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  • Writer's pictureAllison Styffe

Spotlights: Cyber Security, PSU, and $100K

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

Welcome to the very first post in a new series we're starting: spotlights! Once a month, we will take to this blog to highlight one career, one college, and one scholarship. So tune in to broaden those horizons with the opportunities we're most excited to share.

CAREER: Cyber Security

Median salary: $98K

Education needed: Bachelor's degree

Job growth*: 32% (much faster than average)

The world continues to rely more and more on online and computer-based systems, which makes cyber security a booming occupation with a promising outlook. Also known as "information security analysts," those who work in cyber security plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. “Ethical hacker” is one type of cybersecurity worker, and if you’re computer savvy and like the thrill of helping companies, people, or governments stay safe by fighting cyber crime, this is the job for you! With a high starting salary of $60,000, a median salary of $98,000 a year, and a job growth rate of 32% (the average job growth rate is 5%), this is a winning choice!

Most information security analyst positions require a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. Oregon Institute of Technology boasts having Oregon’s first Bachelor of Science degree in Cybersecurity! Portland State University and the University of Oregon also have highly rated cyber security related bachelor’s degrees and graduate degrees.

Many employers will also hire those with an associate’s degree or certificate in Cyber Security, and two of Oregon’s community colleges have award-winning programs: Mount Hood Community College and Portland Community College.

If college isn’t the right track for you, consider the military route to a cybersecurity job. The Air Force is a great example of a service branch that has a fantastic training program to become a Cyber Security specialist and have a guaranteed job with your education and training paid for.

To learn more about this career, click here. Looking for scholarships to study cybersecurity? Click here!

*estimated in the next 10 years


COLLEGE: Portland State University

Location: Portland, OR

Tuition: $9,500*

Size: Large (20,000)

Located in the heart of the city, Portland State University's campus blends seamlessly with the city itself; the mix of old and new buildings intermixed with Portland's greenery gives the school all sorts of urban charm. While PSU is large, with over 20,000 students enrolled, the average class size is only 35. Offering undergraduate degrees in nearly 100 fields, PSU’s top majors are Psychology, Biology, Computer Science, Accounting, and Management & Leadership. The school competes in 15 NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports, including basketball, volleyballs, cross country, soccer, tennis, and track & field — go Vikings!

Worried about paying for school? Their “Four Years Free” program covers tuition and fees for income-eligible Oregon freshman who start in the fall term! If you meet the following criteria, consider taking advantage of this opportunity:

  • Current resident of Oregon

  • Graduate from an Oregon high school

  • Admissible to PSU as a first-year freshman for fall term

  • Have a 3.4 cumulative unweighted high school GPA

  • Eligible to receive a federal Pell grant as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

  • Enrolled full-time at PSU, 12 to 15 credits per term

For more information about PSU, check out their website at

*in-state tuition


SCHOLARSHIP: Michelin's "A Penny for a Free Ride"

Amount: $100K

Type: Photo entry, lottery

Due: December 3, 2019

We're starting this series off with a doozy of a scholarship opportunity: $100,000! It's sponsored by Michelin Tires, promoting safe driving practices through a lottery-style contest. To enter, simply take a picture of yourself checking your tire pressure or tread, and upload that photo to either social media or the scholarship website. That's it! Entries are due December 3rd, so there are only a few days left to get your name in the hat. Visit this website for all the details:

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