Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree in Alabama

Thirteen of Alabama’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas are home to businesses, colleges and universities, health care centers and affordable housing. Alabama is the 23rd most populous state in the nation, with a population of just over 4.8 million.

Alabama is also home to the second-largest research park in the United States, Cummings Research Park, established in 1962 in Huntsville. This park houses more than 400 companies, including IBM, the University of Alabama Huntsville, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman.

The state is also home to many tech startup companies. According to The Tech Tribune, the best tech startups in Alabama as of 2020 are:

  • Tombigbee Communications of northwest Alabama
  • Spur of Huntsville
  • NXTSoft of Birmingham
  • Fleetio of Birmingham
  • University Fancards of Birmingham
  • Joonko of Birmingham
  • Wyndy of Jacksonville
  • Diamond Fortress Technologies, Inc. of Birmingham
  • Planet Fundraiser of Birmingham
  • Case Status of Birmingham

According to the Alabama Department of Commerce, cybersecurity jobs in the state grew by 73 percent between 2007 and 2013. This growth is more than twice the growth rate for all other information technology jobs in the state combined. If cybersecurity interests you, your first step towards working in the field in Alabama is to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Keep reading to find out how to embark upon this journey.

Alabama’s Cybersecurity Organizations

The Alabama Office of the Chief Information Security Officer is responsible for setting up and leading security and privacy strategies for the state of Alabama. This involves providing governance in information technology; coordinating and sharing information between state agencies, businesses and citizens; and promoting information security awareness for those who use state information resources. The Office works with the following partner resources:

  • Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC)
  • National Governors Association
  • National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO)
  • National Association of State Technology Directors (NASTD)

Cybersecurity Undergraduate Degree in Alabama

Having a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in Alabama will help you to achieve your goal of landing a good cybersecurity job in the state. Examples of recently advertised cybersecurity job openings in Alabama are:

  • Junior Cyber Security Analyst – Intuitive Research & Technology Corp., Huntsville
  • Cyber Security Incident Response Specialist – Ascension, Birmingham
  • Cyber Security Engineer- Chenega Corporation, Huntsville
  • Cybersecurity Analyst – SAIC, Huntsville
  • Classified Cyber Security Analyst – Lockheed Martin, Huntsville
  • Security Specialist – US Department of Defense, Montgomery
  • Cyber Security Specialist- Auburn University at Montgomery
  • IT Specialist- US Department of Veterans Affairs, Birmingham
  • Cyber Analyst – AVACAL, LLC, Redstone
  • Cybersecurity Engineer- Regions Bank, Birmingham

What Cybersecurity Degrees Are Available in Alabama?

Some of the undergraduate cybersecurity degrees in Alabama are:

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems- Concentration in Information Assurance
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – Computer Networking concentration
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Systems & Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Assurance- Management of Cybersecurity Operations concentration

Getting a Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity in Alabama

Most undergraduate cybersecurity programs are not programmatically accredited. Instead, the institutions housing them are accredited by regional accreditation agencies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Some programmatically accredited bachelor’s in cybersecurity programs in Alabama are listed below.

Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE)

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created the National Centers of Academic Excellence program to offer kudos to the best undergraduate cybersecurity degree programs in the United States. These programs are now known as Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD).

Alabama Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education

Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD) within Alabama include:

  • Jacksonville State University –

Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems – Concentration in Information Assurance

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science- Concentration in Information Assurance

School of Science, Center for Information Security and Assurance

119 Ayers Hall, 700 Pelham Road

North Jacksonville, AL 36265

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Dr. Eric Gamess, Director, CISA

(256) 782-5452; egamess@jsu.edu

  • Tuskegee University –

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – Information Assurance concentration

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – Network Administration/Security concentration

College of Business & Information Science, Computer Science Dept., Center of Information Assurance Education

1200 W. Montgomery Rd.

Tuskegee, AL 36088

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2022

Dr. Fan Wu, Chair

(334) 727-8362; fwu@tuskegee.edu

  • University of Alabama in Huntsville –

Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity

Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering- Cybersecurity Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science- Cybersecurity Concentration

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Information Systems- Cybersecurity and Information Assurance concentration

Center for Cybersecurity Research & Education

301 Sparkman Drive

Huntsville, AL 35899

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Dr. Thomas Morris, Director of CCRE

(256) 824-6576; tommy.morris@uah.edu

More Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degrees in Alabama

There are more institutions in Alabama offering cybersecurity bachelor’s degrees, such as:

  • Athens State University –

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Information Security concentration

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology- Computer Networking concentration

Bachelor of Science in Information Assurance – Management of Cybersecurity Operations concentration

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSOC)

300 N. Beatty St.

Athens, AL 35611

Dr. Brady Rimes, Asst. Professor, Computer Science

(256) 233-6511

Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)

21982 University Lane

Orange Beach, AL 36561

(251) 981-3771; (800) 977-8449

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSOC)

College of Engineering, Department of Computer Science

3011 H.M. Corner

245 7th Avenue

Tuscaloosa, AL 35487

(205) 348-6363; coe-csdept@ua.edu

Alabama CAE-CD Coursework

The NSA and DHS have demanded that certain courses are to be included within a CAE-CD program. They are:

  • Foundational courses:
    • IT Systems Components
    • Cybersecurity Principles
    • Cybersecurity Foundations
  • Technical Core courses:
    • Operating Systems Concepts
    • Network Defense
    • Basic Scripting and Programming
    • Basic Networking
    • Basic Cryptography
  • Non-Technical Core courses:
    • Security Risk Analysis
    • Security Program Management
    • Policy, Legal, Ethics and Compliance
    • Cybersecurity Planning & Management
    • Cyber Threats

Alabama Cybersecurity Certifications

You should also pursue at least one of the following common cybersecurity certifications in Alabama. These will help you to be eligible for more open cybersecurity positions in the state. Exam preparation for these certifications may be available at your college or university:

  • A+
  • Linux+
  • Network+
  • Security+
  • Certified Authorization Professional (CAP)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • Certified Network Defender (CND)
  • CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Cybersecurity Job Opportunities in Alabama

Per the Alabama Department of Labor, jobs for information security analysts in Alabama are projected to grow by an astounding 36.98 percent from 2016 through 2026! In fact, information security analysts are listed among Alabama’s high demand occupations statewide during this decade. With a bachelor’s degree, information security analysts in Alabama earn an average annual salary of $89,324. Even higher salaries are possible with additional certifications and a master’s degree. If you want to get your bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in Alabama, there couldn’t be a better time to enter into this exciting discipline!

Sources:

“2020 Best Startups in Alabama.” The Tech Tribune. http://thetechtribune.com/10-best-tech-startups-in-alabama/.

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

“Cummings Research Park.” https://cummingsresearchpark.com/.

“Cyber Security.” Made in Alabama. https://www.madeinalabama.com/industries/industry/cyber-security/.

“Cybersecurity.” Office of Information Technology, State of Alabama. https://oit.alabama.gov/cybersecurity/.

“Employment Projections.” Alabama Department of Labor, Labor Market Information Division. http://www2.labor.alabama.gov/Projections/Occupational/.

“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.