Cyber Security Degrees in Maine
Maine is not as thriving in the cyber security industry as other Northeastern states are, but they still have a few institutions that are designated as National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE).
NSA CAE Designated Institutions for Cyber Security in Maine
These schools have accredited programs in the field that have gone through rigorous review by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Schools that have achieved this designation are the Southern Maine Community College and the University of Maine at Augusta. With these schools, the state provides educational cyber security programs at a variety of levels.
Online Cyber Security Programs in Maine
Since educational opportunities are limited throughout the state of Maine, it is a wise option to pursue a cyber security program online.
University of Maine Online Bachelors in Cyber Security
The University of Maine in Augusta has a mostly online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity that requires 121 total credit hours to complete. At least a quarter of the curriculum have required residency courses. The minimum cumulative GPA and the GPA toward the major must have a 2.0 score or higher to graduate. There are areas of emphasis available in Information Assurance, Network Security Analyst, Cyber Forensics, or a general focus in the field of cyber security. Examples of courses taken during the major include introductions to cyber forensics and information security, networking concepts, fundamentals of programming, and a cyber security internship.
For the best experience utilizing online courses, they should have a modern computer with broadband internet access, adequate hard drive space (at least 500 gigabytes), and a Windows or Mac operating system. Online storage, such as Google Cloud or Dropbox, is recommended to backup homework in case of physical storage failure. Software needs include compatible browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox), Microsoft Office, and virtualization programs through Oracle or VMware. In some instances, class material may only be available through the Windows platform, and students will need to utilize a Windows virtual machine on Mac and Linux operating systems (Windows licenses can be free under these circumstances).
Master's in Cyber Security Degrees in Maine
Gaining further education in a graduate program will open a pathway to executive roles and better-paying positions in the cyber security industry. So far in the state of Maine, there are no full Master's programs available from institutions that are designated as CAEs. However, the University of Maine in Augusta has a Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity, which is offered as a joint effort between them and the University of Southern Maine, and all courses are available online.
The curriculum for the graduate certification has 15 total credits of coursework. Required courses in the program include Cyber Security Fundamentals, Project Management in Cyber Security, Network Security Management, and Cyber Laws, Policies, and Ethics. There is also an elective opportunity in forensics, operations, and defense. Students looking toward this type of program will need to hold a Bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Typical application submissions for Master's degrees also apply for this graduate program.
Getting Started Working in Cyber Security in Maine
Another designated CAE in the state is Southern Maine Community College, who offers an Associate Degree in Cyber Security. This provides general education within network security, hacking, and policies within the industry. There is the added benefit of hands-on experience and the curriculum will provide preparation for vendor certifications like Cisco Certified Network Associate and CompTIA Network+ and Security+. They can also prepare students for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) exam. It takes just over two years to complete the program with the 64-credit hour curriculum.
The University of Maine in Augusta has a Cybersecurity Resource Center that is a resource featuring hands-on experience opportunities for students to learn tools used in the profession. They can develop skills needed and directly use them in the professional field. Those pursuing a program at the university can explore the resource center during regular work hours and can request time at night.
Maine Cyber Security Careers
Maine is on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of information security analysts employed and average salary according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. It pales in comparison to many other locations in the Northeastern portion of the United States and average salary sits at $82,270 on an annual basis. This amount is still higher than the mountainous locations of Montana and Wyoming, and some locations in the Southeast.
Top Cyber Security and Tech Employers and Organizations
Cyber security employment is limited, but there are opportunities across the state, including the locations of the universities in Augusta and Portland. There are also events, like the Maine Digital Government Summit at Augusta, which explores a number of categories within information technology and aims to grow the industry in the state. Topics at the summit include cyber security along with cloud-based services and data analytics. Corporations such as Google, HP, and Intel have sponsored the event in the past.