Cyber Security Degree in Mississippi

Cyber Security Degree in Mississippi

If you plan to earn a cyber security degree in Mississippi, there are a few choices to think about. Cyber security studies the tools, tech and tasks that keep data safe. Also known as information assurance (IA), it is a popular major. That said, not all Mississippi colleges have it on their list of degree programs. According to the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s College Scorecard, there are 52 colleges in MS. Of them, only 4 awarded degrees in cybersecurity in 2018. In order of the number of graduating students, these are: 

  • Hinds Community College – 23
  • Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College – 10
  • Mississippi State University – 5
  • East Mississippi Community College – 3

Online Cyber Security Programs in MS

Given computer security is a big issue, some schools in MS offer online cyber security programs. Online cyber programs bring the coursework to you via a web site on your computer. They often allow you to study at your own pace and timetable too. This may make them an easy to access format, especially if you work or are busy. If that sounds like you, here are a few 100% online cyber security degree programs at Mississippi schools.  

Hinds Community College

Hinds Community College offers career programs. One of which is an online Associate in Applied Science in Information Systems Technology. The main area of study is information technology. But there is a cyber security concentration. That way, it may help you gain critical cyber skills. Like how to install, design, manage, operate, plan, and troubleshoot a secure IT infrastructure.

One of the classes that starts you off is an intro to information security. It frames key issues about cyber threats and how to notice them. Other core courses go deeper into network security. You look at all types of cyber attacks and how to secure data comms against them. Once you earn your degree, the program may help you pursue entry level cyber security careers. Also, if you plan for it with an advisor, you might use the credits to transfer into a bachelor’s degree later on. 

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University offers a range of cyber graduate programs. Many of the graduate degrees are only available on campus. For e.g., the Master of Science in Cyber Security and Operations. It covers network security and cryptography. Students also choose a security concentration. Either in cyber defense or cyber operations.

MSU does offer a fully online Master’s in Computer Science. It focuses on data science and AI but does feature a class in computer security. The master’s program may also prep you for a PhD. And they do offer a PhD in computer science as well. 

Or, if it is a shorter path you need, there are graduate certificate programs. One is an information assurance professional certificate. It is a possible add on if you have a bachelor’s degree. Of note, MSU is a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) and holds all three of the National Security Agency’s credentials. CAE-Cyber Defense Education, CAE-Cyber Defense Research, and CAE-Cyber Operations. The MS in Cyber Security and Operations was also selected by the US Navy as a model curriculum. 

Mississippi College

Mississippi College teaches from a faith based lens. They offer an online Master’s degree in Cyber Security and Information Assurance. It is for current cyber security professionals who want a next degree. Classes frame the tools needed to identify, prevent, and lessen cyber threats. So, you study all kinds of cyber crime. Cyber terrorism, cyber warfare, and cyber espionage. Cyber security master’s degree courses last 16 weeks. And full time students may complete the program in five semesters. 

Cyber Scholarships in MS

One way to may a cyber security degree in MS more affordable is to secure financial aid. Scholarships in particular may be useful. They are not loans, so you don’t usually pay the money back. Instead, the funds go towards tuition and required fees. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify.

Scholarship For Service

The SFS scholarship is a National Science Foundation funded program. It aims to nurture a new wave of trained information systems security pros. Mississippi State University is one of the schools that partners with this program. So if a recipient, it fully funds the typical costs you pay for books, tuition, and room and board. To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen who is eligible for security clearance. You must also agree to serve at a gov’t agency in a cyber security position once you graduate. This contract is equal to the length of the scholarship or one year, whichever is longer. The award money varies. Grad students get an annual stipend of $34,000. And undergrads, an annual stipend of $22,500. 

Nissan Scholarship

Nissan North America, Inc. funds this program. It is for applicants that will attend a Mississippi public two year or four year college. Each scholarship will be an amount that pays full tuition, required fees, and a book allowance. For the next academic year, there may be one or two recipients. To qualify, you must be both a U.S. citizen and MS resident. You must also be a graduating Mississippi high school student in the current year. While criteria include financial need and community service, grades matter. That means a GPA of at least 2.5 and 20 on the ACT (940 on the SAT). 

Help Grant

The Help Grant is a state funded and need based grant. It provides full tuition to qualified students for up to four years at a public college. Or if you attend a private college, an amount equal to the award of a student attending the nearest comparable public one. To qualify, you must be a legal resident of the State of Mississippi for one year prior to application. You also need to be within one year of high school graduation (current college freshman). As part of the application process, you must fill and file a FAFSA. You must also have a GPA of at least 2.5 and 20 on the ACT (940 on the SAT). 

Distinguished Young Women Scholarship

Part of a national scholarship program, this award promotes and rewards grades, leadership and talent in young women. One rep will advance to the national program in Mobile, Alabama where they give away over $130,000 in cash tuition scholarships. The contest is free to join. But you must be a junior in high school to participate.

Cyber Workshops and Conferences in Mississippi

One way to meet people in the information security field is to attend an event. Conferences often span a few days and include speakers, break out sessions, panels and networking. In some cases, the credit hours from a conference may count towards a professional certification too.

Mississippi Virtual Digital Government Summit

Slated for the fall, this conference will meet online. A main theme is on the challenges local and state gov’t face as well as the impact of their IT set ups.  

Cyber Security Summit

To get a better grip on issues, Mississippi College leaders host an annual Cybersecurity Summit on the Clinton campus. Past topics included discussions about data breaches and information security.

Cyber Meetups in Mississippi

Meetups are less informal than conferences. Each group is different. But the meetings may last a few hours.

Jackson Area Web and App Developers

This group is for professional web and application designers and developers who want to network with others in the industry. There are about 1,000 members and meetings are infrequent. 

JXNtech

This public group is over 800 strong.  Their goal is to foster the tech community in the central Mississippi region and they meet every few months.  

Mississippi Infraguard

This org is about national security. To be a member you need to be a U.S. citizen and go through an FBI background check which screens according to defined criteria. 

Cyber Security Jobs in Mississippi

Cyber security jobs in Mississippi tend to pay above average salaries for information security analysts. But salaries are also lower in MS than in other states. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage in May 2018 was $73,550. Most cyber security jobs in MS are in Northeast Mississippi. When looking for a job in the MS cyber security field there may be roles for a range of skill sets.  

Halfaker & Associates LLC

A Service Disabled Veteran Owned, Woman Owned, small business. They work in areas like intrusion detection and data analytics. And, may deal with clients in Stennis, MS. 

SimIS Inc

A Veteran Owned Small Business. They help companies manage internal and external threats and may hire in Hancock County, MS. 

Leidos

A company with four key markets. Civil, defense, health and intelligence. Also, a gov’t contractor. They may hire in Vicksburg or Long Beach, MS. 

Humana Inc.

A health insurance company and federal contractor that may hire skilled cyber pros to safeguard networks of health data. They may hire in Ridgeland, MS.

SAIC

A federal contractor whose services span cyber, cloud and eng. They may recruit for the Stennis Space Center and Vicksburg.

Booz Allen Hamilton

A U.S. management and info tech consulting firm and gov’t contractor. They may hire at the Stennis Space Center. 

Cyber Security Degrees in Mississippi by College

All kinds of schools offer cyber security degree programs in MS. Public, private, career and community colleges. Some of these schools earn the title as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE). This title comes from two gov’t agencies. The National Security Agency (NSA). And the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). To give you a head start on your search, we compiled a list of 4 colleges in MS with cyber programs. We then listed these schools in order of the number of cyber grads they had in 2018. 

1

Hinds Community College

608 Hinds Boulevard, Raymond MS

AAS in Information Systems Technology – Cyber Security Technology

Hinds Community College had the highest number (23) of cyber grads in 2018. This 61 credit program studies the 3 tenets of information security through a technical lens. That means how to keep data confidential, intact and accessible only to authorized users. Students also learn to set up, design, oversee, operate, plan, and troubleshoot secure systems. 

Sample classes are:

  • Network Defense – Intrusion detection and defense strategies (proxy servers, firewalls, VPNs)
  • Web and Programming – An intro to computer programming and web site design
  • Network Security – This class is about how to secure networks and spot malicious code
  • Wireless Security – Learn how to create secure wireless tech with hardware, protocols, and encryption

More Cyber Degree Programs:

  • Technical Certificate in Cyber Security Technology
  • Diploma in Cyber Security Technology

Scholarships:

  • Career and Technical Competition Winner Scholarship
  • ACT Scholarships
  • Foundation Scholarships

School Features:

  • Some online classes
2

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

51 Main Street, Perkinston, MS

AAS in Cyber Security Technology

MGCCC had the second highest number (10) of cyber grads in 2018. This 62 credit program gets into the skills needed to spot, prevent and defend against threats to information systems. As a result it covers a wide range of security models for systems, and networks. Things like handling, firewalls, perimeter protection, and network security laws. 

Sample classes are:

  • CCNA 1 – Internet protocol (IP) telephony, LANs, WANs, data transmission, and topology
  • Web Development – Learn to use WYSIWYG editors, HTML, animation / multimedia products, and photo editors
  • Network Security – The basics of how to design secure networks and identify malicious code
  • Wireless Security – Topics include wireless hardware, protocols, encryption, and how to prevent weaknesses in wireless tech

More Cyber Degree Programs:

  • Technical Certificate in Cyber Security Technology
  • Diploma in Cyber Security Technology

Scholarships:

  • MGCCC Scholarships
  • Foundation Scholarships 

School Features:

  • Some online classes
3

Mississippi State University

Lee Boulevard, Mississippi

MS in Cyber Security and Operations

MSU had the third highest number (5) of cyber grads in 2018. This 31 credit program spans 2 years for traditional students. You must select either a thesis or a non thesis option in one of these areas. Cyber operations which covers reverse computer engineering. Or cyber defense which covers computer forensics.  

Sample classes are:

  • Wireless Networks – Explores wireless network protocol design, analysis, security and privacy
  • Computer Security - Looks at ways to make E commerce and systems more secure
  • Cryptography – Learn about key management, wired and wireless network security tasks
  • Computer forensics - An intro to computer crime and the how to solve cyber crimes

More Cyber Degree Programs:

  • MS, PhD in Computer Science

Scholarships:

  • NSF Scholarship for Service
  • Scholarships for Computer Science Majors 

School Features:

  • Online programs in some areas
  • CAE in Cyber Defense Education, Cyber Defense Research, Cyber Operations 
4

East Mississippi Community College

1512 Kemper Street, Scooba, MS

AAS in Computer Networking Technology 

EMCC had the fourth highest number (3) of cyber grads in 2018.  This 65 credit program is about how to design, build and do the maintenance on networks. As a result, it goes over hardware and software tools that help networks run. One also chooses electives to mold a career focus. 

Sample classes are:

  • Digital Forensics – Study the tools, tech and tasks that track cyber criminals down
  • Network Admin – Learn how to spot hackers when you watch network traffic and what to do
  • Information Security - An intro to penetration testing, passwords, user access and other basics
  • Web and Programming – A class to explain how to build and program a website

More Cyber Degree Programs:

  • AS in Criminal Justice  

Scholarships:

  • EMCC Scholarships  

School Features:

  • Multiple campus locations

Get 30% off your first purchase

X