Cybersecurity Degrees in Montana- This guide provides information about Montana cybersecurity schools as well as some of the economic retooling that is taking place as the state focuses on cybersecurity.
Montana is in the midst of a transformation. Montana’s economy has always been centred on the state’s abundance of natural resources and wide-open landscapes. The top of the economic charts were dominated by jobs and opportunities in agriculture, ranching, and mining.
However, new economic staples are emerging in Montana today. While traditional economic sectors such as agriculture, ranching, and mining are faltering, new kinds of economic growth are stepping in to fill the void and starting to flourish on their own.
According to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry, the financial and healthcare sectors have been the major uptrends in Montana’s economy over the last ten years.
Overall, the number of jobs in Montana has been quite stable during the last year. However, that isn’t the complete tale. The job market is retooling and adapting to the growing demand for healthcare and information/knowledge workers across the country.
Where does cybersecurity, on the other hand, fit into all of this? While Montana does not have a large technology sector in comparison to other states, there are still possibilities for well-trained cybersecurity professionals, and given other economic trends and indications, cybersecurity employment will continue to increase.
This article is intended to provide a high-level overview of cybersecurity in Montana, as well as some of the educational and professional options available.
Growing Awareness of Cybersecurity in Montana
Montana, like many other states, is establishing state-level cybersecurity resources.
The state-funded effort, led by Montana’s State Information Technology Division, aims to figure out the best method to teach the cybersecurity workforce of the future. The organisation serves as a reference and advisory board for Montana’s nascent cybersecurity sector.
One of the group’s most recent projects was the creation and leadership of the Montana Girls Cybersecurity Project, which aimed to broaden the diversity and viewpoints of the local cybersecurity business.
Furthermore, Montana’s State Information Technology Division educates other state authorities and organisations on developing cyber and digital dangers, as well as best practises for dealing with them.
Cybersecurity Degrees in Montana
While Montana has a small number of cybersecurity degree and certification programmes compared to other states, there are still a few local possibilities.
Geographic closeness to colleges and universities becomes less significant as the trend toward online degree offerings and the general enhancement of online learning opportunities continues.
An associate’s degree is a good place to start if you want to work in cybersecurity.
An associate’s degree is beneficial for career preparation since it provides students with a basic understanding of key cybersecurity topics and helps them prepare for future industry certifications.
Missoula College, a two-year college connected with the University of Montana, currently offers only one campus-based associate’s degree in cybersecurity. The associate of applied science degree in network administration and security is awarded to students who complete the programme.
Coding, data analysis, server management and operating systems, networking devices and IP routing, and cybersecurity foundations are among the topics covered in the curriculum.
Another benefit of Missoula College’s cybersecurity associate’s degree is that it prepares students to sit for industry certification examinations such as CISCO Networking I and CompTIA Security+.
In addition, students must do an internship, which will provide them with essential information and experience in the sector.
An associate’s degree is a good place to start if you want to work in cybersecurity and want to work toward the credit hours required for a bachelor’s degree.
A cybersecurity bachelor’s degree is regarded a necessary component of a cybersecurity expertise.
Students with the equivalent of a four-year degree are well-versed in computer coding, software development, and network/data infrastructure skills necessary to perform more advanced cybersecurity work, as determined by the number of credit hours required for a bachelor’s degree (usually 120 credit hours).
Online cybersecurity bachelor’s degree in Montana
For the time being, the University of Montana offers the state’s sole standalone cybersecurity degree, which is available online. The degree is essentially a hybrid curriculum that builds on Missoula College’s associate’s degree in network management and security.
Students who finish the associate’s degree and related coursework can apply to continue their education in the bachelor’s programme offered in collaboration with Missoula College, the University of Montana, and Excelsior College.
In addition to the associate’s degree credits, the two years of credit hours cover general education requirements as well as extra cybersecurity courses. The University of Montana offers a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity that can be completed entirely online.
The online cybersecurity bachelor’s degree offers students the option of specialising in general cybersecurity, healthcare cybersecurity, or cyber operations.
The cybersecurity bachelor’s programme, like the associate’s degree provided by Missoula College, focuses on developing the core skills needed to prepare for a job, such as professional cybersecurity certification training and work experience through internships.
Cybersecurity Certifications in Montana
There are two cybersecurity certification programmes offered in addition to associate’s and bachelor’s degree programmes at the University of Montana’s affiliated colleges.
Missoula College offers two campus-based certification programmes that are based on a subset of the associate’s degree programmes described above. According to the institution, the purpose of this certification programme is to provide students with a basic understanding of cybersecurity.
“The curriculum is based upon the Core Knowledge Units developed by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Students will gain skills in basic data analysis; programming; networking concepts; IT systems components; system administration; fundamental security design principles; cyber-threats and cyber-defense; cryptography; and policy, legal, ethics, and compliance.”
Students who finish the programme will receive a certificate in cybersecurity technical skills or a certificate in cybersecurity technical studies (depending on what course are completed).
Cybersecurity Programs in Montana
|Missoula College||Missoula||Associate of Applied Science – Network Administration & Security option|
|University of Montana||Missoula||BS in Cybersecurity|
|University of Montana||Missoula||Cybersecurity Management Certificate|
|University of Montana||Missoula||Certificate of Technical Studies in Cybersecurity|
Cybersecurity Jobs in Montana
There is a national scarcity of cybersecurity workers, and Montana is no exception. While Montana does not have any of the significant businesses or industries — such as military contracting, aerospace, or information technology — it still has a need for a well-trained cybersecurity workforce, just like the rest of the country.
Montana has roughly 814 cybersecurity job vacancies, according to Cyberseek. In comparison, the state employs approximately 2517 persons in cybersecurity-related positions.
The following are some more important Montana cybersecurity employment statistics:
- Montana has an extremely limited supply of cybersecurity professionals. The workforce supply/demand ratio (the number of cybersecurity workers available for each open position) is 3.1. The national average is 2.0, which is a poor sign in and of itself.
- There are few personnel available in any geographic region due to some of the variables discussed previously, particularly the absence of past information technology employment and the fact that Montana only has a few cybersecurity training and degree programmes. Montana has a location quotient of 0.6, whereas the national average is 1.0.
The following are some of the most common cybersecurity job titles in Montana:
- Cybersecurity engineer
- Cybersecurity analyst
- Penetration tester (or ethical hacker)
- Cybersecurity manager/administrator
- Network engineer/architect
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly compensation for a security analyst in Montana in 2018 was $31.15, with an average yearly salary of $64,790.
Cybersecurity in Montana
Montana is a state that is changing its economy, despite not being historically recognised for its technological scene.
As the internet and digital technologies become more integrated into people’s daily lives, cybersecurity will continue to be in demand — and a trained workforce will be required to fill those positions, regardless of location.
The state is providing unique possibilities for those with digital skills through its training and education programmes at Montana’s universities, as well as state-level efforts geared at teaching the next generation to guard against cybersecurity risks.