Cyber Security Degrees in Connecticut
When looking for cyber security education, it is important to look for a designation by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
NSA CAE Designated Institutions for Cyber Security in Connecticut
Institutions holding this type of certification are called National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE), meaning they have gone through rigorous standards set by these organizations and have current industry information. There are a number of college and universities that offer cyber security education in the state, but the only designated CAE is at the University of Connecticut.
Online Cyber Security Programs in Connecticut
With the limited amount of educational options in the state of Connecticut, pursuing an online program is one of the more flexible choices in the field of cyber security. When it comes to educational programs that are designated by the CAE, there are no online opportunities available. However, residents can choose from accredited institutions that offer online programs in other states. There are also some online opportunities at other accredited colleges and universities.
Online courses provides customized scheduling to fit any student's needs, such as pursuing a degree while continuing to work in their career. In many cases, these programs will offer coursework and recorded lectures that are available on-demand, but there are assignment deadlines and exam dates that need to be met. Courses are typically offered in an abbreviated seven to eight-week format, or they can be identical to the on-campus version. Online programs also make it easier for students to pursue a program and not have to travel or move near a campus location.
Master's in Cyber Security Degrees in Connecticut
Pursuing a higher-level program, such as a Master's degree, in cyber security will have many requirements for admission. Holding an undergraduate degree, typically a Bachelor's degree, with a cumulative 3.0 GPA is at least recommended. Higher scores are especially beneficial in the later years of the program. Prior coursework should be completed in multiple levels of calculus and computer programming. In some cases, entrance exam scores, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), will need to be submitted, or they will be optional and prospective students can use them to enhance their application.
At this time, there are are no designated CAEs that offer a Master's degree within cyber security. However, there are other options to choose from, such as a Master of Science in Cybersecurity at Sacred Heart University, and Quinnipiac University has an online version of a similar program.
Getting Started Working in Cyber Security in Connecticut
There are a few undergraduate opportunities at the University of Connecticut. At the Storrs campus, there is a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in Cybersecurity. Many concentrations are available, including an opportunity to take a general format and add cyber security electives to their curriculum. For those taking the full specialization, their studies will consist of the following five courses:
- Introduction to Computer and Network Security
- Computer Security
- Network Security
- Introduction to Cryptography
- Modern Cryptography – Protocols and Primitives
At the Groton campus, there is an Information Assurance minor that provides a general education of computer and network security with a curriculum that is pieced together by the School of Business and School of Engineering. There are six credits of required courses, which includes IT Security, Governance and Audit, and one additional course approved by the faculty. This minor can combined with any major that students go into.
Connecticut Cyber Security Careers
The cyber security sector is not as strong as neighboring states within the Northeast, but there are still over 1,000 positions for information security analysts according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries are on par, however, with an annual salary of over $112,900. This is on the same level as Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. Danbury is one of the top-paying metropolitan areas in the country – bigger than the Washington DC area.
Top Cyber Security and Tech Employers and Organizations
Stamford has three organizations that have made the Cybersecurity 500 list at Cyber Crime Magazine, one of them being Harman, a subsidy for Samsung that creates specialized electronics for automobiles and entertainment venues. They acquired TowerSec in 2016 and have explored automotive cyber security solutions. As cars become more reliant on personal information to create a more customized experience and as they adapt more automated engineering, this communication must be secure for the protection of consumers and automakers themselves.