Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree in West Virginia

Cyberseek.org reported that as of 2018, there were 872 job openings in the cybersecurity arena in West Virginia, and an employed cybersecurity workforce in the state that totaled 715,715. It was determined that the supply of cybersecurity workers statewide was very low. Worse, more cybersecurity positions were going unfilled due to a lack of trained and educated candidates.

To that end, West Virginia is working on investing in education to start cybersecurity education at the K-12 and higher education levels. Looking to other states that have been successful in this endeavor, TechConnect WV is working with the West Virginia Department of Education and colleges and universities in the state to develop comprehensive cybersecurity educational programs.

TechConnect WV also identified the many cybersecurity job opportunities currently existing in West Virginia, in mostly all areas of the state. They include, but are not limited to:

  • The Northcentral area of the state (Harrison, Monongalia and Marion Counties):
    • Federal agencies like NASA, FBI, NOAA, US Dept. of Commerce, National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)
    • Businesses like Leidos, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics IT, ManTech, IBS Corporation, XO Security, Fusion Technology, Critical Solutions, Sevatec
  • The Rocket Center (Mineral County)
    • IBM
    • Northrop Grumman
  • The Eastern Panhandle (Jefferson and Berkeley Counties):
    • Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
    • US Coast Guard

If you would like to work in the exciting new innovative technological field of cybersecurity and you live in West Virginia, there couldn’t be a better time to get your bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. As you will see in this article, there are many colleges and universities from which you can choose, with a wide variety of specializations and concentrations available. Keep reading to discover how you can earn a bachelor’s in cybersecurity in West Virginia.

What Has West Virginia’s Government Done Regarding Cybersecurity?

West Virginia’s governor authorized the state to open its Cybersecurity Office within the state’s Office of Technology in 2019. Governor Jim Justice signed the bill, called the Secure WV Act, which allocated $4.2 million towards the development of a unified state cybersecurity policy and enterprise service. One of the first duties of the Cybersecurity Office is to assess state agencies for vulnerabilities and needs. It is the first step towards protecting West Virginia’s state information systems and data. The Cybersecurity Office is under the control of the Chief Information Security Officer.

The state’s Chief Technology Officer is authorized to develop policies controlling information systems and data. Additionally, yearly security audits of executive branch agencies are to be conducted.

West Virginia Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity Jobs

Jobs in West Virginia that may be available with a bachelor’s in cybersecurity include:

  • IT Specialist (Cyber Security)- US Dept. of Energy, Morgantown
  • Incident Response Cyber Security Engineer I – Railhead, Inc., Fairmont
  • Security Analyst, Information Technology – WesBanco, Wheeling
  • Cyber Security Analyst (Network Intrusion)- Fusion Technology, LLC, Bridgeport
  • Cyber Security Engineer – ATTAIN, Morgantown
  • Principal Cyber Security Analyst – SAIC, Fairmont
  • Assistant Professor in Cybersecurity – West Virginia University, Morgantown
  • IT Cybersecurity Specialist – US Dept. of Homeland Security, Kearneysville
  • IT Specialist (Infosec) – US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Huntington and Shepherdstown
  • Information Security Analyst, Incident Response – Mylan, Morgantown

Bachelor’s Degree Cybersecurity Programs in West Virginia

Any school you choose in which to study cybersecurity must be accredited. Look for an institution that holds regional accreditation through an agency that is listed with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

What Bachelor’s Degree Cybersecurity Programs Are Offered in West Virginia?

Names of some cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs in West Virginia include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity – Cybersecurity, Wireless & Mobile Security concentrations
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Security – Wireless & Mobile Security, Cyber Intelligence, Cybercrime Investigation, Cybersecurity, Digital Forensics, Cloud Computing, and Homeland Security concentrations
  • Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security
  • Bachelor of Arts in Intelligence Studies – Government Security & Information Security concentrations
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Science in Biometric Systems Engineering- Cybersecurity emphasis
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Forensics & Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology- Cybersecurity concentration
  • Bachelor of Applied Computer Science- Cybersecurity & Information Assurance concentrations

Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Security Agency (NSA) launched the National Centers of Academic Excellence program in 1999. This program recognizes the most exceptional cybersecurity degree programs in the nation.    

Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education in West Virginia

West Virginia houses the following Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD):

  • American Public University System –

Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity – Concentrations in Cybersecurity, Wireless & Mobile Security available

Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Security – Concentrations in Wireless & Mobile Security, Cyber Intelligence, Cybercrime Investigation, Cybersecurity, Digital Forensics, Cloud Computing, and Homeland Security available

Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security

Bachelor of Arts in Intelligence Studies – Concentrations in Government Security & Information Security available

Center for Cyber Defense

111 W. Congress Street

Charles Town, WV 25414

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2023

Kenneth L. Williams, Contact

(571) 477-0105; Cyber@APUS.EDU

  • West Virginia University –

Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity

Bachelor of Science in Biometric Systems Engineering- Emphasis in Cybersecurity

Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering & Mineral Resources, Dept. of Computer Science & Electrical Engineering

P.O. Box 6878

Morgantown, WV 26506

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Cindy Tanner, Contact

(304) 293-9138; cindy.tanner@mail.wvu.edu

Are There Other Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity Degree Programs in West Virginia?

In addition to the CAE-CD programs listed above, other bachelor’s degree programs in cybersecurity do exist in West Virginia. They include:

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

101 College Hill Drive

Philippi, WV 26416

(800) 263-1549

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

College of Science

Weisberg Applied Engineering Complex

1676 3rd. Ave., Rm. 2003

Huntington, WV 25755

John Sammons, Chair

(304) 696-7241; sammons17@marshall.edu 

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

223 W. Main St.

Salem, WV 26426

(844) 462-9128

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

2300 MacCorkle Ave. SE

Charleston, WV 25304

(800) 995-4682

What Classes Will I Take in a West Virginia Bachelor’s Degree Program?

Although you can expect that coursework will vary from one college to another, typically, a cybersecurity bachelor’s degree program will require that you complete the following classes:

  • Computer Organization & Architecture
  • Web and Mobile App Development
  • Internet Security
  • Software Security
  • Network Security
  • System Administration
  • Ethical Hacking
  • Data Structures & Algorithms
  • Operating Systems
  • Information & System Security
  • Security Operation Technology
  • System Administration
  • Object-Oriented Programming

Cybersecurity Certifications in West Virginia?

In addition to getting a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in West Virginia, you should also pursue cybersecurity professional certifications, which will help you to become eligible for even more jobs. The most common certifications in West Virginia include:

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker
  • CompTIA Security+
  • ISC2 CAP
  • NIST Cyber Operations certification
  • GSEC: SANS GIAC Security Essentials

Future of Cybersecurity Jobs in West Virginia?

According to West Virginia Work Force, long-term occupational projections for information security analysts in the state are great. From 2016 to 2026, an annual growth rate of 1.71 percent is expected each year for jobs for information security analysts statewide. The largest private employers in the state, as of March 2019, were: WVU Medicine, Wal-Mart, CAMC Health System, Mountain Health Network, Kroger, Lowe’s Home Centers, Contura Energy, Wheeling Hospital, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, and Murray American Energy. All of these employers would likely need professionals who are trained in cybersecurity. Therefore, the future looks quite bright for cybersecurity jobs in West Virginia!

Sources:

“About CSO.” West Virginia Office of Technology. https://technology.wv.gov/security/AboutCSO/Pages/default.aspx.

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

“W. Va. To Open Cybersecurity Office, Launch Unification Plan.” Government Technology. 2 April 2019. Accessed 23 July 2020 at https://www.govtech.com/security/WVa-to-Open-Cybersecurity-Office-Launch-Unification-Plan.html.

“West Virginia Cybersecurity Workforce Strategic Initiative Report.” TechConnect WV. January 2019. Accessed 23 July 2020 at https://techconnectwv.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/MURC_WVCybersecurityWorkforce_Book_FINAL.pdf.

“West Virginia Long Term Occupational Projections 2016-2026. Work Force West Virginia. http://lmi.workforcewv.org/LTprojections/LTOccupationalProjections.html.