Cybersecurity Programs in Nebraska


Updated May 23, 2023

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Home to a fast-growing, specialized tech sector, Nebraska offers opportunities for aspiring cybersecurity professionals. Examine key trends and data points regarding the Cornhusker 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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Omaha, Nebraska skyline on sunny day Credit: Matt Bills / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Part of the American Midwest's "Silicon Prairie," Nebraska boasts a booming technology industry. The state's tech companies cluster in the urban region bridging the state capital of Lincoln and Nebraska's largest city, Omaha. A growing base of innovative insurance and financial services companies operates in the same urbanized area.

These factors combine to make Nebraska an appealing place to build a cybersecurity career. The national cybersecurity labor shortage extends to Nebraska, where the tech job market posted positive growth in employment of women and Black and Hispanic professionals in 2022.

This guide examines cybersecurity education and employment in Nebraska. Discover important factors in choosing a school, explore degree costs and concentrations, and learn about career paths and professional resources for cybersecurity graduates.

Nebraska at a Glance

  • Average Wage for Computer and Mathematical Occupations: $86,000
  • % of Workforce in Tech: 5.0%
  • Economic Impact of Tech Industry: $7 billion
  • Number of Higher Learning Institutions: 33

Sources: Cyberstates™, NCES, OEWS

Why Go to College for Cybersecurity in Nebraska?

Home to 33 degree-granting institutions, Nebraska offers many options for computer science students. Learners can pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees or quickly train for a new career through a cybersecurity bootcamp.

Nebraska may offer cost advantages for some students. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that in 2020-2021, in-state students at public colleges and universities paid an average of $9,375 per year in tuition and fees. That same year, tuition and fees at the average U.S. private institution cost $32,825.

In Nebraska, higher education was less expensive in 2020-2021. In-state students paid an average of $8,761 per year to attend Nebraska public schools, about 6.6% cheaper than the national average.

Students at private schools enjoyed even greater savings. On average, private colleges and universities in Nebraska charged $24,985 per year in 2020-2021, 23.9% lower than the national average.

Attending a Nebraska college offers benefits to learners who plan to stay in the state after graduation. Many cybersecurity programs deliver hands-on learning through work-study programs and internships. These experiences can strengthen an emerging professional's job prospects by providing local networking opportunities.

Education Statistics for Nebraska

Students at Nebraska's 33 degree-granting institutions tend to engage with distance education at average rates. The traditional campus experience remains a key element of attending college in Nebraska.

Nebraska vs. National Education Statistics
Higher Education Statistics Nebraska Data National Data
Four-Year Colleges 22 2,520
Two-Year Colleges 11 1,016
Students Enrolled in Distance Education 57% 59%

Sources: NCES

Accreditation for Nebraska Schools

Institutional accreditation indicates that a college meets high academic standards set by external evaluators. Students should only enroll in programs at accredited schools. Accreditation ensures third-party recognition of your academic credentials.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has historically accredited Nebraska colleges. However, any agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) can now accredit Nebraska institutions. Degree-seekers should research a school's accreditation status before applying.

Learners can also seek schools and programs with specialized programmatic endorsements. Examples include ABET accreditation and Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) recognition from the National Security Agency. As of May 2023, four Nebraska institutions hold CAE standing.

Considerations for a Cybersecurity Degree in Nebraska

Learners seek different things from their schools and programs. For some, student diversity is a key consideration. Others prioritize factors like program size, student-to-teacher ratio, and post-graduation employment rate.

Learning formats are another important consideration. Online courses offer flexibility and can make it easier for students to manage schooling alongside other commitments.

For some learners, the traditional campus experience delivers more valuable networking opportunities. Hybrid programs strike a balance, providing the best of both worlds as students engage with both online and campus-based coursework.

The following data details online learning rates at Nebraska's higher education institutions.

Explore rankings for top cybersecurity programs around the country:

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Cybersecurity Concentrations and Similar Degrees

Programs like the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) cybersecurity degree are popular with students. However, many other degrees and concentrations may appeal to technology-minded learners.

The following table details three other tech-focused degrees that Nebraska students might consider. Each degree can help learners pursue some of Nebraska's fastest-growing technology careers.

Information Systems Security

Projections Central anticipates job growth of 34.7% for information security analysts in Nebraska from 2020-2030. Information systems security graduates may benefit from these strong labor market conditions.

Information Technology (IT)

IT degrees deliver a versatile education that combines programming, network design, network administration, and cybersecurity. Nebraska's labor market projects 12.3% job growth from 2020-2030 for IT managers.

Software Engineering

Software developers, testers, and quality assurance specialists enjoy a strong job market in Nebraska. The state is projected to experience 22.2% job growth for these professionals from 2020-2030.

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

The Nebraska Department of Education tracks scholarship opportunities available to students in the state. Along with scholarships, students can explore other options to help pay for their cybersecurity degrees.

Other funding sources include fellowships, grants, working while studying, and federal or private loans. The good news is that Nebraska is a relatively affordable place to attend college, as the following table shows.

In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition

Nebraska residents pay less to attend the state's public colleges and universities than nonresidents. In-state rates are lower because residents contribute to Nebraska's higher education system through their taxes.

Some nonresidents can qualify for reduced tuition rates in Nebraska through the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP). This agreement covers Nebraska and seven other states. Residents of MSEP member states qualify for discounted tuition rates in all other member states.

Nebraska's Cost of Living

Local living costs have a profound impact on student budgets, affecting expenses like housing, groceries, utilities, and transportation.

Compared to the U.S. baseline average of 100, Nebraska has a cost of living index score of 93.7 as of May 2023. This score means Nebraska's cost of living is 6.3% lower than the average U.S. state.

Careers for Cybersecurity Graduates in Nebraska

Already an established regional banking and insurance center, Nebraska also hosts an emerging financial technology industry. These economic features position Nebraska as a strong cybersecurity destination. Businesses in these industries have particularly high cybersecurity needs.

The 2022 edition of CompTIA's annual Cyberstates index also tracked positive year-over-year job growth in Nebraska in three major areas:

  • Software (+4.8% growth)
  • IT and custom software services (+1.6%)
  • Telecommunications and internet services (+0.8%)

Overall, CompTIA tallied about 32,600 tech job postings in Nebraska in 2022. Of those jobs, about 6,600 were in emerging areas. These figures indicate a healthy tech industry that may benefit cybersecurity job-seekers.

Select Cybersecurity Careers in Nebraska

The following cybersecurity-related careers appear poised for strong growth in Nebraska during the 2020s.

Penetration Tester

Penetration testers (pen testers) design and execute cybersecurity checks. They use the same techniques cybercriminals employ to probe their employer's or client's system for vulnerabilities. Pen testers then create reports identifying weaknesses and possible remedies.

  • Salary for Penetration Testers: $90,770
  • Job Outlook in Nebraska (2020-30): Projections Central includes penetration testers in its entry for information security analysts. The agency projects +34.7% job growth in Nebraska for infosec analysts during the 2020-2030 period.

Incident Responder

Incident responders are frontline cybersecurity professionals who monitor networks for unusual activity and take immediate action in the event of an attack. These professionals also test networked systems for weaknesses and help with cybersecurity auditing.

  • Salary for Incident Responders: $84,020
  • Job Outlook in Nebraska (2020-30): Projections Central includes incident responders in its entry for information security analysts. The agency projects +34.7% job growth in Nebraska for infosec analysts during the 2020-2030 period.

IT Manager

Also known as computer and information systems managers, IT managers design, build, and administer networked systems. The role has direct cybersecurity applications, as IT managers play a key part in selecting and implementing protective technologies, tools, and strategies.

  • Salary for IT Managers in Nebraska: $125,210
  • Job Outlook in Nebraska (2020-30): +12.3%

The following tables explore other cybersecurity and technology careers popular in Nebraska.

Nebraska Employment Trends

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 1,130 165,200
2028 Projected Employment 1,240 174,200
Projected Job Growth, 2018-2028 +9.7% +5.4%
Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers
2020 Employment 10,920 1,847,900
2030 Projected Employment 13,340 2,257,400
Projected Job Growth, 2020-2030 +22.2% +22%

Source: Projections Central

Salaries for Cybersecurity and Related Careers, May 2021
Career Nebraska Employment Nebraska Annual Mean Wage National Median Annual Wage
Computer and Information Systems Managers 4,220 $125,800 $159,010
Computer Hardware Engineers 120 $114,450 $128,170
Computer Network Architects 1,140 $103,290 $120,520
Computer Network Support Specialists 1,830 $61,720 $62,760
Computer Programmers 1,150 $92,860 $93,000
Computer Systems Analysts 3,450 $89,650 $99,270
Information Security Analysts 650 $95,590 $102,600
Network and Computer Systems Administrators 2,120 $87,870 $80,600
Software Developers 7,350 $105,560 $109,020
Web Developers 370 $72,000 $78,300

Source: BLS OEWS

Some Nebraska tech careers, including network administration, pay salaries that exceed national averages. If earning potential is a high priority for you, this path may be worth considering.

Entry-level candidates for most of the top-paying tech careers in Nebraska need at least a bachelor's degree. Earning a four-year computer science or cybersecurity degree can lead to more opportunities and higher pay.

Cybersecurity Employers in Nebraska

The following organizations are among the many that hire cybersecurity professionals in Nebraska.

Offutt Air Force Base: Offutt AFB is one of Nebraska's largest employers. The base deals with a high volume of information warfare operations, and multiple private-sector government contractors operate within its network. Candidates do not necessarily need a military background to work at Offutt AFB.

CoreTech: This IT services firm provides 24/7 IT and cybersecurity support to businesses in metro areas throughout Nebraska. Founded in 2000, CoreTech also offers business phone system management.

First State Bank Nebraska: This leading regional financial services provider has made major moves into online and mobile banking in recent years. Businesses like First State Bank have ongoing needs for cybersecurity professionals to help safeguard customer data.

Professional Cybersecurity Organizations in Nebraska

Established and emerging Nebraska cybersecurity professionals can network, connect with job opportunities, and build their knowledge through these events and organizations:

Nebraska Infragard

Through this public-private partnership, the Federal Bureau of Investigation cooperates with companies to advance information-sharing and intelligence efforts. Nebraska's Infragard chapter emphasizes protecting critical infrastructure from terrorism.


NEbraskaCERT is affiliated with the global CERT Conference. The organization holds monthly cybersecurity forum (CSF) meetings. Each CSF offers networking opportunities and examines key industry trends and recent developments.


This annual conference explores risk management, emerging threats, and other important events shaping the national cybersecurity landscape.

ISACA Omaha Chapter

ISACA is a high-profile international IT governance association. Its Omaha chapter welcomes students, recent graduates, and professionals as members. Membership perks include job board access and monthly meetups.

Schools With Cybersecurity Degrees in Nebraska

Questions About Cybersecurity in Nebraska

Can I get a cybersecurity degree in Nebraska?

Yes, Nebraska schools offer graduate and undergraduate cybersecurity programs. UNO cybersecurity students can earn bachelor's or master's degrees. Nebraska schools also feature cybersecurity bootcamps and associate programs in cybersecurity.

Are the best cybersecurity schools in Nebraska expensive?

Nebraska's higher education network is relatively affordable, even for nonresidents attending public schools. Students who relocate to Nebraska to study can also save money, as the state's living costs fall below the national average.

How much does a cybersecurity analyst make in Nebraska?

BLS data from May 2022 shows that infosec analysts in Nebraska earned an average of $95,590 per year. The salary average covers all infosec career paths and experience levels, from entry-level to late-career workers.

Is cybersecurity a good career in Nebraska?

Projections Central data projects 34.7% job growth for information security analysts in Nebraska from 2020-2030. This robust growth rate combines with high pay to make cybersecurity an excellent career option for Nebraska-based professionals.

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