Cyber Security Schools In Nc – Before We Get Into The Topic, Let’s Learn Some Basic Of This Topic
North Carolina may not have the same reputation as its neighbor Virginia when it comes to cybersecurity, but Charlotte’s financial institutions, the Research Triangle’s labs, and the Piedmont Triad’s universities all require specialists. If you already have a good idea of where you want to go, our list of North Carolina schools offering cybersecurity programs can help you decide. If not, continue reading to learn more about North Carolina’s research initiatives, student scholarships, and job opportunities.
Studying Cybersecurity in North Carolina
Six colleges and universities in North Carolina have been designated as National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Here’s what some of them are up to these days.
- Forsyth Tech is one of only two community colleges in the state to receive the NSA/DHS designation (the other being Rowan-Cabarrus Community College), and it’s also the only one that offers an associate degree. Throughout the year, the school holds cybersecurity events, such as the 2016 Cybersecurity Symposium.
- North Carolina A&T State University received a $1.6 million grant from the federal Cybersecurity Workforce Pipeline Consortium in 2015, which will be used to fund fellowships and summer internships for graduate students interested in cybersecurity research.
- From 2013 to 2015, North Carolina State University’s Wolfpack Security and Privacy Research (WSPR) Lab received $1.3 million in grant funding to research topics ranging from improving Google Play Store security to using text analytics to improve mobile app security.
- More academic programs in cybersecurity are available at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte than at any other university in the state. Students can attend the school’s DHS-funded research on mobile security for federal agencies or listen to outside speakers during the CyberDNA Research Center’s biweekly research seminars.
Online Cybersecurity Programs in North Carolina
North Carolina lacked a statewide strategy for addressing cybersecurity through education and workforce development as of 2016. Individual schools are instead taking the lead in developing programs to meet the demand for cybersecurity experts. North Carolina A&T’s participation in CECOR (Consortium Enabling Cybersecurity Opportunities and Research), a project funded by the US Department of Homeland Security, is one example. The Department of Energy is planning to establish a K-20 cybersecurity workforce pipeline.
Despite this, there are still a limited number of academic degree programs available within the state, with even fewer online options. Most colleges in North Carolina are dabbling in online certificates (at both the undergraduate and graduate levels), possibly as a prelude to putting full degree programs online.
Online Associate Degrees In Cybersecurity
Associate degrees are two-year credentials that can be applied to a four-year bachelor’s degree program. They complete the majority of a baccalaureate program’s general education requirements and lay the groundwork for further study in a particular field. Although students are not obligated to continue their education, an associate degree has limited value: it can help students pass industry certifications and land an entry-level job in the security industry, but it will not help them advance in the field.
In North Carolina, there are only a few online options for a degree in this field. The AAS in Cyber Crime Technology offered by Southwestern Community College is one option. It’s for students who want to work for local or state law enforcement.
For a list of online degree programs, go to the North Carolina Community College System’s Virtual Learning Community, but keep in mind that some are hybrid, which means you’ll have to come to campus for certain periods of time. Keep in mind that college offerings and program names change frequently, so this resource should only be used as a guide. If you do use it, knowing the state’s standardized program numbering system will help you get the program you want.
Online Bachelor’s Degrees In Cybersecurity
A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for jobs such as computer security specialist and information security analyst, which require bachelor’s degree. In North Carolina, however, distance learning may not be an option. Because cybersecurity is such a new academic field, the state’s public universities have yet to offer bachelor’s degrees in the subject. That should change soon, so keep an eye on UNC Online for updates.
Look into East Coast Polytechnic Institute if you absolutely must do an online bachelor’s degree in North Carolina. It’s a for-profit university with locations across the state that offers online bachelor’s degrees in network security.
Online Master’s Degrees In Cybersecurity
When pursuing a cybersecurity master’s, you don’t have to start from scratch. This is because, while graduate programs require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree, it does not have to be in the field of study.
The MS in Network Technology with a concentration in Information Security from East Carolina University is the most common route to an online masters in North Carolina. It’s for network administrators with CompTIA Network+, Microsoft Network Essentials, or Cisco CCNA certifications who want to learn how to set up and secure networks.
Online Certificate Programs In Cybersecurity
Certificates are semester- or year-long programs designed for one of two types of students: 1) undergrads interested in learning more about cybersecurity and possibly applying those credits toward an associate or bachelor’s degree, and 2) bachelor’s degree holders with little exposure to cybersecurity coursework who want to use a certificate to gain professional certification or advance their careers. Students in North Carolina can access both options via the internet.
The state’s community colleges, particularly Rowan-Cabarrus, are your best bet for undergraduate certification. Its Cyber Investigations certificate is a four-course program that teaches you how to recover data for criminal investigations, and its Cybercrime Essentials certificate is a five-course program that teaches you how to secure networks and investigate hacks. Try Craven Community College’s IT Cyber Security Concepts certificate, which is a five-course program that covers network and information security basics and is more applicable to the corporate world than criminal justice.
Two public universities provide certification at the graduate level. The Cyber Security Professional certification offered by East Carolina is designed to prepare students for careers as information security specialists or network security analysts. It is integrated into the school’s MS in Network Technology program, but security prerequisites are not required. Students interested in pursuing a master’s degree should consider UNC Greensboro’s certificate in information assurance, security, and privacy. The program is structured to lead to either an MBA or an MS in Information Technology and Management because it emphasizes both theoretical and practical components.
Cybersecurity Scholarships in North Carolina
Exploring STEM funds available to science, technology, engineering, and math majors is the best approach for finding cybersecurity scholarships. Educators, businesses, and government leaders are all working together to encourage students to pursue careers in these fields, even though cybersecurity is a much broader category. Some funds are beginning to flow to cybersecurity, but consistent and generous funding will take time. But there’s no need to be disheartened. There are several goods — and a few fantastic — cybersecurity scholarships available. Here are a few awards worth considering:
Fayetteville Technical Community College
- Computer students, such as those in the IT – Systems Security & Analysis concentration, can apply for the Yen L. Phung Memorial Scholarship as a last resort if they do not receive any other financial aid. It’s a $500 investment.
- Montreat is all-in on cybersecurity with a cybersecurity scholarship. If you have a 3.25 GPA and are majoring in it, you can apply for a $2,000 renewable scholarship.
North Carolina A&T State University
- Carolinas Cyber Defender Scholarship: Through the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service Program, Computer Science graduate students at A&T who are interested in cybersecurity can get their tuition and fees paid, as well as a stipend of $25,000 per year. In exchange, they will intern during the summer and work for the government for two years after graduation in the security sector.
The University Of North Carolina At Charlotte
- UNC Charlotte was awarded the same National Science Foundation grant as A&T to provide full scholarships and stipends to cybersecurity students. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in software and information systems, a bachelor’s degree in computer science, a master’s degree in information technology, or a master’s degree in computer science are eligible in this case. Undergraduates in the program receive a lower stipend, but must still work for a government agency after graduation.
- The National Science Foundation funds the school’s College of Computing and Informatics, which houses the school’s various cybersecurity programs, to provide renewable $10,000 scholarships to undergrads and graduates with both financial need and academic merit.
The University Of North Carolina At Greensboro
Students in the Information Systems and Supply Chain Management (ISSCM) Department, including those pursuing a certificate in Information Assurance, Security, and Privacy, are eligible to apply for the ISSCM Faculty and Staff Student Award, which is sponsored by the School of Business & Economics.
All ISSCM students should apply for the Piedmont Triad Transportation Association Scholarship, which is a $5000 award.
Cybersecurity Events in North Carolina
Cybersecurity Meetups & Communities In North Carolina
You’ll have to look a little harder in North Carolina than in San Francisco or New York to find cybersecurity communities, but they’re there. Here are a few places where you can get involved:
ISSA is an international professional membership organization that welcomes students. Local chapters in Charlotte, the Piedmont Triad, and Raleigh, the latter of which hosts Triangle InfoSeCon each year, provide training and networking opportunities.
The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) is a free organization that welcomes anyone to attend its meetups, regardless of their professional level of expertise. North Carolina has two of them. OWASP CLT meets eight times a year to watch demonstrations of “web and browser-based vulnerabilities, tools, and solutions.” OWASP Triangle, OWASP CLT’s Raleigh counterpart, is just as active and follows the same format.
Don’t like formal meetings after hours? RTP Security + Beers is for you. Simply grab a drink with your Research Triangle colleagues and discuss security…and whatever microbrew you’re trying that month.
Triangle TechBreakfast: This isn’t strictly a cybersecurity meetup, but it is one of the state’s largest tech meetups. Every month, the group gets together to see short demonstrations of technologies that people in the area are working on. Coffee and croissants are provided.
Cybersecurity Conferences & Workshops In North Carolina
There are conferences and workshops dedicated to cybersecurity for every subspecialty and level of experience in the United States. What about North Carolina, though? While specialty options are limited, there are excellent events organized by colleges, professional associations, and tech enthusiasts at every level.
Duke Law School’s Center on Law, Ethics, and National Security is a good place to start looking for events. The topics overlap, even though they aren’t all about cybersecurity. Indeed, the annual conference’s theme for 2017 is
Data Connectors, which produces yearly tech-security conferences and expos like the Charlotte Tech-Security Conference and the Raleigh Tech-Security Conference, is another major event organizer. Both are excellent places to see the most up-to-date software and hardware, as well as hear industry presentations. The following are four more yearly cybersecurity events in North Carolina:
Carolina is a security conference held in Raleigh every spring for one weekend of sessions, competitions, and networking. With trivia nights, Capture the Flag, and a lockpicking village, this conference is infused with a festive atmosphere. The cost is kept cheap by the organizers so that more people can attend.
RETR3AT: Montreat College hosts a one-day conference with local professors, federal agency managers, and technology professionals. Free admission is provided to high school and college students.
Security BSides: There is no single BSides conference; instead, there are a number of them, all of which are organized by local security experts. The event planners are more concerned with creating fantastic conversations that can spread beyond their community’s beginnings than with maintaining order and timekeeping. Both Asheville and Charlotte host annual events. The price of a ticket is usually less than $20.
The UNC Charlotte Cyber Security Symposium is a one-day event, similar to RETR3AT, in which guests can choose from a variety of panels and lectures throughout the day. Dan Geer, a member of the National Cyber Security Hall of Fame, has been one of the speakers.
The Raleigh Chapter of the Information System Security Association hosts the area’s major annual Information Security conference, Triangle InfoSeCon. Their mission is to educate as many individuals as possible about the importance of information security and related issues.
Cybersecurity Jobs in North Carolina
According to research by Burning Glass Technologies, North Carolina ranked 12th in 2014 in terms of cybersecurity job posts. Charlotte’s demand for cybersecurity professionals surged at the seventh-fastest rate in the country between 2010 and 2014, but it still accounted for less than half of the state’s available positions. This opens up opportunities for graduates outside of “Metrolina,” particularly in the Research Triangle. SAS Institute, a Cary-based software developer; GFI, a Durham-based firm that handles email and network security for clients; and OnWire, a Raleigh-based firm that handles IBM security integration. Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point form the Piedmont Triad, a competitor region. Several of its schools, including North Carolina A&T and UNC Greensboro, have developed Gateway University Research Park to help the city become a tech hub.
To summarise, North Carolina is an excellent site to work in cybersecurity research. However, if you like to work in the field — or, more precisely, in a business office — you can do so as well, as the state has many large corporations. Bank of America and BB&T are Fortune 500 financial organizations with headquarters in Charlotte and Winston-Salem, respectively. Credit and financial services are the state’s largest industry, coming in third behind California and New York in the country. Charlotte, which would be the nation’s largest banking metropolis if it weren’t for New York City, is the epicenter of that activity. As a result, all financial information must be kept safe. That, in turn, necessitates a large number of cybersecurity professionals.
A few workforce development programs are being developed to assist you in becoming one of those experts. The Center for Defense and Homeland Security at Fayetteville State University has launched a “Cyber Security Academy” for veterans wishing to transition from the military to entry-level security positions. In late 2016, the National Security Agency designated Forsyth Tech as one of the country’s six Cybersecurity Regional Resource Centers. Students at all levels should benefit from training in the coming years.
Cybersecurity Salaries in North Carolina
The most recent numbers from the United States (May 2015) show that Information security analysts in North Carolina earn a median of $87,580 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national average is $90,120, so it’s only a few thousand short. And recent college graduates should rejoice: security professionals at the bottom of the salary scale (the 10th percentile) earn slightly more than their national counterparts. As a result, North Carolina is an excellent place to look for a first job. It also has a lower-than-average cost of living, making it a viable option for a long-term career.