When you think of New Hampshire, you might first think of sleepy New England towns and lighthouses on the seaside. What you might not think of is high tech and government entities facing off against “malware, botnets, ransomware, and denial of service attacks.” However, according to the chief information officer for New Hampshire, that’s exactly what the state has been dealing with. And, in fact, every state around the country has dealt with some form of bad actor intrusion over the last few years. As our technology infrastructure becomes more important to the everyday running of businesses and government agencies, the need to strong cyber security and field professionals only increases. If you’re looking for a career where you can do good, make a more-than-decent paycheck, and have lifelong stability, then look no further.
Why an Advanced Degree in New Hampshire is Needed
As our economy becomes increasingly based on information, the need for higher education has also risen. Where you used to be able to land a job and then rise through the ranks of most organizations with only a high school diploma or some self-taught information, now a bachelor's degree is often considered a minimum requirement. This is due to many factors, but one key element is the fact that we need to be able to process more information now than ever before.
As a direct result, it's increasingly imperative that you earn a graduate degree at some point in your career. One popular choice is an MBA, but if you're in cyber security you should also consider Computer Science or a degree specific to cyber security. Not only will you be able to land a higher status position, but your earnings potential will rise enormously. This page is all about how to start and cultivate a cyber security career in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire Cyber Security Education
Cybersecurity Associate Degrees
The field of cyber security is one that relies on specific skills and knowledge. Thus, if you can find a two-year degree program that trains you in cyber security, you may well have the opportunity to launch a brilliant career. You can also do a bit of research, gather valid resources, and embark on a course of independent study that employs books, online courses, and other sources of information. Once you can prove to a hiring manager that you know your stuff, you’ll have great opportunities available to you.
Cybersecurity Bachelor's Degrees
A bachelor's degree is probably the best way to begin a cyber security career. Not only will you be immersed in the world of cyber security, but you will have the support of your instructors and even fellow students. A four-year degree will also provide a more well-rounded education. That is, you will take electives and required courses that will help bolster your soft skills such as communication, writing, and the finer points of human relations. A four-year degree can help you become a more effective manager.
Cybersecurity Master’s Degrees
A graduate degree is increasingly necessary if you want to take your career to the next level. It is nearly impossible to reach the C-suites without a graduate degree and a field like cyber security very much demands advanced degrees regardless of what position you desire. That is, you need to have the best training possible so that you can defend your organization, if not your nation, against hackers. There are even MBA programs that integrate cyber security into their curriculum. There are surely dual MBA programs that will confer a security degree along with your MBA in the time it takes to earn a single master's degree.
Certifications in New Hampshire
Regardless of the degree you achieve, you will probably want to pursue a certification at some point in your career. Many professional associations offer certification and you can also receive a certification from a specific tech company. Cisco Systems and Microsoft both offer a wide range of credentials that prove that you are a master of their products. You can even find independent certifications from online schools that are just as impressive. If you have a two-year degree or didn't graduate with a Computer Science degree, a certification can be a ticket into a cyber security career.
Why is Accreditation Important?
When you decide to pursue a degree, there are many questions to ask. You need to decide if you want to pursue an online or traditional campus degree, or if you'd like to blend online and classroom coursework. You also need to have a solid idea of what sort of career you'd like to have.
As you sort through the educational choices in New Hampshire, there is one key factor to consider: accreditation. Accreditation is a sort of seal of approval that colleges and universities need to prove that the education you receive from them is valuable. Independent agencies also audit schools and programs to ensure that they have stellar curriculum, faculty, and student outcomes.
For the field of cyber security, you should seek out a program that has regional certification as a minimum criteria. You'll be better served with a degree from a CAE or ABET accredited program. CAE is an accrediting program run under the auspices of the National Security Agency and Homeland Security to certify cyber security programs specifically. ABET is an accrediting body that primarily focuses on engineering programs, but also certifies computer science and related degrees.
CAE Accredited Programs in New Hampshire
- Dartmouth College
CAE-R / 2018-2023
- University of New Hampshire
CAE-CD / 2019-2024
Computer Science and Cybersecurity Programs in New Hampshire
Southern New Hampshire University
SNHU is perhaps best known for its top notch online graduate and undergraduate degree programs. However, you can attend classes in traditional classrooms without leaving New Hampshire. To help you launch a career in cyber security or another high-tech field, SNHU offers a range of degrees ranging from an associate degree through to a graduate program.
Computer and Information Sciences - Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s Degrees & Postgraduate Certificate
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance - Postgraduate Certificate
Computer Programming/Programmer – Undergraduate Certificate
Computer Science – Bachelor’s Degree
Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst – Bachelor’s Degree
Average Net Price: $39,071
Retention Rate: 68% (Full-time Students); 43% (Part-time Students)
New England College
New England College is a non-profit, private college that offers 37 undergraduate degrees, and 12 at the graduate level. In fact, both of their computing programs are available at both levels. Since the campus is mere minutes from the state's capital, you are sure to land a top internship or entry-level job without much commute time at all.
Computer and Information Sciences – Bachelor’s & Master’s degrees
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees
Average Net Price: $27,800
Retention Rate: 56%
Dartmouth College is an Ivy League institution with a rich history of academic excellence. Founded in 1769, Dartmouth boasts 50 undergraduate programs. Their Computer Science program begins with a bachelor’s degree and you can continue all the way through your doctorate degree. A Dartmouth education is rather expensive, but you may find that the personal and professional rewards are worth every penny.
Computer Science – Bachelor’s, Master’s & Doctoral Degrees
Average Net Price: $23,394
Retention Rate: 97%
Great Bay Community College
If you want to kickstart your tech career, Great Bay Community College is a fantastic place to get started. The college offers six certificate and degree programs that will suit your personal and professional needs. Some programs offer a certificate and then leave open the option to complete the two-year degree if you desire.
Computer and Information Sciences – Associate Degree
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Associate Degree
Computer Programming, Specific Applications – or Two-Year Certificate
Computer Programming/Programmer, General – Year Certificate
Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst – Great Bay Community College
Average Net Price: $14,987
Retention Rate: 49% (Full-time Students); 50% (Part-time Students)
River Valley Community College
River Valley Community College offers five technology programs at the one-year certificate level through to a full two-year associate degree. If you are curious about transferring to a UNH school, you can use Nhtransfer.org to determine which of your courses will transfer to one of the state's universities.
Computer and Information Sciences, General – Associate Degree
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – One-Two-Year Certificate & Associate Degree
Average Net Price: $14,604
College Retention Rate: 69% (Full-time Students); 50% (Part-time Students)
University of New Hampshire
The flagship of the UNH system, University of New Hampshire at Durham is a full research university with 100 major fields of study, including degrees in five tech disciplines. Note that UNH's Center for Cyber security is considered a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) by the US National Security Agency.
Computer and Information Sciences – Bachelor’s, Master’s & Doctorate Degrees
Information Technology – Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees
Average Net Price: $22,694
Retention Rate: 86%
New Hampshire Charitable Foundation – Certificate, License, or other Industry-Recognized Credential
Amount: Up to $2,500
If you are seeking a short-term education in hopes of completing a certificate, licensure, or apprenticeship program, this is a great scholarship. Applicants can be of any age and from any background. Though the fund prefers to award funds to students in traditional trades, you should apply because computing fields are just as vital.
New Hampshire Charitable Foundation – Two-Year or Associate Degree Program
Amount: up to $3,500
Deadline: June 17 (Under 24-years-old); May 15, August 15, December 15 (Over 24-years-old)
This scholarship is directed towards STEM students, including those pursuing the cyber security field. Since the funds are intended to help those in financial need, you needn't have a top GPA. Rather, your Student Aid Report is the chief document the committee considers.
New Hampshire Charitable Foundation – Four-Year or Bachelor’s Degree Program
Amount: Up to $7,500 ($4,600 average award)
Deadline: April 12 (Under 24-years-old); May 15, August 15, December 15 (Over 24-years-old)
If you are seeking a STEM degree and are in financial need, this is a great scholarship to apply for. The primary criteria for this award is financial need, not stellar academic performance. However, your community service, school activities, and work experience will factor into the award decision. Approximately 20% of applicants receive funds, so please submit your strongest application.
Governor’s Dual and Concurrent Enrollment STEM Scholarship
Amount: Full Tuition for two STEM courses at the community college level
Link: https://www.ccsnh.edu/eStart/STEM Scholarships
High school students who wish to get a head start on their college careers can receive full reimbursement for two STEM courses per year. To qualify, you must be a high school junior or senior. Homeschool students must be 16 years or older. Thus, you can start taking cyber security courses for free before you even head to college.
(ISC)² Undergraduate Scholarship
Amount: $1,000 - $5,000
Deadline: February 17
This highly competitive cyber security scholarship fund sets a high bar. You'll need a minimum GPA of 3.3 and your application needs your transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume or CV, and responses to a battery of essay questions. Awards are given to those who exhibit the most passion, merit, and financial need.
Conferences and Workshops
Since New Hampshire is rather small, most cyber security conferences are held in nearby Boston.
Cyber Security Summit: Boston
The Cybersecurity Summit is a must-attend event held annually in Boston. It's just a short trip from New Hampshire and will be worth every second. Since this is a one-day event, you can likely absorb a year's worth of information and then make it home for a late dinner.
Elite East Coast CISO Summit
This two-day conference gathers top cyber security leaders from all across the Eastern Seaboard to discuss, debate, and help develop the cyber security field. The conference allows you to arrange one-on-one meetings, schedules 24 thought leader sessions, and includes 15 hours of downloadable content.
Symposium on Securing the IoT – Greater Boston
This symposium is devoted to addressing the growing need to secure the Internet of Things. Topics can include medical and healthcare systems, smart cities and buildings, securing payments, Big Data, and the Consumer IoT, among many others. Traditionally this is an autumn conference.
FutureCon Boston Cyber Security Conference
This cyber security conference is aimed at senior level professionals. During the one-day conference you'll have the opportunity to peruse the exhibitor floor, enjoy any number of top-level presentations, and enjoy a networking cocktail reception. FutureCon even has its own iOS and Android app to help support the cyber security community when the conference is long over.
New Hampshire Cyber Security Jobs and Salary
New Hampshire may be a small state, but there are still loads of computer-related positions available, and more are opening up all the time. Currently, for instance, there are over 2,500 computer systems analysts, approximately 500 information security analysts, and 350 database administrators. Each of these professions currently pay a mean salary over $90,000, with information security analysts earning over $100,000.
Interestingly, the salary ranges in New Hampshire rival those in Massachusetts, where the cost of living is a bit higher, especially in the Boston Metro area.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track projected growth rates for individual states, but on the national front these professions are looking good. Information security analysts are projected to increase their numbers by 32%, which is many times what is considered normal for any profession. Database administrators won't grow at quite that rate, but their projected 9% increase is still considered faster than average.
The State of New Hampshire, on the other hand, does make projections for specific employment sectors. They are projecting that the number of information security analysts will increase by 27% through 2026. Interestingly, New Hampshire software developers will grow at a slightly higher rate, 28%, and will find employment across a wider range of employers. New Hampshire's database administrators, on the other hand, will exceed the national projections by adding 11% to their population. That profession is projected to grow by 9% nationally.
New Hampshire computer professionals are in a fantastic position. They can live in a bucolic New England environment and still take advantage of jobs and resources in Boston. Their salaries rival those in Massachusetts, too, and the tax rates are even lower. Thus, it seems that New Hampshire professionals have the best of both worlds: professional esteem and rewards without many of the headaches that their professional equals endure in urban environments.
- New Hampshire Department of Information Technology
The NH DOIT maintains a website with many cyber security resources. There you can find general information for casual computer users, security alerts and advisories, current news impacting cyber security, and a comprehensive list of outside resources. Much of this information is geared towards non-experts, but when you become a security expert you can direct your non-expert colleagues to these pages.
- University of New Hampshire Center for Cybersecurity Leadership, Education, and Outreach
Through the UNH Center's webpages you can find information regarding the campus cyber security club, as well as the Women in Technology club. There is also a page full of resources that will link you to cyber security-oriented journals, foreign cyber security resources, as well as governmental resources.
- SANS Institute
SANS offers information security training sessions all over the nation, including online. Check their website for upcoming classes in New Hampshire. If there is nothing available in the state, there may be something coming up in Boston.
- UNH Cyber Center Meetup
This meetup group is open to anyone interested in cyber security issues. The goal is to deepen UNH's cyber security resources.