Kansas Cybersecurity Certificate and Associate's Degree

In November 2020, it was announced that the state of Kansas was partnering with SOFTWarfare University, a cybersecurity institute and career services program, to provide free technical certifications and training in cybersecurity and project management to qualified Kansans. Additionally, the program is designed to help Kansans who have lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic find jobs. 

The cybersecurity training and certifications provided by SOFTWarfare University are specially designed for those who are new to cybersecurity or have some experience but want to expand their knowledge by gaining technical certifications. Information technology certifications provided by SOFTWarfare University include:

  • CompTIA A+, which is an entry-level IT certification program that takes three months to complete 
  • CompTIA Security+, which is an entry-level cybersecurity certification program that takes three months to complete
  • CompTIA Network+, which is an IT infrastructure certification program that takes three months to complete 
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), which is an IT project management certification program that takes three months to complete
  • CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+ certifications, which, combined, are an IT operations specialist certification program that takes six months to complete

The goal of the SOFTWarfare University/State of Kansas program is to help Kansas citizens prepare to have successful careers in cybersecurity and information technology, especially if their current career paths have been changed or terminated due to COVID-19. The program will continue to deepen the pool of available individuals as the demand for those trained in cybersecurity and information technology continues to grow in Kansas.

If you would like to learn more about working in cybersecurity in Kansas, your first step should be to obtain an associate degree or certificate in cybersecurity. Please keep reading to discover how you can go about getting started in this endeavor in Kansas. 

Cybersecurity Law in Kansas

The Kansas Cybersecurity Act was enacted in 2018. This act created an Executive Branch Chief Information Security Officer to coordinate cybersecurity efforts among executive branch agencies. It did not create the office of Chief Privacy Officer, however, because at the time, system security, not data privacy, was the main concern. The Chief Information Security Officer is responsible for implementing risk-management programs for state agencies. The law also allows directors of state agencies to require criminal background checks on employees handling or with access to personal information, every five years. All state agencies must now, under this law, have information security programs in place and conduct annual audits on them. 

Obtaining an Education in Cybersecurity in Kansas

If you earn an associate degree or certificate in cybersecurity in Kansas, you may become eligible for recently advertised information security jobs statewide, such as:

  • Junior/Mid-Level Security Analyst – Nexus IT Group, Overland Park
  • Cyber Security Specialist, Intermediate – Trace Systems, Inc., Topeka
  • Cyber Security Compliance Analyst – Optiv Security, Inc., Overland Park
  • Cyber Security Consultant, IoT Security Testing – EY, Topeka 
  • Security Specialist – US Air Force, McConnell AFB
  • Network Security Analyst – Covenant Consulting, Kansas City (KS)
  • Cybersecurity Education Specialist – Optiv, Overland Park
  • IT Security Associate 2- State Street Bank, Kansas City (KS)
  • Information Technology Specialist Cybersecurity – Federal Aviation Administration, Wichita
  • Cybersecurity Teaching Assistant – Trilogy Education, University of Kansas, Overland Park

Associate’s Degree Cybersecurity Programs in Kansas

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognizes regional accreditation agencies that accredit colleges and universities housing Kansas cybersecurity degree programs. When you are choosing a program, make sure to choose one from a school that holds such accreditation. 

Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE)

The  National Centers of Academic Excellence program of the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was established in 1999 in order to recognize the best cybersecurity degree programs in the U.S., including Kansas.

Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education in Kansas

The following Kansas associate’s degree and certificate cybersecurity programs are known as Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD):

  • Butler Community College – 

Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security

Certificate in Cyber Security 

Technology Division

901 S. Haverhill Rd.

El Dorado, KS 67042

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2024

Brett Eisenman, Chair

(316) 218-6141; [email protected]  

  • Johnson County Community College – 

Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology-Networking

Cybersecurity Certificate

Cyber Center

12345 College Blvd.

Overland Park, KS 66210

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2024

Andrew Lutz, Chair

(913) 469-8500; ext 2213; [email protected] 

  • University of Kansas – 

Undergraduate Certificate in Cybersecurity

Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity 

Engineering Department

1450 Jayhawk Blvd.

Lawrence, KS 66045

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2020

Fengjun Li, Contact

(785) 864-7707; [email protected] 

College of Engineering

1845 Fairmount St.

Wichita, KS 67260

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2024

Gary Brooking, Contact

[email protected] 

Cybersecurity Classes in Kansas

Regardless of whether you choose an associate degree or certificate program in Kansas, if you pick a CAE-CD program, the NSA/DHS have specified certain Knowledge Units that must be included with the program. For example, within an associate degree program in cybersecurity, the following categories of courses must be covered:

  • 3 credits in Cybersecurity Foundational coursework
  • 5 credits in Technical Core courses
  • 5 credits in Nontechnical Core courses
  • 6 credits in optional knowledge units

Foundational courses include:

  • Cybersecurity foundations
  • Cybersecurity principles
  • IT Systems components

Technical core courses include:

  • Basic scripting and programming
  • Basic networking
  • Network defense
  • Basic cryptography
  • Operating systems concepts

Nontechnical core courses include:

  • Cyber threats
  • Policy, legal, ethics and compliance
  • Security program management
  • Security risk analysis
  • Cybersecurity planning and management

Salaries for Cybersecurity Employees in Kansas 

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that as of May 2019, information security analysts working in Kansas earned an annual mean wage of $87,290. This wage varied slightly depending upon where in Kansas one worked, as noted below:

  • Kansas nonmetropolitan area $84,870
  • Topeka $86,210
  • Wichita $87,900