Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree in Florida

You might not think of Florida as a hotbed of technology. However, in a recent study of 50 metropolitan areas across the United States, Orlando and Tampa both ranked among the best cities to work in technology. In fact, the Orlando/Kissimmee/Sanford metropolitan area garnered the number one spot in terms of best technology cities in which to work.  The study, conducted by SmartAsset in 2020, noted that tech workers in the Orlando metro area earned an average salary that is 1.82 times the average salary across all industries, at $93,310 annually. Additionally, Orlando had the eighth-highest percentage on the list of U.S. metropolitan areas with technology job openings requiring a bachelor’s degree.

The Florida Center for Cybersecurity published its State of Cybersecurity in Florida 2017 report. The report projects that cybercrime will continue to rise in Florida due to the state’s hearty economy. Existing security measures will continue to be challenged through technological innovations and digital business practices. Florida’s senior citizen population is much more likely to be taken advantage of and victimized by cyber criminals and those committing fraud. The report also found that Florida was a bit behind other states in security maturity, due to a lack of security investment and an emphasis on compliance versus security. Finally, the report noted that there was a scarcity of trained cybersecurity professionals in Florida. The supply of workers in cybersecurity, at that time, did not meet the demand.

If you would like to work in Florida’s lucrative cybersecurity field, you are most definitely needed! Your first step towards achieving this goal is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. Keep reading to find out how you can get started on your journey to becoming a Florida cybersecurity professional.

Florida’s Cybersecurity Organizations

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement launched the SecureFlorida.org website to protect Florida’s citizens and businesses from cyberattacks. This initiative creates partnerships between citizens, academia, businesses, government agencies and law enforcement. It fosters awareness of information security issues in the Florida community. It works to educate citizens, agencies and businesses on potential cyber threats and how to prevent them from occurring. It also provides businesses, citizens and agencies resources to protect their information system, including best practices, steps to take after an incident occurs, and alerts when an incident is threatened to occur. SecureFlorida.org publishes two periodicals, one a twice-weekly newsletter called The FIPC Dispatch, and the other a quarterly publication called The Secure Florida Beacon.

The Florida Center for Cybersecurity is a state-funded organization that works to promote cybersecurity in Florida through education, workforce development, interdisciplinary research, innovation, and community outreach. The Center is housed at the University of South Florida but works with all twelve of Florida’s state system institutions, as well as businesses and government entities, to build defense partnerships and develop programs to grow and strengthen the cybersecurity industry in Florida. They host camps, conferences and symposiums as well.

Cybersecurity Degree in Florida

As mentioned above, Florida is experiencing a lack of trained cybersecurity professionals to fill its many cybersecurity jobs. Once you have a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity, you will become eligible to fill one of the many cybersecurity positions available statewide, such as:

  • Information Security Specialist – U.S. Navy, Tampa and Jacksonville
  • Cyber Security Analyst – UDT, Miramar
  • Information Security Specialist – US Department of Defense, Miami
  • IT Cyber Security Engineer – Lockheed Martin, Orlando
  • Cyber Security Engineer- DISYS, Sarasota
  • Special Agent: Cybersecurity/Technology – Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jacksonville
  • SOC-Cyber Analyst – AT&T, Melbourne
  • Junior Information Security Analyst – Sayres & Associates Corporation, Orlando
  • IT Security Analyst – Consultis, Boca Raton
  • Cyber Security Analyst II – Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa

Titles of Florida’s Cybersecurity Degree Programs

Bachelor’s degree programs in cybersecurity go by different names. In Florida, they include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Concentration in Cyber Security Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity

Florida Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Bachelor’s in cybersecurity programs are usually not accredited at the program level. Rather, the institutions in which they are housed are accredited by regional accreditation agencies that are recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). There are some programmatically accredited cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs in Florida, noted below.

Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE)

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) set up the National Centers of Academic Excellence program to give special recognition to outstanding undergraduate cybersecurity degree programs in the United States. These programs have been given the credentials of Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD).

Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education in Florida

These Florida programs have been named as Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD):

College of Engineering-Electrical, Computer, Software & Systems Engineering Dept.

1 Aerospace Blvd.

Daytona Beach, FL 32114-3900

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Dr. Radu F. Babiceanu, Chair

(386) 226-7375; babicear@erau.edu

33701 State Road 52

Saint Leo, FL 33574

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Dr. Derek Mohammed, Chair

(877) 622-2009; derek.mohammed@saintleo.edu

College of Computer & Information Technology’s Center for Cybersecurity

P.O. Box 13489

St. Petersburg, FL 33733-3489

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2024

Laura Malave, Academic Chair

(727) 398-8285; Malave.laura@spcollege.edu 

Center for Cybersecurity; College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

1 UNF Drive

Skinner – Jones Hall, Bldg. 4, Ste. 4201

Jacksonville, FL 32224

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2024

Dr. Swapnoneel Roy, Director

(904) 620-2182; s.roy@unf.edu

College of Engineering, Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering

4202 E. Fowler Ave., ENG 030

Tampa, FL 33620

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2022

John Morgan, Dept. Undergraduate Advisor

(813) 974-3652; Jpmorga2@usf.edu

Hal Marcus College of Science & Engineering, Dept. of Computer Science

Bldg. 4, Room 223

11000 University Parkway

Pensacola, FL 32514

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Dr. Eman El-Sheikh, Chair

(850) 474-3074; eelsheikh@uwf.edu

Courses Contained Within Florida’s CAE-CD Programs

The NSA and DHS have identified certain courses that must be contained within a CAE-CD program. These required knowledge units include:

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

Florida Cybersecurity Certifications

In addition to obtaining your bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in Florida, you should consider examining a number of different professional cybersecurity certifications available. These are often necessary for cybersecurity jobs within the state, and include:

  • CompTIA Security+
  • EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • CertNexus CyberSec First Responder (CFR)
  • ISACA Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
  • NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NCSF)

Cybersecurity Employment Projections in Florida

According to the Florida Research and Economic Information Database Application (FREIDA), jobs in the computer and mathematical category of occupations across the state of Florida are expected to increase by 14.46 percent from 2019 to 2027. Jobs for information security analysts, which are also known as cybersecurity analysts, are expected to increase even more – by 26.9 percent – from 2019 to 2027. If you were looking for another excellent reason to embark upon a journey to obtain a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in Florida, this reason most definitely qualifies!

Sources:

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

Cyber Florida. https://cyberflorida.org/.

“Employment Projections.” Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. http://www.floridajobs.org/workforce-statistics/data-center/statistical-programs/employment-projections

“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.

“Occupational Projections (Long-term) for Multiple Occupations in Florida 2019-2027.” Florida Research and Economic Information Database Application. https://freida.labormarketinfo.com/vosnet/analyzer/results.aspx?enc=L3Rx1LKHF+xq6eiD/TQsJUscs4fpuIN/O5qqpTbo6Cg=.

“Orlando Ranks #1 in Best Places to Work in Technology.” Cyber Florida. 4 June 2020. Accessed 9 June 2020 at https://cyberflorida.org/2020/06/04/orlando-ranks-1-in-best-places-to-work-in-technology/.

SecureFlorida.org. https://www.secureflorida.org/SF/About.

“The State of Cybersecurity in Florida.” Florida Center for Cybersecurity. 2017. Accessed 9 June 2020 at https://cyberflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/state-of-cybersecurity-report.pdf.