Cybersecurity Degrees and Careers Delaware Guide

Learn About Studying Cyber Security in Delaware, Requirements and Job Growth Careers Guide

Are you interested in combating global cyber-crime? If you enjoy working with computers, monitoring network activity, installing software, or researching information technology trends, a career in cyber security may be a good fit for you. Not only will a position in this field provide you the opportunity to do what you love, you will also enjoy higher pay and job security.

While there are a wide variety of opportunities available, some of the best jobs available to individuals with a cyber security degree include:

  • Information Security Analyst
  • Lead Software Security Engineer
  • Chief Information Security Officer
  • Security Architect
  • Penetration Tester
  • Information Security Crime Investigator / Forensics Expert

Why an Advanced Degree in Delaware is Needed

Completing some level of higher education is necessary to be successful in the cyber security field in Delaware. Most employers expect candidates to have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in cyber security or a related field. Earning a more advanced degree will, however, better prepare you for employment and give you an edge over other potential hires.

Additionally, earning a degree allows for more career advancement opportunities. In fact, some positions are only available to individuals who have attained a certain degree type – associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or a certificate. Your education level and institution’s accreditation can also impact your overall salary.

Two of the best universities offering cyber security degrees in Delaware are Wilmington University and the University of Delaware. Both offer a variety of programs that will help prepare you for a successful career.

Delaware Cyber Security Education Degrees & Requirements

In general, it is extremely difficult to find even entry-level work in cyber security without some level of formal education. As cyber security becomes more and more common, most employers expect applicants to have, at minimum, an undergraduate degree in cyber security or a related field. Most professionals opt to earn a graduate degree because it helps them stand out among other candidates in the hiring pool and can lead to higher pay. Associate degrees and certificates are also available. Many colleges and universities offer traditional on-campus and online programs at every level.

Associate’s Degree

While most cyber security jobs require a bachelor’s degree, you may be able to find an entry-level position with an associate degree. When combined with professional information technology experience, employers may be willing to work with you and help you increase your knowledge base with either certifications or more formal education.

Admissions requirements can vary, but applicants usually must have the following:

  • High school diploma
  • Minimum high school grade point average (GPA)
  • Passing grades in any necessary prerequisite courses
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation

Associate degrees generally consist of 60 credit hours of coursework and take approximately two years to complete. Assuming the school is accredited, graduates can either transfer their credits to a four-year, undergraduate institution or find employment.

Every college and university is different, but coursework frequently covers:

  • Windows Operating Systems
  • Computer Forensics
  • Criminal Law
  • Business and Professional Communication

Bachelor’s Degree

Because the majority of companies and organizations hiring cyber security professionals require candidates have a bachelor’s degree, most individuals interested in the field start there. Undergraduate degrees usually consist of 120 credit hours of coursework, which takes a full-time student approximately four years to complete.

Admissions requirements can vary, but applicants usually must have the following:

  • High school diploma
  • Minimum high school GPA
  • Minimum Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and/or American College Testing (ACT) scores
  • Passing grades in any necessary prerequisite courses
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation

The average curriculum is made up of both major-specific and more general, liberal arts coursework and graduates will be prepared to apply to a graduate program or find employment.

Every college and university is different, but coursework frequently covers:

  • Information Technology Systems Components
  • Fundamental Security Design Principles
  • Information Assurance Fundamentals
  • Cyber Threats
  • Cyber Defense

Master’s Degree

A master’s degree in cyber security is not necessary for entry-level positions, but most employees give preference to candidates who have one. Graduates also generally have access to higher level positions that offer higher salaries. Programs vary, but often consist of about 60 credit hours of coursework. For the average, full-time student, it usually takes two years to complete the requirements. It can, however, take longer for students enrolled in classes part-time.

Admissions requirements vary, but applicants usually must have the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree in cyber security or a related field
  • Professional work experience
  • Minimum Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores
  • Passing grades in any necessary prerequisite courses
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation

Every college and university is different, but coursework frequently covers:

  • Information Security Strategy and Policy
  • Security Governance and Compliance
  • Information Security Management
  • E-Commerce Security
  • Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Analysis

Certifications in Delaware

Some institutions offer cyber security certificate programs. These can usually be completed in less time than an associate or bachelor’s degree program, some consisting of as few as 12 credit hours of coursework. Most students can graduate in a single year. Certificate programs exclude general education coursework from the curriculum and, instead, focus solely on the core subjects necessary for success in the field. Graduates may be able to find entry-level work, but more commonly enroll in a bachelor degree program later.

Admissions requirements can vary, but applicants usually must have the following:

  • High school diploma
  • Minimum high school GPA
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation

Why is Accreditation Important?

When looking for a good cyber security degree program in Delaware, it is important to keep the institution’s accreditation status in mind. Colleges and universities do not have to become accredited or accredit their individual programs, but reputable schools often choose to because it offers their graduates more opportunities. Accredited institutions and programs are required to adhere to various academic and field standards established by their accrediting agency. These requirements are meant to reassure students and employers that the education provided adequately prepares graduates for success in the field.

There are no international or national accreditation agencies for cyber security and computer science degree programs. Delaware schools are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

Prospective students may also want to give preference to institutions with Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) designation. Colleges and universities that pass rigorous curriculum and program requirements from the NSA can qualify for this and are the gold standard in the field.

CAE Accredited Programs in Delaware

  • University of Delaware
    CAE / 2016-2021
  • Wilmington University
    CAE-CD / 2014-2021

Computer Science & IT Bachelor’s & Master’s Programs in Delaware

  • Wilmington University

    Wilmington University is a private university offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees to students from all over the nation. The main campus is located near Wilmington and New Castle, Delaware, but other sites include Wilson Graduate Center, Dover Air Base, and Brandywine. Programs are also available in New Jersey.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer/Information Technology Services Administration and Management - Bachelor’s Degree
    Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees
    Information Technology Project Management – Master’s Degree

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $11,210
    Average Net Price: $13,814
    College Retention Rate: 58% (Full-time Students); 28% (Part-time Students)

  • University of Delaware

    The University of Delaware is a research-intensive, technologically advanced institution. This state-assisted, privately governed university strives to cultivate learning, develop knowledge, and foster the free exchange of ideas. As a major research institution, the faculty is committed to the intellectual, cultural, and ethical development of every student. The University of Delaware is recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer and Information Sciences – Bachelor’s, Master’s & Doctoral Degrees
    Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Master’s Degree
    Information Science/Studies – Master’s Degree

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $13,680
    Out-of-State: $34,310
    Average Net Price: $15,883
    College Retention Rate: 90% (Full-time Students); 29% (Part-time Students)

Delaware Colleges Offering Certificates and Associate Degrees

Students can also pursue an associate degree in cyber security in Delaware. This option can lead to entry-level positions or help to prepare you for further education in the future. While not every college will offer degrees in cyber security, many do have computer and information science programs.

  • Delaware Technical Community College – Terry

    The Delaware Technical Community College in Dover strives to empower students to change their lives through comprehensive educational opportunities. As the only community college in the state, students have the opportunity to receive a high quality education that is also accessible and relevant.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer and Information Sciences – Associate Degree
    Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Associate Degree

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $4,904
    Out-of-State: $11,632
    Average Net Price: $8,261

Scholarships

Earning a degree in cyber security can be expensive. You can limit your out-of-pocket cost by applying for scholarships in Delaware. Unlike loans, monies awarded this way does not need to be repaid in the future.

Fortunately, there are several great scholarship options for students interested in the field of cyber security. Because a single scholarship rarely covers all educational expenses, you should seriously consider applying for multiple awards. It is also important that you file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA determines how much federal financial aid you qualify for, it’s used by colleges and universities to prepare your financial aid package once you have been admitted, and many scholarships require that you fill it out to determine your award.

  • (ISC) Women’s Scholarship

    Amount: $1,000 to $6,000
    Deadline: February 17
    Link: https://iamcybersafe.org/s/womens-scholarships
    The (ISC) Women’s Scholarship is funded by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education. Each year, the institute awards up to ten scholarships to female students who are pursuing, or plan to pursue, a degree with a focus on cyber security or information assurance. The goal of this program is to inspire women to join the ever-growing field of information security.

  • KnowBe4 Women’s Cybersecurity Scholarship

    Amount: $10,000
    Deadline: November 25
    Link: https://iamcybersafe.org/s/knowbe4-womens-cyber-scholarships-
    The KnowBe4 Women’s Cybersecurity Scholarship is funded by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education. Each year, the institute awards a single scholarship to a female student who is pursuing, or planning to pursue, a degree with a focus on cyber security or information assurance. The recipient also received a three-month paid internship with KnowBe4 in Clearwater, Florida.

  • Undergraduate Scholarships

    Amount: $1,000 to $5,000
    Deadline: February 17
    Link: https://iamcybersafe.org/s/undergraduate-scholarships
    The Undergraduate Scholarships are funded by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education. Each year, the institute awards up to 20 scholarships to students pursuing, or planning to pursue, a degree with a focus on cyber security or information assurance.

Conferences and Workshops

Secure Delaware Cyber Workshop

The Secure Delaware Cyber Workshop is provided yearly. The goal is to bring those with an interested in cyber security together for a day of informative sessions. Panels are run by industry experts and the event is managed by several organizations including the Delaware Department of Technology and Information and the Greater Wilmington Cyber Security Group.

Delaware Cyber Security Camp

The Delaware Cyber Security Camp is a weeklong day camp for high school, college, and graduate students interested in cyber security. It is comprised of a series of workshops and labs, with a competition held at the end of the week. Topics covered include intrusion detection, penetration testing, and forensics. The event is managed by the Delaware Department of Technology and Information.

Delaware Cyber Security Jobs and Salary

Most professionals in this field fall under the umbrella of information security analysts. These individuals are responsible for planning and carrying out security measures intended to protect a company, organization, or government computer systems. Because the frequency and breadth of cyber-attacks are continually increasing, cyber security experts are in great demand.

Overall, the earning potential for individuals involved with cyber security is decent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for information security analysts was $98,350 in 2018. Similarly, PayScale reports an average yearly salary of $71,309 for information security analysts. Both of these salaries are significantly higher than the median annual wage reported for all occupations in the United States, which is $37,690. The field is also projected to see a 32% increase in employment between the years 2018 and 2028. This is significant and much faster than the average for all other occupations.

It is important to realize that salaries can vary quite drastically, however, depending on the exact position and years of experience. For example, information security analysts in the bottom 10% of the profession’s pay scale made less than $56,750, whereas those in the top 10% of the profession’s pay scale made more than $156,580. This discrepancy is likely due to a difference in education and years of experience in the field. Higher-paying employment opportunities usually necessitate more extensive training and education.

Resources

Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI)

The Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) is responsible for cyber security in all three branches of the government, as well as the school network. It strives to provide support to all citizens in the state by offering presentations and providing easily accessible information.

Cyber Security for Small Businesses

The US Small Business Administration offers a self-paced training exercise to small business owners. It is intended to introduce owners to the concept of information security. The topics included are defining cyber security, explaining its importance, identifying information types that should be secured, and defining risk management.

Small Business Cyber Security Corner

The Small Business Cyber Security Corner is managed by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). They are responsible for providing consistent, clear, concise, and actionable resources to small businesses in relation to information security.

Nationwide Cybersecurity Review (NCSR)

The Nationwide Cybersecurity Review is a self-assessment that is designed to identify and measure gaps and capabilities of cyber security programs. It is free and anonymous. Sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework (NIST CSF) it helps evaluate cyber security maturity.

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