Cyber-crime continues to grow each day in every state and all over the world. This costs unsuspecting and innocent people billions of dollars of their hard-earned money each year, not to mention the breaches of highly personal and confidential information such as medical records, social security numbers, and credit cards which create unease and ongoing issues. The need for properly qualified and trained cyber security and information security professionals continues to grow in conjunction as a result. In fact, it is estimated that cyber security jobs are growing roughly 12 times as quickly as any other professional and at least 3.5 times more quickly than IT jobs in general. If you are in pursuit of a lucrative career with long-term stability potential, cyber security might be right for you.
Why an Advanced Degree in Maine is Needed
A career in cyber security can be exciting as the field is constantly changing due to cyber-criminals and cyber-threats evolving with great frequency. It is important to note that you will require an advanced degree to become employed in cyber security throughout Maine. In smaller markets, it might be possible to obtain an entry-level job with an associate degree; however, in most markets employers will require a bachelor’s degree for an entry-level position in an information security position. If you wish to pursue promotions and salary increases, you may even require a master’s degree. For individuals hoping to work in research or to teach, a PhD will be essential. Most University of Maine locations have reputable cyber security degrees and a handful of community colleges offer certificates and associate degrees. Be sure that when you select a college or university cyber security program, that the school is regionally accredited and, if possible, that the program is endorsed by the Centers of Academic Excellence, which is approved by the NSA and Homeland Security and will enable you to work for either of these major employers of cyber security experts.
Maine Cyber Security Education Degrees & Requirements
An associate degree can be a rewarding way to begin working almost immediately, without the time required to complete a four-year degree. These degrees are often offered through community colleges, technical colleges, and vocational schools for individuals with a high school diploma. If you are interested in completing a four-year degree while you gain real-life work experience, be sure the associate degree program is designed to allow you to transfer your credits to a four-year college or university. If you select the right cyber security associate degree, you will not have to unnecessarily retake classes and waste additional money to complete a higher-level degree. And, you can save a significant amount of time, resulting in the ability to gain career and salary enhancements more quickly. Whether you take courses online or on campus, some of your courses may include cyber security fundamentals, principles of programming, communication and network security, and management information systems.
A bachelor’s degree is primarily considered the industry standard to obtain the best entry-level positions with top employers and top pay. Jobs that require a bachelor’s degree will have greater responsibility, better pay, and often provide more career growth opportunities. Once you complete some core classes, you will have the option to start working part-time or full-time in cyber security while you complete your degree. You can take courses online to be able to more easily manage working while completing higher education. To enter a bachelor’s degree program, you may be required to have had at least a 2.25 GPA in high school. Some colleges and universities will have higher standards, such as at least a 2.5 or a 3.0, and they may require you to have a certain level of ACT/SAT score. It is also possible to transfer to a four-year degree program from an associate degree, though, again you will have to meet a minimum GPA requirement to do so. You can expect courses at the undergraduate level to include operating systems security, information assurance, computer science, and ethics in information.
A master’s degree is becoming commonplace for career advancement in any field. If you have aspirations of working in cyber security management, you will likely require a master’s degree. If you want to become an executive or a C-suite-level team member, a master’s degree or an MBA with an emphasis in cyber security is almost mandatory. Most people choose to complete an online master’s degree while they work to gain experience or after they are already into their careers and they maintain their position while earning their degree. It is also important to note that many colleges and universities now offer dual degree programs to allow you to complete a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree consecutively, reducing the amount of time it would normally take by up to two years. This saves you a tremendous amount of time and money. To gain access to master’s degree programs, you typically have to achieve at least a 3.0 in your undergraduate courses, though some programs will require higher than a 3.0 GPA. Some courses that might be included in your program are penetration testing, vulnerability analysis, digital forensics, biometrics, cloud computing, and security architecture and design.
Certifications in Maine
Certification in cyber security typically comes in a variety of forms at each level of education, from associate degrees to graduate degrees. At each level, you will be required to have completed a number of courses in the subject before you will be able to earn a certification. These specialized certifications are ideal for completing the required training and education necessary to switch your career focus without having to complete another entire degree. Some types of certificates include (ISC)2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner, Microsoft Technology Associate Security Fundamentals, and CompTIA Security+.
Why is Accreditation Important?
Accreditation is critical to your future as a cyber security professional. Colleges and universities that are regionally accredited will move you to the top of most job candidate lists because these schools are held to higher standards in education than those with national accreditation or no accreditation at all. It would be even better if your program was also accredited. These accreditations demonstrate that the cyber security program you selected is more rigorous than others. In cyber security, it can be beneficial to select a program that is endorsed as a Center of Academic Excellence (CAE). The CAE endorsement is awarded to cyber security programs to show future employers that the program meets the standards as outlined by Homeland Security and the NSA, two of the largest employers of cyber security professionals in the US.
CAE Accredited Programs in Maine
- Southern Maine Community College
CAE-2Y / 2019-2024
- University of Maine at Augusta
CAE-CD / 2019-2024
Computer Science & IT Programs in Maine
University of Southern Maine
The University of Southern Maine offers a bachelor’s degree in computer science and several other bachelor’s degrees in technology-related fields with the chance to focus on cyber security. The computer science department also has several collaboration programs with other colleges and universities so that students at the University of Southern Maine have easier access to even more programs.
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance - Bachelor’s Degree
Computer Science - Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees
Computer/Information Technology Services Administration and Management - Bachelor’s Degree
Information Science/Studies - Postgraduate Certificate
Average Net Price: $11,963
College Retention Rate: 70% (Full-time Students); 31% (Part-time Students)
University of Maine
The University of Maine at Orono was the flagship higher learning institution of the Maine University System. The Orono location offers a computer science degree with various emphasis areas such as artificial intelligence, cyber security, networks, databases, and high-performance computing. While you can take courses in cyber security at this location, your major will be in computer science or information technology with a focus in cyber security.
Computer Science – Bachelor’s, Master’s & Doctoral Degree
Information Technology – Master’s Degree & Postgraduate Certificate
Average Net Price: $16,984
College Retention Rate: 78% (Full-time Students); 31% (Part-time Students)
University of Maine at Fort Kent
The University of Maine at Fort Kent provides a variety of cyber security higher education opportunities at most degree levels, including certification. With these programs, you will have access to elite training and education for many types of careers including law enforcement, intelligence, diplomacy, information assurance, network operations, and military.
Computer and Information Science – Associate & Bachelor’s Degrees
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Associate & Bachelor’s Degrees
Average Net Price: $10,731
College Retention Rate: 63% (Full-time Students); 100% (Part-time Students)
University of Maine at Augusta
The University of Maine at Augusta offers several computer-related degrees at a number of levels; you can choose from a variety of computer science, business, and IT-related degrees with a minor in cyber security or cyber-forensics. These offerings allow you to pursue careers in nearly any industry and the cyber security programs focus on all critical aspects including technology, ethics, and humanities. These programs are CAE endorsed.
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Insurance – Bachelor’s Degree & Undergraduate Certificate
Information Technology – Associate & Bachelor’s Degrees
Average Net Price: $9,899
College Retention Rate: 59% (Full-time Students); 51% (Part-time Students)
Thomas College has several progressive computer science programs at both the bachelor’s degree and master’s degree level. You can also choose from a number of dual degree programs that will allow you to complete complementary degrees, such as business and cyber security in about three years. These programs increase your employability in less time and save you money.
Computer Science – Bachelor’s Degree
Computer/Information Technology Services Administration and Management – Bachelor’s Degree
Average Net Price: $21,526
College Retention Rate: 65%
Maine Colleges Offering Certificates and Associate Degrees
The following colleges provide associate degrees and certificate programs for individuals who may not be interested in a four-year program, are more interested in entering the workforce more quickly, or professionals who simply wish to complete a certificate to improve their skill set. You can choose from cyber security degrees and certificates or related fields in information, technology, business, and more. It is important to note that most associate degrees last two years and most certificate programs take between one and two years to complete.
Central Maine Community College
Average Net Price: $9,324
College Retention Rate: 55% (Full-time Students); 47% (Part-time Students)
York County Community College
Average Net Price: $8,350
College Retention Rate: 60% (Full-time Students); 43% (Part-time Students)
Southern Maine Community College
Average Net Price: $10,191
College Retention Rate: 54% (Full-time Students); 43% (Part-time Students)
Eastern Maine Community College
Average Net Price: $10,229
College Retention Rate: 53% (Full-time Students); 38% (Part-time Students)
William G. and Laura S. Hooper Scholarship
Deadline: December 1
The William G. and Laura S. Hooper Scholarship is dedicated to participating students in the USM Cyber Security program in the Department of Technology. Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA. It is important to note that the scholarship decision-makers often give the award to non-traditional students.
Hagge Family Scholarship
Deadline: December 1
The Hagge Family Scholarship is part of the USM system dedicated to students who are in pursuit of STEM degrees, which covers science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This scholarship is not renewable, and students must be enrolled in the College of Science, Technology, and Health. Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA to qualify.
Phyllis E. Ainsworth Scholarship
Deadline: April 30
The Phyllis E. Ainsworth Scholarship awards $2,000 to Maine residents who are pursuing degrees in information science or library. Individuals must have already completed a master’s degree of PhD course along with an undergraduate GPA of a 3.0 average. Applicants must also be enrolled at least part-time to qualify.
Maine Legislative Memorial Scholarship
Amount: $1,000 (1/county – 16 awards total)
Deadline: May 1
The Maine Legislative Memorial Scholarship is valued at $1,000 and it is awarded to 16 students, which equates to one student from each county. Applicants must be enrolled at least part-time to a qualifying two-year or four-year Maine college or university accredited by the New England Associate of Schools and Colleges.
Conferences and Workshops
Angelbeat Technology Seminar on Cloud/Security/AI/Data
The Angelbeat Technology Seminar on Cloud/Security/AI/Data is dedicated to critical issues occurring in IT each year, such as security platforms, ransomware, zero trust network, identity and access management, and more. The event is sponsored by a wide array of state and national entities such as Microsoft, AWS, Check Point, Trend Micro, Corsa, AngelBeat, and others.
Maine Digital Government Summit
The Maine Digital Government Summit is hosted by the Maine government to help secure government technology in the public sector throughout the state. The summit brings together both the private and public sectors to discuss all relevant topics. Sponsors of the event vary and include AT&T, CGI, HP/Intel, Lenovo, Fireeye, Presidio, and more.
Maine Municipal Technology Conference
The Maine Municipal Technology Conference is designed to assist the local economies of Maine throughout all cities and towns. Attendees and speakers alike will focus on ways Maine can compete on a more global level while also implementing safe and state-of-the-art security practices. Sponsors are often more local yet include others such as Otelco, Consolidated Communications, Systems Engineering, Global Mapper, Quantum Spatial, Redzone, BTS, and more.
Maine Cyber Security Jobs and Salary
Information Security Analysts
Information Security Analysts in Maine hold around 230 jobs and earn a median salary of $82,270 each year. Some of their daily tasks might include planning and implementing up-to-date security strategies and securing networks and information.
Computer Systems Analysts
Computer Systems Analysts in Maine hold roughly 1,950 jobs and earn a median salary of $81,670 each year. Some of their daily tasks might include managing information systems and incorporating efficiency into design structures.
Computer Programmers in Maine hold about 780 jobs and earn a median salary of $84,830 each year. Some of their daily tasks might include creating software programs, debugging programs, writing instructions, integrating systems, and training end users.
Database Administrators in Maine hold roughly 250 jobs and earn a median salary of $76,540 each year. Some of their daily tasks might include ensuring modifications to database software are in line with employer requirements and managing of security for all company databases.
Network and Computer Systems Administrators
Network and Computer Systems Administrators in Maine hold around 1,130 jobs and earn a median salary of $76,780 each year. Some of their daily tasks might include computer system support and network management.
- Maine Emergency Management Agency
The Maine Emergency Management Agency provides resources to students, professionals, small business owners, and everyday users of technology to help prevent cyber-crime.
- Maine Cyber Range at the University of Maine, Augusta
The Maine Cyber Range at the University of Maine at Augusta was created for both students and professionals. The goal is to improve cyber security education for current professionals and those working to become cyber security professionals.
- Maine Cyber security Center by the University of Maine System
The Maine Cyber security Center by the University of Maine System is designed for providing support to all higher learning institutions within the University of Maine System for bachelor of science degrees in cyber security.