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Famed for its hospitality and rich history, Georgia ranks among the most dynamic and diverse U.S. states. In recent years, the state has also emerged as an innovative and high-growth technology destination.
According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, more than 14,300 tech companies base their operations in Georgia. Meanwhile, the 2022 edition of CompTIA's annual Cyberstates index noted above-average racial and gender diversity in the state's tech workforce. Georgia's diversity index score of 63 was more than 8% above the national average.
This guide to cybersecurity schools in Georgia explores the state as a tech destination. It offers a detailed, data-driven analysis of the Peach State's technology education and employment opportunities.
Georgia at a Glance
- Average Wage for Computer and Mathematical Occupations: $96,570
- % of Workforce in Tech: 6.0%
- Economic Impact of Tech Industry: $54 billion
- Number of Higher Learning Institutions: 113
Why Go to School for Cybersecurity in Georgia?
Georgia's extensive higher education network includes 113 degree-granting postsecondary institutions. Students benefit from excellent educational diversity at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The Hundred-Seven also recognizes 12 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Georgia. Most are situated in the Atlanta area, and many host well-regarded tech programs. Students seeking cybersecurity education in a diverse learning environment have many opportunities to pursue in Georgia.
Cybersecurity schools in Georgia also offer cost advantages. In-state tuition rates at Georgia's four-year public colleges were nearly 20% below the national average in 2020-2021. Similar trends extend to Georgia's private college network. In 2020-2021, average tuition rates at Georgia private schools were about $2,500 below the national mean.
Given the state's status as a growing technology hub, attending cybersecurity programs in Georgia can offer valuable networking benefits. Students who participate in internships, practicums, and other field learning programs can forge important connections with prospective employers.
Education Statistics for Georgia
In general, Georgia's key education statistics align favorably with national trends. The number of higher education institutions in the state proportionally reflects its population. Georgia also spends tax revenues on higher education at typical rates, and its education appropriations for full-time postsecondary students exceed the national average.
Educational attainment rates also line up with averages. The number of adults over age 25 with an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree or higher all fall within 0.6% of the national average.
|Higher Education Statistics||Georgia Data||National Data|
|Students Enrolled in Distance Education||71.2%||72.8%|
Accreditation for Georgia Schools
Degree-seekers should only consider attending accredited cybersecurity schools in Georgia. Accreditation indicates that an institution meets high academic standards. College credits earned at accredited schools also commonly transfer to other accredited institutions. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the primary institutional accreditor in Georgia.
Learners can also seek programs with ABET accreditation and programs recognized as National Centers for Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity. You can research a school's accreditation standing through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Considerations for a Cybersecurity Degree in Georgia
Many factors influence a student's choice of cybersecurity school in Georgia. Degree levels may narrow your options, as not all schools offer programs at every level. Your learning format preference may also play a role in your decision.
Campus-based programs remain popular in Georgia: The number of Georgia students not enrolled in any distance-based courses slightly outpaces the national average. The flexibility of hybrid and online learning merits consideration, especially for enrollees balancing commitments like work and child care with studying.
The following table summarizes high-level trends regarding the preferred learning formats of Georgia's postsecondary student body:
Explore rankings for top cybersecurity programs around the country:
Associate Degree Programs in Cybersecurity
Best Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Programs
Best Online Master's in Cybersecurity Programs
Top Doctoral Degree Programs in Cybersecurity
Most Diverse Cybersecurity Programs
HBCUs With the Best Cybersecurity Programs
Cybersecurity Concentrations and Similar Degrees
Students interested in cybersecurity can also consider alternatives, such as bootcamps and degrees in related fields. The following table profiles three popular examples.
|Cybersecurity Bootcamps||Cybersecurity bootcamps focus on developing job-ready skills in compact timelines. They offer an alternative to multi-year degrees for learners seeking quick transitions into Georgia's fast-growing tech industry.|
|Information Systems Security||Cybersecurity professionals stop hackers and other external actors from penetrating computer networks. Information systems security instead focuses on preventing the unauthorized access of sensitive material. This sector includes one of the fastest-growing professions in the U.S. labor market.|
|Computer Forensics||Georgia's status as a major regional financial and technology hub makes its companies a significant target for cybercriminals. Computer forensics professionals specialize in compiling and analyzing digital evidence related to cybercrime activity.|
Paying for Your Cybersecurity Degree
Paying for school is one of the top concerns for many students. Fortunately, cybersecurity schools in Georgia carry lower average costs than most U.S. postsecondary institutions.
Even so, higher education costs continue to climb, leaving many Georgia-bound students in need of financial aid. Students should look into non-repayable sources of funding first, such as grants, fellowships, and scholarships. Consider federal or private loans as a final resort.
In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition
Many public institutions offer lower tuition rates to in-state students and charge out-of-state students more to attend. Some public schools, including Georgia Tech, offer waivers to highly qualified out-of-state students, qualifying them for in-state rates.
Georgia participates in the Southern Regional Education Board's Academic Common Market. This reciprocity agreement allows eligible students from other participating states to secure in-state tuition rates at Georgia public colleges.
Georgia's Cost of Living
The local cost of living has a significant impact on student budgets — especially for those who live away from home and students who commute.
Fortunately, the state has one of the lowest cost of living index scores of any U.S. state. The cost of living index uses 100 as a general baseline to assign each state a score relative to that number. In 2022, Georgia scored 88.8 overall, ranking fifth among the 50 states for affordability.
Careers for Georgia Cybersecurity Program Graduates
CompTIA also found that cybersecurity and systems engineering accounted for about 24,000 of the state's 177,000 technology jobs. Cybersecurity and systems engineering placed third among all tech industry professions in the state for job numbers, trailing only IT support and software.
Energy and financial services are also major industries in Georgia. Hackers and other malicious actors have a strong interest in targeting energy grids for both financial gain and sabotage, requiring strong cybersecurity professionals to thwart their attempts. Financial services ranks as another preferred industry target for hackers, given its high volume of sensitive data.
These factors make Georgia a strong destination for emerging cybersecurity professionals. The following section offers further insights into popular cybersecurity careers relevant to the state.
Select Cybersecurity Careers in Georgia
These cybersecurity specialists probe computer networks and systems for security flaws that malicious actors could exploit. They also recommend fixes and may contribute to implementing those recommendations.
- Salary for Vulnerability Assessors (November 2022): $84,000
- Job Outlook in Georgia (2020-30): +13.8% (computer and information systems managers)
When a security incident or cyberattack occurs, incident responders lead defensive efforts. These professionals may also participate in network maintenance and guide organizational cybersecurity training and response programs.
- Salary for Incident Responders (November 2022): $82,310
- Job Outlook in Georgia (2020-30): +13.8% (computer and information systems managers)
This cybersecurity specialization focuses on complete evaluations of network and system security, known as audits. Following an audit, these professionals report their findings and recommend security improvements.
- Salary for Security Auditors (November 2022): $74,590 (information security analysts)
- Job Outlook in Georgia (2020-30): +33.9% (information security analysts)
The following section profiles employment trends and salary data related to other Georgia-specific cybersecurity careers.
Georgia Employment Trends
|Computer Hardware Engineers|
|2030 Projected Employment||1,920||67,300|
|Projected Job Growth, 2020-2030||+9.1%||+1.7%|
|Computer Network Architects|
|2030 Projected Employment||6,210||174,200|
|Projected Job Growth, 2018-28||+3.5%||+5.4%|
|Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers|
|2030 Projected Employment||66,310||2,257,400|
|Projected Job Growth, 2020-2030||+25.8%||+22.2%|
Source: Projections Central
|Career||Georgia Employment||Georgia Annual Mean Wage||National Annual Mean Wage|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||13,430||$157,290||$159,010|
|Computer Hardware Engineers||1,590||$108,060||$128,170|
|Computer Network Architects||6,510||$122,410||$120,520|
|Computer Network Support Specialists||5,650||$67,950||$62,760|
|Computer Systems Analysts||14,880||$101,040||$99,270|
|Information Security Analysts||5,340||$107,190||$102,600|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrators||9,330||$90,450||$80,600|
Source: BLS OEWS
Multiple tech specialists, including computer network architects, programmers, and web developers, earn more on average in Georgia than elsewhere in the United States. Other concentrations, such as computer and information systems managers, systems analysts, and software developers, have high employment numbers in the state.
Coding skills, expertise in programming languages, and advanced IT and computer networking skills support these career paths. If these roles interest you, seek out programs that emphasize relevant topics in their coursework.
Cybersecurity Employers in Georgia
Businesses in many major industries require cybersecurity specialists, either on a contract or full-time basis. The following employers offer a snapshot of the types of job opportunities you can seek in Georgia:
- Matrix Resources: Founded in the early 1980s, Matrix Resources has grown into one of Georgia's top IT staffing firms. Cybersecurity and IT specialists can source leads for long-term opportunities at this Atlanta-based company.
- Truist Financial: This Charlotte, North Carolina-based financial services company was formed through a merger involving Atlanta-based SunTrust Bank. Truist now ranks among the top commercial banking networks and employs cybersecurity professionals to safeguard its systems and data.
- Visa: This credit card and payment processing giant plans to open an Atlanta office in late 2022. Visa will base its chief diversity officer at its Atlanta facility, signaling strong opportunities for cybersecurity professionals of color.
Professional Cybersecurity Organizations in Georgia
Professional organizations support career development through training and education programs, conferences and summits, and networking events. Consider participating in these Georgia-based initiatives:
Georgia Schools With Cybersecurity Programs
Augusta University Augusta Technical College Augusta University Clark Atlanta University Columbus State University Georgia Institute of Technology Georgia Southern University Kennesaw State University Middle Georgia State University University of Georgia University of North Georgia
Questions About Cybersecurity Programs in Georgia
Are there cybersecurity degree programs in Georgia?
Yes. Cybersecurity schools in Georgia offer degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. You can also pursue alternatives to traditional degrees, such as cybersecurity bootcamps.
Are the best cybersecurity schools in Georgia expensive?
Costs vary among institutions, but students in Georgia generally pay tuition fees below the national average. Learners at private schools and out-of-state students at public colleges generally pay higher fees.
What jobs can I get with a cybersecurity degree from Georgia?
Recent Georgia cybersecurity graduates typically pursue entry-level cybersecurity positions. Job titles include security specialist, security analyst, penetration tester, and incident responder.
Is cybersecurity a good career in Georgia?
Some industry observers characterize Georgia as the "tech capital of the South." Georgia hosts a thriving and fast-growing technology industry and is quickly evolving into a leading innovation hub. Strong opportunity awaits qualified cybersecurity professionals.
Monali Mirel Chuatico is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education Integrity Network and has reviewed the introductory matter only, not the ranked programs. Monali Mirel Chuatico is not affiliated with the schools in the ranking.
Page last reviewed Nov 3, 2022
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