Arkansas offers a variety of high-paying jobs for cybersecuriy experts between private industry in the state and two high-profile federal research initiatives taking place at state universities.
For instance, cybersecurity and mobile app company Metova, Inc. announced three expansions in Arkansas in 2015. Metova opened offices in Conway in January 2015 expecting to create more than 50 jobs. Due to their robust level of growth, Metova hired an additional 100 people in Conway and expanded into Fayetteville. Clients range from the US Army Cyber Battle Lab to Dropbox. Metova is such a high-profile player that Governor Asa Hutchinson attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new facility in Fayetteville.
- Grand Canyon University - B.S. and M.S. in Cyber Security
- ECPI University - Online Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Science with a Major in Cyber and Network Security
- SNHU - B.S and M.S. in Cybersecurity
In other highly significant news for Arkansas’ cybersecurity community, the US Department of Energy announced in 2015 that it was providing $12.2 million in funding to create a new national center devoted to cybersecurity for electric power utilities at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. Cybersecurity experts there will work in concert with researchers at several other universities.
In their efforts to protect the country’s power grid from being compromised, researchers will develop algorithms for software modules that can be loaded onto equipment and systems such as breakers, fault-current limiters, wireless communications systems, and relays. The center works in partnership with the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, which will beta-test the new technology.
The National Science Foundation is providing funding for another cybersecurity initiative that focuses on detecting and preventing cyber intrusions in cloud computing. White-hat hackers at the University of Arkansas in Pine Bluff are focusing on visualizing multi-stage intrusion attacks into IaaS ecosystems to better understand how hackers access and steal data. A long-term goal is to reengineer intrusion detection systems, so they are more effective against MAS.
Salaries for Key Cybersecurity Positions in Fayetteville and Little Rock
With high-profile cybersecurity efforts in both Little Rock and Fayetteville, experts in this field can expect to earn salaries within the ranges shown here according to the Robert Half Technology 2016 Salary Guide. The most experienced master’s-prepared cybersecurity specialists can expect to earn on the high end of these ranges:
- Data Security Analyst – $107,825 – $152,000
- Systems Security Administrator – $100,225 – $142,025
- Network Security Administrator – $98,088 – $139,650
Salaries for Information Security Analysts in Little Rock and Fayetteville
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a large volume of data on information system analyst employment and salaries in Little Rock and Fayetteville. More than 85% of the information system analysts employed in Arkansas in 2015 were located in the Little Rock area.
Shown below is the range of salaries for information system analysts in Little Rock and Fayetteville as of 2015. Individuals who possess a master’s degree in cybersecurity can expect to earn salaries in the highest percentiles: