Study Cybersecurity at the University of Montana
Cybersecurity is the protection of all things digital, from an organization’s financial records to the data on your cell phone, intellectual property to personal passwords. This rapidly growing and dynamic field offers exceptional job opportunities and earning potential available to graduates with a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity.
UM’s face-to-face cybersecurity bachelor’s program will prepare you for entry-level cybersecurity positions where you will use your skills to help businesses and organizations secure their data against cyber-attacks. The cybersecurity degree at UM instills in knowledge of operating information systems and networking technologies, as well as an understanding of how businesses and organizations operate.
In a world that is more connected than ever before, cybersecurity is crucial to protecting business data and personal information. Cyber threats are not limited to a single industry, so cybersecurity professionals are in demand across the board. A bachelor of cybersecurity degree can open doors to employment in a wide variety of organizations.
job growth in the cybersecurity field expected nationally over the next decade
open cybersecurity positions in Montana, fall 2023
median pay for an information security analyst, US Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Can You Do With a Degree in Cybersecurity?
UM’s cybersecurity major is designed to provide you with the technical and business skills necessary to work in the cybersecurity field – preparing you for IT careers in government, the military, manufacturing, consulting, commerce, health care, transportation, energy and more.
Businesses and government entities across Montana are seeking employees in the cybersecurity area, with more than 1,100 open cybersecurity positions as of fall 2023. If you want to work in a technical field in the state of Montana, cybersecurity is a great career path with plenty of job opportunities.
As of June 2023, there were more than 660,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. and the global shortage of cybersecurity professionals tops 3.4 million, according to CyberSeek. The United States lacks the cybersecurity experts needed to protect the critical infrastructure networks that our government and businesses are built upon. This kind of demand means that graduates with a bachelor of cybersecurity degree can find employment in their preferred field nearly anywhere in the world they wish to live.
Jobs for Cybersecurity Majors
Here are some common jobs you can pursue with a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity:
- Cybersecurity Analyst
- Security Consultant
- Security Information Assurance Consultant
- Information Security Officer
- Security Auditor
- Security Engineer
- Incident Responder
- Security Compliance Analyst
- Security Operations Center (SOC) Analyst
- Cybersecurity Educator/Trainer
- Security Policy Analyst
- Network Security Administrator
- Penetration Tester (Ethical Hacker)
Degree in Cybersecurity Salaries
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary in May 2022 for Information Security Analysts with a bachelor’s degree was $112,000 per year. Employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 32 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Video: Montana's Cybersecurity Hub
The University of Montana's programmatic excellence in cybersecurity trains next generation to defend what matters most.
"I think the biggest thing I learned [at UM] is how to learn. You will never know the technology straight up, but the ones who will succeed in technology and cybersecurity are those who can learn the fastest." - Andy Morse, Class of 2008, Security and IT Solutions Analyst, Pathlabs
"The University of Montana laid the foundation for me to succeed in the professional world. My job requires constant analysis to break down and implement business requirements which often feels similar to the project-oriented classes I took at the University. My time studying helped prepare me for the hiring process, getting started in a company, and growing over time. It’s so important to keep an open mind and to never stop learning, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without starting at UM." - Chase Leclercq, Class of 2019, Systems Engineer, FAST Enterprises
"During my tenure at the University of Montana's College of Business, I acquired a comprehensive foundation which prepared me to seamlessly bridge the gap between technology and business in today's modern digital landscape. The programs, enriched by real-world case studies and hands-on projects with local businesses, reflected the pressing challenges faced by businesses of all sizes. This comprehensive education has been foundational in my 12-year journey as a professional services cybersecurity manager. Beyond technical expertise, the program sharpened my soft skills, enabling me to simplify complex security topics and negotiate effective cybersecurity measures." - Jeff Lasher, Class of 2011, Manager of KPMG Cybersecurity Services, Seattle
Experiential Learning in the Bachelor’s Degree in Cybersecurity
UM’s cybersecurity program offers hands-on resources to students like the U.S. Cyber Range where students practice defending against cyber threats by way of lab exercises, simulations and competitions. The on-campus Cyber Gym hosts competitions that engage students and others from around the state. UM’s Information Technology office is launching a security operations center and offers student-employment options to cybersecurity students.
Internships for cybersecurity majors
Many students complete paid internships while studying cybersecurity at UM. Recent students have interned with national firms Deloitte, KPMG, PwC, CrowdStrike and Moss Adams. Other students have interned locally with Missoula’s own LMG Security and at Pine Cove Consulting in Bozeman.
Study abroad for cybersecurity majors
The College of Business offers a robust study abroad program for students of all majors, including cybersecurity majors. Current study abroad programs take students to Romania or Italy and past programs included partnerships with universities in New Zealand and Australia.
Some cybersecurity majors also opt to participate in UM's Franke Global Leadership Intiative, or GLI. This four-year, 12-credit gives you access to world-class leaders and provides opportunities to tackle real-world problems locally and around the globe. This program also features an experiential learning component, for which students may earn scholarship funding of up to $5,000 to study abroad, complete international and domestic internships, or undertake service-learning or research projects.
Career development in the Undergraduate Degree in Cybersecurity Program
UM’s College of Business and the cybersecurity bachelor’s program are dedicated to the professional development of our students. The Career Development Program within the College of Business provides students with the tools to be competitive in the business world by providing workshops, practice interviews, resume critiques and networking events that will build your professional network before you graduate. We bring employers to campus throughout the year for class visits, office hours, information sessions and recruiting events like the Business Career Expo, Meet the Firms and Summer Internship Week.
Professional development in the cybersecurity program
As a cybersecurity student, you’ll have the opportunity to take part events like UM’s annual Cyber, IT and Computer Science Career Networking Event. Held each spring, the event allows students to showcase their skills in the Cyber Challenge Competition, meet with employers during a speed networking event and sit for individual interviews. In October, UM marks Cybersecurity Awareness Month with presentations from organizations like the National Space Command and MITRE and a Capture-the-Flag team competition.
Join the cybersecurity student club
Cybersecurity students participate in the National Cyber League, NSA Codebreakers Challenge and the US Cyber Challenge. The Missoula Defense and Operational Security (MsDOS) student group meets monthly and is open to anyone interested in cybersecurity.
Classes for the Degree in Cybersecurity
The courses for the cybersecurity bachelor of science degree at UM explore topics such as Enterprise Security; Creative Coding; Social and Ethical Issues in Computer Science; and a seminar on cyber operation centers. Popular elective courses include Fundamentals of Networks and Cybersecurity, Introduction to Consulting and Managing Information and Data.