cybersecurity degree

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 DEGREE

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.

SchoolCityProgram Website
Alexandria Technical and Community CollegeAlexandriaCybersecurity, Virtualization, & Networking AAS Degree
Alexandria Technical and Community CollegeAlexandriaComputer Information Systems – A.S. Degree
Lake Superior CollegeDuluthAssociate in Applied Science in Network Administration and Cyber Security
Minnesota State College-Southeast TechnicalWinonaAssociate of Applied Science in Cyber and Information Security
Minnesota West Community and Technical CollegeGranite FallsAssociate in Applied Science – Information Security and Assurance

 

BACHELOR’S DEGREE

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.

SchoolCityProgram Website
Metropolitan State UniversitySaint PaulBachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
Metropolitan State UniversitySaint PaulComputer Forensics (BAS)
Metropolitan State UniversitySaint PaulComputer Forensics Minor
Metropolitan State UniversitySaint PaulCybersecurity 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 DEGREE

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.

SchoolCityProgram Website
Minnesota State University-MankatoMankatoMaster’s in Information Security & Risk Management
Walden UniversityMinneapolisMaster of Science in Information Technology – Information Assurance and Cyber Security Track
Capella UniversityMinneapolisMS in Information Assuarance & Cybersecurity

 

Ph.D. DEGREES

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.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

SchoolCityProgram Website
Inver Hills Community CollegeInver Grove HeightsAdvanced Network Security Certificate
Lake Superior CollegeDuluthCyber Defense Certificate
Lake Superior CollegeDuluthCyber Security Certificate
Metropolitan State UniversitySaint PauPost-Baccalaureate Undergraduate Certificate in Computer Forensics
Metropolitan State UniversitySaint PaulPost-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:

CYBERSECURITY ONLINE CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS IN MINNESOTA

SchoolCityProgram Website
Alexandria Technical and Community CollegeAlexandriaCybersecurity Certificate
Lake Superior CollegeDuluthCertificate in Information Security Management
Minnesota West Community and Technical CollegeGranite FallsCertificate in Computer Information Security Management
Mitchell Hamline School of LawSt. PaulCertificate in Cybersecurity and Privacy Law
Walden UniversityMinneapolisGraduate Certificate in Fundamentals of Cyber Security

 

Cybersecurity jobs in Minnesota

For every high-profile cybersecurity incident that makes the news, there are likely hundreds more that are kept hidden for the sake of an organization’s credibility. So, despite the fact that the public has been made aware of the growing epidemic, most people are still blissfully unaware of the full scope of what is happening in cyberspace today. And the situation seems to be getting worse by the day.

A broad and the lack of trained and competent professionals committed to eradicating the problem is the primary reason for the likelihood that cybersecurity will continue to emerge as a problem in the near future.

Minnesota’s cybersecurity worker shortage is comparable to the national average. According to Cyberseek, Minnesota employed 17,711 cybersecurity professionals between October 2018 and September 2019.

There were 8,297 job vacancies for cybersecurity specialists at the same time. The Twin Cities metropolitan area has about 7,350 job vacancies, accounting for about 15,100 of the state’s cybersecurity workers. For Minnesota cybersecurity professionals, the Twin Cities is the place to be.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, security analysts earned an average hourly wage of $46.65 and an annual income of just over $97,000 in May 2018.

Cybersecurity in Minnesota

Minnesota has a higher-than-average economy, and cybersecurity awareness is increasing.

Nearly all cybersecurity activity is concentrated in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, which is the state’s most economically active and diverse area. While cybersecurity education options are surprisingly limited, there are still enough options for most professionals to achieve the career advancements they want.

The future of cybersecurity in Minnesota looks promising, thanks to state government programmes that are spreading the word and creating resources for the industry to collaborate and hone their employees’ skills.