Cybersecurity Programs in Nevada


Updated May 23, 2023

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Las Vegas strip in the evening Credit: Aaron Black / The Image Bank / Getty Images

From Vegas' glitzy shows to Lake Tahoe's majesty, Nevada offers a rich array of excitement and glamor. Nevada's information security students have a similarly expansive swath of job

One of the nation's fastest-growing career fields, cybersecurity includes cutting-edge jobs that help protect citizens, companies, and even our country. These jobs require specialized skills and training, and consequently, they often pay much better than average. New cybersecurity graduates in Nevada may work in healthcare, logistics, mining, or tourism and gaming.

Explore this guide to find out more about Nevada's cybersecurity careers and schools — and maybe start your journey toward a cybersecurity school in Las Vegas.

Nevada at a Glance

  • Average Wage for Computer and Mathematical Occupations: $87,660
  • % of Workforce in Tech: 3.2%
  • Economic Impact of Tech Industry: $9 billion
  • Number of Higher Learning Institutions: 20

Sources: Cyberstates™, NCES, OEWS

Why Go to College for Cybersecurity in Nevada?

With no corporate or individual income taxes, Nevada provides west-coast tech companies an attractive alternative to California's 8.84% corporate rate.

The state's lower cost of living compared to tech hubs like California and Washington might make it possible for companies to provide more lucrative benefit packages to employees.

Although historically a mining and entertainment center, Nevada is now adding technology development to its identity.

Major tech companies, including Tesla, Google, and Blockchains LLC, are already moving in. To respond with a tech-ready workforce, Nevada schools are opening up cybersecurity research centers.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Nevada, Reno have both opened cybersecurity centers.

These centers provide education, training, research, and conference opportunities, and both have been designated as National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.

Community colleges are also getting on board, extending career-focused, two-year programs designed to quickly swell the ranks of the workforce. Major universities, meanwhile, are providing computer-related Ph.D. programs to help expand the field's boundaries.

Education Statistics for Nevada

A high percentage of students in Nevada's 20 colleges and universities are learning on campus. Still, just over half are taking at least one online course.

Nevada vs. National Education Statistics
Higher Education Statistics Nevada Data National Data
Four-Year Colleges 13 2,679
Two-Year Colleges 7 1,303
Students Enrolled in Distance Education 51.6% 72.8%

Sources: NCES

Accreditation for Nevada Schools

Accreditation provides a third-party seal of approval, which assures students that an institution meets rigorous academic standards. Most accreditation is either programmatic or institutional.

Program accreditors examine and approve specific programs or departments. For instance, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredits computer science programs. As of 2023, however, ABET has not accredited any programs in Nevada.

Aspiring students should not be deterred — programmatic accreditation is simply nice to have, while institutional accreditation is critical.

Institutional accreditors evaluate entire schools, including their finances, governance, and academics. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities serves Nevada and the surrounding region.

By attending an accredited institution, students help make certain their degree has value in the marketplace. Accreditation opens up financial aid opportunities, graduate education, and career options often not available to students at unaccredited institutions.

Considerations for a Cybersecurity Degree in Nevada

Selecting the right college and program can be a complicated process. Aspiring students need to weigh several factors when making their choice. Accreditation, academic reputation, and affordability all play a role, but other questions arise too.

How important is the school's diversity to you? Do you want a career-focused program or a research-oriented degree? Will you depend on the faculty or alumni network as your primary job-search community after graduation?

Even with answers to these questions, you still need to think about whether you want to study online, in-person, or through a hybrid program.

A larger-than-average percentage of Nevada's students are learning on campus. Is that because they prefer the in-person experience, or do Nevada's schools offer primarily campus-based curricula?

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

Cybersecurity Concentrations and Similar Degrees

Infosec students can select one of several concentrations for their academic careers, but the following programs specifically apply to Nevada's top opportunities:

Digital Forensics

Since some news stories say Nevada residents are the highest-risk Americans for cybercrime, the state needs technology experts with a knowledge of law and justice.

Digital forensics takes students beyond IT essentials to study electronic crime and how to solve it. This highly specialized field has applications for both law and business.

Information Systems Security

This program prepares students to solve business problems through technology innovation.

Courses may include data management; human factors in cybersecurity; and systems analysis, modeling, and design. Graduates should be able to communicate technological concepts to Nevada's business executives.

Computer Science

Graduates with a general computer science degree hold the technical know-how and theoretical background to engage in many career options.

Students who blend computer science with information assurance may be equipped to secure a cybersecurity job now and a spot in a Nevada-based research program later.

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

While tuition in Nevada often runs lower than the national average, higher education is still a pricey endeavor. Most students rely on financial aid such as scholarships, fellowships, grants, or loans to help pay their tuition and fees.

Nevada colleges, along with the state government, are experimenting with new ways to help make college affordable for everyone who wants to attend.

Qualifying Nevada students can apply for the Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship,Nevada Promise Scholarship, or the Silver State Opportunity Grant.

Applicants to these programs may need to meet academic or need-based criteria to receive support.

In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition

Nevada residents can save on tuition by attending an in-state public university. Nonresident students, however, may also be able to access tuition savings by attending a school that participates in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. These schools charge no more than 150% of resident tuition to qualifying nonresident learners.

Applicants should also ask their individual schools about nonresident tuition savings programs. The University of Nevada, Reno, for example, offers the Pack Exchange program, which caps the tuition cost for qualifying students at 200% of the resident rate.

Nevada's Cost of Living

Students pay more than tuition when earning a college degree. Housing, food, utilities, transportation, and healthcare costs add up quickly. Aspiring students can work out the real price point of their education using a cost-of-living index.

World Population Review's index assigns each state a score with 100 being the average across the U.S. Nevada received a score of 106.3, putting it well above the national average, but not in the top 10.

Careers for Cybersecurity Graduates in Nevada

Currently, the state relies heavily on mining and tourism as its primary economic drivers. But in addition to providing security for tech firm data, Nevada's future cyberworkforce may also help keep the state's silver mines and tourists safe from online threats.

Researchers at McKinsey & Company project that cybersecurity attacks will increase 300% between 2015 and 2025. In the face of this challenge, companies and governments should be working towards staffing a sizable cybersecurity workforce.

At the moment, Nevada lags behind the national average in the percentage of the workforce employed in technology. Which means the state faces a particularly sharp shortage of cybersecurity professionals.

With the information technology employers moving into the state, Nevada seems poised to move the needle and begin hiring cybersecurity professionals.

Most of Nevada's current technology experts work in the Las Vegas area. However, as remote work options grow, technology workers may be able to live in areas like Lake Tahoe.

Explore more about Nevada's cybersecurity careers in the sections below.

Select Cybersecurity Careers in Nevada

Security Engineer

Security engineers build the systems that protect data from both accidental leaks and cyberattacks. As cybercrimes grow increasingly sophisticated, security engineers act quickly to develop new and robust data protection systems.

Salary for Security Engineers: $98,058 as of March 2023

Computer Forensics Analyst

Like their counterparts in the physical world, computer forensics analysts use their investigative skills to unearth criminal behavior. These online detectives must pay close attention to detail, since they may be required to provide evidence that can stand up in civil or criminal court.

Salary for Computer Forensics Analysts: $75,525 as of March 2023

Security Analyst

Security analysts help prevent cyberattacks by identifying weaknesses, securing data protection software, and establishing corporate security protocols. Depending on their experience and their organization's needs, these professionals may also manage a team of cyberdefense experts.

Salary for Security Analysts: $106,650 as of 2022

Nevada Employment Trends

Nevada's employment trends for technology and computer science careers reflect the state's unique needs and opportunities. The following tables provide a clearer snapshot of Nevada's employment data:

Projected Job Growth for Computer and Information Systems Managers, Computer Network Architects, and Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers
Year State National
Computer and Information Systems Managers
2020 Employment 1,950 482,000
2030 Projected Employment 2,420 534,600
Projected Job Growth, 2020-2030 +24,1% +10.9%
Computer Network Architects
2018 Employment 550 165,200
2030 Projected Employment 640 174,200
Projected Job Growth, 2018-2028 +16.4% +5.4%
Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers
2020 Employment 6,230 1,847,900
2030 Projected Employment 8,700 2,257,400
Projected Job Growth, 2020-2030 39.6% +22%

Source: Projections Central

Salaries for Cybersecurity and Related Careers, May 2021
Career Nevada Employment Nevada Annual Mean Wage National Average Annual Wage
Computer and Information Systems Managers 1,740 $127,360 $173,670
Computer Hardware Engineers 270 $135,880* $140,830
Computer Network Architects 720 $118,110 $129,490
Computer Network Support Specialists 1,610 $70,380 $76,060
Computer Programmers 840 $97,550 $102,790
Computer Systems Analysts 1,890 $101,280 $107,530
Information Security Analysts 470 $106,650 $119,860
Network and Computer Systems Administrators 1,640 $113,140 $97,160
Software Developers 4,150 $119,870 $132,930
Web Developers 360 $65,780 $87,580

Source: BLS OEWS
*data from 2021, all other figures from 2022

Network and computer systems administrators in Nevada take home average annual salaries that exceed the national average. Most cybersecurity roles in Nevada bring home less than the national average, but that's true of many other states.

There are still many Nevada cybersecurity roles that make six-figure salaries, so do not rule out attending a cybersecurity school in Las Vegas just yet.

Aspiring tech experts who plan to remain in Nevada after graduation may want to pursue degrees in computer engineering or information technology.

Cybersecurity Employers in Nevada

Las Vegas Sands Corp.: Las Vegas Sands Corp. is a multinational hospitality and entertainment company that owns and operates various resort properties and casinos in Nevada. They employ a large number of cybersecurity experts to protect their guests' data and ensure the security of their network infrastructure.

International Game Technology: International Game Technology is a global gaming and lottery company with a major office in Reno, Nevada. As a company that handles sensitive customer information and financial transactions, they prioritize cybersecurity and employ a team of experts to protect their systems.

Switch: Switch is a technology infrastructure company that specializes in designing and operating secure data centers. With headquarters in Las Vegas, the company employs cybersecurity experts to ensure that their facilities are protected from cyberthreats and to provide security services to their clients.

Professional Cybersecurity Organizations in Nevada

Black Hat USA

In 2023, Black Hat USA will return to Las Vegas for the 26th year of specialized cybersecurity training. This year, the event is providing a certification program alongside its other offerings.

(ISC)2 Las Vegas 

The area chapter of this international organization, (ISC)2 Las Vegas hosts regular events and networking sessions. Members can take advantage of seminars, training, and certification opportunities.

ISSA Las Vegas

The Information Systems Security Association maintains thousands of local chapters, including this one. Members can expand their peer network while also staying current on industry topics.

SANS Network Security Las Vegas 2023

In-person and online attendees at SANS' network security conference can earn a Global Information Assurance Certification certification while also hearing from top leaders in the field. Courses include cloud security essentials and windows forensic analysis.

Schools With Cybersecurity Degrees in Nevada

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

University of Nevada, Reno

Western Nevada College

College of Southern Nevada

Truckee Meadows Community College

Questions About Cybersecurity in Nevada

Can I get a cybersecurity degree in Nevada?

Many of Nevada's top schools offer associate, bachelor's, or master's degrees in cybersecurity and related fields. At least one of Nevada's schools also offers a Ph.D in computer science, and students can emphasize cybersecurity studies.

Does UNLV offer a cybersecurity program?

UNLV offers several cybersecurity programs, including an interdisciplinary master's degree and an information assurance concentration for bachelor's degree candidates.

What colleges are best for cybersecurity in Nevada?

All of Nevada's regionally accredited colleges offer a viable education. The school that suits you best largely depends on your professional goals. Larger institutions such as the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Nevada, Reno, may extend options for research and graduate programs while community colleges may be better equipped to transition students to the workplace quickly.

Is cybersecurity a good career in Nevada?

As the world grows more reliant on technology, entire career fields have grown up around protecting sensitive information and systems from online threats. Nevada, being a hub for the mining and gaming industries, needs many top-tier cybersecurity professionals.

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