Study Cybersecurity in Colorado
As our lives become increasingly intertwined with the digital realm, threats and breaches in the cyberspace of Colorado are no longer just tech jargon; they are a reality. How many times have you heard of a friend, family member, or a business facing a cyber issue and felt that sinking feeling of vulnerability?
It’s more than just a random news headline; it’s a chilling reminder of the daily battles fought in the digital arena. In this rugged terrain of ones and zeros, cyber predators lurk in the shadows, ready to exploit any weakness. The stakes are high, as everyone from the tech novice to the booming business in Denver is at risk. Yet, the biggest challenge lies in the limited number of trained cybersecurity professionals guarding our virtual frontiers.
But here’s the silver lining: Colorado, with its pioneering spirit, offers some of the popular in-person and online cybersecurity degree programs. These programs are designed not just to teach, but to immerse you in the world of cyber defense. With expert mentors, real-world simulations, and state-of-the-art tools at your disposal, you will be equipped to safeguard our digital communities.
Cybersecurity Degrees in Colorado
Listed below are some of the popular schools offering cybersecurity degrees in Colorado:
- University of Colorado – Denver
- Metropolitan State University of Denver
- University of Colorado – Colorado Springs
- Colorado Technical University
- University of Denver
- Colorado Mesa University
- University of Colorado Boulder
- Colorado State University
- Community College of Denver
University of Colorado – Denver
Bachelor of Science (BS) in Cybersecurity
The University of Colorado Denver offers a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity. This program equips students with the vital tools they need to safeguard online environments, including computers, servers, mobile gadgets, networks, and user data against harmful cyber threats. With the rising concern for cybersecurity in both government and private sectors, the skills you will acquire are highly relevant and in demand in today’s job market.
The curriculum of the B.S. in Cybersecurity focuses on offering a comprehensive understanding of cybersecurity operations. A highlight of the program is its emphasis on practical, hands-on experience, ensuring graduates are prepared to dive straight into cybersecurity roles after completion.
Additionally, the program explores the world of cyber-criminal psychology. You will explore the prevention of cyber crimes, the laws surrounding cyber-criminal prosecution, and techniques to combat these digital threats. Specifically, you will learn:
- How to manage and protect cyberspace, analyze cyber threats, and recover from cyber incidents.
- Legal and investigative skills crucial for prosecuting cyber crimes.
- Deep insights into cyber-criminal behaviors, including recognizing signs of fraudulent activities.
- Strategies for controlling cyber crimes through preventive and punitive measures.
- The broader consequences of cyber crimes on the justice system and their victims.
Key learning outcomes of the program include:
- Tackling complex computing challenges by applying computing principles and other pertinent knowledge.
- Creating, executing, and assessing computing solutions to meet specific needs.
- Clear communication in various professional settings.
- Recognizing and upholding ethical and legal standards in computing practices.
- Collaborating effectively within a team, either as a contributor or leader, for tasks relevant to cybersecurity.
- Implementing security guidelines to ensure operations remain uninterrupted despite potential risks.
For the cybersecurity degree, you need to earn 120 credit hours, distributed as:
- 24 credits from CU Denver’s core curriculum.
- 15 credits dedicated to mathematics and science.
- 31 credits focused on the core computer science aspects tailored for cybersecurity.
- 32 credits centered on core cybersecurity topics.
- 15 credits of elective topics in cybersecurity.
- 3 credits on engineering design.
Some of the core courses that you will take include:
- Practical System Administration
- Computer Security
- Principles of Cybersecurity
- Security and Cryptography
- Cyber and Infrastructure Defense
- Secure Network and Systems Programing
- Cybersecurity Programing and Analysis
- Cyber Risk Management
- Mobile and IoT Security
To graduate from this program, you must complete the above coursework, maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 across all subjects, and ensure each prerequisite course is passed with at least a C- grade.
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Master of Science in Cybersecurity
The 36-credits Master of Science in Cybersecurity at Metropolitan State University of Denver offers a comprehensive blend of technological proficiency, insights into human elements in cyber operations, and an understanding of legal frameworks to address cybercrimes effectively.
The Master of Science in Cybersecurity is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission.
Recognizing the intricate balance between technology and human factors in cyber activities, MSU Denver has uniquely combined the Departments of Criminal Justice & Criminology, Computer Information Systems, and Computer Sciences. This collaboration has given rise to a holistic Master of Science in Cybersecurity curriculum.
Some of the core courses that you will take include:
- Cybersecurity Infrastructure
- Information Systems Strategy Planning
- Network and Internet Security
- Security Risk Analysis and Risk Management
- Cybercrime Investigation
- Intrusion Detection and Prevention
- Information Assurance
- Computer and Mobile Device Forensics
- Incident Detection and Response
This program aims to equip you with profound knowledge and hands-on skills in computer and network security, privacy, computer forensics, and the intricate processes involved in investigating, prosecuting, and penalizing cybercrimes. Key program highlights include:
- A multidisciplinary curriculum fusing computer science, information systems, cyber laws, and an in-depth grasp of cyber-crimes and culprits.
- Welcoming students from both technical and non-technical undergraduate backgrounds to pursue a master’s in cybersecurity.
- Readying students for varied roles, from management to technical, within the cybersecurity realm.
- Cultivating leadership capabilities and fostering collaborative teamwork skills.
Upon completion, you will be adept at:
- identifying and countering threats to computer and information systems.
- Conceptualizing and designing secure information infrastructure.
- Ensuring optimal and secure system performance.
- Leading and strategizing cybersecurity initiatives for organizations.
- Investigating cybersecurity incidents and cybercrimes.
- Applying legal regulations to cyber offenders.
- Undertaking specialized cybersecurity tasks, from deception operations to intelligence development.
The program also boasts an optional internship, allowing you to translate classroom knowledge into real-world cybersecurity settings, thereby garnering invaluable hands-on experience.
While a background in cybersecurity or computer sciences is advantageous, it’s not a prerequisite. The program offers foundational classes to bridge knowledge gaps for those less acquainted with the field.
To maintain program standards, you must achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above. Falling below this benchmark results in academic probation. Admission prerequisites include:
- A bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
- Completion of the online application.
- Submission of official transcripts from all previously attended institutions.
- A personal essay spanning 1-2 pages.
- An updated Curriculum Vitae or Resume.
- Professional reference details.
University of Colorado – Colorado Springs
Bachelor of Science (BS) – Cybersecurity Management Track
The University of Colorado – Colorado Springs offers a Bachelor of Science – Cybersecurity Management program. This program has been designed to address the growing need for cybersecurity experts who can shield IT resources in various corporate settings.
As a graduate, you will be primed to venture into several sectors, aiming for entry to mid-tier roles like a cybersecurity analyst, risk analyst, cybersecurity consultant, or an IT auditor. You will gain the proficiency required to navigate daily cybersecurity intricacies across different organizations.
Notably, Colorado Springs is a cybersecurity hub, housing over 125 cyber-focused firms, five military bases, three institutions recognized by the National Security Agency (NSA) as Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD). Furthermore, it’s consistently ranked among the best cities for cybersecurity management professionals in the U.S.
Here’s a glance at some of the courses you will undertake:
- Ethical Hacking: You will explore the basics of ethical hacking. You will also understand how hackers operate, familiarize yourself with penetration testing, and gain insights into counteracting cyberattacks.
- IT Risk Management: You will delve into the nuances of managing informational risks in businesses, exploring risk perception, communication, mitigation techniques, and more.
- IT Security Auditing: Here you will acquire a comprehensive understanding of auditing principles for both public and private IT systems and grasp the essence of a cybersecurity audit.
- Fundamentals of Information Security and Cybersecurity: In this course, you will learn about safeguarding network hardware, software, and data. You will also focus on integrating security mechanisms into IT infrastructure.
- Computer Networks and Telecommunications: Here you will get introduced to the intricacies of computer networks, from protocols and designs to hands-on router operations.
- Organizational Cybersecurity: You will understand the digital risks confronting modern organizations and the strategies to mitigate these threats.
- Managing Projects for Competitive Advantage: You will study the essentials of project management, covering project selection, initiation, and control from a business standpoint.
Please note that you will be required to meet all prerequisite requirements. Furthermore, the program mandates that all core and specialized courses be passed with at least a C grade.
Colorado Technical University
Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Science – Cybersecurity Engineering
Cybersecurity remains a pressing concern for modern businesses and organizations. If you are intrigued by the prospect of designing software to counteract cyberattacks and pinpoint network vulnerabilities, the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Cybersecurity Engineering program at Colorado Technical University presents an ideal opportunity.
Offered both online and at the Colorado Springs campus, the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in Cybersecurity Engineering spans 183 credit hours. It comprises 51 credits of general education, 88 credits dedicated to core computer science, and 44 credits focusing specifically on cybersecurity engineering.
This program allows you to explore the complexities of computer science and software engineering. You will gain insight into how to effectively design software solutions that prioritize cyber-defense strategies. Coupled with hands-on programming exercises and real-world scenarios guided by industry veterans, the curriculum aims to comprehensively prepare you for the rapidly evolving realm of cybersecurity.
Designed for individuals keen on forging a career around creating algorithm-driven computer software solutions, the program introduces you to an expansive array of theoretical knowledge and practical skills. This facilitates the effective design and development of software in line with specific domain requirements.
The BSCS curriculum also offers an in-depth understanding of software operations, guiding you on how to design various software types. Beyond the core modules like computer algorithms, programming, and operating systems, you will be exposed to specialized courses. These include ethical hacking, software assurance, foundational principles of network security, and the complexities of privacy and security within cloud computing.
Upon completing the program, you can expect to:
- Apply computer science theory and software development fundamentals to produce computing-based solutions.
- Tackle tough computer issues using computing fundamentals and insights from other key fields to find answers.
- Design computing solutions in line with specific security needs.
- Stay on top of emerging trends, tools, and hands-on practices crucial to the evolving field of cybersecurity engineering.
- Use the right ideas and tools from cybersecurity engineering to design software that effectively detects and blocks security threats.
- Communicate effectively in a variety of professional contexts.
- Understand your role in the tech world and make choices that respect both the law and moral standards.
- Function effectively as a member or leader of a team engaged in activities appropriate to the program’s discipline.
University of Denver
Master of Science (MS) in Cybersecurity
The MS in Cybersecurity program at the University of Denver is designed to offer you a deep dive into the world of cybersecurity. Throughout the program, you will be trained to address key issues and navigate any cybersecurity challenge presented.
The program will equip you with a comprehensive understanding of numerous concepts of cybersecurity, such as:
- Protecting security information systems and infrastructure.
- Detecting, countering, recovering, and preventing cyber incidents.
- Ensuring availability and integrity of data resources.
- Assessing security risk across information systems.
- Understanding and affecting cybersecurity policy.
Practical application is central to this program, and you will benefit from hands-on projects developed in partnership with industry leaders. These projects not only bolster your learning but also provide you with opportunities to demonstrate your skills in real-world contexts.
While the program welcomes students from diverse academic backgrounds, having prior coursework in computer science theory and systems can fast-track your degree completion.
Upon your enrollment, a pre-assessment exam is conducted to gauge your understanding of essential concepts crucial for success in the program. If you are found lacking in these areas or if you haven’t undertaken previous coursework in these subjects, the program will guide you through three foundational courses that will serve as your stepping stone into advanced cybersecurity topics. You will need to maintain a GPA of 3.0 in these foundational courses to progress further in the program.
Some of the core courses that you will take include:
- Operating Systems
- Computer Forensics
- Secure Software Engineering
- Computer Networking
- Computer Security
- Ethical Hacking
- Network Security
- Human-Centered Data Security and Privacy
The structure of the program is particularly accommodating for working professionals. All the classes are scheduled between 5-9 PM on weekdays, ensuring that your weekends remain free. The total credit requirement for the program can be 48 or 60 credit hours, depending upon whether you need to undertake the foundational courses.
Upon graduation from the MS in Cybersecurity program, you will find yourself well-prepared for an array of promising roles in the expanding cybersecurity landscape, such as, Security Analyst, Information Security Engineer, Cybersecurity Specialist, Information Systems Security Specialist, and Threat Intelligence Analyst.
If you are considering the application process, the minimum undergraduate GPA required is a cumulative 2.5 on a 4.0 scale or a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits.
How Much Does a Cybersecurity Analyst Make in Colorado?
As of August 2023, the average annual salary of a Cybersecurity Analyst in Colorado is $92,354. Cybersecurity Analysts working in Colorado Springs and Boulder earn higher annual average salary of $96,965 and $94,670, respectively. More experienced and top earning Cybersecurity Analysts working in Colorado make well over $130,000 per year.