Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree in New Mexico

New Mexico has long been a bastion of innovation in technology. The American father of rocketry, Robert H. Goddard, moved to New Mexico in the 1930s and began testing and launching rockets outside of Roswell. After World War II, new laboratories sprung up in Los Alamos and Albuquerque. At that time, New Mexico housed a higher percentage of people with PhDs than any other state. DOPPLER radar was invented in New Mexico, as was the world’s first personal computer, the MITS Altair, in 1971. And of course, the world’s first atomic bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945 at White Sands Testing Range.

With all of these technological innovations, it’s no wonder that cybersecurity is very important to the state’s economy. Some of the major cybersecurity companies in New Mexico (which happen to all be in Albuquerque) include Fortified Health, Progent, Fiore Industries, Inc., and Kosh Solutions. The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions has developed a Cyber Security Support Technician Apprenticeship Program. The program is designed for US citizens/lawful residents age 18 and over with a high school diploma/GED. IT provides on-the-job training to those seeking to become trained in cybersecurity.

If you would like to join New Mexico’s growing cybersecurity workforce, getting a bachelor’s degree is your first step. Keep reading to discover how to embark upon this exciting journey.

Has Cybersecurity Been in the News in New Mexico?

Unfortunately, New Mexico has been in the news fairly recently for reasons pertaining to cybersecurity, but in a negative way. IN 2018, it was reported by the Las Cruces Sun News that New Mexico was one of the states at highest risk of a cyber attack. More than 25 percent of New Mexicans, at that time, reported that they did not use unique passwords for every website they frequented, nor for different accounts or different devices. An astounding 72 percent of all New Mexicans admitted to sharing their passwords with others. Only 25 percent of all New Mexicans at that time used popup blockers to halt intrusive ads that might contain spyware. A surprising 45 percent of New Mexicans said that they used no anti-virus software at all on their computers.

One can only hope that, as the focus on cybersecurity awareness and education has increased since 2018, if that survey were to be taken today, New Mexicans would have improved their cybersecurity skills and taken greater measures to minimize risks and prevent attacks.

What Types of Jobs in New Mexico Require Bachelor’s Degrees in Cybersecurity?

If you choose to earn a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in New Mexico, you will become eligible for cybersecurity jobs such as these recent openings statewide:

  • Information Systems Security Officer- Lockheed Martin, Albuquerque
  • Cybersecurity/Technology Special Agent- Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bernalillo
  • Cyber Security Analyst – Alion Science & Technology, Albuquerque
  • Information System Security Officer- ManTech International, Las Cruces
  • Information Technology Specialist (Cyber Security) – Department of Energy, Albuquerque
  • Cybersecurity Technical Staff – Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos
  • Cyber Counterintelligence Officer – Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos
  • Information Security Analyst – TEKsystems, Holloman AFB
  • Security Analyst Level 1 – Ignite, Inc., White Sands
  • Cybersecurity Engineer- Chickasaw Nation Industries, Albuquerque

Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree Programs in New Mexico

Make sure that the college or university that you choose for your bachelor’s degree program in cybersecurity in New Mexico holds regional accreditation through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) . Some programs will also have programmatic accreditation, as described below.

Bachelor’s Cybersecurity Program Titles in New Mexico

Cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs in New Mexico go by the following titles:

  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology- Emphasis on Secure Information Systems & Information Assurance
  • Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Information Engineering Technology

Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE)

A program was created by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designed to spotlight the best undergraduate and graduate cybersecurity degree programs in the country. It is entitled the National Centers of Academic Excellence.    

Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education in New Mexico

The following cybersecurity bachelor’s degree program in New Mexico has received the credentials of being a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD) under the NSA-DHS National Centers for Academic Excellence program:

Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering

801 Leroy Place

Socorro, NM 87801

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2024

Dr. Dongwan Shin, Contact

(575) 835-6459; dongwan.shin@nmt.edu

Are There More Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Cybersecurity in New Mexico?

Other cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs in New Mexico are:

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

3201 University Blvd. SE, Suite 104

Albuquerque, NM 87106

(505) 846-8946; Albuquerque@erau.edu

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

College of Arts & Sciences

PO Box 30001

Las Cruces, NM 88003

(575) 646-0111

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET

Dept. of Engineering & Technology

921 N. Paseo De Onate

Espanola, NM 87532

Sadia Ahmed, Ph.D., Director/Dept. Chair, Engineering

(505) 747-5016; sadia.ahmed@nnmc.edu

What Classes Will I Take in a New Mexico Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity Program?

Although classes vary from one institution to the next, topics in cybersecurity programs typically stay the same. In New Mexico, they include:

  • Management of Information Security
  • Computer Science Principles
  • Introduction to Data Structures
  • Machine Programming and Organization
  • Software Development
  • Introduction to Cryptography
  • Operating Systems
  • Computer Security
  • Linux System Administration
  • Hardware Security and Trust
  • Introduction to Digital Forensics and Incident Response
  • Cloud and Edge Computing

Cybersecurity Certification in New Mexico

Upon completion of your bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in New Mexico, you should ponder seeking a professional cybersecurity certification, such as:

  • ISACA – Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • ISACA – Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • ISC2-Certified Information Security Professional (CISSP)
  • CompTIA Security+
  • Certified Ethical Hacker

Long-Term Occupational Projections for Cybersecurity Jobs in New Mexico

According to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions’ Economic Research & Analysis Bureau, the occupational classification of information security analysts (which includes cybersecurity professionals) in New Mexico is listed as one of the occupations with the fastest expected growth from 2016 to 2026. It is projected that job opportunities for information security analysts will increase by 37.2 percent from 2016 to 2026 across the state of New Mexico. Within the Las Cruces Metropolitan Statistical Area, job opportunities for information security analysts are expected to grow almost as fast, at 34.3 percent from 2016 to 2026. This means that you can’t go wrong if you elect to earn your bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in New Mexico!

Sources:

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

“Cyber Security Support Technician.” New Mexico Department of Workforce Development. https://www.dws.state.nm.us/en-us/Apprenticeship-Programs/Cyber-Security-Support-Technician.

D’Ammassa, Algernon. “New Mexico one of states most at risk for cyber attacks.” Las Cruces Sun News. 16 June 2018. Accessed 9 July 2020 at https://www.lcsun-news.com/story/money/technology/2018/06/16/new-mexico-riskiest-states-online-fraud-phishing-identity-theft-cyber-security/692974002/.

Moskowitz, Rachel. “2016-2026 Occupational Employment Projections.” https://www.dws.state.nm.us/Portals/0/DM/LMI/2016-2026_Occupational_Employment_Projections.pdf.

“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.

“New Mexico Tech Trivia.” New Mexico Tech Works. https://www.nmtechworks.com/tech-triviia.html.

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