Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree in Massachusetts

The city of Boston, Massachusetts is considered to be a hotbed of cybersecurity, according to Pitchbook, a private market data platform. Boston contains many colleges and universities in which students can study cybersecurity and is also an area for local startup technology companies. There are currently more than seven public cybersecurity companies in Boston with market capital over $1 billion. Additionally, many large cybersecurity organizations in Boston have been acquired, such as:

  • Cloudlock
  • Veracode
  • RSA
  • Recorded Future

There are also many successful cybersecurity IPOs in Boston, like:

  • Rapid7
  • Tufin
  • Mimecast
  • Imprivata
  • CyberArk
  • Carbon Black

Pitchbook goes on to say that there are over 200 cybersecurity companies statewide in Massachusetts, including 81 that have venture funding. Indeed.com ranked Boston the third-fastest-growing hub for technology in the U.S. in April 2019. Fifty percent of Boston’s workforce holds bachelor’s degrees, compared to 35 percent of the nationwide workforce.

A bachelor’s degree can certainly set you apart from other cybersecurity jobseekers. Massachusetts is home to 18 local universities that offer over 30 cybersecurity certificate and degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

If you would like to become part of the cybersecurity workforce in the state of Massachusetts, your first step is to obtain a bachelor’s degree. This article will describe the ins and outs of a cybersecurity bachelor’s degree in Massachusetts, and examine more closely what it can do for you.

Cybersecurity in the News in Massachusetts

The Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, announced in October 2019 a new program in his state that was designed to combat and prevent cyberattacks in towns and cities statewide. The program invested $300,000 to create workshops across the state in which municipalities could work together to improve cybersecurity. The program was to be managed by the MassCyberCenter, located at the MassTech Collaborative. It was the beginning of an effort to digitize all state assets and protect them from cybersecurity threats. Additionally, the governor mentioned that, at the time, there were 9000 open cybersecurity jobs across Massachusetts. It was hoped that a renewed interest in cybersecurity would help to spur students on to enroll in cybersecurity education programs and to fill some of the many available jobs.

Obtaining Cybersecurity Education in Massachusetts

Cybersecurity is a burgeoning field and a great one to explore in Massachusetts. With the right education, starting with a bachelor’s degree, you could become eligible for jobs such as these recently-advertised ones:

  • Cyber Security Analyst – NTT Data, Plymouth
  • Cyber Security Engineer – Skyward Federal, LLC, Boston
  • Cyber Security Analyst – Odyssey Systems Consulting Group, Ltd., Lexington
  • Cyber Security Manager- Raytheon Technologies, Tewksbury
  • Network & Security Operations Center Engineer–Technium, Inc., Southborough
  • Cyber Security Analyst – MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington
  • Security Analyst – Nike, Boston
  • Information Technology Specialist (Cyber Security)- US Department of Energy, Boston
  • Junior Cybersecurity Analyst – Booz Allen Hamilton, Lexington
  • Cybersecurity Risk Specialist – Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Boston

Cybersecurity Certification in Massachusetts

In addition to obtaining your bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in Massachusetts, you might want to pursue professional certifications. Most of these require taking a course (often available online) and passing an examination. Many cybersecurity jobs require that candidates be certified in areas such as the following:

Undergraduate Cybersecurity Degree Names in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, some of the undergraduate degrees in cybersecurity that are available are:

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Concentration in Cyber Operations
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity – Digital Forensics & Incident Response
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity – Concentration in Cyber Operations
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering – Concentration in Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Security & Privacy Track

Curriculum for Bachelor’s Degree in Cybersecurity in Massachusetts

Most Massachusetts bachelor’s-level cybersecurity programs will include courses like:

  • Discrete structures
  • Networks and distributed systems
  • Algorithms and data
  • Systems security
  • Cryptography
  • Network security
  • Logic and computation
  • Cyber law, including privacy, ethics and digital rights
  • Wireless networks
  • Mobile and wireless systems

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Cybersecurity in Massachusetts

Undergraduate (associate and bachelor’s) degree programs in cybersecurity are not usually accredited at the program level. However, there are some exceptions, which we will examine below. Any Massachusetts institution you choose for your bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity should be regionally accredited by an agency that has been listed with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE)

The National Centers of Academic Excellence program was begun in 1999 by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It recognizes 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).

Massachusetts Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education

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

  • Northeastern University —

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science- Concentration in Cyber Operations

Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security – Concentration in Cyber Operations

(Also CAE-CO accredited – see below)

Khoury College of Computer Sciences

360 Huntington Ave.

Boston, MA 02115

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Megan Giordano, Assistant Director of Student Services

(617) 373-7816; m.giordano@northeastern.edu

Massachusetts Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations

Two Massachusetts bachelor’s degree programs within the same institution have been recognized as Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO):

  • Northeastern University —

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science- Concentration in Cyber Operations

Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security – Concentration in Cyber Operations

(also CAE-CD accredited – see above)

Khoury College of Computer Sciences

360 Huntington Ave.

Boston, MA 02115

CAE- Cyber Operations- Accredited through 2022

Megan Giordano, Assistant Director of Student Services

(617) 373-7816; m.giordano@northeastern.edu

Additional Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Massachusetts

There are more cybersecurity programs in Massachusetts that have not received programmatic accreditation but have institutional accreditation, such as:

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

Cybersecurity Center

500 Salisbury Street

Worcester, MA 01609

Raymond Albert, Ph.D., Director

(508) 767-7594; rt.albert@assumption.edu

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

The American Women’s College at Bay Path University

1350 Main St. 7th Floor

Springfield, MA 01103

(413) 889-3022; exploreawc@baypath.edu

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

School of Arts & Sciences

235 Wellesley Street

Weston, MA 02493

Robert Duhainy, Asst. Professor

(781) 768-7000; robert.duhainy@regiscollege.edu

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

College of Information and Computer Sciences

140 Governors Drive

Amherst, MA 01003

(413) 545-2744; info@cics.umass.edu

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

Electrical & Computer Engineering

285 Old Westport Road

Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300

Antonio Costa, Chairperson

(508) 999-8471; acosta@umassd.edu

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

Engineering & Computer Science Department

550 Huntington Ave.

Boston, MA 02115

(617) 989-4590

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

100 Institute Road

Worcester, MA 01609-2280

(508) 831-5000

The New York Times recently reported that there will be 3.5 million open cybersecurity jobs around the world by 2021, up from one million vacant positions in 2014. MIT Technology Review has noted that less than one in four who apply for cybersecurity jobs are qualified. It is more important now than ever before to get your bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity if you are interested in working in the discipline. This will help to set you apart from the many unqualified applicants and land your dream job in cybersecurity in Massachusetts!

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/.

Lisk, Jacqueline. “Why Boston is a cybersecurity hotbed.” Boston Globe. 25 October 2019. Accessed 6 May 2020 at https://sponsored.bostonglobe.com/bg-brandlab/boston-cybersecurity-hotbed/.

“Massachusetts Governor Announces Cybersecurity Program.” Government Technology. 18 October 2019. Accessed 6 May 2020 at https://www.govtech.com/security/Massachusetts-Governor-Announces-Cybersecurity-Program.html.

Morgan, Steve. “Cybersecurity talent crunch to create 3.5 million unfilled jobs globally by 2021.” Cybercrime Magazine. 24 October 2019. Accessed 6 May 2020 at https://cybersecurityventures.com/jobs/.