Cyber Security Degrees in Massachusetts
Massachusetts has four institutions with seven cyber security degrees that are currently designated as National Centers for Academic Excellence (CAE) in cyber security education.
NSA CAE Designated Institutions for Cyber Security in Massachusetts
There are no two-year institutions, but there are designations in cyber defense, cyber research, and cyber operations - Northeastern university has all three of them in various programs.
The National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have a joint effort to promote the best higher education programs for cyber security in an effort to eliminate job vacancies, and there are plenty of coursework opportunities that can be done online.
Here is a list of Massachusetts cyber security degrees that are from NSA CAE Designated Institutions:
- Boston University
- Northeastern University B.S. in Computer Science, Concentration in Cyber Operations/B.S. in Cyber Security, Concentration in Cyber Operations
- Northeastern University
- University of Massachusetts Lowell
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Online Cyber Security Programs in Massachusetts
There are a variety of online programs at the Master's degree level in Massachusetts. There are many options available at Boston University, the first being a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in Security. These courses can also be completed as a blended hybrid of on-campus courses.
There are 10 total courses that students will need to take, and students have the option to take these courses with full-time or part-time enrollment. The following classes are required in the curriculum: IT Strategy and Management, Information Systems Analysis and Design, Database Design and Implementation for Business, Business Data Communications and Networks, and Java or Python computer programming.
BU also provides numerous graduate certificates in the cyber security field that can also be completed online, or at least in a hybrid format. The Digital Forensics certificate will make graduates competent in the task of observing network security and investigating any problematic areas or the affects made from an outside intrusion.
Students will need to take the following courses to pass the certification: Business Data Communication and Networks, Digital Forensics and Investigations, Mobile Forensics and Security, and Network Forensics. They will need to maintain a B-grade average to remain in good standing throughout the curriculum.
Master's in Cyber Security Degrees in Massachusetts
The Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity, which can be fully completed online. Students will be prepared in tackling network security issues and being able to identify virtual attacks and how to solve any problems in real-time scenarios. In order to get into the program, prospective students will need to submit an application with fee, unofficial or official transcripts, a statement of purpose on what will be accomplished by taking this degree, recent resume, three letters of recommendation, and GRE test scores.
After taking a foundational course on information assurance, students will complete courses along a technical and contextual track, which includes network and software security processes, cryptography, digital forensics, and privacy and ethics. There will be an additional eight credit hours worth of electives and a capstone project that culminates the program. Students should anticipate finishing the program within two to three years.
Getting Started Working in Cyber Security in Massachusetts
Massachusetts may not have a wide variety of institutional choices, but Boston University and Northeastern University have a lot of flexibility in terms of cyber security customization in the curriculum and the ability to take many classes online. There are no quick two-year programs that are accredited as a CAE, but there are numerous graduation certificates offered in cyber security and information security management.
- Undergraduate Degrees:
There are two programs at Northeastern University that have a focus on cyber operations, both of them being at the undergraduate level. The Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science differ slightly, the latter BA program focused more on elective options and adds an ability to learn a foreign language at the sacrifice of some computer science courses. The cyber operations concentration can be found under Systems, which requires the Networks and Distributed Systems course, either Systems or Network Security, and then two electives in a similar field.
- Masters and Continuing Education:
Boston University has another Master’s degree program that can be completed online, and that’s the Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Cybercrime Investigation and Cybersecurity. Unlike traditional cyber security degrees or concentrations within information technology and computer science programs, a criminal justice program takes a bigger look at cyber crime, digital forensics, and the investigation process. Within the concentration, students will study those topics along with selecting IT Security Policies and Procedures or Mobile Forensics and Study. 32 total credit hours are needed to complete the program and it will take approximately 16 to 18 months.
- Cyber Security Employment Options:
The major city of Boston easily has the biggest amount of opportunity for any level of cyber security professional. Notable companies that have constant hiring potential in the area are the Big Four accounting firms, Deloitte and KPMG, Verizon, and GuidePoint Security. A senior application security consultant at GuidePoint will perform many common cyber security tasks, such as analyzing risk for clients they work with, being able to identify security issues, and it is important to be proficient in various programming code and when using information security tools.
Massachusetts Cyber Security Careers
The Boston, Cambridge, and Nashua metropolitan area is the fifth-biggest employment location for information security analysts in the United States according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, having over 3,000 positions. It is also a very lucrative location with an average mean salary of at least $108,700.
Top Cyber Security and Tech Employers and Organizations
One of the biggest employers in the state is Dell EMC, a Fortune 500 company that sells computer storage and has one of their headquarters in Hopkinton. Many of their services involve storing information and cloud computing, meaning security is of high importance at their company. RSA Security is a subsidiary of the company and develops encryption solutions and cryptography libraries, which is located in Bedford. Out in Cambridge, aerospace and defense manufacturer Raytheon also has an emphasis in improving cyber crime and protecting the United States military forces.