Cybersecurity Programs in Mississippi

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Do you want to begin a cybersecurity career in Mississippi? Discover information about the state's technology sector and cybersecurity degrees with this helpful 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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Jackson, Mississippi skyline Credit: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Mississippi's name originates from the Chippewa Native American language and means "large river." The state has a large aerospace presence with manufacturers in unmanned aerial systems, manned aircraft, and the space industry.

Cybersecurity is a growth industry with multiple career paths. These career paths range from security analyst to IT and network security in Mississippi. The state offers cybersecurity programs for associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees.

Individuals looking to pursue cybersecurity programs near Mississippi discover details regarding tuition, salary, and cost of living in this in-depth guide.

Mississippi at a Glance

Average Wage for Computer and Mathematical Occupations: $70,870

% of Workforce in Tech: 2.3%

Economic Impact of Tech Industry: $3 billion

Number of Higher Learning Institutions: 34

Sources: Cyberstates™, NCES, OEWS

Why Go to College for Cybersecurity in Mississippi?

Though the state only features a few dedicated cybersecurity degrees, over 160,000 students were enrolled in postsecondary education across all focuses in Mississippi in 2020. The graduation rate in 2015 for four-year postsecondary schools within 150% of normal time was 56.2%, keeping pace with most other states.

Costs at two-year and four-year institutions are below the average across the country, allowing students to spend less at Mississippi schools. Students who prefer to attend in populated cities and more rural areas can find opportunities at campuses across the state.

Those who prefer to learn at their own pace can also choose remote learning for cybersecurity degrees in Mississippi. The state's low cost of living also allows students to live anywhere in the state and more affordably pursue online degrees.

Mississippi features fewer opportunities for cybersecurity employment than other states, making It important to start networking early. Roles at the top firms are likely to have additional competition. You are more likely to meet like-minded professionals by attending school locally and joining networking events in the state.

Education Statistics for Mississippi

Mississippi hosts several two-year and four-year schools, both of which have a lower percentage of students enrolled in distance education than the national average.

Mississippi vs. National Education Statistics
Higher Education Statistics Mississippi Data National Data
Four-Year Colleges 18 2,679
Two-Year Colleges 16 1,303
Students Enrolled in Distance Education 56.2%> 72.8%

Sources: NCES

Accreditation for Mississippi Schools

Institutional accreditation indicates that a school's educational offerings have received approval from a third-party organization. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the primary accrediting body for southern U.S. states, including Mississippi.

Programmatic accreditation applies to departments or programs within schools. ABET, a nonprofit accreditation organization, offers program-specific accreditation for cybersecurity degrees at the baccalaureate level.

Though some of Mississippi's schools with cybersecurity programs have ABET accreditation, none of the programs themselves have received the status. For example, ABET has accredited Mississippi State's computer science and software engineering undergraduate program but not its cybersecurity degree.

Most universities display their accreditations on their websites. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation offers asearch tool to look up institutional accreditation status.

Considerations for a Cybersecurity Degree in Mississippi

Students should consider several factors when researching schools and programs, including costs, degree level, and available careers after graduation. Prospective enrollees can research each program's delivery method, as schools may offer online, in-person, and hybrid models. Many learners may prioritize diversity in their cybersecurity programs, as well.

According to NCES, 33.4% of students in Mississippi enrolled in some distance education courses in 2021. That figure is greater than the average enrollment in some distance education courses in the U.S., but the state has fewer students than the national average who enroll entirely in online delivery.

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

Prospective students may encounter several cybersecurity concentrations. Individuals studying cybersecurity in Mississippi may find the following concentrations helpful as they consider launching careers in the state.

IT Management

IT management includes hardware, software, and network systems maintenance. Individuals with IT management degrees can seek employment in public and private roles to monitor compliance, network security, and system updates.

Computer Engineering

Computer engineering relates to planning and creating hardware for modern tech. NASA maintains the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and hires these knowledgeable professionals.

Information Technology

IT studies digital and electronic systems for storing, transferring, and processing information. Many types of manufacturers call Mississippi home, including shipbuilders and chemical production, which each require critical IT solutions.

Popular Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Paying for Your Cybersecurity Degree

College tuition is an investment in one's future. The table below demonstrates the average cost of tuition, including fees, for Mississippi and the U.S.

Although tuition is cheaper in Mississippi than the average price in the U.S., attending college still makes for a serious financial investment. Students need to plan how to pay for their cybersecurity tuition, fees, and more. Fortunately, students can look to funding sources such as financial aid, scholarships, and loans for help with paying for their education.

In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition

On average, out-of-state students pay more than double for tuition when compared to in-state learners at public four-year universities. However, students looking to study in Mississippi may qualify for in-state tuition prices through the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).

Learners seeking in the 15 participating SREB states who cannot pursue specific degrees at public schools within their home state may be eligible. The steps include confirming your location, receiving admission to the college of your choice, and contacting the academic common market program.

Mississippi's Cost of Living

Cost of living refers to the amount of money needed for basic supplies such as food, water, and shelter when compared to the national average. Mississippi has thelowest cost of living in the U.S., with a score of 83.3, compared to a base score of 100.

For every dollar spent on necessities in an average state, you would only need $0.83 in Mississippi. Saving funds on basic supplies can free up additional money for tuition and fees.

Careers for Cybersecurity Graduates in Mississippi

Though cybersecurity is an in-demand career with over 750,000 job openings across the U.S., Mississippi comes in last place for the percentage of the workforce in tech in the U.S., according to CompTIA's 2023 State of the Tech Workforce report.

Fortunately, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety announced the formation of a new cybersecurity unit in 2023. The state seeks to hire knowledgeable tech professionals in various cybersecurity roles within the unit, indicating potential employment opportunities within the state's public sector.

For those looking to pursue cybersecurity positions in Mississippi, you may find yourself a unique commodity due to the lack of available workers in tech. The state offers opportunities in the aerospace, manufacturing, and tech industries. The following sections explore potential cybersecurity careers and state employment trends within Mississippi.

Select Cybersecurity Careers in Mississippi

Computer and Information Systems Manager

These managers oversee organization-wide IT efforts through planning, executing, and maintaining networks. They create strategies to meet organizational goals, along with safeguarding physical and digital information. These professionals may also carry the title of IT manager or IT project manager.

  • Average Salary (April 2023): $88,890
  • Job Outlook in Mississippi (2020-30): +9.6% (computer and information systems managers)

Security Software Developer

Security software developers create applications to safeguard data on mobile and desktop platforms. They ensure security by integrating security protocols into software. The IT services and custom software industry is one of the leading tech sectors in Mississippi. This career usually requires a bachelor's degree.

  • Average Salary (April 2023): $75,780
  • Job Outlook in Mississippi (2020-30):-0.6%(software developers, QA analysts, and testers)

Vulnerability Assessor

Vulnerability assessors search for weaknesses in computer systems and applications. This career can also fall under Mississippi's IT services and custom software industry. Mississippi also hosts telecommunications and internet services companies, which may require vulnerability assessors. A career in this field usually requires an associate degree or higher.

  • Average Salary (April 2023): $90,770 (penetration testers)
  • Job Outlook in Mississippi (2018-28): +4.4% (information security analyst)

Mississippi Employment Trends

Cybersecurity employment data can help you decide to pursue tech roles in the state. The following tables compare national and state data.

Projected Job Growth for Computer Hardware Engineers, Computer Network Architects, and Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers
Year State National
Computer Hardware Engineers
2020 Employment 140 66,200
2030 Projected Employment 150 67,300
Projected Job Growth, 2020-2030 +7.1% +1.7%
Computer Network Architects
2018 Employment 370 165,200
2030 Projected Employment 390 174,200
Projected Job Growth, 2018-2028 +5.4% +5.4%
Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers
2020 Employment 3,190 1,847,900
2030 Projected Employment 3,170 2,257,400
Projected Job Growth, 2020-2030 -0.6% +22%

Source: Projections Central

Salaries for Cybersecurity and Related Careers, May 2021
Career Mississippi Employment Mississipii Annual Mean Wage National Median Annual Wage
Computer and Information Systems Managers 1080 $110,720 $159,010
Computer Hardware Engineers 200 $79,370 $128,170
Computer Network Architects 210 $87,200 $120,520
Computer Network Support Specialists 900 $57,610 $62,760
Computer Programmers 450 $65,630 $93,000
Computer Systems Analysts 1,970 $71,550 $99,270
Information Security Analysts 560 $73,040 $102,600
Network and Computer Systems Administrators 1,250 $71,730 $80,600
Software Developers 2,020 $85,590 $109,020
Web Developers 120 $62,410 $78,300

Source: BLS OEWS

Cybersecurity jobs in Mississippi are expected to grow or shrink by single-digit percentages, indicating that employment rates are likely to continue at their current pace in the state.

The average wage for cybersecurity careers in Mississippi is lower than the national median annual wage. However, salaries for computer network support positions may be relatively higher than the national median pay when factoring in cost of living figures.

Cybersecurity Employers in Mississippi

Airbus Helicopters: Airbus opened a helicopter manufacturing plant in Mississippi in 2003. The location creates multiple helicopters, including the U.S. Army UH-72A/B Lakota Light Utility Helicopter. As Airbus creates helicopters for the army, cybersecurity is of the utmost importance. Airbus employs 900 cybersecurity professionals worldwide.

NASA: NASA operates the Stennis Space Center in Hancock County. The space center has been NASA's largest rocket testing facility since 2012. As a federal department, NASA must maintain rigorous cybersecurity standards, requiring adept professionals across information security roles.

VSS: VSS provides technology solutions such as cloud computing, storage, and disaster recovery. The company maintains a location in Mississippi, where cybersecurity graduates can apply to assist with safeguarding sensitive data.

Professional Cybersecurity Organizations in Mississippi

Cyber South

Mississippi College hosts Cyber South to engage, educate, and raise awareness about cybersecurity in the U.S. The conference covers many relevant topics, including cyberinsurance, cryptojacking, and artificial intelligence. Students will have a discounted fee of $30, while general admission tickets are $130.

Mississippi Digital Government Summit

This summit brings together public and private sector experts to discuss innovative technologies. Registration is free for the public.

Minority Serving – Cyberinfrastructure Consortium Workshops

The MS-CC organizes a series of free cybersecurity workshops across the Southeast U.S. The consortium has hosted past workshops at Jackson State University.

Schools With Cybersecurity Degrees in Mississippi

Questions About Cybersecurity in Mississippi

Can I get a cybersecurity degree in Mississippi?

Yes — learners can consider several cybersecurity degrees in Mississippi. The state offers several programs at various levels, including associate, bachelor's, and master's programs in the field.

Are the best cybersecurity schools in Mississippi expensive?

The cost of tuition in Mississippi is below the average cost across the U.S., but college degrees still require a significant financial investment. Fortunately, the cost of living in Mississippi is the lowest in the U.S., allowing students to more easily stretch their budgets.

Is cybersecurity a good career in Mississippi?

It can be. Though the state lags behind others in tech employment, Mississippi still offers career opportunities in the private sector with Airbus, along with public departments like the Office of Home Security and NASA.

Are cybersecurity programs in Mississippi difficult?

Accredited schools offer the top cybersecurity programs in Mississippi, indicating that they meet a certain level of educational standards. While coursework becomes increasingly difficult throughout a degree, motivated problem-solvers can thrive in cybersecurity programs.

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