Cyber Security Colleges in Illinois

Cyber Security Colleges in Illinois

Cyber security degree programs aim to nurture skills needed in tech, digital fraud and security. If you are curious about this field, it is one not all schools offer. The US Dept. of Ed’s College Scorecard lists 224 IL schools. Of those, only 13 offer a cyber security degree programs in Illinois. Of those, the 10 schools based on the number of students who graduate with cyber degrees are:

  • DePaul University – 71 grads 
  • Lewis University – 59 grads 
  • John A Logan College – 14 grads 
  • Moraine Valley Community College – 13 grads 
  • Illinois Institute of Technology – 10 grads  
  • Loyola University Chicago – 9 grads 
  • University of Illinois at Springfield – 9 grads 
  • Illinois State University – 7 grads 
  • Elgin Community College – 4 grads 
  • Rock Valley College – 4 grads  

Online Cyber Security Programs in IL

With hacking on the rise, many schools offer cyber degree programs online. Online cyber security programs offer flexible learning that suits many busy adults. The programs listed below have 100% online formats for those who want a cyber degree.

DePaul University

DePaul is an NSA CAE school and Cisco Networking Academy (CNA). At DePaul, you can find both a BS and MS in Cyber Security online. BS students can take all their classes online and take part in hands on learning with Cisco tools. And MS students take all classes remotely. 

The online BS in Cyber Security focuses on the safety of data and systems. It has a strong comp sci base while also covering risk and digital forensics. Totally online, the MS in Cyber Security studies the design of safe systems. It also touches on the managerial side of info sec. Plus, there is a choice of three niche areas. Networks, security and risk.  

Lewis University

Lewis is an NSA CAE IA / CD school. The school offers an online MS in Computer Science with a Cyber Security focus. In 2017, the MS program ranked among the Top Online Masters in Cyber Security. It also covers material to help prep students for industry exams. Such as CISSP, CEH and CISA. With its technical slant, it may help you learn the finer points of info sec. Things like ethical hacking, digital forensics, risk and encryption.  

John A Logan College

John A Logan College is an NSA CAE2Y and NSA CAER school. At Logan, there are three online Associate in Applied Science programs. All include some classes in cyber and tech. The AAS in Computer Support and Networking is basic. In it, you look at cloud tech and pen testing. Plus, aspects of wiring and electronics.

In the AAS in Computer Science, the focus is security. It covers firewalls, ethical hacking and VPNs. You also study cybercrimes and criminal law. Third is the AAS in Cyber Security / Info Assurance. The focus here is keeping data secure. So, it looks into VPNs, firewalls, routers, pen testing and info sec policy. 

Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Tech offers an online MAS in Cyber Security. All the courses in the program are online and look at security from all sides. Students learn how to assess, prevent and manage threats. And, can zoom in on a niche area. AI Security, IoT Security, Cloud or Mobile Security.

University of Illinois at Springfield

UIS is part of the University of Illinois system that offers online programs. One is an online BS in Computer Science. The core program is technical. You study op systems, software engineering and programming. To tailor the basic program, you can add a focus in Info Systems Security. It takes a deep look at network security tools and methods.

Notable features of UIS include its rank as one of the Top 10 Online Colleges in Illinois 2020. And, 4th in Value Schools Cheapest Online Bachelors in Cyber Security. Add to this, UIS is an NSA CAE IA / IAE school. 

Rock Valley College

Rock Valley College offers an online AS in Data Assurance and IT Security. A two year program, it goes into CISCO Networking in detail. You take classes in IP telephony, personal computer tech and more. As a result, you may build general firewall skills and be able to trouble shoot.  

Cyber Scholarships in IL

If you want to earn a cyber security degree in Illinois, there are scholarships you may qualify for. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. Many of them are available through accredited colleges. But other providers offer them this kind of gift money too.

CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service Program (SFS)

The CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service Program (SFS) is a federal program. It aims to boost the IA workforce by recruiting talent. SFS gets funds from two agencies. The Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Science Foundation (NSF). These agencies partner with some CAE CD and CAE IA colleges in Illinois. In return for a sum of money, SFS scholars agree to work for the gov’t.

The aid tends to pay full tuition and fee waivers. Plus, an annual stipend of $22,500 (undergrads) and $34,000 (grad students). Students also get a sum for books and travel that relates to the program. To qualify, you must be a US citizen or legal permanent resident. You must also be a full time student in a partner school and sign a work contract.  

MIA / POW Scholarship

The Illinois Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs offers an MIA / POW scholarship. It is for dependents of IL residents who entered active duty. Then became 100% disabled, died or went missing. Amounts vary and recipients can use funds at public colleges in IL. To apply, there is a form to fill out. It asks for details about both the applicant and POW member.  

Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant

If you are, or have been an active Illinois National Guard, you may qualify for a grant. The Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant. ING pays eligible tuition and fees. As long you go to an approved IL public university or public community college. Amounts vary as they depend on your years of service. Applicants do need at least one year of service. And, must be current students at an IL public 2 or 4 year school.  

Cyber Workshops, and Conferences in Illinois

To keep your cyber skills sharp, Illinois hosts annual conferences. Learn from keynote speakers who know info sec or take part in workshops. Many are now available as virtual and interactive events with on demand attendance. 

THOTCON

About 10 years ago a group of Chicago hackers created THOTCON. It began as a low cost conference and takes place in Chicago, IL. The event location is a secret until the last minute. But is on the books for September 2020. 

National Homeland Security Conference (NHSC)

NHSC brings together over 1500 national security pros. Many are in homeland security, law enforcement or are emergency managers. The conference agenda covers topics in fire rescue service, counter terrorism and more. Right now, the date is on hold so stay tuned.

Chicago Cyber Security Conference

Data Connectors hosts an annual conference for Info Sec pros. Called the Cyber Security Strategies Conference it has a CISO panel. And, keynote speakers from the FBI, InfraGuard, the US Secret Service and DHS. If you miss it this year, the entire Virtual Summit is available on demand for 60 days post event. 

Cyber Security Meetups and Events in Illinois

When done for your day, Illinois’ has a dynamic cyber community. Taking part can be a perfect way to network and keep up to date with the latest tech tools.

Chicago Security Meetup

Do you enjoy beer and talking about hacking? The Chicago Security Meetup is a public group with 1,672 members. As a CSM member, you can take part in online events and webinars. One coming soon is “AI as a Catalyst for IoT”. There is also a discussion board where people share ideas. Some members also use the board to share their job status and connect.  

Evolve Sec Chicago

Another meetup in the Chicago area is EvolveSec Chicago. A public group, it has 3,208 members. The group is for all who want to learn about the cyber industry. Or, who want to network with a hub of cyber security pros. Members can access hands on workshops, keynote speakers and more. A recent online event, for e.g., explored the cyber threat landscape.

NCC Group Security Open Forum Chicago

The NCC Group is an informal public meetup group. With 307 members, they bring security researchers from all fields in and hold open talks. Talks aim to help members learn about new tools. Like app security and cryptography.

OWASP Chicago Chapter

They focus on ways to improve the security of software. With 1,428 members, they host DevOps Viewing parties and other events during the year.

ISSA Chicago

To hone info sec skills and learn about new issues, you might join ISSA Chicago Chapter. ISSA is an association of Info Systems Security pros. They offer certifications, web events, and invite members to write articles. You can earn CPE credits along the way too. 

ISACA Chicago

A global agency, ISACA hosts many cyber security events. Apart from monthly chapter meetings there are virtual seminars. Plus, many trainings in areas like cyber for audit, CISA, CSXP and more. ISACA also partners with the Secure World Conference with a date TBD. If it is closer for you, there is an ISACA Illini Chapter too.

Cyber Security Jobs in Illinois

Illinois is one of the states with the highest level of employment for Info Sec pros. Also per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary cyber job in IL paid $98,640 in 2018. There are cyber security jobs for various types of workers in Illinois. Whether you are an analyst, engineer, or tactical person. To start you out, here are some possible IL employers.

Trace Systems Inc.

A supplier of cyber services and solutions to the US gov’t, DoD and its partners. They value hiring Veterans and may have jobs in Scott AFB and Rock Island IL.

Jacobs

A gov’t contractor. They work with the US Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, NASA, US Special Operations and others. Locations for jobs may include Scott AFB in IL.

Robert Half Inc.

A staffing agency and federal contractor. They may recruit cyber engineers and other pros to fill jobs in Vernon Hills, IL.

Leidos

A company with four key markets. Civil, defense, health and intelligence. Also, a federal contractor, they may post cyber engineer jobs for Scott AFB in IL.

Impact Networking

An IT service management company. They may post cyber engineer jobs in areas such as Bolingbrook, Chicago and Lake Forest, IL.

Reyes Holdings Inc.

A family led distributer of food and beverages. Also, a federal contractor, they may post diverse cyber jobs. Possible areas include Rosemont, IL.

Cyber Security Degrees in Illinois by College

There are many cyber security colleges in Illinois to choose from. So, our team narrowed it down to these 13 schools. To do this, we looked at the number of students who graduated in the 2018 school year and put schools in order by those number of graduates. And, whose majors related to information assurance and cyber /computer forensics.

1

DePaul University

1 E. Jackson Blvd., Chicago IL.

BS in Cyber Security

With 71 grads in 2018, DePaul takes its place as the top cyber degree granting college in IL. This program entails 192 credit hours and aims to teach info sec from all sides. From codes, cyphers and databases. To forensics, programming, and testing. Sample classes are:

  • Network Security – An overview of network security design, IP addresses, firewalls, VPNs and more
  • Data Structure – This class focuses on linear data, JAVA and on their uses to solve problems
  • Intro to Comp Sci – Gain technical skills to debug programs and develop algorithms
  • Database Systems – Study SQL, triggers, indexes and other key aspects of programming databases

More Cyber Degree Programs:

  • MS in Cyber Security
  • MS in Computer Security (track)

Scholarships:

  • CDM MS – MA Scholarship
  • Double Demon Scholarship

School Features:

  • Online Cyber Degrees – BS, MS
  • NSA CAE in Information Assurance / Cyber Security
  • CORE Education Through Gamification – NSA funded grant project
  • Security Daemons – active students club
  • CDM Security Lab with CISCO tools
2

Lewis University

One University Parkway, Romeoville, IL.

MS in Computer Science in Cyber Security

Lewis U took second place in 2018 with 59 cyber grads. This online program aims to teach you how to spot and combat cyber threats. It entails 33 credits and one core research class. You can also expect to write a thesis. Sample classes are:

  • Advanced Cyber Security – This class covers the tools and protocols needed to encrypt data against malware and other threats
  • Encryption – Students learn about algorithms, OSI model and other ways to verify users and encrypt data
  • Network Security – An overview of basics like servers, networks, firewalls and other practices to keep intruders out
  • App Security – A deep look at security flaws and software tech like file systems and web services

More Cyber Degree Programs:

  • 4 + 1 Bachelor’s to master’s programs in cyber security
  • BS in Computer Science

Scholarships:

  • Lewis University Scholarships (for new first time students)

School Features:

  • Online Cyber Degrees – MS
  • Ranked 6th Best Online Master’s in Cyber Security 2017
  • NSA CAE in Information Assurance / Cyber Security
3

John A Logan College

700 Logan College Road, Carterville, IL.

AAS in Computer Forensics

A total of 14 cyber grads in 2018 gives John A. Logan College third place in the state of IL. This transfer friendly AAS program features online classes and about 60 credits. It is for students who want to track cybercrime. And prep for COMPTIA certification. Sample classes are:

  • Intro to Cybercrimes  An overview of various kinds of cybercrimes
  • Cloud Tech – About cloud computing
  • Criminal Behavior – Study what makes criminals act in deviant ways
  • VPNs and Firewalls – This class covers the tools needed to keep data and systems safe

More Cyber Degree Programs:

  • AAS in Computer Support and Networking
  • AAS in Computer Science

Scholarships:

  • JALC Foundation Scholarships 

School Features:

  • NSA CAE2Y and NSA CAER school
  • Ranked as a Military Friendly School in 2016
  • Transfer agreements with Governors State University
4

Moraine Valley Community College

9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills, IL.

AAS in Cloud Networking and Virtualization

Moraine Valley had the fourth highest number of cyber grads in 2018. This program aims to prep you to play a support role in IT. It focuses on tech, standards and protocols. Sample classes are:

  • Iaas – Infrastructure as a service
  • Paas – Platform as a service
  • Saas – Software as a service
  • Cloud networks –An intro to hardware, software and storage systems

More Cyber Degree Programs:

  • Cisco Network Associate Certificate
  • Microsoft Associate Certificate

Scholarships:

  • Moraine Valley Scholarships

School Features:

  • Online / hybrid comp sci degrees
  • Avatar Best-in-Class® Seal
  • National Vanguard Learning College
  • Member of League for Innovation in the Community College 
5

Illinois Institute of Technology

10 West 35th Street, Chicago, IL.

BS in Computer and Cyber Security Engineering

Fifth in IL, Illinois Institute of Technology had 10 cyber grads in 2018. This program aims to train you in design and process of secure hardware and software. It entails 133 – 134 courses split over comp sci, eng, math, physics and more.  Sample classes are:

  • Operating Systems – An intro to files, protection, process and other basic concepts
  • Law of Privacy – This class takes a deep dive into privacy laws, listening, viewing and wiretaps
  • Digital Systems – Learn about circuits, counters, binary codes and switching devices
  • Intro to Computer Cyber Security – Study the threats and defenses like keys, forensics, cloud and web security

More Cyber Degree Programs:

  • MAS Cyber Security

Scholarships:

  • First Year Student Scholarships 

School Features:

  • Online MS cyber degrees
6

Loyola University Chicago 

1032 W. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL.

BS in Cyber Security

Loyola U is the sixth highest grantor of cyber degrees in IL for 2018. This program aims to teach you how to keep networks reliable and secure. It entails 120 credits, 61 of which are for your major. Sample classes are:

  • Intrusion Detection – Learn to configure ID systems like SNORT and detect all kinds of risks
  • Computer Forensics – This class takes a look at digital fraud and ways to investigate 
  • Network Security – Study the methods and tactics to keep attacks at bay through firewalls, restricted access and more
  • Intro to Computer Security – An intro class to help you understand packet sniffing, pen testing and secure coding

More Cyber Degree Programs:

  • BS In Information Technology
  • MS in Computer Science / Cyber Security

Scholarships:

  • Academic Scholarships
  • Rambler Award
  • Catholic Heritage Award

School Features:

  • Gets external funds for research
7

University of Illinois at Springfield

One University Plaza, Springfield, IL.

BS in Information Systems Security

The University of Illinois Springfield ranks 7th in IL for most cyber grads in 2018. This online program aims to teach you about the design of secure systems. Of the 120 credits needed, 36 are in comp sci and another 36, in info sec. Sample classes are:

  • Data Structures – Learn about algorithms
  • Basics of Comp Sci – An intro to the hardware itself and uses of computers such as web pages
  • Network Security – Study the ways to keep wired systems safe from breaches
  • Programming – Languages of the computer and how to use them

More Cyber Degree Programs:

  • BS in Computer Science
  • MS in Computer Science

Scholarships:

  • UIS Merit Scholarships
  • Aim High Scholarships

 

School Features:

  • Top 10 Online Colleges in Illinois 2020
  • Value Colleges #4 in Top 25 Most Affordable
    Cyber Security Degrees in 2019
  • Ranked #21 Best STEM School by Learn.org
  • NSA CAE in Information Assurance / Info Ass Education
  • CISCO Regional Networking Academy
  • Online BS, MS degrees
8

Illinois State University

North and School Streets, Normal, IL.

BS in Cyber Security

Illinois State U ranks 9th in IL for most cyber grads in 2018. This program focuses on ways to protect data against theft and hackers. Along with this, you study basic comp sci topics. Sample classes are:

  • Computer Programming  An intro to algorithms and operating systems
  • Info Assurance – This is an overview of network security and how to encrypt data
  • Intro to Data Structures – Learn about binary trees, queues, linked lists and stacks
  • Practical Cryptography – Study trusted systems, access controls and other security protocols

More Cyber Degree Programs:

  • BS in Computer Science
  • BS in Information Systems
  • MS in Cyber Security

Scholarships:

  • Friends of Donna Mauk Memorial Scholarship
  • Robert & Michelle Howell Scholarship

School Features:

  • NSA CAE in Cyber Defense Education
9

Elgin Community College

1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL.

AAS in Computer Information Systems

Elgin Community College comes in 9th place for most cyber grads in IL in the 2018 school year. This program looks at common threats and security tools. You can also complete extra courses for the Vocational Specialist Certificate. Sample classes are:

  • Computer Science I – An intro to programming where you look at testing, records, data files and more
  • Intro to Computers – Learn the basics of the hardware and how to publish web pages
  • Principles of Cyber Security – A network security course that covers tools, access and common threats
  • Digital Forensics – Study ways to track evidence and recover data

More Cyber Degree Programs:

  • Cyber Security Vocational Specialist Certificate
  • Computer Information Systems Certificate

Scholarships:

  • ECC Foundation Scholarships
  • District 509 Board of Trustees Scholarships 

School Features:

  • Transfer friendly
  • Online classes
10

Rock Valley College

3301 N. Mulford Rd., Rockford, IL.

AS in Data Assurance and IT Security

With the 10th most cyber grads in 2018, Rock Valley College offers certificates and associate degrees. This program is all about internet security issues. With 64 credits, it aims to teach you how to check network traffic and more. Sample classes are:

  • Intro to Computers – An overview of info systems and the uses of computers, spreadsheets and word processing
  • Programming – How to develop web pages and web sites
  • Cisco Firewall Design – All about network security, firewalls, VPNs and user authentication
  • Advanced Network Security – Learn about network security design, Router IOS firewalls and Layer 2 security

More Cyber Degree Programs:

  • AS Computer and Info Systems
  • CISCO Networking Certificate

Scholarships:

  • RVC Foundation Scholarships

School Features:

  • Transfer friendly
11

College of Lake County

19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake, IL.

AS in Computer Information Technology

College of Lake County is the 11th highest grantor of cyber degrees in IL. You can find here a range of certificates and associate degrees. This transfer friendly program nurtures key skills. It entails a range of math, science and computer classes mapped into four semesters. Sample classes are:

  • Intro to Computers – Learn basics about hardware and software
  • Programming – Study C++ and other concepts
  • Advanced composition – Ways to write technical and science focused ideas
  • Economics – A look at the principles of markets and finance

More Cyber Degree Programs:

  • C++ Programming Certificate
  • Cisco Networking Certificate
  • Computer Forensics Analyst Certificate
  • Network Admin and Security Certificate

Scholarships:

  • CLC Foundation Scholarships 

School Features:

  • Online AS degrees
12

Rasmussen College Illinois

6000East State Street 4th Floor, Rockford, IL.

BS in Cyber Security

Rasmussen ranks 12th place for most cyber grads in IL during the year 2018. Here you can find certificates, associate and bachelor degrees. This online program entails 90 credits. It aims to teach you the basic skills needed to keep data safe. Sample classes are:

  • Virtual Tech – This class covers switching, server side vs client side and other key concepts
  • Hacker Tools – An intro to hacking tools and ways to handle breaches
  • Malware – Learn how to reverse engineer malwares as well as understand source code
  • Risk analysis – Study ways to make a disaster recovery plan and spot weak areas

More Cyber Degree Programs:

  • BS in Computer Science

Scholarships:

  • Change A Life Scholarship

School Features:

  • Online BS and AS degrees
13

Kaskaskia College

27210 College Rd., Centralia, IL.

AAS in Cyber Defense

In 2018, Kaskaskia ranked 12th for the most cyber grads in IL. It offers both certificates and associate degrees. This program aims to provide basic cyber skills to keep data assets safe. There are 68 credits covered in four semesters. Sample classes are:

  • Cyber Defense – Basics of counter measures
  • IDs and Firewalls – Covers the tools to protect against threats
  • Ethical hacking – Study ways people break into systems to be able to outsmart hackers
  • Computer System Forensics – Learn how to trace evidence of cybercrime

More Cyber Degree Programs:

  • CISCO Engineering Certificate
  • AS in Computer Applications

Scholarships:

  • Foundation Scholarships

School Features:

  • Online classes

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