Cybersecurity Degrees and Careers New Mexico Guide

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

Cyber-thieves don’t stop their attempts to hack computer systems and steal information just because companies hire several more cyber security professionals. Instead, they keep working toward breaking in. That’s where you come in. Once you graduate and apply for one of the million or so cyber security job openings, you’ll become part of a specialized team with the chops to stop black-hat hackers who only want to steal or cause destruction. Whether you choose an on-campus or online option, you’ll learn how to defend an employer’s computer network.

Why an Advanced Degree in New Mexico is Needed

An advanced degree in cyber security has several advantages. You’re going to work hard at your studies and projects and at the end, all of that hard work will be worth it.

Beginning with the advantages to your employer: you’ll be a much more useful member of a team with an advanced degree. Whether you find yourself working to protect networks, data, personal information, or government information; your skills won’t be in question if you’ve taken the trouble to earn a solid, accredited degree.

People with your skills and knowledge are in painfully short supply. You’ll likely have your pick of employers and jobs. With your degree in hand, you’ll possess the skills and knowledge to go after those high-salary positions. At the master’s level or higher, your education will be more detailed and focused than at the bachelor’s level.

New Mexico Cyber Security Education Degrees & Requirements

Associate’s Degree

An associated degree program is usually considered the lowest level degree. Even certifications usually require you to have some form of education or experience in order to apply for them. For entry into one of these programs, you’ll need to provide your high school transcripts and may also need to take the ACT or SAT. Once you’re in, you’ll complete your degree in about 2 years and be ready to join the workforce or transfer to a bachelor’s program.

Example Courses:

  • Computer and Network Ethics
  • Computer Security+
  • Network Defense Basics
  • Digital Forensics

Bachelor’s Degree

If you want to enter a bachelor’s degree program as a freshman, you’ll need to first gain admission. Your admission requirements may include a minimum GPA, a minimum SAT or ACT score, and an application. Some schools are stricter with their requirements while others are less exclusive.

Example Courses:

  • Computer Security
  • Computer Networks, I
  • Introduction to Data Mining
  • Special Topics (Topics in Cryptography) Concentration in Cyber Security

Master’s Degree

Most schools require that you send all official transcripts from every university or college you attended before they consider granting you entry to their graduate program. They may also require your official GRE scores and, if you are an international student, your TOEFL or IELTS scores; recommendation letters; your resume, and a Statement of Purpose.

You should be sure to find out when your admission application is due, then ensure that you have submitted everything before that date. Once you are admitted, your program will involve coursework and research. It may also include a capstone, project, or thesis you must complete before you can officially graduate.

Example Courses:

  • Foundations of Information Security
  • Access Control and System Security
  • Privacy in Mobile Environments
  • Advanced Cryptography

Certifications in New Mexico

A certification at the associate level means you’ll obtain a working knowledge of the tools you need to do your job, plus the information you need as you watch over your employer’s computer system and the information being held within it. Higher levels of certification often require some formal education or work experience before you can sit for an exam.

Why is Accreditation Important?

Accreditation matters. This seal of approval gives the Department of Education, other schools, and your future employers the information they need before they extend financial aid, accept you as a transfer student, or make a job offer.

Your cyber security program should be accredited by either the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) or the Higher Learning Commission. The Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET also accredits cyber security programs and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA) together created the designation of Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) in order to offer their approval of cyber security programs specifically.

CAE Accredited Programs in New Mexico

  • Central New Mexico Community College
    CAE-2Y / 2017-2022
  • Eastern New Mexico University – Ruidoso Branch Community College
    CAE-2Y / 2019-2024
  • New Mexico Tech
    CAE-R / 2019-2024
  • University of New Mexico
    CAE-CD / 2017-2022
    CAE-R / 2017-2022

Computer Science or IT Bachelor’s & Master’s Programs in New Mexico

  • University of New Mexico - Main Campus

    The University of New Mexico’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science offers a broad general education and a wide range of working skills and knowledge within computer science and programming. The university’s goal is to encourage computer science students to move up into graduate school, mainly in the information technology sector.

    Programs Offered:

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

    Tuition Cost

    In-District: $7,683
    In-State: $22,586
    Average Net Price: $11,620
    College Retention Rate: Full-time: 74%; part-time: 49%

  • New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

    New Mexico Tech is an institution that specializes in the hard sciences: technology and engineering specifically. The Department of Computer Science and Engineering has programs that offer both applied and theoretical science that covers the most current ideas and applications that this field offers to students.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer Science – Bachelor’s, Master’s & Doctoral Degrees
    Information Technology – Bachelor’s Degree

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $7,770
    Out-of-State: $22,268
    Average Net Price: $14,641
    College Retention Rate: Full-time: 76%

  • National American University - Albuquerque West

    This school in Albuquerque is a 4-year, private, for-profit institution. It offers associate and bachelor’s degrees and has a very small (30 undergraduate students) population. This results in a student-to-faculty ratio of 11 to 1.

    Programs Offered:

    Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance – Associate & Bachelor’s Degrees
    Computer Programming/Programmer, General – Bachelor’s Degree
    Information Technology – Bachelor’s Degree

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $15,000
    Average Net Price: $14,690
    College Retention Rate: 100 percent

New Mexico Colleges Offering Certificates and Associate Degrees

  • Central New Mexico Community College
    CNM’s Computer Information Systems Program gives students a broad base of study related to computers. Beyond this, information technology is one of the most promising degree programs leading to a lucrative career. Students can focus on several concentrations that match their specific interests. These include Digital Media, Cloud Technology, Computer Support Specialist, Computer Programming, Network Administration, Web Programming, and System Administration.

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $1,626
    Out-of-State: $7,338
    Average Net Price: $4,360
    College Retention Rate: Full-time: 73%; part-time, 43%

  • Santa Fe Community College
    At Santa Fe Community College, students in the information systems and computer science program learn lifelong skills that will lead to a satisfying career. At the associate degree level, students are able to choose from information technology, network security, ethical hacking and more. If students are working, they are able to choose from online or evening classes, so they won’t lose time from their jobs. Online students can access servers and labs so they can complete assigned projects.

    Tuition Cost

    In-District: $1,755
    In-State: $2,115
    Out-of-State: $4,605
    Average Net Price: $9,713
    College Retention Rate: Full-time: 65%; part-time: 39%

  • University of New Mexico - Los Alamos Campus
    This program allows students to choose their field of interest: Information Technology or Computer Science. There, they will learn about everything they need in order to gain a position in an IT department or move on to a bachelor’s degree. This program has been set up so that students who have chosen one specialization or another, will be able to take their computer science basics. Then, they will progress into courses that fit their exact interests.

    Tuition Cost

    In-State: $2,096
    Out-of-State: $5,588
    Average Net Price: $8,075
    College Retention Rate: Full-time: 48%; part-time: 32%

  • Eastern New Mexico University - Ruidoso Branch Community College
    The Associate of Applied Science in Information Systems (IS) Cyber security brings the most current information about systems security to students. They will learn about information assurance and how they are used in government, public, and private businesses.

    Eastern New Mexico University at Ruidoso has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence, with accreditation coming from the NSA, DHS and from the Committee on National Security Systems. At this level, this program prepares students to become Information Systems Security (INFOSEC) Professionals.

    Tuition Cost

    In-District: $1,180
    In-State: $1,580
    Out-of-State: $2,260
    Average Net Price: $7,333
    College Retention Rate: Full-time: 39%: part-time: 50%

Scholarships

  • AMP STEM Scholarship

    Amount: $1,000/semester for research
    Deadline: Ongoing
    Link: https://nnmc.edu/home/student-gateway/financial-aid/scholarships/northern-scholarships/#1556582015693-e9f5f024-1fcd
    The AMP/STEM Scholarship is intended for minority students participating in a STEM program at their college or university. To be found eligible, students must declare a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math) major; maintain a minimum GPA of 2.8; be enrolled full-time at their college or university; and be a minority.

  • David Valdes Memorial Cybersecurity Endowed Scholarship

    Amount: Not shown
    Deadline: Not listed
    Link: https://dacc.nmsu.edu/giving/at/
    This scholarship was established in memory of David Valdes, who was the first full-time member of the faculty assigned to teach in the Computer and Information Technology Department at NMSU-Doña Ana Community College. Valdes began at DACC in 1985 and retired in 2010. He demonstrated a caring for his students, supporting their efforts to learn and graduate so they could establish their careers.

  • Information Assurance Scholarship for Service

    Amount: All tuition/3 semesters, $2,800 monthly stipend, etc.
    Deadline: Not Stated
    Link: https://msisa.mgt.unm.edu/scholarships-for-service-sfs/
    The Scholarship for Service receives its funds through a grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant was established to help graduate students complete their master’s degrees in information assurance. After graduation, students work for the federal CyberCorps, in an information assurance-related job posting.

  • The Four Corners Noyce Scholars Scholarship

    Amount: $10,125
    Deadline: August 15
    Link: https://www.sanjuancollege.edu/media/sanjuancollegeedu/documents/student-services/financial-aid/2018-Noyce-Scholarship-Application-fillable---ADA.pdf
    This scholarship is offered in cooperation between San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico and Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. The National Science Foundation provides funding for each scholarship. The intent of the scholarship is to provide financial assistance to graduates of a four-year STEM program so graduates can obtain an alternative licensure through their college. Students who want a STEM career upon graduation are invited to apply.

  • Fred Hawker Scholarship Endowment

    Amount: $500
    Deadline: June 19
    Link: https://www.cnm.edu/depts/financial-aid/scholarships/documents/fredhawkerscholarshipendowment.pdf
    In partnership with Central New Mexico Foundation, the Fred Hawker Scholarship Endowment provides scholarship funding for CNM students who are enrolled in the Computer Information Systems program, within the School of Business Information Technologies. Students with dependents, who are enrolled in Computer Information Systems, within the School of Business Information are eligible to apply.

Conferences and Workshops

Kirtland AFB/Sandia Labs Tech & Cyber Day

This conference is well-targeted and easily leads to information exchanges between the Information Management Officers of Kirtland AFB, information technology personnel, and others involved in cyber security. Industry partners leading this conference aim to ask the kinds of questions that lead to participants coming up with answers that can be used. Most of those taking part come from the Air Force contingent at Kirkland AFB.

INTERFACE New Mexico

This series of conferences has, for the past 15 years, provided IT educational offerings that are CPE-accredited. This well-regarded conference is held in more than 25 cities every year. If you are concerned about information security, enterprise communications, and IT infrastructure then this is a conference you should attend.

Industrial Control Systems Joint Working Group

This workshop was established by DHS Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team. It works to develop information that will be shared so that risk to government and business industrial systems are lessened. This group establishes communications back and forth from all Critical Infrastructure sectors, covering federal agencies and private business owners of industrial control systems.

New Mexico Cyber Security Jobs and Salary

New Mexico is strong in cyber security employment—820 professionals in this field live and work in the state. Annually, they earn $106,360, on average. New Mexico’s Department of Workforce Solutions states that professional, scientific, and technical services will grow by 2,412 professionals in between 2014 and 2024. Specifically; professional, scientific, and technical services, which encompasses cyber security, will have comparatively strong growth in medical records and health information technician jobs.

Resources

  • The STEMulus Center
    This organization offers several targeted programs to students, companies, and those seeking employment in information security agencies. These offerings include development programs to support the growth of the state’s workforce. Deep Dive Coding bootcamps, Ignite business accelerator, and programs that offer IT certificates and training to boost the entrepreneurial mindset are among the offerings.
  • The New Mexico Technology Council
    This association consists of organizations, tech professionals of all disciplines, and businesses. They team up to highlight the success of all technology business sectors within New Mexico, helping to establish and carry out workforce training, advance new policies, and offer professional development programs.
  • UNM Center for Advanced Research Computing
    The supercomputing center on the UNM campus helps to support a wide range of advanced computer hardware, software, and large-scale research storage.
  • TechHire New Mexico
    This organization provides the latest IT job training for both employers and individuals within Valencia, Bernalillo, Torrance, and Sandoval counties. It also provides paid opportunities for IT occupational training. TechHire also focuses on the challenges that employers face in fully staffing their IT departments—they do this by encouraging a more relevant and inclusive offering of the best talent in the IT sector.
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