Systems Security Association): The Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) is a worldwide membership organization for cybersecurity pros. You may be interested in joining one of its chapters located in Cincinnati, Dayton, or Northeast Ohio as it is open to students. You’ll be able to attend chapter meetings that tap into local security experts for a variety of seminars and workshops.
- Northeast Ohio Information Security Forum (NEOISF): InfoSec enthusiasts in the Cleveland-Akron area come together at OEConnection in Richfield every third Wednesday of the month to listen to speakers and munch on free food.
- Ohio Information Security Forum: This Dayton group meets monthly for grub and speaker presentations from area InfoSec experts.
Cybersecurity Workshops and Conferences in Ohio
All three cities are large enough to host cybersecurity conferences, including Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland. You can find one-off events by joining a Meetup group, a professional organization, or joining a Meetup group. These include the Ohio Cyber Dialogue with Industry in Dayton and the SecureWorld conference held in Cincinnati. Here are six events you should consider signing up for:
- Central Ohio InfoSec Summit: Head to Columbus for two days of professional presentations. Multiple tracks are created by the organizers so that IT staff, managers, and executives feel at home.
- Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection Conference: The Center for Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection at Cleveland State University began hosting its own two-day conference in 2016 with the goal of “connecting lawyers, policymakers, managers and technologists to address critical risks.”
- Information Security Summit: The summit caps off Security Summit Week, which features pieces of training, happy hours, speaker presentations, and hacking competitions in the Cleveland area.
- Ohio Information Security Conference (OISC): Sponsored by Technology First, an industry trade association, OISC is geared toward IT managers. There are multiple tracks so there is something for almost every security professional.
- Ohio LinuxFest: Since Linux is a preferred platform of security experts, this annual two-day conference in Columbus features multiple workshops on vulnerability assessment, pen testing, and client authentication for SSL.
- Security BSides: BSides is an alternative conference, perfect for information security beginners and professionals alike because it features a ton of local speakers. No matter what your level of security expertise, you can learn something new and meet the major players. Since BSides is hyperlocal, there are annual conferences held in each of three C’s: Cincinnati Cleveland, Columbus, and Cleveland.
Ohio Cybersecurity Jobs
Ohio is steadily moving towards becoming a leader in cybersecurity employment. In 2015, Burning Glass Technologies reported a growth rate of 141 percent between 2010 and 2014 for cybersecurity job openings in the state. It was able to rank 13th in this field for job openings but still had far fewer than the population would have expected. It kept going. In 2015, just one company made the Cybersecurity 500, a list of the world’s most innovative firms. It was three companies that represented each state’s major population centers, TrustedSec Greater Cleveland, Morphick in Cincinnati, and Panopticon Labs Columbus.
For future growth, the last city is likely to be the most important. In 2014, seven large corporations in Ohio’s capital — including Fortune 500 stalwarts Nationwide Insurance, Cardinal Health, American Electric Power, and L Brands — got together to form another company: the Columbus Collaboratory. The Collaboratory’s primary goal is to make Columbus a national leader in data security and data analytics and to offer solutions to these issues to founding companies. Even if you join one of the founding companies, you can still get into Collaboratory events such as speaker series and work on cross-company R&D.
Don’t forget the potential of state-funded educational institutions to drive job growth. One example is the Miami Valley Research Park in Dayton, which is a collaboration of Sinclair Community College, University of Dayton, Wright State University, and Air Force Institute of Technology. It houses established tech companies and encourages new tech startups like the network specialists at Chapel Romanoff Technologies or the security product developers at LunarLine.
Cybersecurity Salaries in Ohio
The Ohio average salary is 10-20% lower than the national average, regardless of the title. This can be explained in part by the Midwest’s lower cost of living.
Remember that numbers can vary from one city to the next. According to the U.S. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that information security professionals based in Cleveland actually earn a higher salary than the national average. Indeed.com reports a rise in the earning potential of cybersecurity professionals in Cleveland.