Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree in Texas

According to the CyberTexas Foundation, San Antonio is currently ranked second in cybersecurity in the nation, with Washington, D.C. ranked first. The city is home to 1000 information technology businesses that generate an economic impact each year of $12 billion. There are also 35,000 IT workers in San Antonio, a number expected to double in the next five years.

As of 2019, Texas is preparing to implement mandatory cybersecurity training for all its government employees, according to InfoSecurity Magazine. That year, 23 local government entities in Texas were targeted in a ransomware attack. The need for cybersecurity awareness training is great within the state. The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) is currently accepting applications to certify cybersecurity awareness training programs. Once the list has been completed, all state and local government agencies and officials will be obligated to complete cybersecurity awareness training.

In another cybersecurity initiative, Texas schools are now required to create their own cybersecurity plans and train their faculty and staff. Under Senate Bill 820, school districts must create a cybersecurity policy in order to secure their schools’ cyberinfrastructure.  They must also implement mitigation planning and perform risk assessments. Districts are directed to create a cybersecurity coordinator who will act as a liaison between school districts, the state, and parents.

As you can see, Texas takes cybersecurity seriously. If you would like to work in the challenging field of cybersecurity in Texas, your first goal is to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Keep reading to find out how you can earn a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in Texas and join this growing, vital field.

Texas Cybersecurity Law

The Texas Cybersecurity Act became law in 2017. It helps individuals and businesses, as well as government agencies, protect confidential and sensitive data and maintain their readiness for cyberattacks. It also updated the Texas Penal Code to recognize new types of cybercrime and their punishments. Electronic access interference is now a third-degree felony offense, and involves a person intentionally suspending or interrupting access to a computer network or system without the owner’s consent. Another offense, electronic data tampering, may be classified as a Class C misdemeanor or first-degree felony, as can unlawful decryption of encrypted private information.

Cybersecurity Education in Texas

A bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity is your first step towards landing one of the many jobs that are available in Texas in this exciting field. Recently advertised vacant positions in Texas include:

  • Cyber Security Specialist- The Boeing Company, Dallas and San Antonio
  • Professional in Cybersecurity – AT&T, Austin
  • Cyber Security Analyst – SAIC, Austin
  • IT Professional – Cybersecurity – City of Houston
  • Information Technology Specialist Cybersecurity – US Department of Energy, Freeport
  • Cyber Security Analyst – Leidos, San Antonio

Bachelor’s Cybersecurity Degrees in Texas

Bachelor’s degree programs in cybersecurity in Texas include, but are not limited to:

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Security Track
  • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Engineering Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems and Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Cyber Operations Track

Courses You Will Take in Bachelor’s Cybersecurity Programs in Texas

Coursework that bachelor’s degree programs in Texas will contain usually include:

  • Internetworking Technologies
  • Principles of Information Technology
  • Digital Forensics
  • Engineering Applications of Computer Science Principles
  • Foundations of Cybersecurity
  • Computer Programming I and II

Undergraduate Cybersecurity Degree Programs in Texas

Program accreditation is usually not seen at the undergraduate level. However, there are some exceptions, which we will examine below. No matter what Texas cybersecurity bachelor’s degree program you choose, make sure that the school that houses it is accredited by an agency listed with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE)

The  National Centers of Academic Excellence program is run by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security, to recognize undergraduate and graduate degrees as Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) and Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO).

Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education Within Texas

The NSA and DHS have classified the following Texas cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs as Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE):

  • Our Lady of the Lake University –

Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems and Security

Bachelor of Business Administration in Computer Information Systems and Security

Bachelor of Applied Studies in Computer Information Systems and Security

School of Business and Leadership

411 S.W. 24th St.

San Antonio, TX 78207

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2022

(210) 434-6711

Department of Computer Science

Dallas, TX 75275

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Theodore Manikas, Chair

(214) 768-3099; manikas@smu.edu

College of Business, Dept. of Computing & Cyber Security

One University Way

San Antonio, TX 78224

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2022

(210) 784-5000

  • Texas A&M University –

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science- Minor in Cybersecurity

Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering – Minor in Cybersecurity

(also CAE-CO and ABET accredited – see below)

Department of Computer Science & Engineering

301 Harvey R. Bright Bldg.

College Station, TX 77843-3112

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

(979) 458-3870; cse-general@cse.tamu.edu 

Center for Information Assurance & Cyber Defense

6300 Ocean Dr.

Corpus Christi, TX 78412

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Saman Desilva, Chair

(361) 825-3831; saman.desilva@tamucc.edu

Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations Within Texas

The NSA and DHS have designated the following Texas bachelor’s degree cybersecurity programs as Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO):

  • Texas A&M University –

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science- Minor in Cybersecurity

Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering – Minor in Cybersecurity

(also CAE-CD accredited – see above; and  ABET accredited – see below)

Department of Computer Science & Engineering

301 Harvey R. Bright Bldg.

College Station, TX 77843-3112

CAE- Cyber Operations- Accredited through 2022

(979) 458-3870; cse-general@cse.tamu.edu 

College of Engineering

500 West University Ave.

El Paso, TX 79968

CAE- Cyber Operations- Accredited through 2021

(915) 747-5480

Department of Computer Science

One UTSA Circle

San Antonio, TX 78249-0667

CAE- Cyber Operations- Accredited through 2023

(210) 458-4436; ugar@cs.utsa.edu

Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Texas with ABET Accreditation

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. of ABET ‘s Computing Accreditation Commission has accredited the following Texas programs:

  • Texas A&M University –

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science- Minor in Cybersecurity

Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering – Minor in Cybersecurity

(also CAE-CO and CAE-CD accredited – see above)

Department of Computer Science & Engineering

301 Harvey R. Bright Bldg.

College Station, TX 77843-3112

(979) 458-3870; cse-general@cse.tamu.edu 

More Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree Programs Within Texas

More cybersecurity bachelor’s programs include:

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

3452 Spur 399

McKinney, TX 75069

(972) 548-6790

Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)

10401 IH-10 West

San Antonio, TX 78230

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

College of Science and Engineering

7502 Fondren Rd.

Houston, TX 77074

Dr. Stan Napper, Dean

(281) 649-3173; snapper@hbu.edu

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

College of Arts & Sciences

4400 MLK Blvd.

Beaumont, TX 77710

mshufean@lamar.edu

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

School of Arts & Sciences

2100 S. Mobberly Ave.

Longview, TX 75602

Dr. Glyn T. Gowing, Chair

(800) 759-8811

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

Dept. of Computer Science- Center of Excellence in Digital Forensics

1803 Avenue I, AB1 Room 214

Huntsville, TX 77341

(936) 294-3846

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

Department of Computer Information Systems

1001 Leadership Place

Killeen, TX 76549

Dr. Anitha Chennamaneni, Dept. Chair

(254) 519-5463; anitha.chennamaneni@tamuct.edu

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

College of Business, Engineering & Technology

7101 University Ave.

Texarkana, TX 75503

(903) 223-3000

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

Dept. of Computer Science

2317 Speedway, Stop D9500

Austin, TX 78712

(512) 471-7316

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

Dept. of Computer Science

4901 East University

Odessa, TX 79762

(432) 552-2020

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

School of Business

1900 W. 7th St.

Plainview, TX 79072

(800) 588-1928

Per the Labor Market & Career Information Department of the Texas Workforce Commission, jobs for information security analysts in Texas are expected to increase by a whopping 33.5 percent from 2016 to 2026. This represents an addition of approximately 823 job openings per year. Currently, the average annual salary for an information security analyst in Texas is $104,169. Areas of the state in which wages are the highest for this occupation include Dallas ($113,363), Capital Area ($113,428), South East Texas ($117,929) and Tarrant County ($108,238). It is clear that this is the perfect time to get your bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in Texas and prepare yourself for an interesting, challenging, and lucrative career.

Sources:

“2016-2026 Employment Projections.” Labor Market & Career Information Department of the Texas Workforce Commission. https://texaswages.com/Projections.

“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/.

Benton, Jackie. “Cyberdefense for Texas State Government.” FiscalNotes. Comptroller.Texas.gov. March 2019. Accessed 7 May 2020 at https://comptroller.texas.gov/economy/fiscal-notes/2019/mar/tx-cyberdefense.php.

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/.

Coble, Sarah. “Texas prepares to implement mandatory cybersecurity training for government employees.” Infosecurity Magazine. 26 September 2019. Accessed 7 May 2020 at https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/texas-cybersecurity-training-for/.

“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.

Rapaport, Wes. “Texas schools now required to craft cybersecurity plans, staff to undergo training.” KXAN.com. 30 January 2020. Accessed 7 May 2020 at https://www.kxan.com/news/education/texas-schools-now-required-to-craft-cybersecurity-plans-staff-to-undergo-training/.

“San Antonio will lead the way by enhancing, creating and promoting cybersecurity related programs.” CyberTexas Foundation. https://www.cybertexas.org/about/.