Cyber Security Degrees in South Dakota

Cyber Security Degrees in South Dakota

The state of South Dakota does not have a lot of schools of higher education. For students looking for degree programs in cyber, it does offer a number of options. The US Dept. of Ed’s College Scorecard lists 26 colleges in the state. Of those, five offer cyber degrees. Based on the number of grads in 2018, these are the top options for cyber in South Dakota. 

  • Dakota State University: 57 grads
  • Southeast Technical Institute: 10 grads
  • National American University Rapid City: 3 grads
  • Lake Area Technical Institute
  • Northern State University

Online Cyber Security Programs in SD

Online education provides a flexible option for students studying cyber. This works well for those who want to work at their own pace or students who need to work full time while in school. Adult learners often benefit from online degrees. In South Dakota, students looking at cyber degrees may find several online options. Students may pursue all types of cyber degrees, from an associate degree all the way to a doctoral program. These are the schools that offer online degree programs in cyber. 

Dakota State University

Dakota State University is home to the Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Science. This is the state’s only National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security Center of Academic Excellence. IT is also one of only 20 CAE in Cyber Ops. Several of the school’s cyber degrees are available online, including both bachelor’s degrees and graduate degrees.

At DSU, students may earn both a BS in Cyber Ops and a BS in Cyber Leadership and Intelligence online. The school also has an AS in Network and Sec Admin and a BS in Network and Sec Admin available online. Those seeking grad work may apply to the MS in Cyber Defense. The school even has an online doctoral program in IT, the PhD in Information Systems. Several online certs on both the undergrad and grad level round out its cyber options.

Lake Area Technical Institute

LATI offers an online AAS in Networking and Cyber Sec Specialist degree program. This degree aims to prepare a student the pursue entry level work in the cyber field. Students graduate with CCNP cert. This program is also unique because it has a 2 + 2 transfer arrangement with Mount Marty College. Students who want to earn a bachelor’s degree in IT and cyber may finish their associate degree at LATI, then transfer to the Management Info Systems program at Mount Marty College to complete their bachelor of science degree in computer science. This could allows students to save some money and benefit from an online program in cyber. 

National American University

National American University is an online college with campuses in Rapid City and at the Ellsworth Air Force Base. This school offers many online degree programs in IT. The BS in IT with a Cyber Sec and Forensics Emphasis is a cyber degree that aims to provide a strong education in both IT and cyber. The school also offers an online AAS in IT and a Master of Science in Strategic Sec and Protection Management.

Cyber Scholarships in SD

South Dakota offers a number of great scholarships for students who are interested in cyber and tech degrees. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The cyber scholarship options include:

Build Dakota Scholarship

Students in South Dakota who attend a technical institute in the state can apply for one of 300 scholarships available through Build Dakota. This program provides a full scholarship, including books, to qualified applicants.

Dakota Corps

Dakota Corps is a scholarship program designed to keep grads in South Dakota. Those who are willing to work in a critical needs job, including information technology, after graduation can apply. The GPA requirement for this scholarship is 2.8 or higher. For most students, this award is a full ride scholarship for all tuition and fees.

South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship

This scholarship awards up to $6,500 for students in a four year program in a participating college. The award amount is $1,300 for the first three years and doubles to $2,600 for the fourth year.

Cyber Workshops and Conferences in South Dakota

Getting to know others who are passionate about the cyber world may help recent grads and cyber students build a network. A strong network is often the key to pursuing a job after finishing school. Cyber workshops, conferences, and events in South Dakota provide the opportunity to build that network. Both annual events and routine meetups provide that chance.

Annual Cyber Events in South Dakota

Large cyber events provide the chance to look at new tech and hear from leaders in the industry. Some of the annual events in South Dakota for cyber include:


DakotaCon is a three day event in Madison that brings in some of the best people in cyber. Keynote speakers make this event a perfect one with new cyber grads and old pros alike. This event takes place at DSU. The Friday talks are completely free, which is an added perk of this convention.

DSU GenCyber

GenCyber is a camp for high school students who are interested in cyber and information security. This gives them the chance to explore the field and see if it is a good fit for them. It also builds excitement about the field. DSU hosts this annual cyber event as well.

Wild West Hackin’ Fest

Wild West Hackin’ Fest takes place in Deadwood. This event has training, labs, and workshops. The three day conference covers info sec, hacking, and risks. Talks and training come from some of the best leaders in the field, not just those that work in South Dakota.

Sioux Falls Cyber Sec Conference

This conference held at the Sioux Falls Convention Center is a one day event that explores the need for a cyber sec plan in business. It brings in a keynote speaker to address a current hot topic in cyber. The Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce hosts this event.

CybHER Rocket Girls Camp

Another DSU camp, CybHER Rocket Girls Camp focuses on inspiring female high school students to consider cyber. This CyberSpcae Camp features some of the top women in Cyber from DSU to teach the girls who attend.

Cyber Groups and Meetups in South Dakota

Meetups for cyber in South Dakota are harder to find, but there are some worth considering including this one:

Sioux Falls 2600

The hacker magazine 2600 has inspired chapters around the country, and Sioux Falls has its chapter. This is an informal group that meets once a month to network, but without any formal speaker or topic to discuss. 

Cyber Security Jobs in South Dakota

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage for cyber grads in South Dakota is $91,630. Students who graduate with a cyber degree will find a number of companies and gov’t agencies who want their skills in South Dakota. Some places to apply for jobs like cyber security analyst or information technology analyst include these: 

Sanford Health

Sanford Health is a healthcare provider with a location in Sioux Falls. It is the largest rural healthcare provider in the country. They often need IT pros and cyber trained individuals to help keep sensitive patient data secure.

CDM Smith

This engendering and construction company works in water, transport, and facilities. It is a government contractor. Locations in Brookings and Watertown often require cyber pros.


Humana sells health insurance. This federal contractor has a location in Aberdeen. They often need to hire cyber professionals.

CACI International

CACI is an info tech company that helps the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. It is a federal contractor. It has locations throughout the country, including one in Sioux Falls. CACI often needs IT security pros.

Verint Systems, Inc

Verint Systems is a software company that works in customer engagement, security, and surveillance. It also works in business intelligence. This federal contractor has a large cyber branch that often needs new workers. It has a location in Pierre.

Air National Guard

The Air National Guard’s base in Fort Meade often requires cyber pros to help keep data secure. 

Cyber Security Degrees in South Dakota by College

The schools that offer cyber security degrees in SD have a range of programs offered to interested students. Whether a student wants a basic two-year associate degree or is looking for doctoral level work, they will find it in one of these South Dakota colleges or universities. Based on the number of grads in 2018 and the quality of the school’s programming, these are the top schools in cyber for South Dakota.


Dakota State University

820 N Washington Ave. | Madison, SD 57042

BS Cyber Operations

The BS in Cyber Ops at DSU teaches how to investigate cyber attacks and find problems that increase risk. This program is part of the school’s 4+1 program, which allows sunbonnets to complete a BS and MS degree in computers in just five years. The 120 credit hour program includes 78 credits in cyber and IT. It is available either online or on campus. It had 57 grads in 2018 and is the state’s top program. Course examples include:

  • Software Sec – Discusses how to keep software secure and avoid risk
  • Data Structures – Data structures and their algorithms used in common computing problems
  • Malware Analysis – Intro to analyzing and debugging malware
  • Defensive Network Sec – Teaches students how to go on the defensive against risks through firewalls and detection

More Cyber Degree Programs:


School Features: 


Southeast Technical Institute

2320 N Career Ave. | Sioux Falls, SD 57107

AAS in Information Technology Security

The AAS in IT Sec at STI is a 68 credit program. It had 10 grads in 2018, making it our second ranked program for the state. Students may graduate prepared to pursue entry level positions in cyber. Class examples include: 

  • Micro Computer Hardware – Explores the tiniest parts of computers and networks
  • Intro to Networking – Teaches the basics of building and managing computer networks
  • Info Sec – An intro course to the world of keeping IT systems secure
  • Disaster Recovery – Teaches the steps to take to protect IT systems after a disaster

More Cyber Degree Programs: 

  • Undergrad Certs available


School Features: 

  • 100% job placement for 2019 cyber grads 

National American University

5301 Mount Rushmore Rd. | Rapid City, SD 57701

BS in IT with a Cyber Sec and Forensics Emphasis

National American University has a campus in Rapid City and provides online programs in IT. The BS in IT with a Cyber Sec and Forensics Emphasis prepares students for digital forensics careers. It includes a 60-credit IT core and a 31.5 credit cyber core. This program had three grads in 2018, making it our third ranked program for the state. The total number of credits is 180. Course examples include:

  • Java Programming – How to use Java to help with computer security
  • Internet Sec – The issues and risks that the Internet brings to IT, and how to combat them
  • Forensic Methods – How to use digital forensics and ethical hacking to solve cyber crimes
  • Network Sec – An exploration of network sec risks, issues, and solutions

More Cyber Degree Programs: 


School Features: 

  • Online Cyber Degrees: AAS, BS, MS

Lake Area Technical Institute

1201 Arrow Ave. | Watertown, SD 57201

AAS in Networking and Cyber Security Specialist

The AAS in Networking and Cyber Sec Specialist degree is a 20 month program that helps students gain hands on experience in cyber. Graduates may either jumpstart their careers, pursue a CCNP cert, or transfer to Mount Marty College for a BS in MIS four year program. Lake Area Tech had no grads in 2018. This degree is available online. Course examples include:

  • Intro to Computer Programming – Explores the basics of programming language and technique
  • IT Essentials – An overview of critical IT concepts
  • App Security – Teaches how to keep apps secure
  • Adv. Mobile Apps – A detailed look at mobile apps and their cyber risks

More Cyber Degree Programs: 


School Features: 

  • Online Cyber Degrees: AAS 

Northern State University

1200 S Jay St. | Aberdeen, SD 57401

BS in MIS Financial Systems Assurance and Sec

This unique program from NSU combines business and finance instruction with cyber sec. The BS in MIS Financial Systems Assurance and Sec degree is a 120 credit program with 48 credits in business and 24 credits in cyber. Though it had no cyber grads in 2018, it is one of the options available to those looking for a program in the state. Course examples include: 

  • Structured System Analysis and Design – Explores how to design systems and analyze them to ensure they are secure
  • Regulations and Comp – How to comply with current regulations in the cyber industry
  • IT Sec, Assurance and Risk Management – How to manage risk and keep secure systems in place to protect networks
  • IT Auditing – How to audit IT systems to find risks and problems

More Cyber Degree Programs: 


School Features: