In 2017, Texas ranked third among states in its number of cybercrime victims and second in its financial losses. Texas victims reported about $115.7 million in losses in 2017.
To meet these challenges, 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
The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is only one of a handful of colleges and universities designated as a CAE in all three NSA focus areas: cyber operations, cyber defense and research. 2 As a national leader in cybersecurity education and research, UTSA is at the forefront of efforts to strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity workforce to face global security challenges.3
UTSA’s cybersecurity graduates are much sought after and quickly employed. Program graduates earn average starting salaries of $60,000 to $80,000 annually. Ninety-eight percent of cybersecurity graduates have jobs upon graduation.4
UTSA offers a unique, interdisciplinary approach for cybersecurity candidates.
Degree programs specific to cybersecurity include a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Information Systems, a BBA in Cybersecurity and a Master of Science in Information Technology with a cybersecurity concentration.
Students also can specialize in computer science, computer engineering or information systems and access additional programs in data center design, network and data center management, digital forensics and data analytics.5
To meet the needs of adult learners already in the workforce, UTSA also offers a fully online BBA in cybersecurity that’s open to students across the nation.
At present, the NSA employs more than 50 UTSA graduates. As a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), which assists first-generation, majority low-income Hispanic students, UTSA contributes to diversity at NSA.6
UTSA is home to the nation’s top cybersecurity program, as designated by Ponemon Institute/Hewlett-Packard. Universities.com ranks UTSA’s graduate program second in the nation.7
In March 2019, the NSA named the university a “Featured School” — a selection attributed to a well-established relationship between the agency and UTSA that dates back 16 years, as well as UTSA’s increased research presence through the launch of the National Security Collaboration Center (NSCC). 8 9 The NSCC, a partnership of UTSA’s academic researchers and 38 private and government entities, works to resolve the nation’s greatest cybersecurity risks.10 While the center currently occupies a temporary location, UTSA plans to build a combined National Security Collaboration Center and School of Data Science in Downtown San Antonio by 2022. 11
The university also features three respected cybersecurity research centers: the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security, the Institute for Cyber Security and the Center for Security and Analytics. 12
UTSA leads the Information Sharing and Analysis Organization Standards Organization (ISAO SO) — a nationwide, nongovernmental organization that sets standards and guidelines for information sharing and analysis related to cybersecurity risks, incidents and best practices. Through the ISAO SO, participating communities, organizations, agencies and stakeholders can share near-real-time threat information to improve the security of the entire nation. 13
Superior training and educational opportunities, combined with close proximity to cybersecurity offices and installations of the NSA, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Air Force, have helped the San Antonio area become a nationally recognized hub for cybersecurity.
UTSA has received a number of investments related to cybersecurity. Most recently, it received a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to create a research institution, the Center for Security and Privacy Enhanced Cloud Computing, that also will recruit high school students from the San Antonio area to study cybersecurity at UTSA. 14 The university may receive up to $3 million in additional funding through 2020 to continue the center’s operations.
Through the advocacy of congressional delegates, industry partners and other supporters, San Antonio was awarded $3.25 million through the DHS Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) for fiscal 2019 — $1 million more than in the previous fiscal year — to enhance regional preparedness and capabilities.15
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. DHS 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, 957 Information Security Analysts were employed in the Alamo region, with 917 of them in the San Antonio-New Braunfels metropolitan statistical area (MSA). In the past five years, employment in this occupation rose by more than 100 in the region, nearly all of them within the MSA. In the next 10 years, we estimate occupation employment will rise by nearly 38 percent in the region and 39 percent in the MSA, slightly below the statewide projected growth rate of 42 percent (Exhibit 1).
|San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA||38.6%|
Note: Data represents 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.
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 Alamo region and San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA fare slightly better than those in the state overall, with average annual wages of $60,700 and $61,700, respectively, versus $57,000 statewide (Exhibit 2).
|Location||Mean Salary||Entry Level Salary||Experienced Salary|
|Texas||95,000 dollars||57,000 dollars||114,000 dollars|
|Alamo Region||90 thousand dollars||60,700 dollars||1,600 dollars|
|San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA||91,600 dollars||61,700 dollars||1,600 dollars|
Note: Occupation wages represent the average of all Covered Employment.
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.16
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