This guide is designed to give you a quick overview of Minnesota’s cybersecurity colleges. It addresses how cybersecurity blends into Minnesota’s stable economy and provides details about all levels of degree options (including certifications and online degree options).
The “Land of 10,000 Lakes” is Minnesota’s nickname. L’Étoile du Nord, or Star of the North, is the city’s official slogan. Its harsh winters are possibly its most well-known feature, but the state has one of the highest living standards in the country and is also one of the wealthiest. Its population is concentrated in urban areas, especially Minneapolis-St. Paul, also known as the “Twin Cities.” Approximately 55 percent of all Minnesota residents live in this city.
The economy of the state is well-diversified, with many technology-related industries. Target, UnitedHealth Group, 3M, General Mills, and US Bancorp are among the nation’s 1,000 largest publicly traded firms, with 33 of them based in Minnesota. Minnesota has a vibrant healthcare, financial, and manufacturing industry in addition to its conventional natural resource and agriculture-based economy. Both of these industries depend heavily on cybersecurity services.
The Growing Importance of Cybersecurity in Minnesota
Minnesota is no stranger to the world’s cybersecurity threats. Target’s data breach in 2013 was one of the most widely publicised in history. Given the region’s high concentration of economic activity and large corporate headquarters, it’s no wonder that the vast majority of cybersecurity activity occurs there.
The state government is taking action to ensure voting integrity in 2020 by taking election cybersecurity seriously. The state has also released the Information Security Strategic Plan, which is a collection of general recommendations aimed at helping all companies improve their cybersecurity practises.
The Minnesota State IT Center of Excellence was established to help educators and businesses grow and improve the state’s IT readiness, including cybersecurity. The centre, which is run by Metropolitan State University, hosts a job board called IT Connect, as well as IT activities and other opportunities for students, employers, and educators to collaborate and share best practises.
MN Cyber, which is solely focused on cybersecurity, is one of the Center’s tools. Its goal is to expand and develop the state’s cybersecurity workforce, improve educational opportunities, serve as a clearinghouse for cybersecurity information, and draw new financial, healthcare, transportation, and technology companies to the state because of the state’s heavy reliance on cybersecurity services.
MN Cyber Academy and MN Cyber Range are two of MN Cyber’s most significant initiatives. The Academy offers courses that lead to certifications and are designed to develop the skills that employers seek in cybersecurity professionals.
The range is a world-class training and simulation network that employs real-world simulations and cutting-edge technology to prepare cyber security teams for the challenge of safeguarding critical data, infrastructure, and operations.
Cybersecurity Education in Minnesota
Given Minnesota’s wealth and economic activity, cybersecurity practitioners have a relatively restricted range of higher education choices. Institutions do, however, offer a variety of degree and credential programmes for both Minnesota residents and out-of-state students. Expect these options to expand in the future as public understanding of the importance of cybersecurity grows.
Associate’s degrees are a good place to start if you choose to work in cybersecurity at a lower stage. They are an excellent choice for those who do not have the time or financial resources to complete a four-year degree programme. Professionals with an associate’s degree may advance their careers when opportunities arise through gaining industry certifications or using their associate’s degree to complete a bachelor’s degree programme. Credits will often be applied toward a bachelor’s degree.
Campus-based associate’s degrees in Minnesota
On-campus options are available at three community colleges for cybersecurity associates degrees. Inver Hills Community College offers an AAS degree in Network Technology and Security to students. Minneapolis Community and Technical College offers an AAS in Computer Forensics. An AS in Cybersecurity Virtualization and Networking, as well as an AS in Computer Information Systems, are available at Alexandria Technical and Community College.
Online associate’s degrees in Minnesota
Minnesota learning institutions currently offer three options for obtaining associate’s degrees in an online format. The following is a list of them.
CYBERSECURITY ASSOCIATE’S PROGRAMS IN MINNESOTA
|Alexandria Technical and Community College||Alexandria||Cybersecurity, Virtualization, & Networking AAS Degree|
|Alexandria Technical and Community College||Alexandria||Computer Information Systems – A.S. Degree|
|Lake Superior College||Duluth||Associate in Applied Science in Network Administration and Cyber Security|
|Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical||Winona||Associate of Applied Science in Cyber and Information Security|
|Minnesota West Community and Technical College||Granite Falls||Associate in Applied Science – Information Security and Assurance|
Many information security career options outside entry-level positions include a bachelor’s degree. Although cybersecurity degrees are not normally mandatory, they can give job seekers an advantage over those with degrees in other fields such as general computer science or information technology.
Campus-based bachelor’s degrees in Minnesota
Metropolitan State University offers all four of Minnesota’s campus-based bachelor’s degree programmes. Below is a list of unique degree choices.
Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Programs in Minnesota
|Metropolitan State University||Saint Paul||Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity|
|Metropolitan State University||Saint Paul||Computer Forensics (BAS)|
|Metropolitan State University||Saint Paul||Computer Forensics Minor|
|Metropolitan State University||Saint Paul||Cybersecurity Minor|
Online bachelor’s degrees in Minnesota
There are currently only two bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity available online. Walden University offers all of these programmes. Information Technology: Cybersecurity and Forensics and Computer Information Systems: Cybersecurity for Information Systems are the two BS degrees accessible.
Master’s degrees in cybersecurity are typically needed only for senior-level roles like Chief Information Security Officer. Some security consultant positions, as well as professorial and research positions in cybersecurity, include master’s degrees. However, master’s degrees are increasingly being seen as a requirement for a range of cybersecurity roles.
Campus-based Master’s Degrees in Minnesota
Currently, two Minnesota colleges offer cybersecurity master’s degrees via on-campus presentations.
- The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities offers an MS in Computer Science with a concentration in Computer and Network Security
- Saint Cloud State University has a program for an MS in Information Assurance
Online Master’s Degrees in Minnesota
Three Minnesota colleges currently deliver cybersecurity master’s degrees in online formats. For more detail and links, see the sections below.
Cybersecurity Online Master’s Programs in Minnesota
|Minnesota State University-Mankato||Mankato||Master’s in Information Security & Risk Management|
|Walden University||Minneapolis||Master of Science in Information Technology – Information Assurance and Cyber Security Track|
|Capella University||Minneapolis||MS in Information Assuarance & Cybersecurity|
There are currently no Ph.D. programmes in cybersecurity offered by Minnesota educators. Employers are becoming increasingly interested in cybersecurity Ph.D.s, but this is likely to improve in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, there are several online Ph.D. services available to Minnesota residents, and the number of choices is rapidly increasing.
Current cybersecurity practitioners may use cybersecurity certifications to further their education and improve their resumes. They also include an introduction to the skills and techniques needed for a career in cybersecurity, as well as a head start toward an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
Campus-based cybersecurity certifications in Minnesota
Three colleges currently provide five credential programmes in cybersecurity disciplines. Two of these certifications are for people who have already completed a bachelor’s degree. The table below offers more statistics.
Cybersecurity Certification Programs in Minnesota
|Inver Hills Community College||Inver Grove Heights||Advanced Network Security Certificate|
|Lake Superior College||Duluth||Cyber Defense Certificate|
|Lake Superior College||Duluth||Cyber Security Certificate|
|Metropolitan State University||Saint Pau||Post-Baccalaureate Undergraduate Certificate in Computer Forensics|
|Metropolitan State University||Saint Paul||Post-Baccalaureate Undergraduate Certificate in Cybersecurity|
Online cybersecurity certifications in Minnesota
If online certification programs are preferred, there are four available from Minnesota institutions. One of these is a master’s level certification program. All four options are listed below: