Cybersecurity Programs in Missouri

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Cybersecurity has become a focal point in Missouri's IT and business sectors. Discover the cybersecurity education and professional opportunities that await in Missouri. 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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St. Louis arch and skyline at sunset Credit: Mike Kline (notkalvin) / Moment / Getty Images

Missouri may be best known for its cuisine and agriculture, but the state has also made strides to become a leader in the information technology space.

The Missouri Chamber Foundation's Technology 2030 report found that Missouri's tech industry had some of the fastest growth and highest wages in the country when adjusted for the cost of living. According to CompTIA's State of the Workforce report, Missouri had more than 73,000 tech job postings in 2022.

For prospective tech students, Missouri looks like a land of opportunity. The cybersecurity field appears strong, with organizations continuing to shore up their defenses and protecting their digital assets.

Discover information on Missouri's cybersecurity profession, along with available study paths and career opportunities in the state.

Missouri at a Glance

  • Average Wage for Computer and Mathematical Occupations: $83,150
  • % of Workforce in Tech: 5.3%
  • Economic Impact of Tech Industry: $23 billion
  • Number of Higher Learning Institutions: 91

Sources: Cyberstates™, NCES, OEWS

Why Go to College for Cybersecurity in Missouri?

While there are plenty of reasons to attend college in Missouri, the state has aimed to improve its college attainment numbers. In 2019, more than 52% of state residents held a certificate or degree, edging closer to the state's goal of 60% by 2025.

In 2020, Missouri enrolled nearly 350,000 postsecondary students across its 91 higher learning institutions. The state also introduced education support initiatives to expand workforce alignment, upgrade industry-recognized credentials, and assist different student types, including STEM learners.

Missouri also launched initiatives to improve equity and funding in the state's higher education system. In combination with lower-than-average tuition rates and online learning growth among many schools, the state has made education more accessible than ever before.

Online learning has allowed Missouri students to access programs from colleges around the state without relocating or traveling. By living and studying in the state, Missouri students can capitalize on the growing industries and partnerships between local schools and organizations.

For example, Missouri's intensified tech industry focus has led to more IT programs in the schools, including a boom in cybersecurity programs. Schools pinpoint areas of growth and opportunity in the state and develop programs to educate the future leaders of those fields.

Education Statistics for Missouri

The percentage of students in distance education in Missouri comes in slightly lower than the national average. Fortunately, the state has over 90 higher education institutions, many of which feature online courses and programs.

Missouri vs. National Education Statistics
Higher Education Statistics Missouri Data National Data
Four-Year Colleges 70 2,679
Two-Year Colleges 21 1,303
Students Enrolled in Distance Education 52.7% 59%

Sources: NCES

Accreditation for Missouri Schools

Accreditation informs learners that the school meets a high educational standard recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.

Institutional accreditation is required for colleges and universities to offer federal financial aid. The status can also affect a graduate's employment, continued learning, and postgraduate credential opportunities. In Missouri, most schools hold accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Though not always mandatory, programmatic accreditation can affect employment and licensure opportunities. Many computer-related programs, including cybersecurity programs, pursue ABET accreditation.

Considerations for a Cybersecurity Degree in Missouri

Prospective students need to consider several factors to find their ideal program. Most learners start by exploring program costs and length, along with the level or type of degree they want.

Researching programs that align with their professional goals can help learners identify the right specialization and courses. Students should also compare school faculties and facilities, internship opportunities, and support services.

Additionally, prospective students can consider their preferred program format and delivery methods. While Missouri's online participation rates are lower than the national average, distance learning can help busy students and working professionals better balance their schedules.

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

Missouri students can choose from many diverse cybersecurity program options. While cybersecurity professionals come from different backgrounds, the following table details a few of the most suitable programs and specializations.

Information Assurance

Information assurance programs explore the management and protection of companies' data. Students learn how organizations improve information access, confidentiality, and security through strategies and best practices. These programs prepare graduates to help Missouri businesses manage their data needs.

Information Systems Security

Information systems security programs examine the applications and operations necessary to protect computer systems. Students learn to design, develop, implement, and manage security applications. Graduates can work with IT organizations that provide security applications or the organizations that use them.

Computer Forensics

Computer forensics programs look at the causes and motivations for cyberattacks. Students learn to collect evidence, investigate and report incidents, and support the recovery process. Forensics graduates can find work in many areas as organizations face an increasing number of cyberattacks.

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

Missouri students enjoy relatively low tuition rates, compared to the national averages. Visiting students have access to some of the lowest-out-state tuition rates in the country.

The state also helps learners cover education costs with various financial aid initiatives. For example, Access Missouri provides funding to first-time undergraduate students with financial needs. The state also runs several scholarship programs and incentive grant programs.

All prospective students should start by applying for federal financial aid. Learners can find further support through Missouri's schools and organizations.

In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition

Missouri public schools receive state funding to subsidize in-state tuition rates, making them lower than out-of-state tuition. This incentive helps state schools attract and retain more students.

As a member of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC), Missouri provides reduced tuition to students from other member states. Missouri residents also get preferential rates in schools within these states. The following list includes all MHEC states:

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • South Dakota
  • Wisconsin

Missouri's Cost of Living

A state's cost of living contributes to each student's education spending. According to World Population Review, Missouri has a cost-of-living index of 89.8 — the seventh-lowest in the country. While the state comes in lower than the national baseline of 100 in all categories, Missouri's affordable housing, grocery, and transportation costs stand out the most.

Careers for Cybersecurity Graduates in Missouri

There are more than 1.1 million cybersecurity jobs across the country, per Cyberseek's Heat Map. According to CompTIA, Missouri's workforce sits at more than 10,000 and counting. Compared to the national average wage, the median wage for Missouri tech workers is over 100% higher.

While still a relatively small tech & cybersecurity sector, Missouri has become one of the top states for entrepreneurship and business-sponsored research and development. With most of the sector located in St. Louis and Kansas City, building into other metropolitan and rural regions remains an economic development priority for the state. If the emerging tech hub sustains its current growth rates, however, Missouri could soon compete with national leaders.

Select Cybersecurity Careers in Missouri

Incident Responder

Incident responders investigate cyberthreats and attacks using various tools and techniques. They may also test systems to identify vulnerabilities before planning and implementing prevention strategies. Typically, these professionals need bachelor's degrees.

  • Average Salary (April 2023): $84,020
  • Job Outlook in Missouri (2020-30): +32.8% (information security analysts)

Computer and Information Systems Manager

These department leaders apply industry best practices to create and implement company-wide IT policies. Computer and information systems managers protect physical and digital data through big-picture strategies. In some companies, they may carry the title of "IT manager."

  • Average Salary (April 2023): $88,890
  • Job Outlook in Missouri (2018-28): +9.3% (computer occupations, all other)

Penetration Tester

Penetration testers help organizations identify security issues by running simulated attacks on their systems. They work with other cybersecurity and IT professionals to bolster defenses and strengthen weaknesses. A penetration tester typically holds a bachelor's degree.

  • Average Salary (April 2023): $90,770
  • Job Outlook in Missouri (2020-30): +32.8% (information security analysts)

The table below offers details on other cybersecurity-related careers.

Missouri 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
2020 Employment 2,560 141,200
2030 Projected Employment 3,400 188,300
Projected Job Growth, 2020-2030 +32.8% +33.4%
Computer Network Architects (2018 State Data
2020 Employment 3,630 165,200
2030 Projected Employment 3,780 174,200
Projected Job Growth, 2020-2030 +4.1% (2018-2028) +5.4%
Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers
2020 Employment 30,160 1,847,900
2030 Projected Employment 37,090 2,257,400
Projected Job Growth, 2020-2030 +23% +22%

Source: Projections Central

Salaries for Cybersecurity and Related Careers, May 2021
Career Missouri Employment Missouri Annual Mean Wage National Median Annual Wage
Computer and Information Systems Managers 6,110 $135,670 $159,010
Computer Hardware Engineers 690 $88,220 $128,170
Computer Network Architects 3,440 $107,840 $120,520
Computer Network Support Specialists 4,110 $68,030 $62,760
Computer Programmers 2,080 $77,830 $93,000
Computer Systems Analysts 8,040 $90,540 $99,270
Information Security Analysts 2,030 $95,010 $102,600
Network and Computer Systems Administrators 6,760 $85,760 $80,600
Software Developers 19,370 $100,290 $109,020
Web Developers 2,300 $77,100 $78,300

Source: BLS OEWS

Missouri's employment outlook in computer-related fields appears bright. The mean annual wages come in around the national average in most cases — an attractive prospect for residents in a state with a low cost of living.

While many professions have appealing numbers, information security analysts and software developers might have the best outlook of all. Their respective projected growth rates of 32.8% and 23% indicate potential opportunities and job security for professionals in these fields.

Computer network occupations also have the benefit of higher-than-average wages in Missouri, which should help attract new talent.

Cybersecurity Employers in Missouri

Cerner Corporation: Now a member of Oracle, Cerner Corporation creates IT solutions for healthcare organizations and systems. The organization has a cybersecurity team with consulting, compliance, and regulatory professionals.

World Wide Technologies: The global company with headquarters in Missouri offers industry-specific IT solutions and services. In the cybersecurity realm, WWT provides an enterprise security program covering access management, along with network, cloud, and endpoint security.

Amdocs: This global company helps organizations automate and advance their operations with cloud migration and communication services. Amdocs has security solutions that include cyberdefenses, organization-wide integration, and management services.

Professional Cybersecurity Organizations in Missouri

Cyber Up

This nonprofit organization aims to improve the cybersecurity field through apprenticeships and skills development programs for youths.

ISACA Missouri Chapter

ISACA promotes and enhances the information systems auditing and security profession. Its local chapter runs meetings, workshops, and industry support programs around the region.

Global Center for Cybersecurity @ Cortex

This center joins professionals, educators, and organizations committed to improving cybersecurity. The center also advances research, internships, and apprenticeships in the field.

Security Advisor Alliance

This organization aims to close the skills gap by motivating the next generation of professionals. The alliance runs workshops and events across the country to engage and educate young people interested in cybersecurity.

Missouri Cybersecurity Center of Excellence

This nonprofit unites government agencies, organizations, and educators in the fight for better cybersecurity. The center hosts collaborative research, education, and networking opportunities.

Schools With Cybersecurity Degrees in Missouri

Questions About Cybersecurity in Missouri

Can I get a cybersecurity degree in Missouri?

Yes. You can choose from many Missouri state cybersecurity programs, including bachelor's and master's degrees. Several schools also offer certificate programs and continuing education courses in Missouri.

Are the best cybersecurity schools in Missouri expensive?

On average, Missouri state cybersecurity schools have lower tuition rates than most states. Learners can still consider the potential advantages of attending pricier programs, such as improved facilities, faculties, or industry partnerships. Some expensive private schools have substantial financial aid packages to offset tuition costs.

Is a cybersecurity degree worth it in Missouri?

Yes. In general, Missouri postsecondary students enjoy a low cost of living and relatively low tuition rates. Many Missouri state cybersecurity degrees have partnered with local organizations to address state labor shortages and industry focal points.

Is Missouri State University's master's degree in cybersecurity program hard?

Missouri State University's master's in cybersecurity can be challenging. The program tackles advanced topics in security management, security applications, and legal issues. Fortunately, the school offers flexible learning options, including online and accelerated paths. Students can also access academic support and organizations for assistance.

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