Cybersecurity Programs in Michigan


Updated January 17, 2023

Michigan's growing tech industry paves the way for a promising future in cybersecurity. Find out what to consider when exploring Michigan cybersecurity degrees and future careers in the state. 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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Aerial view of Detroit, Michigan Credit: Photo by Mike Kline (notkalvin) / Moment / Getty Images

Known for its natural beauty, stunning Great Lakes shorelines, and vibrant college campuses, Michigan has much to offer. The state also hosts a booming tech industry. According to CompTIA, Michigan posted the third-highest technology job growth of any U.S. state from 2010 to 2019.

Many of Michigan's 92 degree-granting institutions offer technology and cybersecurity education. Students can earn cybersecurity-related degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. These credentials can open doors to careers in cybersecurity and information security.

This guide presents a breakdown of Michigan as a cybersecurity destination. Use it to evaluate educational opportunities or prepare for a cybersecurity career in the Wolverine State.

Michigan at a Glance

  • Population: 9,992,427
  • Climate: Average Annual Temperature: 44.4℉ | Average Annual Precipitation: 32.8 inches
  • Major Sports Teams: Detroit Lions, Detroit Tigers, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings
  • Per Capita Income, 2021:$56,494
  • Average Wage for Computer and Mathematical Occupations, 2021: $84,750
  • % of Workforce in Tech: 4.4%
  • Economic Impact of Tech Industry: $23.0 billion
  • Number of Higher Learning Institutions: 92

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

Why Go to College for Cybersecurity in Michigan?

Michigan is known for its expansive higher education network. Learners can study at regionally or nationally ranked institutions in large metro areas, smaller municipalities, and even rural locations. Michigan schools offer delivery formats including in-person, hybrid, and online learning.

Cybersecurity programs offer field learning opportunities and internships that link students directly with potential employers. Given the fast rate of Michigan's tech industry growth, students can take advantage of these opportunities to network and source job leads.

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) from the 2020-21 school year, tuition rates at Michigan's public institutions slightly outpace national averages. However, tuition and required fees at private colleges and universities in Michigan averaged nearly $1,800 less per year than the national average for these schools.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation describes the state as a recognized national leader in cybersecurity trends, policy, and law. Rising cybersecurity standards signal opportunity in Michigan, given its well-established status as a leading regional industrial and economic center.

Education Statistics for Michigan

Education statistics reveal several trends relevant to Michigan cybersecurity programs. First, Michigan students engage with distance education at rates that outpace the national average. This may indicate prospective enrollees have multiple options that offer the flexibility and cost advantages of online learning.

Many cybersecurity professionals can qualify for entry-level roles with an associate degree. In Michigan, the percentage of people aged 25 and up with associate degrees is higher than the national average. This suggests the state's two-year schools can adequately prepare students for the workforce.

Higher Education Statistics Michigan Data National Data
Four-Year Colleges 61 2,679
Two-Year Colleges 27 1,303
Students Enrolled in Distance Education 76.1% 72.8%
Adults Over 25 With an Associate Degree 9.6% 8.6%
Adults Over 25 With a Bachelor's Degree 18.3% 20.2%
Adults Over 25 With a Graduate Degree or Higher 11.7% 12.7%

Sources: NCES, U.S. Census ACS

Accreditation for Michigan Schools

Learners should only consider degrees offered at accredited institutions. Accreditation is a third-party endorsement that affirms the quality of a school's academic programs. It also ensures schools meet important governance and financial standards.

Accreditation typically allows students to transfer credits with other accredited institutions more easily. This benefits degree-seekers who begin their studies at one school before switching to another, or those who pursue multiple degree levels (such as attaining a bachelor's after finishing an associate degree).

The Higher Learning Commission is Michigan's regional accrediting body. Institutional accreditors hold colleges and universities to higher standards, making accredited schools the preferred choice for many students.

Some computer science, technology, and cybersecurity programs hold another kind of endorsement known as programmatic or specialized accreditation. Programmatic accreditors typically determine whether departments' course offerings prepare enrollees for careers in the field. Examples of programmatic accreditors that endorse cybersecurity programs include:

Learners can research schools' accreditation through the independent Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Considerations for a Cybersecurity Degree in Michigan

As learners research cybersecurity programs in Michigan, they should take many factors into account, including their personal interests and career goals.

Program modality is a key consideration for students. Campus-based and online learning both have advantages and limitations. The traditional campus experience offers structured learning and can facilitate networking more easily. Online learning, on the other hand, offers greater flexibility. Online and hybrid programs generally provide more opportunities for budget-conscious learners to realize cost savings.

When perusing the NCES data below, which shows high enrollment in online coursework both in Michigan and across the U.S., keep in mind that the information reflects the 2020 school year — the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, this data may not reflect typical online enrollment trends.

Explore Rankings for Top Cybersecurity Programs Around the Country

Associate Degree Programs in Cybersecurity

Associate Degree Programs in Cybersecurity

Best Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Programs

Best Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Programs

Best Online Master's in Cybersecurity Programs

Best Online Master's in Cybersecurity Programs

Top Doctoral Degree Programs in Cybersecurity

Top Doctoral Degree Programs in Cybersecurity

Most Diverse Cybersecurity Programs

Most Diverse Cybersecurity Programs

HBCUs With the Best Cybersecurity Programs

HBCUs With the Best Cybersecurity Programs

Cybersecurity Concentrations and Similar Degrees

Michigan cybersecurity programs often allow students to choose concentrations or specializations that help them align their education with their career goals. Other degrees offer multiple elective course slots within the major to let learners pursue topics related to these goals.

Though some schools may not offer a cybersecurity degree specifically, their other tech-related programs may include a relevant concentration that allows enrollees to focus their education toward the cybersecurity field. The table below explores several cybersecurity-adjacent programs students can pursue.

Information Security

Information security is similar to cybersecurity, but specifically seeks to prevent the unauthorized access of sensitive information. Cybersecurity, in contrast, is more concerned with preventing external attacks on digital and electronic systems overall.

Information Technology

Information technology (IT) programs equip learners with versatile skills. Graduates with IT degrees can find work in many different roles and settings.

Computer Forensics

Computer forensics programs focus on the procedures used to obtain, preserve, document, and analyze digital evidence. It has broad applications in law enforcement, fraud investigation, counterterrorism, and related areas.

Paying for Your Cybersecurity Degree

Compared to national averages, Michigan generally has relatively high tuition costs. As such, paying for your Michigan computer forensics or cybersecurity degree may require pursuing multiple funding options.

Fortunately, learners have a wide array of options to help them meet their educational costs. These include non-repayable aid sources like scholarships, fellowships, and grants. Enrollees can also pursue federal and private student loans, which require repayment with interest.

The Michigan Higher Education Student Loan Authority offers some alternatives to standard financing programs. Available to Michigan-based families, these alternatives include loans that offer interest rate savings and other advantages.

In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition

Public colleges and universities in Michigan usually apply different tuition rates to in-state and out-of-state students. As is typically the case, learners from outside Michigan pay more than residents of the state. Exceptions may apply: For instance, some public institutions offer in-state tuition rates to all students in online programs regardless of state residency.

Michigan's Cost of Living

Local living costs can have a significant impact on student budgets. Using the cost of living index score, Michigan's cost of living is lower than the national average.

The index uses 100 as a baseline, then compares living costs in each state to that baseline across various categories. Figures higher than 100 mean the average state cost for that category is more expensive than the national average, while scores below 100 represent an average state cost lower than the national average.

Michigan's 2022 cost of living index scores break down as follows:

  • Overall: 91.3
  • Groceries: 90.1
  • Housing: 80.7
  • Utilities: 99.7
  • Transportation: 103.2
  • Miscellaneous: 96.4

Careers for Michigan Cybersecurity Graduates

The 2022 edition of CompTIA's annual Cyberstates technology workforce analysis placed Michigan 17th among U.S. states for net technology industry employment. Michigan also ranked 18th for the net number of technology jobs added to its economy.

CompTIA's analysis listed these as the top sectors for Michigan tech industry jobs:

  • Software
  • IT support
  • Cybersecurity and systems engineering
  • Network engineering
  • Database and data science

Michigan's economy hosts approximately 17,800 cybersecurity and systems engineering jobs as of 2022. Employers in the state also posted 90,000 tech job openings, including nearly 26,000 in emerging areas.

Beyond technology, major industries in Michigan include mobility and automobiles, manufacturing, medical device technology, professional services, and engineering. Many of these industries have unique cybersecurity and information security needs, creating diverse employment opportunities for cybersecurity graduates.

Select Cybersecurity Careers in Michigan

Security Engineer

Security engineers design, upgrade, and supervise the systems that protect their employers' computer and information networks. CompTIA's 2022 Cyberstates report ranked cybersecurity and systems engineers as the state's third-leading tech industry career path.

  • 2021 Average Salary for Security Engineers: $96,560
  • Job Outlook in Michigan (2018-28) Projections Central predicts 7.1% employment growth from 2018 to 2028 for all computer-oriented occupations not specifically covered in other tracked job categories, including security engineering.

Penetration Tester

Penetration testers probe and analyze computer networks, identifying vulnerabilities and entry points that attackers can exploit. They draw on various strategies to conduct their tests, including the techniques hackers and other malicious actors use.

  • 2021 Average Salary for Penetration Testers: $88,550
  • Job Outlook in Michigan (2018-28) Projections Central includes penetration testers in its information security analyst category. It projects 28.2% employment growth in Michigan for information security analysts from 2018 to 2028.

Security Manager

Security managers hold leadership positions in IT and cybersecurity teams. They design high-level cybersecurity solutions and supervise the technical personnel that develop and implement those systems.

  • 2021 Average Salary for Security Managers: $120,010
  • Job Outlook in Michigan (2020-30) Projections Central includes security managers in its computer and information systems manager category. It projects 7.6% employment growth in Michigan for computer and information systems managers from 2020 to 2030.

Michigan's cybersecurity industry offers many other employment options. The following section examines other technical and cybersecurity-oriented career paths in the state.

Michigan Employment Trends

Projected Job Growth for Information Security Analysts, Computer Network Architects, and Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers
Year State National
Information Security Analysts
2018 Employment 2,160 141,200
2028 Projected Employment 2,770 188,300
Projected Job Growth, 2018-28 +28.2% +33.4%
Computer Network Architects
2018 Employment 3,370 165,200
2028 Projected Employment 3,430 174,200
Projected Job Growth, 2018-28 +1.8% +5.4%
Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers
2020 Employment 38,380 1,847,900
2030 Projected Employment 47,130 2,257,400
Projected Job Growth, 2020-2030 +22.8% +22.2%

Source: Projections Central

Salaries for Cybersecurity and Related Careers, May 2021
Career Michigan Employment Michigan Average Annual Wage National Average Annual Wage
Computer and Information Systems Managers 12,040 $137,500 $162,930
Computer Hardware Engineers 1,090 $108,900 $136,230
Computer Network Architects 2,720 $109,700 $120,650
Computer Network Support Specialists 2,440 $61,260 $71,350
Computer Programmers 3,730 $80,560 $96,650
Computer Systems Analysts 14,750 $100,080 $102,210
Information Security Analysts 2,820 $94,780 $113,270
Network and Computer Systems Administrators 6,600 $82,180 $91,250
Software Developers 37,490 $97,790 $120,990
Web Developers 1,720 $76,960 $81,320

Source: BLS OEWS

Michigan's employment numbers for specialized tech professionals generally reflect overall trends in the national labor market. Median salaries for Michigan cybersecurity and technology professionals tend to be lower than national averages. However, Michigan has a relatively low cost of living, and employers often set salaries based on local living costs.

States with higher costs of living, like California and New York, have much higher living costs than Michigan and therefore generally pay higher average salaries. Consequently, these higher wages may have lower buying power.

States with higher salaries also often employ technology professionals in greater numbers. For example, compare network and computer systems administrator employment data from California and New York to Michigan: Higher demand for these specialized workers in these areas may also contribute to higher average wages.

Michigan Cybersecurity Employers

The public and private sectors offer many opportunities for Michigan cybersecurity jobs. The three examples below show the types of employers cybersecurity graduates can target.

SuneraTech: Michigan-based SuneraTech provides digital development and assurance services. The firm has worked with more than 300 companies, maintaining a long-term strategic partnership with Oracle.

GalaxE.Solutions: This globally focused IT services and consulting firm operates the Detroit Innovation Center, which was established in 2010. GalaxE.Solutions is headquartered in New Jersey and provides, among other offerings, digital strategy and infrastructure security services.

PNC Financial Services: With more than 100 locations in Michigan, PNC Financial Services is one of the state's largest banking networks. PNC and other financial institutions have high ongoing needs for capable cybersecurity professionals to safeguard the sensitive data in their computer systems.

Professional Cybersecurity Organizations in Michigan

Professional organizations, conferences, and workshops provide a useful forum for skills development, networking, and job leads. Consider these Michigan-specific opportunities:

Michigan Cybersecurity Conference

This annual event invites experts and stakeholders to explore emerging cybersecurity technologies, tools, and strategies. Participants can attend virtually, opening the conference to students and professionals throughout Michigan and beyond.

Security at University of Michigan IT

The University of Michigan hosts this free event every year. It provides a forum for discussing online security and privacy issues as part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Michigan Healthcare Cybersecurity Council

This professional organization works to address the unique cybersecurity and information security challenges facing the healthcare industry. Membership is open to employees of eligible organizations.

Interdisciplinary Conference on Cybercrime

Michigan State University holds this annual gathering to explore emerging cybersecurity topics and to highlight the efforts of leading professionals. Symposium topics change annually.

Questions About Cybersecurity in Michigan

Can I get a degree in cybersecurity in Michigan?

Yes. Cybersecurity students can earn undergraduate and graduate degrees at public and private institutions in Michigan. The state's higher education network also supports multiple program delivery formats, including campus-based, online, and hybrid learning.

Are the best cybersecurity schools in Michigan expensive?

Michigan schools generally charge tuition rates that slightly exceed the national average. However, private four-year schools and two-year public institutions for out-of-state students both have average tuition fees that fall below the national average.

What cybersecurity jobs can I get with a degree from Michigan?

Michigan's technology programs prepare students for multiple cybersecurity career paths. Recent graduates often pursue entry-level roles like security analyst, incident responder, and penetration tester. With experience, they can move into senior and management positions.

Can I work in computer forensics in Michigan?

Michigan's law enforcement, private investigation, and counterterrorism networks provide job opportunities for computer forensics experts. Some of these professionals also work in the private sector for organizations like crime analysis laboratories and major corporations.

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