Cyber Security Degrees in Montana

Cyber Security Degrees in Montana

Montana’s sparse population means it has fewer colleges than other states. According to the US Dept. of Ed.’s College Scorecard, the state has 29 colleges and universities. Of those, only four offer degrees in cyber security or information assurance. These programs are newer, which means they did not have graduates in 2018. The four schools offering cyber security degrees in MT are: 

  • Great Falls College Montana State University
  • Missoula College 
  • University of Montana 
  • Montana Technical University 

Online Cyber Security Programs in MT

Because of the small number of colleges offering cyber security degrees in Montana, opportunities for online learning may be harder to find. Of these schools, one offers a hybrid program with some online education. Taking advantage of this program could allow students a greater measure of flexibility when pursuing their cyber education.

Missoula College University of Montana

The BS in Cyber Sec offered through the University of Montana is a hybrid, combo program. This degree is earned through a partnership between three schools. Missoula College, UMT, and Excelsior College in New York have combined forces to offer this degree option. To pursue this degree, students first complete the AAS in Information Technology with the Network Admin & Sec concentration from Missoula College. This is an on campus program. Missoula is a National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security Center of Academic Excellence school. After finishing the AAS, the student will then take core classes on campus at the University of Montana. However, the cyber core of the BS in Cyber Sec is taken through online courses delivered by Excelsior College. This hybrid model is desgined to provide a measure of flexibility. It also gives students access to top cyber training not otherwise available in Montana. 

Cyber Scholarships in MT

Students studying cyber in Montana may need a little help paying for their education. There are a few scholarship programs for tech and STEM students in the state that may help offset the cost of the education. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. These are some to consider:

Montana Space Grant Consortium

The Montana Space Grant Consortium is a NASA-supported program that awards $1,000 a year to students pursuing areas of tech that are of interest to NASA. This includes the option to renew the scholarship for up to two additional years for $1,500 a year. Applicants must maintain good grades and have a letter of recommendation.

Soroptomist Pro Tech Award

This $2,500 scholarship is open to women in Lewis & Clark, Jefferson, or Broadwater Counties who are pursuing a professional or tech cert program, including cyber. The program award amount is up to $2,500 per year for successful applicants.

Montana STEM Scholarship Program

The Montana STEM Scholarship program awards up to $2,000 a year to high school seniors who are studying a tech field, including cyber. Students must be full time at a qualified Montana school of higher learning.

Cyber Workshops and Conferences in Montana

A professional network of other people who are interested in cyber may help students get ahead and learn about new job options after they graduate. One of the best ways to grow that network is through cyber workshops, conferences, and similar events. Montana does not have a lot of these, but there are a few that are worth attending in the state.

Annual Cyber Events in Montana

Annual workshops and conferences give students the opportunity to learn from some of the industry’s top leaders. They also provide the chance to see new cyber tools vendors have for sale. These can be good networking options when leveraged well. For large yearly events, consider these popular options: 

Interface Montana

Interface Montana takes on the IT infra structure and explores topics in security and tech. Presentations, panels, and exhibitors all give attendees the chance to learn about all things cyber. Best practices are often covered. The event is held at the Helena Civic Center in the fall. 

Big Sky Cybercon

Big Sky Cybercon is a cyber sec conference hosted by LMG Security. This event is held in Missoula in the summer. This event focuses on providing attendees with smaller group settings and hands on training options. It also opens the door to personal conversations with industry experts.

Cyber Meetups and Groups in MT

In addition to attending larger annual events, cyber pros in Montana can join meetups and groups in the state. These provide a less formal option for networking. They can be a great way to build strong connections within the local cyber and hacker community Some popular choices include: 

MEH

MEH stands for Montana Ethical Hackers. This group meets in Helena and offers hacking training, reverse engineering, and electronics events. The goal of this small meetup is to socialize hackers and train them ethically on how to use their skills. This is the oldest maker space and hacker space in the region.

Missoula Tech Meetup

This group has monthly meetups that explore hot topics in cyber and the tech world. It meets at various locations throughout the city of Missoula.

DEFCON 406

DEFCON 406 meets on the first Friday of the month at The Staggering Ox in Helena. This group focuses on hackers and giving them a chance to share their skills and passion with each other.

Cyber Security Jobs in Montana

After graduating with a cyber degree, Montana residents may need to find work in the field. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual wage for those in Montana in cyber programs who fell in the 50th percentile of cyber workers in 2018 was $60,920.

Students who graduate with a degree in cyber may find work without leaving home. Here are some to consider when looking for a degree in the field within the state:

Humana

Humana is a major health insurance provider with a nationwide reach. It is also a federal contractor, working with the federal government to provide health plans for citizens. Humana has a location in Bilings that often needs cyber sec trained pros.

General Dynamic Information Technology

General Dynamic is a federal contractor with a location on Malmstrom AFB in Montana. It often needs information security analysts and similarly trained pros to help with its work. General Dynamic works in aerospace and defense.

American Express

American Express, the credit card company, offers financial services and has a location in Helena. American Express is a federal contractor who hires info sec pros to keep sensitive data secure.

CDM Smith

This federal contractor has locations throughout the state, including Butte, Great Falls, Bozeman, and Helena, among other cities. This federal contractor works in engineering and construction.

CenturyLink

CenturyLink provides cable and Internet service throughout the state. It often needs cyber pros to help deliver its services and keep accounts secure. It also needs those trained in cyber to keep its Internet networks safe. CenturyLink is a federal contractor with a location in Sydney.

SAIC

SAIC works in IT, mission support, logistics, and platforms, and it has a location in Helena. This federal contractor often needs cyber pros to help with its efforts. 

Cyber Security Degrees in Montana by College

Though Montana does not have many schools and only a few offer cyber, there are opportunities for students who want to pursue this degree field. There are currently only four programs with cyber degrees in the state of Montana. These are the options students have:

1

Great Falls College Montana State University

2100 16th Ave. S | Great Falls, MT 59405

Associate of Applied Science Cyber Sec

The AAS in Cyber Sec at Great Falls College Montana State University is a two-year program designed to teach students how to be an info systems security analyst and defend against cyber threats.. This is a 64-credit program. Course examples include:

  • Exploring Computer Forensics – Teaches students the basics of computer forensics
  • Enterprise Sec – Discusses security issues for businesses and enterprises
  • Ethical Hacking and Network Defense – Explores ethical ways to use hacking techniques
  • Network OS – Explores common network operating systems and their security issues

More Cyber Degree Programs:

Scholarships: 

School Features:

  • NSA CAE-2Y 2019-2024 
2

Missoula College

2306 E Broadway St | Missoula, MT 59802

Associate of Applied Science in Info Tech with Network Admin & Sec Option

Missoula College is the two-year college connected to the University of Minnesota. This school offers an AAS in Information Technology that has a Network Admin & Sec concentration. It offers students the chance to graduate with a professional cert in cyber sec and transfer to a four-year program. The 60 credit degree program had no grads in 2018, but offered these courses:

  • Ethics in Computer Science – Explores the ethics that surround the world of tech
  • Enterprise Sec – Discusses security issues for companies and enterprises
  • Network OS Server Admin – Discusses how to administrate servers and OS to protect against risk
  • Computer Fluency – Gives students a basic overview of common terms used in the computer world

More Cyber Degree Programs:

  • Undergrad Certs available

Scholarships: 

School Features:

3

University of Montana

32 Campus Dr. | Missoula, MT 59812

BS in Cyber Sec

UMT has a unique program that offers a BS in Cyber Sec through a partnership with Excelsior College in New York. This program allows students to pursue their AAS in Cyber through UMT, then take an online program through Excelsior College to complete the four year bachelor’s degree. This allows students to get a deeper understanding of cyber without having to travel out of state for school. Course examples in the 120 credit degree program include:

  • Cyber Sec Defense in Depth – A deep look at building strong cyber protections
  • Overview of Computer Sec – A broad overview of computer sec concepts
  • Cyber Sec Capstone – A cyber project to complete the degree program
  • Network and App Sec – How to keep networks and apps secure

More Cyber Degree Programs:

  • Undergrad Certs available

Scholarships:

School Features: 

  • Online Cyber Degrees: BS 
4

Montana Technological University

1300 W Park St. | Butte, MT 59701

BS Network Tech Cyber Sec

Montana Tech has a new BS in Network Tech program that incorporates an AAS in Computer Networks and Cyber Sec. Students begin with the AAS degree at Highland’s College, then transition seamlessly into the BS Network Tech program at Montana Tech. Students are prepared for popular cyber certs when they finish. As a new program, it had no grads in 2018. Course examples for this 62 credit course include: 

  • Advanced Linux – Explores this popular open source OS
  • Presenting Tech Info – Teaches how to present tech info in public
  • Ethical Hacking and Network Defense – How to use hacking techniques to track down cyber criminals
  • Cyber Sec Essentials – An overview of the world of cyber

More Cyber Degree Programs: 

  • Undergrad Certs available 

Scholarships: 

School Features:

Get 30% off your first purchase

X