Cybersecurity Programs in Rhode Island


Updated March 15, 2023

Rhode Island might be small in size but hosts many tech startups. Explore the various degree levels and higher learning opportunities in the state before pursuing a career. 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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Providence, Rhode Island skyline at sunrise Credit: Shobeir Ansari / Moment / Getty Images

Though only 48 miles long and 37 miles wide, Rhode Island offers amazing cultural and environmental diversity. Students in the nation's smallest state can pursue online or in-person cybersecurity degrees with easy access to prospective employers.

Information security is one of the fastest-growing fields in the United States. Rhode Island schools can prepare students to pursue careers as penetration testers, information security analysts, or computer forensic analysts. New graduates may find jobs at top healthcare, financial, or defense companies.

Learn more about Rhode Island's colleges and careers in cybersecurity with this helpful guide.

Rhode Island at a Glance

Average Wage for Computer and Mathematical Occupations


% of Workforce in Tech


Economic Impact of Tech Industry

$3 billion

Number of Higher Learning Institutions


Sources: Cyberstates™, NCES, OEWS

Why Go to College in Rhode Island for Cybersecurity?

Just a quick drive from the Boston-Cambridge area, Rhode Island sits near a major technology research and development hub. About 5.5% of the state's workforce maintains employment in technology, with median wages 93% higher than the national median. The technology sector contributes approximately $3 billion to Rhode Island's economy.

Rhode Island has created multiple cybersecurity initiatives, including its Joint Cyber Task Force. Rhode Island's universities continue to train an effective cybersecurity workforce. Schools may offer associate, bachelor's, and master's programs through online and on-campus delivery.

The University of Rhode Island, for example, maintains a digital forensics and cybersecurity center, which holds a state-of-the-art cybersecurity lab for research and training. Salve Regina University, a private Catholic institution, houses the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy and hosts cybersecurity-related events.

Rhode Island college enrollees can also pursue internships with top corporations in the state. The state hosts corporate giants such as CVS Health, Citizens Financial Group, and Raytheon Missiles & Defense — which all employ cybersecurity experts.

Despite its small size, Rhode Island's coastal location and proximity to Boston-area research institutions make it particularly appealing for students interested in maritime defense or cybersecurity research.

Education Statistics for Rhode Island

Higher Education Statistics Rhode Island Data National Data

Four-Year Colleges



Two-Year Colleges



Students Enrolled in Distance Education



Source: NCES

Accreditation for Rhode Island Schools

Attending an accredited school ensures that the institution meets certain standards of quality and academic rigor.

Schools with institutional accreditation have received recognition from accrediting agencies for meeting quality and outcomes standards. Accredited colleges in Rhode Island typically receive the status from the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Programmatic accreditation recognizes specific programs or departments within schools and often applies to particular fields or professions. For example, ABET accredits the computer science programs at Rhode Island's Roger Williams University.

Considerations for a Cybersecurity Degree in Rhode Island

Prospective enrollees should consider several factors to select the right college and academic program. While some considerations, such as accreditation, should be non-negotiable, students can consider their ideal learning style to identify potential schools. For example, learners may prefer online school, in-person delivery, or hybrid learning environments.

Driving to a nearby campus may make in-person learning options easy and affordable in such a small state. A higher-than-average percentage of Rhode Island's students are not enrolled in any distance education courses, indicating that the state's schools have focused on in-person education over online learning.

Students also need to consider their intended degree level. For instance, should an applicant with a bachelor's degree pursue a master's program or another undergraduate major? The information below can help provide answers.

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Associate Degree Programs in Cybersecurity

Associate Degree Programs in Cybersecurity

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Top Doctoral Degree Programs in Cybersecurity

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HBCUs With the Best Cybersecurity Programs

Cybersecurity Concentrations and Similar Degrees

While cybersecurity students may select from several concentrations, the following programs specifically apply to Rhode Island's schools and career opportunities:

Administration of Justice and Homeland Security

This degree combines theory, policy, and practice courses to create a robust curriculum in digital counterterrorism. Learners explore the intersection of criminal justice and cybersecurity and hone their investigative techniques.


Some cybersecurity students may elect to pursue a policy track. These pathways explore the facets of law, ethics, public policy, and international relations as they affect cybercrime and the digital landscape. Courses include contemporary issues in digital policy and politics and computers, freedom, and privacy.

Cyberthreat Intelligence & Defense

Enrollees learn to track, evaluate, and thwart cyberattacks. Coursework covers cyberintelligence and active cyberdefense and security measures. This degree prepares students to work in cyberthreat intelligence and defense in the public and private sectors.

Paying for a Degree While at a Rhode Island College

While Rhode Island's schools cost slightly more than the national average, students may take advantage of significant tuition assistance packages. Along with national financial aid programs, such as Pell grants, learners can secure funding through their colleges or universities. Graduate students may also receive teaching or research assistantships while in school.

Qualified Rhode Island students may even participate in the CyberCorps Scholarship For Service as part of the U.S. Government's CyberCorp program. This scholarship covers all tuition and fees for up to three years and provides a living stipend.

In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition

Rhode Island residents can save on tuition costs by attending in-state schools. For example, tuition for in-state students at the University of Rhode Island (URI) is less than half that for out-of-state students. URI also provides reduced tuition for qualifying students from other New England states.

Since Rhode Island participates in the New England Board of Higher Education's Tuition Break program, area students may pay reduced tuition at schools across the region.

Rhode Island's Cost of Living

Besides tuition, students generally pay for housing, food, transportation, and other daily necessities. In Rhode Island, these items often cost more than the national average.

World Population Review reports a cost of living figure of 117.2 for the state against a national index of 100, indicating that the state ranks among the most expensive areas in the country.

Careers for Cybersecurity Graduates in Rhode Island

Despite being the smallest state, Rhode Island offers a business-friendly environment, low crime rates, and beautiful coastal scenery. The state is home to flourishing industries such as biomedicine, defense construction, and cyberanalytics.

About 5.5% of Rhode Island's workforce is employed in the technology sector, which accounts for 6.1% of the economic impact in the state. Employment shows particular strength in software, network engineering, and cybersecurity.

As home to major organizations such as CVS Health and Citizens Financial Group, as well as a burgeoning maritime defense industry, Rhode Island offers many opportunities for cybersecurity professionals.

State agencies have developed task forces, initiatives, and academic programs to address cybersecurity opportunities. Professionals can pursue the following fast-growing careers in the state.

Select Cybersecurity Careers in Rhode Island

Penetration Tester

Sometimes called ethical hackers, penetration testers imitate cybercriminals by trying to hack organizations' defense systems. If they succeed, the company can identify and repair weaknesses. Penetration testers may work in many industries, including government and healthcare.

Salary for Penetration Testers: $90,060 as of March 2023

Job Outlook in Rhode Island (2018-28): +35% (information security analysts)

Security Engineer

Security engineers help build the infrastructure that organizations use to protect data. These experts may help test existing security systems, analyze risk, and develop new systems to reduce risk.

Salary for Security Engineers: $97,880 as of March 2023

Job Outlook in Rhode Island (2018-28): +35% (information security analysts)

Computer Forensics Analyst

Computer forensics analysts are the detectives on cybersecurity teams. They gather and analyze evidence related to cybercrimes. These experts may be called upon to testify in court about their findings.

Salary for Forensics Analysts: $75,260 as of March 2023

Job Outlook in Rhode Island (2018-28): +35% (information security analysts)

Rhode Island Employment Trends

Prospective students should also consider the state's trends regarding technology and computer science careers. The following tables explore employment data for the state:

Projected Job Growth for Computer Hardware Engineers, Information Security Analysts, and Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers
Year State National

Computer Hardware Engineers

2020 Employment


66, 200

2030 Projected Employment



Projected Job Growth, 2020-2030



Information Security Analysts

2018 Employment



2030 Projected Employment



Projected Job Growth, 2018-2028



Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers

2020 Employment



2030 Projected Employment



Projected Job Growth, 2020-2030



Source: Projections Central

Salaries for Cybersecurity and Related Careers, May 2021
Career Rhode Island Employment Rhode Island Annual Mean Wage National Annual Mean Wage

Computer and Information Systems Managers




Computer Hardware Engineers




Computer Network Architects




Computer Network Support Specialists




Computer Programmers




Computer Systems Analysts




Information Security Analysts




Network and Computer Systems Administrators




Software Developers




Web Developers




Source: BLS OEWS

In general, technology experts in Rhode Island earn more than their peers in other states. Computer architects, software developers, and network administrators earn particularly high salaries, on average.

Information security analysts can also benefit from rapid growth in their industry. As a result, cybersecurity majors and general computer science majors with security concentrations can explore interesting and well-paying positions in Rhode Island.

Cybersecurity Employers in Rhode Island

CVS Health: Located in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, CVS Health continues to tackle America's most pressing healthcare issues. The organization hires information security professionals who can identify, evaluate, and report on risks. Employees need experience in policy and leadership, along with technological skills.

Citizens Bank: Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens Bank is one of the oldest financial institutions in the country. Its cybersecurity professionals help manage, monitor, and measure the organization's risk level. These cybersecurity experts need auditing and risk management experience, plus strong business communication skills.

Raytheon Missiles & Defense: Raytheon Missiles & Defense focuses on developing and building advanced technology for strategic national defense. The organization maintains a presence in 28 foreign countries and 30 U.S. states, including Rhode Island. Its cyberprofessionals may recommend new technologies, assess risk levels, or educate team members on best practices.

Professional Cybersecurity Organizations in Rhode Island

  • Rhode Island Joint Cyber Task Force: The Rhode Island Joint Cyber Task Force combines state and federal agencies to combat cyberthreats in the state. The task force aims to prevent, detect, and respond to cyberincidents. Professionals can join the organization to network and share information about protecting Rhode Island's businesses from cybercrime.
  • Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency's Cybersecurity Program: The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency cybersecurity program protects the state's critical infrastructure and residents from cyberthreats.
  • ISACA Rhode Island Chapter: ISACA's Rhode Island chapter offers a local network for information security professionals to connect, share knowledge, and advance their careers in the industry. Members can engage in webinars, complete in-person learning experiences, and explore an online job board.

Rhode Island Colleges With Cybersecurity Degrees

Questions About Cybersecurity in Rhode Island

  • Can I study cybersecurity at a criminal justice college in Rhode Island?

    Many Rhode Island colleges offer criminal justice and cybersecurity courses. Students in one major may be able to take coursework in the other field.

  • Does URI offer cybersecurity minors and majors?

    URI offers undergraduate majors in computer science and international computer science with a minor in cybersecurity. Graduate students may earn professional science master's degrees in cybersecurity or certificates in cybersecurity and digital forensics.

  • What cybersecurity jobs can I get with a degree from Rhode Island?

    With a degree from Rhode Island, you can pursue several cybersecurity-related jobs, including network security engineer, cybersecurity analyst, information security specialist, cybercrime investigator, penetration tester, and malware analyst.

  • Is cybersecurity a good career in Rhode Island?

    Despite its small size, Rhode Island is a leader in cybersecurity. The state is home to the Rhode Island Corporate Cybersecurity Initiative and the Rhode Island Joint Cyber Task Force.

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