Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree in Connecticut

The state of Connecticut launched its Connecticut Cybersecurity Strategy in 2017. Its aim was to assess the cybersecurity challenges Connecticut faces in five sectors: municipal government, state government, higher education, private business, and law enforcement. The strategy addressed the following seven principles within those five sectors:

  • Executive awareness/leadership
  • Preparation
  • Cyber literacy
  • Response
  • Recovery
  • Verification
  • Communication

The following year, the state released its Cybersecurity Action Plan, building upon the seven strategies listed in the 2017 program. Some of the things that this plan identified that still needed to be accomplished included completion of the State Cyber Disruption Response Plan by the state’s Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security; creation of effective cybersecurity education programs at the K-12 level; and dissemination by municipal authorities of false news and propaganda, distinguishing the threat of attack from a real attack.

In 2018, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) conducted its first cybersecurity survey of state businesses. It found that almost 25 percent of Connecticut businesses had suffered cyberattacks or data breaches in the past two years. Of that 25 percent, 26 percent were still uncertain of the source of the attacks. Among Connecticut businesses, there was still a broad lack of awareness in how to identify cyber threats and how to prepare, manage and respond to those threats. At that time, only 18 percent of Connecticut companies that were surveyed had an annual budget just for cybersecurity.

It is clear that much has been accomplished to bolster cybersecurity in Connecticut, but that much more still needs to be done. If you would like to join other professionals in the efforts to protect cyber data, keep reading to find out how you can begin by earning a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in Connecticut.

Cybersecurity in the News in Connecticut

Recently,  it was announced that the University of New Haven had created the state’s first Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) chapter. One of its goals is to increase the number of female students who decide to pursue cyber security, computer science and technology-related careers. “There is still a minority of women in this field, despite efforts to include more women,” Jillian Jacques, a Connecticut cybersecurity professional and original member of the University of New Haven’s WiCyS chapter. The chapter has sponsored events such as competitions and networking events. Most of the chapter’s events have moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the chapter is still quite active. A mentoring roundtable discussion, for example, was recently held with the International Women’s Forum’s Connecticut chapter, including many prominent women in the technology field. It is hoped that groups such as this one will help to encourage more Connecticut women to enter the cybersecurity field.

Foundations of a Cybersecurity Education in Connecticut

Getting your bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity is the first step towards fulfilling your dream of working within the discipline in Connecticut. With a degree in hand, you may be eligible for positions statewide such as:

  • Cyber Security Penetration Tester – Janus Associates, Stamford
  • IT Security Engineer- Eversource, Meriden
  • Cybersecurity Analyst in Identity and Access Management – FactSet Research Systems, Norwalk
  • Cybersecurity Solutions Marketer- GuidePoint Security, Hartford
  • Cybersecurity Intelligence Engineer – Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., New Haven

Names for Bachelor’s Cybersecurity Degrees in Connecticut

Cybersecurity bachelor’s degrees go by many names. In Connecticut, they may include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Cyber Operations concentration
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science & Engineering – Cybersecurity concentration
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems – Cybersecurity concentration

Sample Courses You Might Take in a Bachelor’s Degree Cybersecurity Program in Connecticut

When you undertake a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity program in Connecticut, there are some courses and topics that you can expect to be required. They include:

  • Digital systems design
  • Theory of computation
  • Operating systems
  • Computer organization and architecture
  • Network security
  • Introduction to modern cryptography

Undergraduate Cybersecurity Degree Programs in Connecticut

Beyond institutional accreditation, which is performed by agencies listed with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), most undergraduate programs in cybersecurity are not accredited. The exceptions are listed below.

Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE)

The  National Centers of Academic Excellence program is sponsored by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security. It is designed to recognize undergraduate and graduate cybersecurity degrees as Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) and Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO).

Connecticut Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education

Two bachelor’s degree cybersecurity programs (within one school) have been recognized as Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE):

  • University of Connecticut –

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science & Engineering –  Concentration in Cybersecurity

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science- Concentration in Cybersecurity

(also ABET-accredited – see below)

School of Engineering, Connecticut Cybersecurity Center

261 Glenbrook Rd, Unit 3237

Storrs, CT 06269-3237

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2024

John A. Chandy, Director

(860) 486-5047; john.chandy@uconn.edu

Connecticut Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations

One school in Connecticut has been recognized as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO):

  • University of New Haven –

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Cyber Operations

Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Networks, Cyber Operations

(also ABET-accredited – see below)

Tagliatela College of Engineering

300 Boston Post Road

West New Haven, CT 06516

CAE- Cyber Operations- Accredited through 2024

(203) 932-7000; (800) 342-5864

Connecticut ABET-Accredited Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree Programs

The Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET ) has accredited the following two Connecticut cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs (which are also CAE-CD and CAE-CO accredited):

  • University of Connecticut –

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science & Engineering –  Concentration in Cybersecurity

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science- Concentration in Cybersecurity

(also CAE-CD accredited – see above)

School of Engineering, Connecticut Cybersecurity Center

261 Glenbrook Rd, Unit 3237

Storrs, CT 06269-3237

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2024

John A. Chandy, Director

(860) 486-5047; john.chandy@uconn.edu

  • University of New Haven –

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Cyber Operations

Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Networks, Cyber Operations

(also CAE-CO accredited – see above)

Tagliatela College of Engineering

300 Boston Post Road

West New Haven, CT 06516

CAE- Cyber Operations- Accredited through 2024

(203) 932-7000; (800) 342-5864

Other Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Connecticut

There are more cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs within Connecticut, such as:

Accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

Department of Computer Electronics & Graphics Technology & Department of Computer Science

1615 Stanley St.

New Britain, CT 06050

Chad Williams, Chair, Computer Science

(860) 832-2719; cwilliams@ccsu.edu

Accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

55 Paul Manafort Drive

New Britain, CT 06053

(860) 515-3800; info@charteroak.edu

Accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

800 Country Club Rd.

P.O. Box 2540

Waterbury, CT 06723

(800) 660-6615

Accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

Ancell School of Business

181 White St.

Danbury, CT 06810

(203) 837-9000

Connecticut Cybersecurity Certification

Connecticut’s cybersecurity professionals often hold professional certifications that add to their viability during the hiring process. Some of the more popular certifications that Connecticut cybersecurity professionals hold include (but are not limited to):

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • CompTIA CASP+
  • SSCP Systems Security Certified Practitioner
  • CompTIA PenTest+
  • GIAC Security Essentials

According to the Connecticut Department of Labor, cybersecurity is, and is expected to remain, a hot job in the state for years to come. Between 2016 and 2026, employment for computer systems analysts is expected to grow by 8.5 percent. The DOL notes that as of 2016, the average annual salary for a computer systems analyst (in which cybersecurity analysts are included) was $95,424. Not bad for a position that one can obtain with a bachelor’s degree! If you would like to join this rapidly growing field in Connecticut, now is the perfect time!

Sources:

“2018 Cybersecurity Survey of Connecticut Businesses.” Connecticut Business and Industry Association. https://www.cbia.com/resources/cybersecurity/cybersecurity-whitepapers/cybersecurity-survey-businesses/.

“ABET Approves Accreditation Criteria for Undergraduate Cybersecurity Programs.” ABET.org. 30 November 2018. Accessed 30 April 2020 at https://www.abet.org/abet-approves-accreditation-criteria-for-undergraduate-cybersecurity-programs/.

CAE Institution Map. https://www.caecommunity.org/content/cae-institution-map.

“Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations.” National Security Agency Central Security Service. https://www.nsa.gov/resources/students-educators/centers-academic-excellence/cae-co-centers/.

Chmiel, Renee. “University women in cybersecurity chapter creates community, fosters opportunity.” 1 May 2020. Accessed 13 May 2020 at https://www.newhaven.edu/news/blog/2020/women-in-cybersecurity-chapter.php.

“Connecticut Cybersecurity Strategy.” 10 July 2017. Accessed 13 May 2020 at https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Malloy-Archive/Connecticut-Cybersecurity-Resource-Page/Connecticut-Cyber-Security-Strategy.pdf?la=en.

“Cybersecurity Action Plan.” State of Connecticut. 2018. Accessed 13 May 2020 at https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DAS/BEST/Security-Services/CT-Cybersecurity-Action-Plan-Final.pdf?la=en.

Labor Market Information. Connecticut Department of Labor. https://www1.ctdol.state.ct.us/lmi/projections2016/computers.asp.

“National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) Designation Program Guidance.” https://www.iad.gov/NIETP/documents/Requirements/CAE-CD_Program_Guidance_2020.pdf.