Cyber Security Degrees in Alabama
Alabama holds many opportunities for higher education in cyber security that has been accredited by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
NSA CAE Designated Institutions for Cyber Security in Alabama
Nine different universities have been recognized as National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE), including some of the more popular public institutions such as Auburn University, the University of Alabama, and the University of South Alabama. There are a wide variety of accreditations available, with Auburn University being the only school designated with Cyber Operations.
Here is a list of Alabama cyber security degrees that are from NSA CAE Designated Institutions:
- Auburn University M.S. in Software Engineering/ M.S. in Computer Science with Cyber Operations Certificate Research focuses on: Secure Software Engineering, Cloud Security and Forensics, Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Manufacturing Security
- Calhoun Community College 2 Year Cyber Security Program
- Jacksonville State University
- Snead State Community College 2 Year Cyber Security Program
- The University of Alabama
- The University of Alabama at Birmingham
- The University of Alabama in Huntsville
Online Cyber Security Programs in Alabama
Gaining an online education is the most convenient option, especially for those that are going for graduate-level programs and need to continue working at their job.
There are only a handful of programs in the state of Alabama that offer online education at this level, but at the School of Science, Jacksonville State University has a Master of Science in Computer Systems and Software Design with a concentration within Information Security and Assurance. The curriculum requires 33 credit hours to complete, or 30 with a studio option that gives students the ability to produce software products.
Courses required are Advanced Computer Networking, Database Management Systems, and Distributed Computing Systems. Utilizing the Special Topics in Computer Science course can further educate students in cyber security with other computer science courses, and it can be taken twice.
Master's in Cyber Security Degrees in Alabama
Distributed by the Department of Computer Science at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, there is a specific Master's degree in Cyber Security. The curriculum provides students with high quality education in investigating intrusions into an organization's network, managing security protocols and the software and hardware that is used within the network, and protecting the information technology sector.
Students will need to complete the core coursework and they will have a concentration in either Computer Forensics and Cyber-crime Investigation or IT Audit and Fraud Examination. An internship is required to complete the program.
For students not choosing a specialization, they can take the three of the following general cyber security courses: Modern Cryptography, Blockchain and Cyrptocurrency, Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Assessment, and Cloud Security.
In order to get into the program, prospective students should hold a Bachelor's degree from an accredited university with a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher. GRE or GMAT scores are not required to submit, but should demonstrate their competence in computer science. Those that do not meet the prerequisites can take introductory courses in Python programming and business programming.
Working in Cyber Security in Alabama
There are numerous undergraduate programs that are accredited as CAEs along with Master’s degrees at each institution. Locations for these schools are at Auburn, Birmingham, Boaz, Huntsville, Jacksonville, Mobile, Tanner, and Tuscaloosa.
- Undergraduate Degrees:
Under the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, there is a segment of the program dedicated to Information Systems with a concentration in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. Courses involved in the upper division of the curriculum includes Databases for Management, Computer Forensics, and IS Management and Strategy. A total of 120 semester hours are needed to complete the curriculum.
- Masters and Continuing Education:
The University of Alabama in Huntsville also has Master’s program in Cybersecurity that is interdisciplinary within the departments of Computer Science, Electrical and Computer, and Management. Students can select from those three concentrations, and should have experience and an educational background in the track they select. Courses that are in the engineering component are Computer Network Security, Advanced Cybersecurity Engineering, and Mobile and Wireless Networks. 21 total semester hours are needed to finish the program, and at least half of those hours must classes that are at the 600 level.
- Cyber Security Employment Options:
Huntsville provides some of the biggest cyber security opportunities in the state due to the Cummings Research Park and the army post, Redstone Arsenal. This is the location of the Missile Defense Agency where intelligence is gathered. A junior cyber security analyst at the Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation, where they will provide technical support and create risk management accreditation and standard procedures.
Alabama Cyber Security Careers
From the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 1,150 information security analyst positions exist in the state of Alabama with an annual mean salary of $92,500.
That salary average is on the higher end when compared to neighboring states and is equivalent to Georgia and North Carolina, which have a significantly higher amount of cyber security workers. Huntsville, Alabama, is one of the top metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs, only beaten out by places such as Washington, DC, and Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Top Cyber Security and Tech Employers and Organizations
Some of the biggest companies in the field of cyber security located in Huntsville are Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. PeopleTec has a CyberTec Solutions Center at their headquarters in Huntsville, which provides real-time information of cyber threats around the world and the ability for people that work at the company to pursue research and development to further improve cyber security. The goal of the solutions center was to retain workers in the area and to bring in more advanced professionals in the industry.
- Cyber Defense CAE-R
- Cyber Defense CAE-CD
- Cyber Defense CAE-R
- Cyber Defense CAE-CD
- Cyber Defense CAE-CD