Cybersecurity Programs in Alaska


Updated January 27, 2023

Employers in Alaska seek talented cybersecurity graduates. Learn more about living, working, and studying cybersecurity in Alaska with this guide. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Cybersecurity is a small but important field in Alaska. As the state continues to invest in technology and innovation, more professionals on the security side will be needed to protect against malicious attacks.

Despite its tech workforce of just over 10,000 people, Alaska had more than 6,000 job postings in 2021, per CompTIA's State of the Tech Workforce. This surge of employment opportunities marks a need for an influx of trained tech professionals.

To get there, however, Alaskan students may need to get creative with their studies. The state has fewer than 10 schools, and only several offer relevant programs in this field. Discover the available options and why students might want to consider cybersecurity in Alaska with this guide.

Alaska at a Glance

Average Wage for Computer and Mathematical Occupations


% of Workforce in Tech


Economic Impact of Tech Industry

$2 billion

Number of Higher Learning Institutions


Sources: Cyberstates™, NCES, OEWS

Why Go to College for Cybersecurity in Alaska?

Alaska's collegiate history dates back to 1917, amid the founding of the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines. More than a century later, the state has eight higher learning institutions providing degrees for its most in-demand fields, including information technology and cybersecurity.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics' (NCES) College Navigator, the state hosts more than 21,000 students. Most of these learners attend one of the three University of Alaska (UA) schools.

For resident students of Alaska, the state offers lower-than-average tuition rates, beautiful scenery, and a supportive in-state employment network. For cybersecurity graduates, the state's investments in cyberdefense should lead to improved focus and new job opportunities for the future.

Alaska's history as a prominent military defense post makes it a fitting spot for cybersecurity professionals. With most of the schools positioned in city centers, the state's large landmass means that online learning plays a pivotal role for many learners. Along with offering extensive online offerings, the UA system has 13 total campuses and extended learning centers to accommodate its widespread student body.

While online students often still prepare for on-campus residency requirements, cybersecurity and other computer-related programs often tend to have fewer in-person demands. These enrollees can also benefit from the state's unique geographical and economic position, which can lead to higher-than-average wages for tech professionals.

Education Statistics for Alaska

Despite Alaska's low number of two-year and four-year colleges, the percentage of online students aligns closely with the national average.

Higher Education Statistics Alaska Data National Data

Four-Year Colleges



Two-Year Colleges



Students Enrolled in Distance Education



Sources: NCES

Accreditation for Alaska Schools

Students should always ensure that their schools have received institutional accreditation, a process through which third-party organizations assess academic standards. According to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, all eight schools in Alaska hold this status.

Learners should also pay attention to programmatic accreditation, which can affect future employment in cybersecurity. Many computing programs seek ABET accreditation, a voluntary process for recognition and quality assurance. In the STEM industry, many employers prefer to hire ABET program graduates.

Considerations for Studying Cybersecurity in Alaska

When choosing a cybersecurity program in Alaska, students need to consider many factors, including their personal interests and goals, learning styles, and study schedules. For example, prospective students should think about what profession they wish to pursue and the discipline or degree level that will best prepare them for that path.

They also must evaluate different learning delivery methods. According to the table below, nearly 70% of Alaskan students take some online courses, providing them with more flexible schedules and fewer travel requirements.

Finally, aspiring cybersecurity students might consider what type of extracurriculars or postgraduate support the schools offer. Learners may also choose among the most diverse cybersecurity schools or consider unique specialization opportunities for an enriched educational experience.

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Cybersecurity Concentrations and Similar Degrees

Cybersecurity professionals can enter the field from many computer-related disciplines. While some schools offer cybersecurity specializations, others allow students to develop their own concentrations through electives, internships, and targeted projects.

The table below highlights some of the best available paths for aspiring cybersecurity professionals in Alaska.

Computer Systems Engineering

This program teaches students to design and develop systems, such as cybersecurity systems. In the growing Alaskan cybersecurity field, engineering graduates can help solidify the state's infrastructure.

Computer Science

Computer science provides comprehensive training that touches on many computing fields, including cybersecurity. These degrees provide a foundation that graduates can build on in many roles.

Management Information Systems

These programs equip students to develop and manage various systems, including cybersecurity systems. In Alaska, these graduates can help fill the skills gap for skilled cybersecurity leaders.

Paying for Your Cybersecurity Program

Alaska students enjoy below-average tuition rates, which can help reduce some of the financial stress of studying. They also have access to various state-specific and STEM-focused scholarship programs, such as the Alaska Education Grant and the GCI scholarship program. These financial awards help attract learners to choose cybersecurity and other related programs at in-state schools.

Still, paying for a degree can be challenging, so students should use all other available resources and support channels. Funding sources may include applying for federal and state financial aid, looking into national STEM scholarships, and exploring private loans.

In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition

Most schools provide lower tuition rates for in-state students than out-of-state students. This incentive helps keep promising homegrown learners close to home, which benefits the state and local communities.

To access in-state tuition rates in Alaska, students need to have lived in the state for the last two years, graduated from an Alaskan high school, or qualified for the Alaska Permanent Fund. State schools may also accommodate military personnel, Alaska alum descendants, and those who can prove their state lineage via Come Home to Alaska.

Alaska's Cost of Living

In addition to college costs, prospective students should consider how the state's cost of living might affect their financial freedom. According to the World Population Index, Alaska has an index score of 127.1, which is much higher than the national average of 100. Overall, the state has the sixth-highest cost of living, resulting largely from the second-highest utilities and grocery indexes in the country.

Careers for Cybersecurity Graduates From Alaska

The cybersecurity industry is relatively small but continues to grow in Alaska. According to CompTIA's State of the Tech Workforce, telecommunications and custom software and services industries lead the way, with network engineers, software, support specialists, and cybersecurity professionals making up the top careers in the field. Tech professionals also earn median wages 71% higher than the national numbers.

In 2021, Alaska fell victim to a barrage of cyberattacks that left several critical sectors reeling. The attacks revealed vulnerabilities and opportunities in places like the health department and military defense. In addition to attack response, the state has initiated efforts to stimulate research and development in the technology sector to create more in-state innovation and jobs.

Select Cybersecurity Jobs in Alaska

Security Analyst

Security analysts review system security strength with penetration tests and vulnerability screening. They provide recommendations and help organizations develop new practices and standards. Most analysts possess bachelor's degrees.

Salary for Security Analysts in Alaska: $87,190

Job Outlook in Alaska (2018-28): +16.7%

Computer Forensics Analyst

Computer forensics analysts investigate computer-based crimes. They collect evidence, monitor activity, and analyze attacks for identity markers. Analysts and technicians typically need bachelor's degrees at minimum.

Salary for Computer Forensic Analysts in Alaska: $74,340

Job Outlook in Alaska (2020-30): +8.6% growth for unlisted life, physical, and social science technicians, which includes computer forensic technicians and analysts

Chief Information Security Officer

CISOs oversee organization-wide cybersecurity operations and technologies. They lead projects, develop processes and practices, and provide security insight on business decisions. A CISO needs a bachelor's degree at minimum, though some employers may require master's-level candidates.

Salary for Chief Information Security Officers in Alaska: $148,400

Job Outlook in Alaska (2020-30): +11.3

The following tables look at trends for other relevant positions in this space.

Alaska Employment Trends

Year State National

Computer Hardware Engineers

2020 Employment


66, 200

2030 Projected Employment



Projected Job Growth, 2020-2030



Computer Network Architects

2018 Employment



2030 Projected Employment



Projected Job Growth, 2018-28



Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers

2020 Employment



2030 Projected Employment



Projected Job Growth, 2020-2030



Source: Projections Central

Salaries for Cybersecurity and Related Careers, May 2021
Career Alaska Employment Alaska Annual Mean Wage National Median Annual Wage

Computer and Information Systems Managers




Computer Hardware Engineers




Computer Network Architects




Computer Network Support Specialists




Computer Programmers




Computer Systems Analysts




Information Security Analysts




Network and Computer Systems Administrators




Software Developers




Web Developers




Source: BLS OEWS

According to the above tables, Alaska's greatest needs come in systems development. Systems engineers, developers, and security architects also receive some of the highest wages in the industry. While the workforce remains relatively small, high projected growth figures demonstrate the state's need for innovation and infrastructure.

Cybersecurity Employers in Alaska

While Alaska has a small workforce of cybersecurity employees, the following organizations comprise some of the top employers in the state.

    GCI: This organization provides cybersecurity solutions to its customers throughout Alaska. They hire systems engineers and analysts, data specialists, system auditors, and project managers.

    General Dynamics: The aerospace and defense company specializes in combat systems and technologies. In Alaska, General Dynamics hires security systems managers, administrators, and analysts.

    U.S. Army Cyber Command: This specialist group operates on various military bases throughout the country, including in Alaska. The team hires general IT and cyberdefense specialists for positions in the remote state.

Professional Cybersecurity Organizations in Alaska

The following section outlines some of the few professional and student cybersecurity organizations in Alaska.

  • (ISC)² South Central Alaska: (ISC)² provides professional support and development tools to cybersecurity professionals. The small Alaska chapter accommodates networking and collaboration among its members.
  • ISACA Anchorage Chapter: ISACA aims to advance systems governance and security while hosting professionals who pursue industry information, education, and credentials. The Alaska chapter runs educational workshops, meetings, and seminars for association members.
  • Cyber Security Club: The student organization out of the University of Alaska Anchorage provides specialized practical training and education opportunities to aspiring cybersecurity professionals.

Schools in Alaska With Cybersecurity Programs

University of Alaska Fairbanks - IT Specialist (Network and Cybersecurity (AAS)

University of Alaska Southeast - Healthcare Privacy and Security Certificate

University of Alaska Anchorage - Computer Systems Engineering (BS/Minor)

FAQ About Pursuing Cybersecurity in Alaska

  • Can I get a cybersecurity degree in Alaska?

    Yes. The University of Alaska Fairbanks offers an IT specialist associate degree with a specialization in network and cybersecurity. The University of Alaska Anchorage also features a computer systems engineering bachelor's covering cybersecurity material.

  • What cybersecurity jobs can I get with a degree from Alaska?

    Graduates with cybersecurity or computer-related degrees can pursue various cybersecurity jobs in Alaska, including systems management and engineering positions in many organizations. Some of the larger employers include telecommunications companies and the military.

  • Is cybersecurity a good career in Alaska?

    The cybersecurity field in Alaska is small, but there is growth and opportunity. The location and low availability of specialized professionals can make it challenging for Alaska organizations to fill cybersecurity roles, which bodes well for those who do pursue this discipline.

  • Do computer science programs in Alaska offer cybersecurity concentrations?

    While no computer science programs in Alaska offer formal cybersecurity concentrations, these programs include training in the field. Furthermore, students can choose targeted electives and internships to develop their own specializations.

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