Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree in North Carolina

North Carolina has its own Center for Cybersecurity, aptly named the NC Center for Cybersecurity. This center is headquartered in Winston-Salem and is designed to accelerate the economic development of the region by applying cybersecurity to businesses, educational institutions, and other agencies. The center’s main goals are to develop a trained workforce who can help to solve cybersecurity problems, and to collaborate with the public sector, private sector and academia to develop practical solutions to cybersecurity problems.

Even with this dedicated center for cybersecurity, North Carolina still faces many challenges. In 2019, the state reported a record number of cyber breaches, at 1210. About half of these cyber breaches were to business that are not within the healthcare or financial sectors. Half of the breaches came through emails.

North Carolina is home to many and varied businesses, technological companies, medical/pharmaceutical companies, and academia. The assets of all of these companies rely on cybersecurity for protection. On the Fortune 500 list of companies for 2020, 13 of North Carolina’s companies are included:

  • Bank of America in Charlotte
  • Lowes in Mooresville
  • Honeywell International in Charlotte
  • Duke Energy in Charlotte
  • Nucor in Charlotte
  • Truist Financial, Inc. in Charlotte
  • Laboratory Corporation of America in Burlington
  • IQVIA Holdings in Durham
  • Sonic Automotive in Charlotte
  • Advance Auto Parts in Raleigh
  • CommScope Holdings in Hickory
  • Hanesbrands in Winston-Salem
  • Brighthouse Financial in Charlotte

As more and more North Carolina businesses and citizens face cyber threats, having a trained cybersecurity workforce becomes critical. The first step towards working in cybersecurity in North Carolina is to earn a bachelor’s degree. If you would like to enter this vital field and work in cybersecurity in North Carolina, please keep reading.

Cybersecurity in the News in North Carolina

In June 2020, the North Carolina National Guard was deployed across North Carolina to help state and local agencies with their cyber operations. The NCNG Cyber Security Response Force (CSRF) is a team of full time NC National Guard personnel who deploy to help North Carolina and the country when necessary. Partners with the NCNG in this effort include North Carolina Emergency Management, North Carolina Department of Information Technology, and the North Carolina Board of Elections. Missions that the CSRF have undertaken have ranged from repairing computer software that belongs to local government agencies, to protection of the state’s digital infrastructure during state elections. In short, the CSRF is responsible for protecting North Carolina’s critical infrastructure and digital assets from all threats.

Jobs in North Carolina Requiring Bachelor’s Degrees in Cybersecurity

A bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity can help you land North Carolina jobs like:

  • IT Specialist (Information Security) – US Department of Defense, Fayetteville, Charlotte and Fort Bragg
  • Cyber Security Technology – Bank of America, Charlotte
  • Info Security Specialist I – Lowe’s, Mooresville
  • Cyber Security Analyst – IBM, Raleigh
  • IT Security Analyst – State of North Carolina, DHSS Information Technology Division
  • Cybersecurity Analyst – Duke Energy, Charlotte
  • IT Specialist (Information Security)- US Navy, Jacksonville
  • Cyber Security – Lockheed Martin, Raleigh
  • Cyber Security Engineer- Booz Allen Hamilton, Durham
  • Cyber Security Engineer- Mecklenburg County

North Carolina Cybersecurity Undergraduate Degree Program

The most important quality that a cybersecurity bachelor’s degree program in North Carolina can have is accreditation. Be sure that the college or university in which you select to obtain your bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in North Carolina is regionally accredited through an agency listed with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) . If a program programmatic accreditation as well, as some of the programs do below, even better.

Undergraduate Cybersecurity Degrees in North Carolina

Undergraduate cybersecurity bachelor’s degrees go by many different names. Some of the choices in North Carolina include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science- Cybersecurity Track or Concentration
  • Bachelor of Arts in Software and Information Systems – Security & Privacy Track
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology- Cybersecurity Minor or Track

Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE)

The National Centers of Academic Excellence program was established through a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA). It showcases the ultimate undergraduate and graduate cybersecurity degree programs in the United States.    

Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education in North Carolina

These cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs in North Carolina are Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD) under the NSA-DHS National Centers for Academic Excellence program:

Center for Cybersecurity Leadership

310 Gaither Circle

Montreat, NC 28757

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2022

Kelli Burgin, Cybersecurity Dept. Chair

(828) 669-8012; kelli.burgin@montreat.edu

Center for Cyber Defense

1601 E. Market St.

Greensboro, NC 27411

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Dr. Ziaohong Yuan, Chair

(336) 285-3693; xhyuan@ncat.edu

Also Accredited by Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET

Dept. of Computer Science, College of Engineering

890 Oval Drive, Engineering Bldg. II

Raleigh, NC 27695

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2024

William Enck, Contact

(919) 513-7905; whenck@ncsu.edu

  • University of North Carolina, Charlotte –

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Cybersecurity Concentration

Bachelor of Arts in Software & Information Systems – Security & Privacy Concentration

College of Computing and Informatics

9201 University City Blvd.

Charlotte, NC 28223-0001

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

(704) 687-8622

Dept. of Computer Science & Congdon School of Supply Chain, Analytics & Information Systems

9201 University City Blvd.

Charlotte, NC 28223-0001

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2023

Dr, Judith Gebauer, Coordinator

(910) 962-7884; gebauerj@uncw.edu

Other Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree Programs in North Carolina

Another cybersecurity bachelor’s degree program in North Carolina is:

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

College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Science

1 University Drive

Pembroke, NC 28372-1510

(910) 521-6000

Required Knowledge Units in a CAE-CD Program

Under the guidelines, all North Carolina CAE=CD bachelor’s degree programs must include the following Required Knowledge Units (RKUs):

  • Foundational courses:
    • Cybersecurity foundations
    • Cybersecurity principles
    • Information Technology systems components
  • Technical core courses:
    • Basic cryptography
    • Basic networking
    • Basic scripting and programming
    • Network defense
    • Operating systems concepts
  • Non-technical core courses:
    • Cyber threats
    • Cybersecurity planning and management
    • Policy, ethics, legal and compliance
    • Security program management
    • Security risk analysis

North Carolina Cybersecurity Certifications

Cybersecurity certifications are often necessary for certain jobs in North Carolina, and can give you a leg up on the competition. Common certifications in North Carolina are:

  • CompTIA Security+
  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Network+
  • Certified Ethical Hacker

Cybersecurity Job Projections in North Carolina

The North Carolina Department of Commerce has projected that the availability of computer and mathematical jobs in the state will increase by 16.1 percent from 2016 to 2026. In particular, jobs for information security analysts (cybersecurity analysts and professionals) will increase by an astounding 28.41 percent in this time period. If you need one more reason to obtain your bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in North Carolina, this is definitely a good omen. Getting a bachelor’s in cybersecurity in North Carolina should leave you well-prepared for a bright occupational future.

Sources:

Bergquist, Garrett. “State reports record number of cyber breaches in 2019.” Spectrum Local News. 29 January 2020. Accessed 10 July 2020 at https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nc/charlotte/news/2020/01/29/state-reports-record-number-of-cyber-breaches.

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

“Employment Projection.” North Carolina Department of Commerce. https://www.nccommerce.com/data-tools-reports/labor-market-data-tools/employment-projections#occupational-projections.

Johnson, Kimberly. “Fortune 500: these North Carolina companies make 2020 list.” Patch.com. 29 May 2020. Accessed 10 July 2020 at https://patch.com/north-carolina/charlotte/fortune-500-these-north-carolina-companies-make-2020-list.

Jordan, Robert, Sgt. 1st Class. “NC National Guard deploys cybersecurity response force.” US Army.mil. 26 June 2020. Accessed 10 July 2020 at https://www.army.mil/article/236807/nc_national_guard_deploys_cybersecurity_response_force.

“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.

“North Carolina Employment Projections to 2026.” Labor & Economic Analysis Division, North Carolina Department of Commerce. https://files.nc.gov/nccommerce/documents/LEAD/Projections/2026_NC_Employment_Projections_Summary.pdf.

“The NC Center for Cybersecurity.” https://www.nccyber.org/.