Study Cybersecurity in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania, known for its rich history and diverse landscapes, has swiftly adapted to the digital age’s demands. As cyber threats become increasingly prevalent, the Keystone State recognizes the importance of cultivating cybersecurity professionals. Consequently, numerous institutions across Pennsylvania now offer undergraduate and graduate cybersecurity degree programs.
For prospective students and professionals looking to master this crucial field, Pennsylvania offers compelling online and in-person options. Let’s explore the array of cybersecurity degrees available in this dynamic state.
Cybersecurity Degrees in Pennsylvania
Listed below are some of the popular schools offering cybersecurity degrees in Pennsylvania:
- Pennsylvania State University
- Indiana University of Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania College of Technology
- Bloomsburg University
- Saint Joseph’s University
- Drexel University
- Shippensburg University
- Villanova University
Pennsylvania State University
Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations
In the digital age, Penn State’s online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations offers an opportunity to safeguard the ever-expanding online space. With a majority of our transactions and communications shifting online, the protection of computer systems, networks, and data from malicious threats becomes paramount. Completing this program equips you to step confidently into the vibrant cybersecurity sector.
The program teaches students to analyze security issues from the perspective of human and information systems. To achieve this degree, you need to complete 123 credits.
Some of the courses that you will take include:
- Cyber Incident Handling and Response
- Malware Analytics
- Organization of Data
- Networking and Telecommunications
- Language, Logic, and Discrete Mathematics
- Network Security
- Computer and Cyber Forensics
- Information Security Management
- Introduction to Security and Risk Analysis
- Threat of Terrorism and Crime
Delivered online by the Penn State World Campus in collaboration with the College of Information Sciences and Technology, the program molds students into proficient cybersecurity professionals. You will be trained to identify and counteract digital threats, communicate potential risks, and ensure that online information remains secure.
The program is not just centered on cybersecurity; it also emphasizes computer programming and mathematics. It provides an all-encompassing understanding of the methods employed by cyber adversaries and the defensive tactics against them. The curriculum is tailored to empower students to confront challenges such as unauthorized system breaches, data leaks, and cyber threats from hostile entities.
This program is well-suited for individuals who:
- Are enthusiastic about computers and software.
- Value the security of businesses and their data assets.
- Are determined to protect digital resources from potential threats.
- Aim to learn defensive techniques against cyberattacks.
- Prioritize the security of confidential information from unauthorized access.
- Appreciate collaborative efforts in resolving tech-related issues.
- Are intrigued by computer coding and mathematical concepts.
There’s a rising demand for adept cybersecurity professionals, and a notable shortage of qualified individuals to occupy these roles in various sectors, including business, governmental agencies, and the military. The expertise and insights gained from this program, bolstered by Penn State’s career assistance, open doors to a range of professional roles such as:
- Cyber Analyst
- Information Security Specialist
- Network Security Analyst
- IT Security Analyst, and others.
Apart from the courses related to cybersecurity major, you must take 9 credits within one of the following application areas:
- Application Development
- Law & Policy
- Custom Application Focus
You must take all nine credits in a single application focus area. You may not mix and match.
To be eligible for admission, you should have either completed high school or possess a GED. Additionally, a background in mathematics, having undertaken at least three and a half courses in areas like algebra or geometry, is essential. Embark on a journey to defend our digital world.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Bachelor of Science – Cybersecurity
Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) offers a 120-credit Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity program. At IUP, seasoned teachers handle your classes, not grad students. This means you benefit from their rich experience. With smaller class sizes, you will team up with fellow students who, like you, are excited about computer science.
The foundation of IUP’s computer science courses includes basics like programming, data structures, software development, and discussions on recent tech topics. The goal? To prepare students like you to stay ahead in the ever-evolving fields of computer science and cybersecurity. Plus, every student in the B.S. in Cyber Security track also completes a minor in criminology. This will enable you to coordinate with law enforcement on cyber-crime investigations.
Real-world experience is crucial. That’s why IUP ensures you get to practice things like ethical hacking and penetration testing. Additionally, criminology courses give you insights into cybersecurity laws, helping you team up with the police for cyber-crime cases.
Here’s a sneak peek into some courses you will encounter:
- Fundamentals of Computer Science: This is your introduction. It’s essential for everyone in this major. You will dive into computer architecture, software development, data structures, and get hands-on computer experience.
- Introduction to Database Management Systems: Here, you will get to know the nuts and bolts of databases. You will design data models and practice SQL, a key language for handling data.
- Introduction to Cybersecurity: In this course, you will discover the core concepts of digital safety, like risk management, encryption basics, and defense tactics. Plus, you will get to apply your knowledge practically.
- Network Security: Here, you will understand how computers talk to each other, including network structures and communication rules.
- Protecting Networks: In this course, you will learn the tools to protect networks from threats, emphasizing widely-used internet and company network safety applications.
- Introduction to Operating Systems: In this course, you will dive into how computer operating systems function, from memory management to security.
- Information Technology (IT) Security: Here, you will understand the broad field of IT security, touching on topics like governance, strategic planning, and security management.
- Digital Forensics: In this course, you will learn how computers help solve crimes. You will practice finding electronic evidence on devices.
- Introduction to Cryptography: This is all about keeping information secret. You will learn encoding techniques, encryption methods, and more.
- Seminar on the Computer Profession and Ethics: Read and discuss current tech literature and explore job opportunities. You will also delve into computer ethics through case studies.
By the end of your studies at IUP, you will not only have knowledge but also hands-on experience to make an impact in the cybersecurity world. Recent IUP BS in Cybersecurity graduates have careers as:
- Chief security officers
- Cybersecurity consultants
- Forensic computer analysts
- Information security analysts
Pennsylvania College of Technology
Bachelor of Science – Information Assurance & Cyber Security
Pennsylvania College of Technology offers a 130-credit Bachelor of Science program focused on Information Assurance and Cyber Security. This program aims to mold you into a well-versed professional in the field of cybersecurity. The program offers a series of courses to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of how to protect digital data.
Though mastering tech skills is essential, the program also emphasizes deeper analytical thinking and foundational knowledge. This ensures you are equipped to handle intricate challenges vital for the smooth running of both public and private entities.
By pursuing a degree in Information Assurance & Cyber Security, you will gain expertise in protecting vital information and thwarting potential cyber threats. The curriculum covers the basics, like programming and networking, and delves deeper into advanced areas such as threat analysis. This combination equips you with a diverse range of skills that employers value.
Some of the core courses that you will take include:
- Introduction to Programming
- Networking I & II
- Introduction to UNIX/Linux
- Introduction to Database
- Fundamentals of Information Security
- Secure Database Development
- Fundamentals of Cryptography
- Network Defense
- Ethical Hacking & Penetration Testing
- Information Security Forensics & Incident Response
In the program’s specialized IT labs, you get a chance to bring classroom lessons to life. These labs are tailored for various tech endeavors. Here, you can practice ethical hacking, detect digital intrusions, and explore the realm of digital investigations. Additionally, the labs enable you to design 3D models, explore hypervisors, build computer networks, and experiment with a plethora of software and network setups.
To succeed in this program, it’s mandatory for you to achieve at least a “C” grade in all the primary courses, as well as in any chosen electives.
Upon completion, you will be proficient in:
- Recognizing and understanding the challenges of securing digital assets.
- Determining essential measures to counteract potential security risks.
- Designing robust security solutions tailored to specific needs.
- Implementing up-to-date best practices in cybersecurity and evaluating their efficacy.
- Collaborating efficiently within a team.
- Using effective communication skills when writing and speaking.
Graduating from this program paves the way for various roles, including but not limited to, systems analysts, network managers, cybersecurity experts, IT auditors, digital security testers, risk evaluators, and software protection specialists.
Bachelor of Science – Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity
At Bloomsburg University, you can pursue a 120-credit Bachelor of Science in Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity. Have you ever thought about how technology and science play a role in investigating digital matters? That’s digital forensics for you. And as you can imagine, it’s vital to ensure that information systems remain secure and confidential. That’s why Bloomsburg updated the program name to emphasize both digital investigations and cybersecurity.
In this program, you will dive deep into the world of cybersecurity. To put it simply: while forensics is about investigating after an incident (reactive), cybersecurity is about preventing incidents from happening (proactive). In today’s digital age, these two areas often intersect. At Bloomsburg, the curriculum combines both, ensuring you are ready for any challenges in the cybersecurity domain.
What will you learn? Here’s a glimpse:
- Analyze file systems present on hard drives and other digital devices.
- Retrieving deleted photos, files, and online activities.
- Tracking network activities to pinpoint vulnerabilities and breaches.
- Identifying weak points in systems and networks.
- Learning how to shield systems and data from potential cyber threats.
- Gaining hands-on experience with top-notch forensic software to scrutinize digital data.
Some of the courses that you will take include:
- Digital Forensics File Systems
- Introduction to Networks
- Security Fundamentals
- Advanced Topics in Digital Forensics
- Enterprise Network Investigations
- Penetration Testing
- Current Issues in Cybercrime
- Secure System Design and Administration
- UNIX/LINUX for Digital Forensics
- Malware Forensics
By the time you graduate from this program, you will have the skills to:
- Inspect devices like computers and smartphones.
- Retrieve deleted photos, files, and online actions.
- Uncover concealed sections on hard drives.
- Track and identify vulnerabilities and intrusions in network activities.
- Assess computer systems and network security levels.
- Pinpoint vulnerabilities in systems and networks.
- Develop strategies to safeguard data and systems from cyber threats.
- Act swiftly and efficiently during cyber incidents.
Graduates of this program are working in law enforcement, homeland security agencies, law firms and private companies.
Saint Joseph’s University
Master of Science in Cybersecurity
Saint Joseph’s University offers a 30-credit Master of Science in Cybersecurity program that’s designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge to tackle present-day cybersecurity issues and foresee future challenges. This program can be a stepping stone for you to climb higher in your professional journey. Through this master’s program, you will dive into the most current cybersecurity topics and get hands-on experience with the technical aspects of the field.
Thinking you might need a background in cybersecurity or computer science? Don’t worry. This program welcomes students from all backgrounds. Plus, if you are interested, you can start with the cybersecurity certificate and then take just five more courses to earn your master’s degree.
Some of the courses that you will take include:
- Intro to Cybercrime
- Introduction to Security
- Advanced Security
- Security in Mobile App Design
- Intro to Ethical Hacking
- Network Forensics
- Social Network Security Issues
- Incident Response Management
Here’s what you can expect to learn:
- Deep insights into vulnerabilities in systems and networks.
- The ins and outs of digital investigations.
- Safeguarding mobile apps and social media platforms.
- Recognizing and countering cyber threats.
- Navigating the legal and ethical dimensions of cybersecurity.
- Tactics for managing risks and collecting evidence.
- Engaging in a research project to further sharpen your skills.
The best part? This program boasts a faculty that’s right at the forefront of the cybersecurity arena. By joining, you are signing up for invaluable lessons from industry frontrunners and acquiring practical knowledge that will serve you well in the real world.
But there’s more to this program than just technical know-how. You will also embrace an ethical perspective on cybersecurity, empowering you to help others safeguard their data from cyber threats and ensure the safe progression of digital innovations.
Looking ahead, completing this master’s program at Saint Joseph’s not only sets you on a trajectory for roles with more responsibility but also paves the way for further academic pursuits, like a PhD in cybersecurity or related areas.
Earning this master’s degree can help you take advantage of a large number of open positions in roles such as:
- Cybersecurity specialist
- Application security administrator
- Cloud security architect
- Data privacy officer
- Data security analyst
- Information assurance analyst
Ready to apply? Just ensure you have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above. Other admission requirements include:
- Official college transcripts from all colleges attended.
- A personal statement.
- Up-to-date Resume.
- Two letters of recommendation.
Is a Cybersecurity Degree Worth It?
Deciding whether a cybersecurity degree is “worth it” depends on your personal and professional goals, as well as various factors related to the field and the current job market. Here are some reasons to consider when evaluating the value of a cybersecurity degree:
- Growing Demand: Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field. As more aspects of our daily lives and business operations become digital, the need for professionals to protect against cyber threats is increasing. With the rise of cyberattacks, companies are willing to invest significantly in cybersecurity to protect their assets, which translates to more job opportunities.
- Attractive Salaries: Jobs in cybersecurity typically offer competitive salaries, often higher than many other IT roles.
- Diverse Career Opportunities: A degree in cybersecurity can open doors to various roles such as Information Security Analyst, Penetration Tester, Forensic Computer Analyst, IT Security Engineer, and more.
- Constantly Evolving Challenges: If you enjoy problem-solving and staying updated with the latest in technology and security trends, then cybersecurity can be a fulfilling field. The constant evolution of threats and the need for innovative solutions make it an intellectually stimulating profession.
- Making a Difference: Cybersecurity professionals play a critical role in protecting data, privacy, and digital infrastructure. They defend against threats that can potentially harm individuals, corporations, and even nations.
- Educational Flexibility: Many institutions offer cybersecurity degrees online, allowing for flexibility if you are working or have other commitments.
However, there are also considerations to keep in mind:
- Continuous Learning: The cybersecurity landscape is always changing. To stay relevant, you need to invest time and sometimes money in continuous education and certifications.
- Stressful Nature of the Job: Depending on your role, the job can be stressful, especially if you are responsible for defending against active threats or handling breaches.
- Initial Investment: Like any degree, pursuing one in cybersecurity requires an investment of time and often money. However, financial aid, scholarships, and other funding opportunities might be available.
In short, if you have a passion for technology and security, and the idea of defending against cyber threats appeals to you, a degree in cybersecurity can be a valuable and rewarding choice.
How Much Does a Cybersecurity Analyst Earn in Pennsylvania?
As of September 2023, the average annual salary of a Cybersecurity Analyst in Pennsylvania is $85,900. More experienced and top earning Cybersecurity Analysts working in Pennsylvania make over $130,000 per year.