Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree in Tennessee

As of 2020, ten companies that are headquartered in the state of Tennessee are listed on Fortune magazine’s list of the top 500 companies in the nation. They include: FedEx at #47, HCA Healthcare at #65, Dollar General at #112, International Paper at #144, Community Health Systems at #241, Unum Group at #266, AutoZone at #268; Delek US Holdings at #342, Eastman Chemical at #343, and Tractor Supply at #380.

What does this have to do with cybersecurity, you might ask? Companies and businesses in Tennessee, and all over the world, rely on cybersecurity to protect their valuable digital assets. Cybersecurity is vital to the success of all companies, especially ones that do a large amount of business such as the Fortune 500 companies.

Tennessee’s Department of Safety & Homeland Security is in charge of cyber awareness in the state. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation handles cases of cybercrime in the state, including child victimization, child pornography, fraud, hacking, malware and computer intrusion. In 2018, Tennessee reported 6808 instances of identity theft, per the Insurance Information Institute.

Cybersecurity professionals are trained and educated to help combat instances of cybercrime of all types. According to industry association CompTIA, from 2018 to 2019, there were 3779 new technology jobs added in Tennessee. There are many cybersecurity education programs across the state of Tennessee, ranging from associate degree and certificate programs to master’s degree programs.

Most of the entry-level jobs in cybersecurity in Tennessee are attainable if you have a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or in computer science with a cybersecurity concentration. Please read on to discover how you can earn a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in Tennessee and break into this professional field.

Cybersecurity in the News in Tennessee

Recently, it was announced that the City of Knoxville, Tennessee experienced a ransomware attack on June 11, 2020. Now the hackers who perpetrated the attack are publishing the data they stole online. Knoxville was the fourth U.S. city to have its data stolen by a ransomware group in 2020 (others included Torrance, California; Pensacola, Florida; and Florence, Alabama). The city of Knoxville has said that it will not pay the ransomware, which was requested in Bitcoin, to the hackers. It has enlisted the help of a cybersecurity law firm and cybersecurity mitigation company. This attack shows that city data and cyber assets have not been adequately protected. Like most local US governments, the city of Knoxville does not practice good cybersecurity hygiene.

Cybersecurity Positions in the State of Tennessee

Currently advertised job openings in cybersecurity in Tennessee, that may be available to bachelor’s degree holders, include:

  • Information Security Analyst (Cyber Security) – UBS, Nashville
  • Cyber Security Analyst – Atkins, Oak Ridge
  • Cyber Security Specialist – LaBine & Associates, Nashville
  • Cyber Security Analyst – US Xpress, Inc., Chattanooga
  • IT Security Analyst – Loews Hotels, Nashville
  • IT Specialist (Information Security)- US Department of Defense, Memphis
  • Cyber Security Specialist – US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Chattanooga
  • Associate Cyber Security Specialist – Ameresco, Knoxville
  • Information Security Specialist – American Systems Corporation, Tullahoma
  • Cyber Security Engineer- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Chattanooga

Tennessee Cybersecurity Programs at the Bachelor’s Degree Level

Before you commit to a cybersecurity program in Tennessee, check that the a college or university that houses the program holds regional accreditation through an agency listed with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) .

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Cybersecurity in Tennessee

These programs are available at the bachelor’s level in Tennessee:

  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Cybersecurity Concentration
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Information Assurance & Security concentration
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Security

Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Security Agency (NSA) uses the National Centers of Academic Excellence program to showcase the best cybersecurity degree programs across the country.    

Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education in Tennessee

The following Tennessee bachelor’s degree programs in cybersecurity have been selected as as Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD) under the NSA-DHS National Centers for Academic Excellence program:

Center for Cybersecurity, Center for Cyber Defense

807 Walker Ave.

Memphis, TN 38126

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2024

Denise Ferebee, Ph.D., Director

(901) 435-1391; denise_ferebee@lcc.edu

College of Engineering, Computer Science Dept., Cybersecurity Education, Research & Outreach Center

Box 5134

1020 Stadium Drive

Prescott Hall, Room 414

Cookeville, TN 38505

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Dr. Ambareen Siraj, Contact

(931) 372-3519; ceroc@tntech.edu

Dept. of Computer Science, Center for Information Assurance

FedEx Institute of Technology

365 Innovation Drive, Suite 335 A

Memphis, TN 38152-3115

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Dr. Dipankar Dasgupta, Center Director

(901) 678-4147; ddasgupt@memphis.edu

Information Security Center

313 EMCS Bldg., Dept 2302

615 McCallie Ave.

Chattanooga, TN 37403

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Dr. Li Yang, Contact

(423) 425-4392; Li-Yang@utc.edu

More Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Cybersecurity in Tennessee

Other programs in Tennessee include:

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

One University Park Drive

Nashville, TN 37204

Alfa Nyandoro, Chair of IT

(615) 966-5042 ext. 5042; alfa.nyandoro@lipscomb.edu

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

3904 Lonas Drive

Knoxville, TN 37909

(865) 288-8750

Tennessee Cybersecurity Courses

Cybersecurity programs have common class topics and issues that they must cover. In Tennessee, classes that you will usually find in a cybersecurity bachelor’s degree program include:

  • Computer Network Security
  • Biometrics & Cryptography
  • Wireless & Mobile Security
  • Digital Forensics
  • Secure Coding & Testing
  • Vulnerability Analysis & Auditing
  • Computer Programming Languages
  • Database Security & Auditing
  • Client Server Systems
  • Advanced Computer Architecture
  • Advanced Topics in Software Systems
  • Internet Security Protocol
  • Design & Analysis of Distributed Systems
  • Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms

Tennessee Cybersecurity Certifications

Cybersecurity certifications are very valuable to cybersecurity professionals in Tennessee. They can help you to land more jobs and become more skilled in certain areas. Popular certifications in Tennessee include:

  • CompTIA Security – Security+, CySA+, CASP
  • (ISC)2 Info Security Training – CAP, CISSP, ISSMP, ISSAP, ISSEP
  • EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker – CEH, CHFI, LPT, ECSA
  • CertNexus – CFR, CyberSAFE
  • ISACA Info Security Training – CRISC, CGEIT, CISA, CISM
  • ItSM Solutions – NIST Cybersecurity Framework Training
  • Blockchain Training Alliance

Cybersecurity Occupational Projections in Tennessee

Tennessee Labor Market Analysis says that from 2018 to 2028, jobs for information security analysts in the state will increase by a whopping 32 percent, adding about 544 new jobs. Currently, there are approximately 3.4 job candidates available per job opening within this occupational category. The highest number of job openings for information security analysts in Tennessee currently are within Shelby County, Davidson County, Coffee County, Hamilton County and Anderson County. In Tennessee, jobs for information security analysts are most often found in the following industries:

  • Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting Services
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises
  • Employment Services
  • Colleges, Universities and Professional Schools
  • Scientific Research and Development Services

A bachelor’s degree is required for 54.55 percent of all currently advertised job openings in Tennessee in information security analysis. Getting your bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in Tennessee can benefit you greatly, both in the present and in the future!

Sources: 

“10 companies headquartered in Tennessee make Fortune 500 list.” The Center Square- Tennessee. 10 June 2020. Accessed 17 July 2020 at https://www.thecentersquare.com/tennessee/10-companies-headquartered-in-tennessee-made-fortune-500-list/article_bb28c950-a601-11ea-b1f1-bbebd512ba26.html.

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

“Cyber Awareness.” Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security. https://www.tn.gov/safety/homeland-security/cyber_awareness.html.

“Cybercrime.” Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. https://www.tn.gov/tbi/crime-issues/crime-issues/cybercrime.html.

“Cyberstates.” CompTIA. https://www.cyberstates.org/#interactiveMap?geoid=47__tennessee.

“Facts & Statistics: Identity theft and cybercrime.” Insurance Information Institute. https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-identity-theft-and-cybercrime.

“Fortune 500 2020.” Fortune. https://fortune.com/fortune500/2020/search/?hqstate=TN.

“Information Security Analysts.” Occupational Projections. Tennessee Government. https://www.jobs4tn.gov/vosnet/lmi/profiles/profileSummary.aspx?enc=GVaLr/skVT9NzIXXkGevr77DE55OePj0lOO8zIPvGJJcgoHW4SAVszA2FN017UPf6g3neFQpZuwRB9Il59IqxHgweJslodUkTe7DvbF0dm/uuSN1QQQRCR5HQn kAHp61mTfgumOkUFF6OCXZSY7bz37xCAeXf/krvhrTVsyn5R4=.

Teale, Chris. “Knoxville, TN data published online after ransomware attack.” SmartCities Dive. 7 July 2020. Accessed 17 July 2020 at https://www.smartcitiesdive.com/news/knoxville-tn-data-published-online-after-ransomware-attack/581065/.