Cybersecurity Programs in Oklahoma
| CyberDegrees.org Staff Modified on June 3, 2022
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Oklahoma has a growing cyber security scene, doubling job opportunities in the field between 2010 and 2014. To get in on the growth, you’ll need a college education. Feel free to skip straight to our list of Oklahoma cyber security programs, or keep reading for the lowdown on scholarships, tech communities and career paths within the Sooner State.
Studying Cybersecurity in Oklahoma
For bachelor’s and master’s degrees in cyber security, Oklahomans have five in-state options: Cameron University, Northeastern State University, Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, and University of Tulsa. The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated the latter two as National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and Research. Associate degrees and certifications are numerous as well, with Oklahoma City Community College and Rose State College also receiving NSA/DHS recognition. That’s in addition to the credential opportunities offered by the state’s tech centers.
Here are some highlights of the state’s academic scene for cyber security:
- University of Tulsa operates an MS in Cyber Security program out of its Institute for Information Security (iSec). But University of Tulsa faculty train more than just their own graduate students. The university is the principal trainer for the Cyber Security Education Consortium, which spans two- and four-year institutions across Oklahoma and seven other states.
- Oklahoma State University houses the Center for Telecommunications and Network Security and, as of 2017, was the sole distance learning provider in the state for cyber security.
- High schoolers and nontraditional students can benefit from the state’s CareerTech system. Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Oklahoma CareerTech, Tulsa Tech and Great Plains Technology Center all offer cyber security coursework that can transfer to a state college associate degree in the subject.
- The Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) maintains six certifications, which cover everything from information systems security to risk analysis. Rose State College became the first two-year college in the country to offer all six.
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Online Cybersecurity Programs in Oklahoma
There’s not a lot online for cyber security learners in Oklahoma, with just two programs available. Keep an eye out for new additions at the Online College of Oklahoma, which is a catalog of distance learning programs from participating schools.
Online Master’s Degrees In Cybersecurity
Oklahoma State University’s on-campus Master of Science in Information Assurance is also offered online. The MSIA is administered by the Spears School of Business, so you can expect a curriculum packed with technical security courses (e.g. applied information systems security, secure information systems administration, etc.) and classes that tackle major leadership concerns such as legality and ethics, risk assessment, and defensive practices. OSU is an NSA-CAE school and Spears is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
Online Certificate Programs In Cybersecurity
Oklahoma State University offers a 15-credit online Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance through the Center for Telecommunications and Network Security. To get in, you’ll need to have a baccalaureate in an IT field. That’s because the certificate tackles advanced technical concepts specific to telecommunications along with management coursework.
Cybersecurity Scholarships in Oklahoma
Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
- Chesapeake MIS Scholarship: Returning students in the Management Information Systems (MIS) program, including those pursing the Information Assurance option, are eligible for this award when they notch a 3.0 GPA.
- ConocoPhillips Freshman Incentive Scholarship: An ACT score of 27 and a high school GPA of 3.2 is enough for incoming students in the Department of Management Science and Information Systems, including MIS students, to qualify for one of ConocoPhillips awards. To renew past your first year, keep a 3.0 GPA.
- ONEOK MSIS Scholarship: This scholarship for returning undergrads with a 3.0 GPA includes not only a financial award but also mentoring opportunities for the recipient.
- Additional Management Science and Information Systems Scholarships: More awards are available for MIS students of all levels. Several take financial need and/or leadership capabilities into account.
Rose State College
- Business and Information Technology Scholarships: The Business and Information Technology Division, which includes the Cyber Security/Digital Forensics program, offers scholarships ranging all the way to a full tuition waiver. Students qualify by submitting the General Scholarship Application between January and March.
- Rose State College Cyber Security Scholarship: Full-time students accepted into the Cyber Security program may qualify for this award by maintaining a 3.0 GPA and first taking prerequisites in math, English and reading. Financial need is a factor.
University Of Tulsa
- Cyber Corps Scholarship for Service: The benefits of this award for undergraduate upperclassmen and graduate students pursuing a cyber security degree are obvious: a generous living stipend along with free tuition and books and a paid summer internship. In exchange, recipients agree to work with a federal agency for two years upon graduation.
Cybersecurity Events in Oklahoma
Cybersecurity Meetups & Communities In Oklahoma
Membership organizations and informal gatherings of cyber security professionals are mainly confined to the state’s two main population centers, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. We’ve rounded up a few that welcome students:
- Information Systems Security Association (ISSA): ISSA is the primary membership organization for InfoSec professionals. Student members who join either the Oklahoma City or Tulsa group can attend monthly meetings to take care of chapter business and listen to outside speakers.
- ISACA: ISACA used to be called the Information Systems Audit and Control Association. Annual student memberships and dues are cheap and allow you to attend monthly chapter meetings, where you can network with IT governance professionals in either the Tulsa or Central Oklahoma (OKC) chapter.
- The Irregulars: OKC’s ethical hackers unite for a monthly meeting where they can socialize and listen to presentations. The group also maintains a virtual lab, which it uses to play hacking games with other members.
Cybersecurity Conferences & Workshops In Oklahoma
By joining any of the organizations above, you should be among the first to hear about upcoming cyber security events, including the following:
- BSides Oklahoma: Put on by ISSA and Techlahoma, the annual BSides Oklahoma event is part of a national movement of local conferences designed to showcase the best of a community’s cyber security scene. Spend the entire first day of BSides Oklahoma in a paid training of your choice, learning about anything from social engineering to AWS logs. Or skip the training and come for the free presentations on Day 2.
- Information Warfare Summit (IWS): Infragard is a professional organization for government officials and cyber security stakeholders to work together to secure the nation’s infrastructure. The Oklahoma chapter has hosted the daylong, multi-track IWS since 2008.
- Oklahoma State University Cyber Security Conference: A newer entrant to the conference circuit, this one-day event in OKC targets business managers and IT professionals.
- Root66 Information Security Conference: Held as part of the InnoTech Oklahoma conference in 2017, the Root66 conference is a full-day event for regional IT professionals and managers to learn more about security compliance and emerging threats.
Cybersecurity Jobs in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is home to five Fortune 500 companies, all of which are in the energy business. None of them hire more than a few thousand Oklahomans total, but if scholarships are any indication, several are looking to build their cyber security workforce to help protect their pipelines and energy grids. Chesapeake, Devon Energy and ONEOK all put their names on information systems awards at Oklahoma State University, as does Houston-based Phillips66. A quick scan through job sites like Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com confirms that the main avenue for employment in the cyber security field is in the energy sector, although Atlanta-based SecureWorks (Dell’s InfoSec services wing) maintains a large presence in Oklahoma City.
Cybersecurity Salaries in Oklahoma
Oklahoma’s cyber security workforce sits at the lower end of the salary spectrum. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts make $60,000 a year on average compared to a national figure of $90,000. Other jobs in the field, such as IT security specialist, show a similar divergence, although there simply aren’t enough cyber professionals in the state yet to take statistical averages as gospel.
When comparing salary potential, keep in mind that Oklahoma maintains the fifth-lowest cost of living of any state in the Union, handily beating tech hotspots in California, New York and DC in every spending category.
All Cybersecurity Programs in Oklahoma
Below are all the matching programs we found in our directory, from 8 Oklahoma schools.
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