Are you ready to find a school that's aligned with your interests?

Known for its sunshine, sand, and theme parks, Florida also offers a growing technology sector. More than 595,000 Floridians work in tech, 35,834 of whom work in cybersecurity. These professionals may serve as cryptographers, penetration testers, or information security (infosec) analysts.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Florida's infosec analysts earn an average annual salary of $95,190, nearly $40,000 more than the national average for all occupations. Other cybersecurity careers pay even more. For example, cryptographers can earn an average of $200,000, according to Payscale data from February 2022.

Many higher education institutions in Florida offer technology and cybersecurity degrees. The University of Florida, the state's flagship institution, even houses the Florida Institute for Cybersecurity Research. Read on to learn more about salaries, careers, and cybersecurity degrees in Florida.

Florida at a Glance

Popular 21,944,577
Climate

Average Annual Temperature: 70.7 ℉

Annual Precipitation: 54.5 inches

Major Sports Teams

Miami Dolphins

Tampa Bay Rays

Jacksonville Jaguars

Florida Panthers

Orlando Magic

Per Capita Income $32,877
Fortune 500 Companies 35
% of Workforce in Tech 6.4%
Economic Impact of Tech Industry $78 billion
Number of Higher Learning Institutions 176

Sources: World Population Review, Current Results, Department of Numbers, Fortune, Cyberstates™, NCES

Why Pursue a Cybersecurity Degree in Florida?

Florida's balmy temperatures, growing tech economy, and major sports teams help attract cybersecurity students from around the world. Besides the personal benefits of studying at a major university near the coast, Florida also offers a reasonable cost of living.

How do students earn an online cybersecurity degree in Florida?

About 78% of Florida's students are studying by distance education. These students may benefit from the flexibility of online learning and proximity to military bases, the Kennedy Space Center, and Florida's 35 Fortune 500 companies. Some cybersecurity students may earn their degrees while working in the field.

Florida residents also enjoy the state's average annual tuition of $4,463 at public, four-year schools. This rate falls far below the national average. Private, four-year schools in Florida also have below-average tuition rates.

Upon graduation, technology students face many job opportunities. More than 595,000 Florida residents work in the tech sector, ranking the state as No. 32 out of 50 for tech employment by percentage.

Florida's leisure, trade, and government sectors all need cybersecurity experts. The state employs 35,834 people in cybersecurity.

Education Statistics for Florida

Florida is home to 176 two-year and four-year colleges. A relatively high percentage of Floridians hold an associate degree. The percentage of adults with bachelor's degrees or graduate degrees hovers near the national average.

About 77.8% of Florida students take advantage of online learning and other distance education options. That number exceeds the national average. The COVID-19 pandemic may increase online school enrollment in Florida and across the nation.

Higher Education Statistics Florida Data National Data
Four-Year Colleges 128 2,679
Two-Year Colleges 48 1,303
Students Enrolled in Distance Education 77.8% 72.8%
Postsecondary Education Appropriations per Full-Time Student $7,714 $8,636
Tax Revenue Per Full-Time Student Allocated to Higher Education $10,074 $15,276
Adults Over 25 With an Associate Degree 9.8% 8.5%
Adults Over 25 With a Bachelor's Degree 18.9% 19.8%
Adults Over 25 With a Graduate Degree or Higher 11% 12.4%

Sources: NCES, SHEEO, U.S. Census ACS

Accreditation for Florida Schools

Students who attend accredited institutions qualify for financial aid, can transfer credits, and gain access to graduate schools more readily than learners at unaccredited schools.

Accreditation means a college or university has met minimum academic and organizational standards set by an independent accrediting agency. Florida schools can hold regional or national accreditation.

Regional accreditation applies to research universities, community colleges, and liberal arts colleges. The regional accrediting body for Florida is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. This agency accredits more than 100 Florida schools.

National accreditors usually review institutions that offer religious or career-focused education. These organizations include the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges and the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

Considerations for a Cybersecurity Degree in Florida

Besides accreditation, other factors go into the college selection process. The data below can help you decide if Florida is the right state for your cybersecurity studies.

You can learn about the relative benefits of on-campus, online, and hybrid learning. You may discover why more than 75% of Florida learners are taking advantage of distance education.

We also cover the average cost of a degree in Florida and Florida's average cost of living.

On-Campus Versus Online Cybersecurity Degrees in Florida

Florida learners can pursue cybersecurity degrees on campus, online, or through a hybrid program. Learn more about these options below.

On-Campus Programs

Traditional on-campus colleges in Florida allow students to interact with peers and professors face to face. Florida-based learners can enjoy access to the states' famous coastline, aquatic research stations, and the Kennedy Space Center. Students who appreciate the focus and structure of a traditional setting may thrive in an in-person program.

Online Programs

Students in distance courses learn through internet-based instruction. This might include readings, videos, discussion threads, or forums. It will not, however, include time in a physical classroom. Degree-seekers who choose online programs based in Florida can enjoy the flexibility and cost savings that often come with online learning.

Hybrid Programs

Fully online degree experiences require no time on campus. Meanwhile, hybrid programs combine online learning with face-to-face education. For example, students may participate in online discussion boards, watch video lectures, and attend in-person classes. Some in-person events may last a single weekend, while others take place regularly throughout the semester.

Explore Rankings for Top Cybersecurity Programs Online and In Person

Paying for Your Cybersecurity Degree

While Florida colleges offer relatively low tuition rates, higher education still costs money. Fortunately, students can take advantage of several financing options for on-campus or online cybersecurity degrees in Florida. Grants, scholarships, fellowships, and loans can help cover educational costs.

All students should submit the FAFSA to be eligible for federal aid. The U.S. government offers grants to students whose adjusted gross income falls below a determined level. Federally subsidized loans also help students pay tuition.

The state provides the Florida student assistance grant program, the Florida work experience program, and the Florida bright futures scholarship program.Students can also apply for private scholarships through corporations, associations, or the school they are attending.

In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition

Tuition rates vary by school type — public, private, or community college — and by state residence. Like most states, Florida subsidizes tuition for state residents who attend in-state public universities.

Private school students do not pay subsidized tuition rates, but in Florida, these learners still enjoy below-average tuition prices for private schools.

Through the Florida State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, Florida colleges can offer distance education programs throughout the United States. Students learning online may also save money.

Florida's Cost of Living

Cost of living impacts budgeting for education. It helps determine how much you'll pay for housing, groceries, transportation, and other goods and services.

Cost of living varies significantly among U.S. states. The World Population Review determines a cost of living index score for each state, with a score of 100 being the national average.

Florida's cost of living is 97.9, 2.1% below the national average. The state's below-average housing costs help offset its slightly higher grocery expenses.

Careers for Cybersecurity Graduates in Florida

Florida is flourishing economically thanks to a healthy business environment and a high employment rate. CompTIA ranks the state as No. 4 for net tech employment and No. 5 for net tech jobs added. Florida features 595,156 tech jobs, of which 35,834 are in cybersecurity.

Florida's major industries include aviation, cleantech, homeland security, and information technology. Working in these industries, cybersecurity professionals can help protect national security, energy production, and corporate data banks. Industries with high hiring rates include leisure and hospitality, construction, and energy production.

CompTIA ranks the state as No. 4 for net tech employment and No. 5 for net tech jobs added.

Florida is home to several major urban areas. Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Fort Lauderdale all feature high numbers of job openings in cybersecurity. The sections below dive into the top cybersecurity careers in Florida.

Select Cybersecurity Careers in Florida

The BLS only provides data for select cybersecurity careers. As of May 2020, the average annual salary for information security analysts in Florida was $95,190.

Cryptographer

Cryptographers encrypt and decipher the codes that conceal information. Working for nonprofits, companies, or government agencies, these professionals help cyber teams avoid security gaps. Cryptographers need a bachelor's degree in a related field, plus industry experience and certification.

Computer Forensics Analyst

Computer forensics analysts collect and analyze data around cyber hacks and other illegal online activity. They use their tech and legal knowledge to uncover and safeguard hidden information. Professionals with advanced degrees tend to earn the highest salaries.

Average Annual Salary (February 2022): $74,730
Penetration Tester

Sometimes called white hat hackers, penetration testers identify and help solve information security vulnerabilities. These professionals attempt to breach an organization's security infrastructure to look for flaws and weak points. Penetration testers typically need an academic degree or a bootcamp in cybersecurity.

Average Annual Salary (February 2022): $87,750

Some cybersecurity positions in Florida are projected to grow more quickly than the national average. Consider the tables below.

Florida Employment Trends

Projected Job Growth for Computer Hardware Engineers, Computer Network Architects, and Computer Hardware Engineers

State National
Computer Hardware Engineers
2018 Employment 2,250 64,400
2028 Projected Employment 2,600 68,400
Projected Job Growth, 2018-28 +15.6% +6.2%
Computer Network Architects
2018 Employment 10,630 159,300
2028 Projected Employment 11,940 167,700
Projected Job Growth, 2018-28 +12.3% +5.3%
Software Developers, Applications
2018 Employment 39,440 944,200
2028 Projected Employment 53,020 1,185,700
Projected Job Growth, 2018-28 +34.4% +25.6%

Source: Projections Central

Salaries for Cybersecurity and Related Careers, May 2020

Career Florida Employment Florida Average Annual Salary National Average Annual Salary

Computer and Information Systems Managers

20,050

$146,600

$161,730

Computer Hardware Engineers

3,930

$102,610

$126,140

Computer Network Architects

7,630

$108,220

$ 119,230

Computer Network Support Specialists

8,910

$66,030

$71,040

Computer Programmers

8,310

$80,070

$95,640

Computer Systems Analysts

29,450

$87,960

$99,020

Information Security Analysts

7,600

$95,190

$107,580

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

17,730

$82,570

$89,460

Software Developers

62,840

$100,030

$114,270

Web Developers

7,310

$67,810

$85,490

Source: BLS OES

Florida offers a fast-growing environment for computer engineering, architecture, and development. For most careers, however, Florida's wages fall below national averages. However, Florida's tuition rates and cost of living fall below national averages as well.

The state needs software developers in particular. Aspiring software developers can pursue undergraduate degrees along with industry certifications. Majoring in software engineering, data science, or computer science may prove especially beneficial in the job hunt.

Cybersecurity Employers in Florida

Fortress Information Security: Fortress provides cybersecurity solutions for the entire supply chain. This company works in energy, healthcare, oil and gas, and other industries. Fortress hires cybersecurity experts to do vulnerability and risk management, ensure regulatory compliance, and identify threats.

Lockheed Martin: A global security and aerospace company with nearly 114,000 employees around the world, Lockheed Martin researches, designs, and sustains advanced technological systems. The company hires cybersecurity engineers, risk monitors, vulnerability assessors, and forensic examiners who support federal contracts.

NextEra Energy: The world's largest producer of wind and solar energy, NextEra Energy specializes in sustainable energy production. For 15 years leading up to 2020, NextEra Energy delivered a 1,082% shareholder return, outperforming the 311% for the S&P 500 Index. NextEra Energy hires cybersecurity experts to assess vulnerability and manage threats.

Professional Cybersecurity Organizations in Florida

  • Information Systems Audit and Control Association: ISACA members can take advantage of certifications, certificates, and credentials along with extensive industry-related resources.
  • (ISC)2: This international association maintains 160,000 members. (ISC)2 offers many certification and continuing education opportunities.
  • Information Systems Security Association: A national organization, ISSA provides memberships for professionals at every stage of the life cycle. Florida members access academic research and career resources. They can also participate in a local chapter.
  • Florida Cyber Alliance: A nonprofit organization, the Florida Cyber Alliance promotes cybersecurity research, education, and economic development throughout the state. Members can participate in one of more than 30 chapters.
  • Cyber Florida: Established by the Florida legislature in 2014, Cyber Florida provides opportunities for research, education, and engagement. The University of South Florida houses the association.

Top Florida Schools for a Bachelor's in Cybersecurity

Many Florida-based schools offer a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity. Find out which program may be right for you by reviewing our ranked lists below. Visit the link below to learn more about the methodology we use to rank our cybersecurity programs in Florida.

#1 Online College in Florida

The University of West Florida

School Information
Location Pensacola, Florida
Admission Rate 31%
Graduation Rate 46%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

With a main campus in Florida, The University of West Florida offers a comprehensive catalog of 93 academic programs, including bachelor's programs. The school requires bachelor's in cybersecurity students to complete general education classes in areas such as English and mathematics. Bachelor's programs help learners gain the knowledge and skills they need to secure roles. While earning major credits, students gain specialized knowledge in their field. Graduates with a minor are often more competitive for positions.

The institution's accredited programs prepare learners for the workforce and further studies. Full-time students typically earn their bachelor's degree in four years. Students with transfer credits may be able to complete the bachelor's program earlier. In addition to coursework, students can receive credit for completing internships. The institution's website provides details about how to earn credit for hands-on learning experiences. The institution delivers student support services including tutoring and career counseling. Student organizations provide professional development and a great way for degree-seekers to network with peers.

Per credit, enrollees at the school pay an average of $390. To fund their degree, 90% of the institution's learners obtain financial aid and 64% take out loans. Grants and scholarships can help students minimize student debt. The school reports an admission rate of 31% for incoming learners.

#2 Online College in Florida

Florida State University

School Information
Location Tallahassee, Florida
Admission Rate 36%
Graduation Rate 83%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Florida State University offers programs that prepare graduates for new careers or advancement in their current field. The institution's bachelor's programs rank among the best in the nation, including a bachelor's in cybersecurity. Bachelor's-level curricula emphasize the knowledge and skills that employers value. During general education classes, bachelor's degree-seekers prepare for upper-level coursework. After fulfilling general education requirements, degree-seekers take major courses focused on their field of study. Earning a minor can make graduates more competitive for specialized positions.

Students may receive credit for hands-on learning opportunities, such as internships. The school’s website provides details about how to earn credit for experiential learning. Student support services such as tutoring and career counseling prepare learners to succeed academically and professionally. Student organizations provide professional development opportunities to help learners prepare for their careers.

To fund their education, 97% of the school's students obtain financial aid and 35% take out loans. Grants and scholarships can help students minimize student debt. The school reports an admission rate of 36% for incoming degree-seekers.

#3 Online College in Florida

The University of Tampa

School Information
Location Tampa, Florida
Admission Rate 45%
Graduation Rate 58%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 0% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Situated in Florida, The University of Tampa's bachelor's programs rank among the best in the nation, including a bachelor's in cybersecurity. Degree-seekers gain the knowledge and skills necessary to secure positions in their field. Students in all fields complete general education coursework in areas such as science and mathematics. While earning major credits, students gain specialized knowledge in their field. Online learners can specialize in their curriculum by pursuing a minor.

Internship and service-learning activities give students valuable hands-on experience. The school’s website provides details about how to earn credit for internships. Degree-seekers can access support services such as tutoring and career counseling. Learners can join student organizations to network with other students and access professional development opportunities.

The University of Tampa holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting agency.

#4 Online College in Florida

Lynn University

School Information
Location Boca Raton, Florida
Admission Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 51%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The programs at Lynn University prepare graduates for new job opportunities and career advancement. Degree-seekers can pursue a bachelor's in cybersecurity. Undergraduate students gain the knowledge and skills they need to secure roles in their field. During general education classes, students gain transferable skills. After fulfilling general education requirements, degree-seekers take major courses focused on their field of study. Earning a minor can make graduates more competitive for specialized positions.

The school delivers accredited programs, ensuring degree-seekers receive a high-quality education. Bachelor's programs typically require four years to complete. Information on the acceptance of transfer credits can be found on the school's website. Since the school holds accreditation, it can distribute federal financial aid. Student support services help learners succeed academically. Students can access professional tutoring to improve their academic performance.

According to the institution, 99% of students receive financial aid and 33% take out loans. Learners can apply for grants and scholarships to reduce the financial burden of earning a degree. The school reports an admission rate of 74% for undergraduate learners.

#5 Online College in Florida

Pensacola State College

School Information
Location Pensacola, Florida
Graduation Rate 28%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Pensacola State College is a public school with a main campus in Florida. The school delivers four-year bachelor's programs for undergraduate degree-seekers. Bachelor's programs provide career preparation and the foundation for graduate school.  

Bachelor's degree-seekers in cybersecurity take general education and major classes. Graduates with a minor or concentration are often more competitive for positions. Students benefit from a student-to-faculty ratio of 23-to-1. To get the most out of their educational experience, learners can attend events and join student organizations.

The institution's affordable tuition rates help students minimize debt. In-state learners pay $1,887 per year, and out-of-state students pay $7,547 per year. The institution receives accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The admissions department can help prospective learners understand application requirements and financial aid opportunities.

Top Florida Schools for a Master's in Cybersecurity

Already hold a bachelor's degree? The following ranking lists the top five schools for a master's in cybersecurity in Florida. To learn more about how we compile our school rankings, view our ranking methodology.

#1 Online College in Florida

The University of Tampa

School Information
Location Tampa, Florida
Admission Rate 45%
Graduation Rate 58%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 0% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Tampa offers online programs that prepare students for new job opportunities and career advancement. The curriculum provides students with advanced knowledge in the cybersecurity space. Master's programs help learners gain the knowledge and skills they need to impress employers. Classes explore topics specific to the learner's field of study to prepare them for the workforce.

The institution delivers student support services including tutoring and career counseling. Student organizations provide professional development and networking opportunities to help learners succeed after graduation.

The University of Tampa Facts:

Number of Students Enrolled: 9,628

Master's Program Offerings: 14

Graduate School Tuition Rate: $11,466 in-state; $11,466 out-of-state

Average Cost With Financial Aid: Unavailable

The University of Tampa holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#2 Online College in Florida

Nova Southeastern University

School Information
Location Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Admission Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 58%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A degree from Nova Southeastern University leads to new career opportunities and increased responsibilities. Learners at the institution enroll in master's programs that meet high academic standards, including the master's in cybersecurity management. Graduate students gain further knowledge and skills to impress employers. Master's degree-seekers complete advanced courses in their field.

Most graduate students complete their master's program in about two years. Students with transfer credits may be able to graduate in less than two years. The institution delivers student support services including tutoring and career counseling. Degree-seekers can attend networking events to connect with peers and professionals in their field.

To fund their education, 100% of the school's students obtain financial aid and 49% take out loans. Grants and scholarships can help learners reduce the financial burden of earning a degree. The school reports an admission rate of 80% for incoming students.

The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#3 Online College in Florida

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach

School Information
Location Daytona Beach, Florida
Admission Rate 61%
Graduation Rate 62%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 1% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The programs at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach help professionals move into new careers or advance in their current field. Master's programs require advanced courses in cybersecurity. While completing their master's program, degree-seekers gain the knowledge and skills necessary to secure roles in their field.

Learners can access support services such as career counseling. Student organizations provide professional development and networking opportunities to help learners succeed after graduation.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach Numbers:

Student Enrollment: 7,056

Master's Offered: 15

Graduate School Tuition: $17,712 in-state; $17,712 out-of-state

Average Price With Aid: NA

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#4 Online College in Florida

Florida State University

School Information
Location Tallahassee, Florida
Admission Rate 36%
Graduation Rate 83%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Florida State University delivers 272 online and on-campus programs. Master's degree-seekers complete advanced courses in their field. Master's-level curricula emphasize the knowledge and skills that employers value. While completing requirements, degree-seekers explore field-specific topics and prepare for careers in cybersecurity.

The school offers student support services including tutoring. Benefits of joining student organizations include opportunities to develop professional connections with peers.

The institution reports that 97% of degree-seekers receive financial aid and 35% take out loans. Grants and scholarships can help learners reduce the financial burden of earning a degree. The school reports an admission rate of 36% for graduate learners.

The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#5 Online College in Florida

Florida Institute of Technology

School Information
Location Melbourne, Florida
Admission Rate 66%
Graduation Rate 59%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Florida Institute of Technology delivers 156 academic programs, including online options in cybersecurity. Master's degree-seekers complete advanced courses in their field. While completing their master's program, students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to secure roles in the cybersecurity space. Courses build on foundational knowledge and explore topics specific to the learner's field of study.

First-time master's students usually graduate in about two years. If the institution accepts transfer credits, students may be able to complete the program faster. Learners can access support services at the school. Learners can take advantage of peer and professional tutoring.

Florida Institute of Technology Fast Facts:

Total Student Enrollment: 6,022

Master's Programs: 63

Graduate School Tuition Rate: $22,338 in-state

Average Annual Price: NA

Florida Institute of Technology has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

FAQ About Cybersecurity Programs in Florida

Should I pursue my cybersecurity degree in Florida online?

Many Florida-based universities offer cybersecurity degrees online. Cybersecurity fits an online learning model since the field is so tech-focused. Online learning lets students study on their own schedules without relocating.

Can I get a master's in cybersecurity in Florida?

Many Florida schools offer a master's in cybersecurity or a related field. These schools include Florida State University and Florida International University. Florida residents may also pursue graduate degrees in the field online from out-of-state institutions.

Do cybersecurity programs in Florida have a good reputation?

The University of Florida is home to the Florida Institute for Cybersecurity Research, which provides expertise in all aspects of cybersecurity. In addition, Florida is home to 18 of the National Security Agency's centers for academic excellence in cybersecurity.

What cybersecurity jobs are in Florida?

According to the BLS, more than 7,600 cybersecurity specialists work in Florida. These professionals earn an average annual salary of $95,190. Jobs include security analysts, security engineers, and risk managers.

Recommended Reading

Take the next step toward your future.

Discover programs you’re interested in and take charge of your education.