Cybersecurity Degrees and Careers Maryland Guide

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

Maryland is in a national hub of cyber security institutions and programs. The State is the home of the US Naval Academy, the Naval College; Maryland borders Washington DC, sits near Northern Virginia, and is geographically between Washington DC and New York City. The Nation’s Capital region houses the national government, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security. The Capitol is also home to the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve, and many other essential institutions that focus on cyber security.

Maryland does not rely solely upon its Capitol area location; Maryland’s government moved early to establish a cyber security agenda of needs, plans, and educational programs to meet their forecasted requirements. Baltimore is a regional financial hub and a burgeoning educational center with Johns Hopkins university, The University of Maryland, St. John's College, Morgan State University, UMBC, and Towson College as prominent examples.

Maryland has also incentivized cyber security research and development. They have invested in start-up systems and incubators through investment tax credits. DataTribe moved to Maryland under this program to operate its incubator in Eastern Maryland.

Why an Advanced Degree in Maryland is Needed

Maryland offers challenges for cyber security professionals and opportunities for advancement and innovation. Cyber security professionals and those in closely related fields can work within state-of-the-art programs in research and applied solutions. Maryland has growing demands for qualified professionals and goals that require research, new ideas, and technical innovation. Advanced degrees and certifications can enable and support career paths including senior policy jobs, management positions, and entrepreneurship.

The field of Cyber security has many levels. Students can enter the field with a high school education and by completing a one-year certificate program, but higher-pay occupations in the field of cyber security are highly competitive. These jobs demand advanced training and education; many require master-level knowledge.

You should also be aware that accreditation is important to the usefulness of a degree or certification. Regionally accredited schools have wide acceptance among employers and other educational organizations. ABET accreditation is impressive in the computer engineering fields and NSA sponsorship is a pathway to career success in public service. NSA and DHS accreditation come in the form of an institution gaining the title of National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE).

Maryland Cyber Security Education Degrees & Requirements

Associate’s Degree

An associate degree is the most basic level of college education, requiring about 60 credit hours and two years to complete. Maryland cyber security programs intend to equip students for entry-level career positions in information security activities. Associate degrees can also lay a foundation for bachelor’s degrees or future professional certifications and support specialization or concentration in one or more areas of cyber security. Persons already engaged in the field could use an associate degree to shift their professional focus. Typical coursework for associate degrees include college algebra, statistics, network fundamentals, introduction to computers, program design and development, and security fundamentals.

Bachelor’s Degree

Bachelor’s are four-year degrees which are the most common entry-level degree in many technical fields including cyber security. The first two years of general studies will focus on general studies, while the last two years will have an emphasis on mathematics and computer science instruction. Requirements for a four-year degree may only be a high school diploma or equivalent, but colleges may also require a certain GPA or a certain score on the ACT/SAT. Students with community college credits or an associate degree can count that as up to two years of coursework toward a bachelor’s degree a long as their credits transfer.

The bachelor’s degree can be in computer science, information security, or mathematics. Computing engineering is another prominent pathway to a career in cyber security. Bachelor’s degrees are available in Maryland on-campus, online, or in a mix of the two. Typical coursework includes introduction to computer science, operating systems, programming, and statistics. Advanced areas include networks, telecommunications, database applications, and programming languages.

Master’s Degree

Entry into a master’s degree program in cyber security will likely require you to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field. They are typically one to two years in duration, requiring about 30 hours of coursework and frequently some type of internship or capstone project. Master’s degrees in cyber security can establish specialization and expertise. The master’s degree is the level of education consistent with policy and senior management roles.

At advanced degree levels, some areas of cyber security require education in related fields. For example, information assurance positions require familiarity with applicable law and regulations. Typical master’s degree coursework, whether online or on-campus includes Security Governance and Compliance, Information Security Management, Algorithm Analysis and Cyber Ethics, Privacy and Legal Issues.

Certifications in Maryland

Many certification programs are not school-based programs; they are administered by groups and associations representing a specialized area of the field of cyber security. Entry-level certifications can aid entry into cyber security, while intermediate and expert certifications can enhance a person’s capabilities in the existing field. Certificate programs are also available as undergrad or advanced educational programs. Undergraduate certificates are typically one year or less.

Why is Accreditation Important?

Accreditation is an assurance to students that they will receive a high-quality education. Employers also rely upon accreditation when considering and selecting applicants. Students that seek to transfer or continue their education can be limited when they receive their education from non-accredited schools. Federal student loans and other federal aid requires attendance at schools approved by a Department of Education-approved accrediting agency.

The demand for cyber security professionals is also a demand for high-quality applicants; the positions are critical and challenging. The NSA and DHS maintain a listing of school partners hat help ensure a supply of qualified cyber security graduates. Choosing a school listed on the NSA Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) list is a guarantee of quality, though regular regional accreditation is enough for any other employer. The list has CAE-CD (Cyber Defense) and CAE-CO (Cyber Operations) focused schools, along with other certifications of cyber security specialties. Online education can prepare students with excellent education as well, but it’s important to apply the same standards of excellence when considering online education.

CAE Accredited Programs in Maryland

  • Anne Arundel Community College
    CAE-2Y / 2014-2020
  • Bowie State University
    CAE-CD / 2014-2020
  • Capitol Technology University
    CAE-CD / 2014-2021
  • Cecil College
    CAE-2Y / 2019-2024
  • College of Southern Maryland
    CAE-2Y / 2014-2020
  • Hagerstown Community College
    CAE-2Y / 2014-2020
  • Harford Community College
    CAE-2Y / 2014-2020
  • Howard Community College
    CAE-2Y / 2014-2020
  • Morgan State University
    CAE-CD / 2016-2021
  • Prince George’s Community College
    CAE-2Y / 2014-2021
  • The Community College of Baltimore County
    CAE-2Y / 2014-2021
  • The Johns Hopkins University
    CAE-CD / 2014-2021
    CAE-R / 2014-2021
  • Towson University
    CAE-CO / 2014-2024
  • United States Naval Academy
    CAE-CD / 2014-2020
  • University of Maryland
    CAE-R / 2019-2024
  • University of Maryland University College
    CAE-CD / 2014-2021
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    CAE-CD / 2014-2021
    CAE-R / 2014-2021

Computer Science & IT Programs in Maryland

  • University of Maryland – University College

    Located in Adelphi Maryland, University College is near the Washington DC suburbs and the suburbs of nearby Baltimore. The large-city, suburban location offers a learning environment attuned to both full- and part-time students. The student-to-faculty ratio is 19:1 and the school serves about 61,000 students of which about 47,500 are undergraduates.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer and Information Sciences – Bachelor’s Degree & Undergraduate Certificat
    Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Bachelor’s, Master’s Degrees & Postgraduate Certificate
    Informatics – Postgraduate Certificate
    Information Science/Studies – Bachelor’s, Master’s Degrees, Undergraduate & Postgraduate Certificates

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $7,416
    Out-of-State: $12,336
    Average Net Price: $13,672
    College Retention Rate: 53% (Full-time Students); 31% (Part-time Students)

  • University of Maryland – College Park

    This is a large, public educational institution. Set in the near suburbs of Washington DC and the vibrant Maryland- DC - Northern Virginia region, the University of Maryland has a wealth of resources to use to expand educational and career opportunities for its students. The large student body of about 42,000 students includes about 32,000 undergraduates.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer and Information Sciences – Bachelor’s, Master’s & Doctoral Degrees
    Computer Programming/Programmer – Master’s degree
    Computer Science – Bachelor’s, Master’s & Doctoral Degrees
    Information Technology – Bachelor’s Degree

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $10,595
    Out-of-State: $35,216
    Average Net Price: $16,790
    College Retention Rate: 95% (Full-time Students); 70% (Part-time Students)

  • Capitol Technology University

    Capitol Technology University is a private, not-for-profit institution. They offer a range of education programs from one-year certificates to advanced degrees. It is a small school with a total of about 750 students with around 400 undergraduates. The school has a large city, suburban location but a close student-to-faculty ration of 12:1.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer and Information Sciences – Bachelor’s, Master’s Degrees & Undergraduate Certificate
    Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Bachelor, Master’s, Doctorate Degrees & Postgraduate Certificate
    Computer Programming/Programmer – Bachelor’s Degree
    Information Science/Studies - Master’s Degree & Postgraduate Certificate

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $25,540
    Average Net Price: $21,816
    College Retention Rate: 72%

  • Towson University

    Located in Towson, Maryland, Towson University is a four-year public university. It is a medium size school in Maryland with a total of almost 23,000 students of which about 20,000 are undergraduates. The student-faculty ratio is 17:1.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance - Postgraduate Certificate
    Computer Science – Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees
    Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration - Postgraduate certificate
    Information Science/Studies - Bachelor’s Degree
    Information Technology – Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate Degrees & Postgraduate Certificate
    Information Technology Project Management - Postgraduate Certificate

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $9,940
    Out-of-State: $23,208
    Average Net Price: $16,148
    College Retention Rate: 85% (Full-time Students); 67% (Part-time Students)

  • Frostburg State University

    This is a public four-year university located in Frostburg, Maryland. It has a student population of about 5,300 of which approximately 4,600 are undergraduates. The setting is a suburban area near a small Maryland city. Students enjoy a favorable 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio and a supportive learning environment.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer and Information Sciences - Bachelor’s Degree
    Information Technology – Bachelor’s Degree
    Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Bachelor’s Degree
    Computer Programming/Programmer – Undergraduate Certificate
    Computer Science – Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees
    Computer/Information Technology Services Administration and Management – Bachelor’s Degree
    Information Science/Studies – Bachelor’s Degrees

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $9,172
    Out-of-State: $22,892
    Average Net Price: $13,980
    College Retention Rate: 77%

  • Frostburg State University

    This is a public four-year university located in Frostburg, Maryland. It has a student population of about 5,300 of which approximately 4,600 are undergraduates. The setting is a suburban area near a small Maryland city. Students enjoy a favorable 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio and a supportive learning environment.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer and Information Sciences - Bachelor’s Degree
    Information Technology – Bachelor’s Degree
    Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Bachelor’s Degree
    Computer Programming/Programmer – Undergraduate Certificate
    Computer Science – Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees
    Computer/Information Technology Services Administration and Management – Bachelor’s Degree
    Information Science/Studies – Bachelor’s Degrees

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $9,172
    Out-of-State: $22,892
    Average Net Price: $13,980
    College Retention Rate: 77%

  • Hood College

    Hood College is a private, not-for-profit college. The small city campus setting matches the closeness of a 10:1 student to faculty ratio. The student population is about 2,000 and it includes around 1,100 undergraduates. Hood College offers degrees at all levels including certificates, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer and Information Sciences - Master’s Degree
    Information Science/Studies - Postgraduate Certificate
    Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance - Master’s Degree & Postgraduate Certificate
    Computer/Information Technology Services Administration and Management Master’s Degree
    Computer Science – Bachelor’s & Master’s Degree

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $39,492
    Average Net Price: $23,149
    College Retention Rate: 71% (Full-time Students); 100% (Part-time Students)

Maryland Colleges Offering Certificates and Associate Degrees

Maryland has a strong information science and computer science education resource of community colleges. These local institutions offer one- and two-year certificate programs as well as two-year associate degrees. Some of these schools provide in-district pricing for tuition that can reduce the overall costs of education for students living at home. The community colleges in Maryland provide accredited education in cyber security and related fields. Some schools also have NSA and CAE status.

For many students, the community college is a steppingstone on a path to a bachelor’s degree. For other students, the associate degree or certificate is all they need to open the door to entry-level positions in information security.

  • Montgomery College

    Tuition Cost

    In-District: $5,178
    In-State: $9,966
    Out-of-State: $13,602
    Average Net Price: $8,748
    Retention Rate: 75% (Full-time Students); 52% (Part-time Students)

  • Frederick Community College

    Tuition Cost

    In-District $3,578
    In-State: $7,034
    Out-of-State: $9,314
    Average Net Price: $6,866
    College Retention Rate: 75% (Full-time Students); 47% (Part-time Students)

  • College of Southern Maryland

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $3,825
    Out-of-State: $6,660
    Average Net Price: $8,580
    College Retention Rate: 65% (Full-time Students); 51% (Part-time Students)

Scholarships

The cost of education is a factor for most students, and grants and scholarships can help cover tuition, fees, housing, and books. Unlike student loans, grants and scholarships do not require repayment. The field of cyber security may also stand out for the number of stipends and repayment by service opportunities. Like teaching and nursing, cyber security is a field with high demands, specialized education, and low numbers of qualified applicants in many regions. Like teaching and nursing, cyber security is also important to national security and the economy.

  • NSF Cybercorps: Scholarship for Service

    Amount: $25,000/year (Undergraduates); $34,000/year (Graduates)
    Deadline: May 15
    Link: https://www.sfs.opm.gov/
    Through the Johns Hopkins University and many other institutions, the National Science Foundation offers a stipend for work and study in the field of cyber security. Students pursue studies in traditional and experimental areas. They participate in projects and studies through internships. The funds require post-graduate service with the US government for a period equal to the term of scholarship support.

  • CyberCorps

    Amount: $22,000 (Two-year Scholarship)
    Deadline: Varies
    Link: https://www.towson.edu/fcsm/departments/computerinfosci/resources/scholarships/cybercorps/
    The National Science Foundation funds another cyber security scholarship at Towson State University. The goal is to increase the supply of cyber security professionals available for state and federal employment.

  • James W. Smith Scholarship

    Amount: $7,300 (Typical Award)
    Deadline: February 15
    Link: https://www.towson.edu/fcsm/departments/computerinfosci/resources/scholarships/
    Towson University awards many scholarships to students in the computer science path. This award honors a past professor and aims to name a student that exemplifies the spirit of enthusiasm and sharing in the field of computer science. US Citizenship is not required for this award but the student must have at least a 3.0 GPA.

  • DOD Cyber Scholarship Program (CYSP)

    Amount: $25,000 (Undergraduate); $30,000 (Graduate)
    Deadline: February 15
    Link: https://dodcio.defense.gov/Cyber-Workforce/CySP/Scholarship/#:~:targetText=The%20DoD%20Cyber%20Scholarship%20(CySP)&targetText=Provide%20scholarships%20to%20students%20in,Operations%20(CAE%2DCO).
    The Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program supports recruitment of talent for the DoD cyber workforce through scholarship opportunities. The DOD provides grants to qualified schools to increase the supply of cyber professionals, including this scholarship.

Conferences and Workshops

Conferences and workshops can help students and professionals engage with colleagues and discover important things about the cyber security profession. The below-listed items include annual events that cyber security students and professionals can note of on their calendars.

  • CyberMaryland - There have so far been five annual CyberMaryland Conferences. Organized by the Federal Business Council, Inc., this event puts federal, state, and local government cyber security communities in contact with contractors and other private sectors groups. With users and decision makers on site, exhibitors can display products and innovation.
  • AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium is a three-day, annual event hosted by the Defense Information Systems Agency and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association. The purpose of the symposium is to provide a platform for discussion of methods for defending the US against cyber-attacks.
  • High Confidence Software and Systems Conference celebrates its 20th year in 2020. The Annapolis-based, mid-April conference focuses on innovations, scientific theories, and technological foundations that can support future generations of engineered designs. This source of change is essential for effective operations of a wide range of critical systems.
  • The International Conference on Research in Security Standardization is based in Gaithersburg, Maryland and is hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This two-day program features standardization issues, group talks, and expert panels. The target audience includes researchers and practitioners eager to see current trends and directions in security standards.

Maryland Cyber Security Jobs and Salary

The state of Maryland has about 130,000 workers in occupations classified by the US Department of Labor as Computer and Mathematical Occupations. This figure represents the fourth highest number of information security analysts per 1,000 jobs in the United States. Maryland ranks high in jobs, jobs advertised, and placements. Maryland residents also have convenient access to the trove of security jobs in the Capitol region including Northern Virginia and the Pentagon.

The median salary for these occupations is about $105,000 per year. The tri-state area of Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia represent three of the top four states with the highest concentrations of computer occupations. The salary for these Maryland jobs is in the higher range of national rankings at $89,000 to $109,000.

  • Information Security Analysts represent about 5,000 jobs in Maryland with an outstanding growth rate of 1.7%. The typical salary is approximately $108,000.
  • Computer Systems Analysts comprise nearly 18,500 Maryland jobs. The median salary is about $98,000.
  • Computer Programmers account for about 4,800 positions in Maryland, and these critical jobs average about $93,000 per year.
  • Database Administrators hold about 3,800 Maryland positions. Their average annual income is in the range of $85,240.
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrators are among the most common occupations in this category with about 16,500 Maryland jobs. Their average salary is approximately $108,500.

Resources

Maryland offers plenty cyber security communities and resources for students and professionals alike. These groups provide forums for learning and networking within cyber security.

  • DataTribe Cyber Security Meetup -
    Data Tribe is a Fulton, Maryland-based technology incubator organization. Their regular programs foster new entrants and startups. DataTribe offers a monthly meet-up with guest speakers that connect the audience to new ideas, innovations, and trends.
  • MC Cyber Meetup
    Montgomery College Meet Up - The Montgomery College IT Department runs a monthly meeting. It is an educational forum with networking opportunities added in. The monthly meetings are valuable student opportunities to learn, try new things, and network.
  • MD Cyber Meetup is a monthly event featuring cyber security professionals in the greater Baltimore area. This is a social and networking event. There is a partner organization called MD Cyber Community Meetup; they also run monthly social events to promote discussion and networking opportunities.
  • Mid Atlantic Cyber security Experts Meetup hosts periodic meetings in Aberdeen, Maryland. Located between Baltimore and D.C, this location can appeal to students from the tri-state region. The meetings have a monthly schedule and students can attend and participate.
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