Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree in Colorado

In April 2020, the U.S. Economic Development Administration granted a Colorado cybersecurity facility that houses the Exponential Impact, Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center and National Cybersecurity Center $2.75 million. The money will be used to add 31,000 square feet to the facility, creating 360 new jobs and is expected to attract private investments of $9.3 million. Offices, classrooms, a Cyber Vulnerability Lab, and a Watch Center as part of the Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center are all expected to be added to the facility. The grant will be matched with $2.75 of local funding, already committed, for a total of $5.2 million being put into expanding the Colorado Springs facility.

University of Colorado-Colorado Springs is also benefiting from this grant and is expected to expand its computer science/cybersecurity program from the current 700 students to over 1000 in three years. Construction on the new space should be completed by August 2021.

In other Colorado cybersecurity news, Colorado is one of seven states participating in a National Governors Association cybersecurity readiness program. Along with Michigan, New York, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Oregon, Colorado will put together an interdisciplinary team to investigate best practices in critical infrastructure cybersecurity, cyber governance, cyber workforce resilience, response planning, and state and local partnerships.

This is clearly an exciting time for those interested in cybersecurity in Colorado. If you would like to learn how to become education and eligible to work in this challenging, fascinating, up-and-coming field, keep reading.

Colorado Cybersecurity Law

The Colorado Protections for Consumer Data Privacy Law, enacted in September 2018, was the state’s first law designed to protect citizens’ sensitive data. The law defines personally identifying information (PII) as a state resident’s first name (or initial) and last name together with one or more of the following data:

  • Account number/card number with PIN number or password
  • Username/email address with password or security questions and answers
  • Medical information, health insurance ID number or biometric information
  • Driver’s license number or ID card number
  • Student ID, passport ID or military ID number
  • Social security number

If any of the above data is encrypted, it is not considered PII. All organization that has such sensitive information in the state are obligated to protect it. In case of a cyberattack, Colorado entities have 30 days to notify individuals of a security breach involving their personal information. Additionally, if a breach affects more than 500 residents of Colorado, the Colorado Attorney General must be notified. If a breach affects more than 1000 Coloradans, the three major credit bureaus must be notified.

Cybersecurity Education in Colorado

When you earn a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in Colorado, you will be on track to qualify for the many available jobs, such as:

  • Cybersecurity Analyst – ENSCO, Inc., Colorado Springs
  • Cybersecurity Compliance Lead- HP, Fort Collins
  • Firewall/Proxy Administrator – General Dynamics, Peterson AFB
  • Cyber Security Professional – Boecore, Colorado Springs
  • Threat Intelligence Analyst – Cigna, Denver
  • Threat Hunter – Vmware, Broomfield

Bachelor’s Cybersecurity Degrees in Colorado

Titles of bachelor’s degree programs in cybersecurity in Colorado vary, and may include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Cybersecurity Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems – Cyber Security Emphasis
  • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity

Coursework Within Bachelor’s Degree Cybersecurity Programs in Colorado

Bachelor’s degree cybersecurity students in Colorado will typically take courses such as:

  • Cryptography
  • Cyber operations
  • Cyber warfare
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Leadership
  • Astro engineering

Undergraduate Cybersecurity Degree Programs in Colorado

Program accreditation is usually not seen at the undergraduate level. However, there are some exceptions, which we will examine below. No matter what Colorado cybersecurity bachelor’s degree program you choose, make sure that the school that houses it is accredited by an agency listed with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE)

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

Colorado Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education

These Colorado cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs have been given the designation of Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) by the NSA and DHS:

Center for Cyber Security and Privacy

1500 Illinois St.

Golden, CO 80401

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Tracy Camp, Department Head

(303) 384-2184; tcamp@mines.edu

Center for Cyber Security Education & Research

2200 Bonforte Blvd.

Pueblo, CO 81001-4901

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Sarah Mize, Undergraduate Advisor

(719) 549-2175; sarah.mize@csupueblo.edu

4435 North Chestnut St.

Colorado Springs, CO 80907

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

(855) 230-0555

Anderson College of Business & Computing

Colorado Front Range Center for Information Assurance Studies

3333 Regis Blvd.

Denver, CO 80221-1099

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2022

(800) 388-2366

(also ABET accredited – see below; and CAE-CO accredited – see below)

2304 Cadet Drive, Suite 3100

USAF Academy, CO 80840-5002

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Lt. Col. Michael Chiaramonte, DFCS

(719) 333-3590; Michael.Chiaramonte@usafa.edu

College of Engineering & Applied Science, Computer Science Dept.

1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy.

Colorado Springs, CO 80918

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Jugal Kalita, Chair

(719) 255-3544; alangfel@uccs.edu

Colorado Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations

The following cybersecurity program in Colorado is a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO):

(also ABET accredited – see below; and CAE-CD accredited – see above)

2304 Cadet Drive, Suite 3100

USAF Academy, CO 80840-5002

CAE- Cyber Operations- Accredited through 2021

Lt. Col. Michael Chiaramonte, DFCS

(719) 333-3590; Michael.Chiaramonte@usafa.edu

Colorado ABET-Accredited Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Additional Colorado Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree Programs

There are more bachelor’s in cybersecurity programs in Colorado, such as:

  • Colorado State University Global – 

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology- Cybersecurity Specialization (online)

Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems & Business Analytics – Cybersecurity Specialization (online)

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Cybersecurity Specialization (online)

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

585 Salida Way

Aurora, CO 80011

(800) 462-7845

  • Metropolitan State University of Denver –

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

Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Department of Computer Information Systems & Business Analytics

Denver, CO

(303) 556-5740

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment is projecting a huge 27.07 percent increase in jobs in the computer and mathematical fields between 2018 and 2028. For Information Security Analysts, the occupational category in which cybersecurity is included, it is projected that there will be 308 new jobs each year between 2018 and 2028 in Colorado. Industries in which these jobs are expected to fall include professional, scientific and technical services; credit intermediation and related activities; administrative and support services; management of companies and enterprises; and telecommunications. This is a great time to get your bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in Colorado and join the state’s ever-increasing cybersecurity work force.

Sources:

“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/.

“It’s Official: Colorado’s New Cybersecurity Law Takes Effect.” PKWare Blog. https://www.pkware.com/blog/it-s-official-colorado-s-new-cybersecurity-law-takes-effect.

LMI Gateway. Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. https://www.colmigateway.com/vosnet/analyzer/results.aspx?enc=L3Rx1LKHF+xq6eiD/TQsJUscs4fpuIN/O5qqpTbo6Cg=.

“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.

Robinson, Helen. “$2.75 M grant a ‘huge win’ for cybersecurity in Colorado Springs.” The Colorado Springs Business Journal. 27 April 2020. Accessed 11 May 2020 at https://www.csbj.com/2020/04/27/3m-grant-a-huge-win-for-cybersecurity-in-colorado-springs/.

Ropek, Lucas. “Seven states prepare to join cybersecurity program.” Governing.com. 5 May 2020. Accessed 11 May 2020 at https://www.governing.com/security/Seven-States-Prepare-to-Join-Cybersecurity-Program.html.