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Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

economy

Texas A&M University - College StationCybersecurity Overview

Texas’ colleges and universities — 19 of them designated as Centers for Academic Excellence (CAE) by the National Security Agency (NSA) — are training thousands of computer scientists, computer engineers and other information technology (IT) workers to meet information security needs in industries across the state economy.1

Texas A&M University (Texas A&M) is one of only a handful of colleges and universities designated as a CAE in all three NSA focus areas: cyber operations, cyber defense and research.2 As an emerging leader in cybersecurity education and research, Texas A&M continues to strengthen the cybersecurity workforce and develop the tools and technologies needed to face global security challenges.

Texas A&M cybersecurity graduates are much sought after and quickly employed, earning average starting salaries of more than $70,000 annually.3 Ninety percent of graduates have jobs upon graduation.

Degree Programs Offered

Texas A&M’s College of Engineering offers a Cybersecurity undergraduate minor, designed to appeal to technically oriented students across multiple departments and disciplines.4 At the graduate level, Texas A&M offers a Master of Engineering in Engineering with a Cybersecurity Specialization as well as certificates in Cybersecurity Engineering, Cybersecurity Management and Cybersecurity Policy.5

Due to the increasing demand for professionally trained cybersecurity professionals, Texas A&M has more programs currently under development, including a Master of Science in Cybersecurity Engineering.6

Accolades, Research and Collaboration

Texas A&M’s cybersecurity programs are well recognized and were ranked near the top of several national lists for 2019. Texas A&M ranks:

  • seventh on CyberDegrees.org’s “Best Cyber Security Colleges and Programs”;7
  • ninth on CyberDegrees.org’s “Top Schools with Online Master’s in Cyber Security Programs”;8 and                                                                               
  • fifth on valuecolleges.com’s “Top 25 Most Affordable Online Master's in Cybersecurity.”9

In addition, Military Times included Texas A&M on its most recent list of the 10 best cybersecurity programs for veteran and military-connected students.10

In addition to its NSA designations, Texas A&M received the Defense Security Service’s 2017 Defense Security Service Award for Excellence in Counterintelligence.11                                                                    

The university is home to the Center for Nuclear Security Science and Policy Initiatives, as well as the Texas A&M Cybersecurity Center.12

Texas A&M’s Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) works with high schools, veterans programs and two-year colleges throughout the state to promote cybersecurity professions, create degree programs and expand workforce development.13

Most recently, in collaboration with the College of Engineering, the Bush School of Government and Public Service has established a center for policy research related to cyber issues.14

More than 100 Texas A&M faculty members are engaged in groundbreaking cybersecurity research, producing publications that have garnered thousands of citations.15

Recent Investments in the School and Region

Texas A&M has received a number of investments related to cybersecurity. In February 2018, Texas A&M was awarded a $4.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s CyberCorps Scholarships for Service program to administer the Cyber Leader-Scholars Program in partnership with Houston Community College. The program will mentor and develop scholarship recipients during a five-year period with the expectation that they work for a government agency for the same length of time.16

In January 2019, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s (TEES) researchers composed one of 11 teams to receive a U.S. Department of Energy grant to support the research and development of technologies capable of aiding in the creation of a more secure management system for the nation’s energy infrastructure, which has been a major target for cyberattacks during the last decade. Each team was awarded up to $28 million.17

Cybersecurity Employment and Wages in the Central Region

The Comptroller’s office acknowledges that workers with cybersecurity-related job duties could be classified under other federal Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes. This analysis, however, examines the information security analyst occupation to focus on those workers with clear cybersecurity-related job duties, as opposed to other IT roles. Department of Homeland Security recently noted inconsistencies in the way employers define and use the term cybersecurity, which can include a wide range of job functions requiring different qualifications and skillsets. Job descriptions and titles for the same job vary from employer to employer. Some researchers and industry practitioners contend that every IT job is involved in cybersecurity to some extent.

As of 2018, 167 information security analysts were employed in the Central Region, with 61 of them in the College Station-Bryan metropolitan statistical area (MSA). We expect employment in the occupation to rise by 29.5 percent in the region and 34.4 percent in the MSA during the next 10 years, slightly below the statewide growth rate of 41.6 percent in the same period (Exhibit 1).

Exhibit 1

Estimated 10-Year Growth Rates for Information Security Analyst Employment (As of 2018)
LocationGrowth Rate
Texas41.6%
Central Region29.5%
College Station-Bryan MSA34.4%

Note: Data represent covered employment, or jobs covered by unemployment insurance. Covered employment represents about 97 percent of all employment. Excluded workers include members of the armed forces, the self-employed and railroad workers. Growth is defined as the projected number of new jobs expected to be created.

Source: JobsEQ

As of 2017, the average annual wage for information security analysts was $95,000 in Texas, nearly twice as much as the average annual wage for all occupations ($49,000). Entry-level information security analysts in the Central Region and the College Station-Bryan MSA earn average annual wages of $46,400 and $43,300, respectively, versus $57,000 for the state (Exhibit 2). 

Exhibit 2

Entry Level

Experienced

Mean

Average Annual Wages for Information Security Analysts, 2017
LocationMean SalaryEntry Level SalaryExperienced Salary
Texas95,000 dollars57,000 dollars114,000 dollars
Central Region 75,700 dollars 46,400 dollars 90,400 dollars
College Station-Bryan MSA 75,600 dollars 43,300 dollars 91,700 dollars

Note: Occupation wages represent the average of all covered employment.

Source: JobsEQ

While Texas’ cybersecurity educational programs train workers for almost every industry of the state economy, they also contribute greatly to the cybersecurity industry itself — an industry so new it has yet to be statistically defined by the federal government. Based on a Comptroller analysis, the cybersecurity industry employs about 130,000 in Texas and contributes a minimum of $35.5 billion to the gross state product. The creation of one job in the industry generates one additional job, $187,000 in economic output and $62,000 in compensation in the Texas economy.18


End Notes

Links are correct at the time of publication. The Comptroller's office is not responsible for external websites.

  1. National Security Agency, Central Security Service, “Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations.”
  2. Deana Totzke, “Texas A&M Designated National Center Of Academic Excellence In Cyber Operations By NSA,” Texas A&M Today (June 5, 2017).
  3. Interview with Kelly Brumbelow, associate professor and director of Interdisciplinary Engineering Program Development, Texas A&M University, May 2, 2019.
  4. Texas A&M University, “Minor in Cybersecurity.”
  5. Texas A&M University, “Master of Engineering in Engineering with a Specialization in Cybersecurity,”; and interview with Norman Garza Jr., vice chancellor of Government Relations, Texas A&M University, July, 24, 2019.
  6. Interview with Norman Garza, Jr.
  7. CyberDegrees.org, “Top Cyber Security Schools for 2019.”
  8. CyberDegrees.org, “Top 25 Schools with Online Master’s in Cyber Security Programs for 2019.”
  9. Value Colleges, “Top 25 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Cybersecurity 2019.”
  10. Natalie Gross, “10 Schools Stand Out in Latest Military Times Ranking of Cybersecurity Programs,” Military Times: Rebootcamp (February 5, 2018).
  11. Letter from Daniel E. Payne, director, Defense Security Service, U.S. Department of Defense, to John Sharp, chancellor, Texas A&M University System, Jan. 18, 2018.
  12. Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, “National Security and Safety.”
  13. Interview with Norman Garza, Jr.
  14. Dr. Stephen A. Cambone, “National Cybersecurity Expert Joins Texas A&M to Lead Cybersecurity Initiative,” Texas A&M Engineer.
  15. Texas A&M Cybersecurity Center, “Research Overview,”; and interview with Norman Garza, Jr.
  16. Aubrey Bloom, “Texas A&M Lands $4.4 Million NSF Cybersecurity Grant,” Texas A&M Today.
  17. Deana Totze, “Texas A&M Researchers Land DOE Grant To Improve U.S. Cybersecurity,” Texas A&M Today (January 15, 2019).
  18. Based on the combined “indirect” multiplier effects on industries that supply goods and services to the industry and “induced” multiplier effects on industries that sell local goods and services — such as housing, food or entertainment — to workers in the industry and its suppliers.

Questions?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the material on this page, please contact the Comptroller’s Data Analysis and Transparency Division.

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