Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree in California

A study released by web design/consulting company Website Building Expert in 2018 noted that California was the most vulnerable state to cyberattacks and loss of finances from cyberattacks. The study estimated that California would lose over $329 million from cybercrime in 2018, with a projected 56,000 cybercrime complaints expected in the state that year. Additionally, California is the fifth-highest state for cybercrime growth.

According to California Community Colleges’ Virtual Campus, cybersecurity professionals are in such high demand in California that the waiting list for online certificates in cybersecurity is very long. They have published a list of the 10 Coolest Jobs in Cybersecurity, some of which you might not be familiar with (in no particular order):

  • Digital Forensic Analyst, Investigator – searches computers and networks for evidence after an incident has occurred
  • Penetration Tester for Systems and Networks – searches for security vulnerabilities in systems and networks
  • Application Pen Tester – tests applications before they are released to make sure that they don’t present opportunities for hackers
  • Security Operations Center Analyst – implements prevention, detection, monitoring and response
  • Cyber Defender/Security Engineer – implements and tunes firewalls, patches, admin rights, monitoring, etc.
  • Hunter/Incident Responder – figures out why a system has stopped responding
  • Security Architect – designs and builds systems that are defensible
  • Secure Software Development Manager – a programmer who protects development team from making errors that would allow hackers to penetrate an organization and steal data
  • Malware Analyst/Reverse Engineer – looks into malicious software to understand the threat, how it got into a system, what flaw it exploited, and what it is attempting to do or has already done
  • Technical Director/CISO – the person who is in charge of design and deployment of solutions in tech infrastructure

It is clear that cybersecurity is a burgeoning business within the state of California. How can you break into and take advantage of the many career opportunities in cybersecurity that the state offers? The first step is to attain a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. Read on to find out how you can achieve this goal and become a cybersecurity professional in California.

Legislating Cybersecurity in California

The California Cybersecurity Task Force was created by Governor Jerry Brown as a statewide partnership consisting of subject matter experts, stakeholders, and cybersecurity professionals from all sectors of California business and academia. It serves to advise the State of California Senior Administration Officials on cybersecurity matters.

In 2015, Governor Brown signed an executive order to boost California’s cybersecurity preparedness and response capabilities. This established the California Cybersecurity Integration Center, which was tasked with strengthening the state’s cybersecurity strategies and improving coordination to reduce the likelihood and severity of cyberattacks.

In 2017, California’s Department of Technology established the Security Operations Center to monitor cybersecurity in the state 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, that year, Los Angeles launched its own Cyber Lab to help educate the area’s businesses about cyber threats.

The California Consumer Privacy Act was established in 2020 as the first consumer privacy act in the United States. Under this act, companies must let consumers know about the data they are collecting and sharing. The act also states that companies must let consumers know what is being done with their data. This act gives the consumer the right to access, delete, and opt out.

Cybersecurity Degree in California

California is chock full of many good cybersecurity jobs, just waiting for the right candidate who holds a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Some of them include:

  • IT Cybersecurity Specialist – Department of Navy, Los Angeles
  • Special Agent: Cybersecurity/Technology – Federal Bureau of Investigation, San Francisco
  • Cyber Security Analyst – SAIC, San Diego
  • Cyber Security Specialist – Boeing, El Segundo
  • Cyber Security Threat Specialist – Southern California Edison, Rosemead
  • Cyber Security Engineer- SSI, San Diego
  • Cybersecurity Analyst- Atlas Technologies, Inc., San Diego
  • Cyber Security Specialist – Lockheed Martin, Sunnyvale
  • Cyber Security Specialist – Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles
  • Cyber Security Analyst – Modesto City Schools, Modesto

Names of Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree Programs in California

Cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs can have many different names. A few of the ones in California are:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Computer Information Systems – Information Assurance track
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science- Information Security track
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Systems & Technology – Concentration in Cyber Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Arts in Intelligence & Cyber Operations

California Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Most cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs are not accredited at the program level. The universities and colleges that house these programs are accredited by agencies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Some accredited cybersecurity programs in California at the bachelor’s degree level are listed below.

Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE)

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established the National Centers of Academic Excellence program to recognize outstanding undergraduate cybersecurity degree programs in the United States, designating these programs as Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD).

Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education in California

The following California programs are Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD):

  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona –

Bachelor of Business Administration in Computer Information Systems- Information Assurance track

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Information Security track

College of Business Administration

3801 West Temple Ave.

Pomona, CA 91768

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Dr. Ron Pike, Chair

(909) 869-5284; rpike@cpp.edu

  • California State University, Sacramento –

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science- Information Assurance and Security Concentration

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Minor in Information Security & Computer Forensics

College of Engineering & Computer Science, Center for Information Assurance & Security

6000 J Street

Sacramento, CA 95819

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2022

Dr. Jun Dai, Chair

(916) 278-5163; jun.dai@csus.edu

  • California State University, San Bernardino –

Bachelor of Science in Information Systems & Technology- Concentration in Cyber Security

Bachelor of Science in Information Systems & Technology- Concentration in Intelligence

Jack H. Brown College of Business & Public Administration, Cybersecurity Center

5500 University Parkway

San Bernardino, CA 92407

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Dr. Tony Coulson, Executive Director

(909) 537-7535; cyber@csusb.edu

School of Engineering & Computing

11255 North Torrey Pines Road

La Jolla, CA 92037

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2020

Chris Simpson, Chair

(858) 309-3418; csimpson@nu.edu

Alternate Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree Programs in California

More bachelor’s in cybersecurity programs exist in California, such as:

Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

3601 Trousdale Pkwy., STU 300

Los Angeles, CA 90089-0896

(213) 740-1741; ugp@usc.edu

Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Online & Professional Studies Division

10370 Hemet Street, Suite 200

Riverside, CA 92503

(877) 236-1617

California Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree Program Typical Coursework

While courses do vary from one institution to the next, if you pursue a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in California, you will likely encounter courses such as the following:

  • Information Systems Foundations
  • Intro to Computer Programming
  • Computer and Network Security
  • Database Security
  • Computer Forensics
  • Cybersecurity Management
  • Network Defense
  • Computer/Operating System Architecture

California Cybersecurity Certifications

After you attain your bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in California, you should consider pursuing at least one professional certification. These help to make you even more marketable in California’s cybersecurity job market. Some of the most popular certifications in the state include:

  • Certified Financial Forensics (CFF)
  • Information Systems Security Pro (CISSP)
  • Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

California Job Projections in Cybersecurity

Per information provided by the State of California Employment Development Department, jobs for information security analysts statewide are projected to climb a whopping 28.4 percent between 2016 and 2026. The total number of jobs in California for information security analysts is expected to rise from 8100 in 2016 to 10,400 in 2026, adding 2300 jobs in this occupational classification. This positive information adds to the many reasons why you should pursue a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in California.

Sources:

“2016-2026 Employment Projections.” State of California Employment Development Department.” https://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/data/employment-projections.html.

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

“Cybersecurity Professionals Needed.” California Community Colleges Virtual Campus- Online Education Initiative. https://cvc.edu/cybersecurity/.

“Cybersecurity Task Force.” California Governor’s Office of Emergency Service. https://www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions/cybersecurity-task-force.

“Governor Brown signs executive order to bolster cybersecurity.” Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. 31 Aug. 2015. Accessed 8 June 2020 at https://www.ca.gov/archive/gov39/2015/08/31/news19083/index.html#:~:text=SACRAMENTO%20%E2%80%93%20Governor%20Edmund%20G.,privacy%20violations%20and%20identify%20theft.

Green, Andy. California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) Compliance Guide.” Varonis. 29 March 2020. Accessed 8 June 2020 at https://www.varonis.com/blog/california-consumer-privacy-act-ccpa/.

“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.

Shueh, Jason. “California a top target for cybercrime, report says.” State Scoop. 29 Jan. 2018. Accessed 8 June 2020 at https://statescoop.com/california-a-top-target-for-cybercrime-report-says/.