Information Assurance and Cyber Security Degrees in Virginia
Myriad cyber security opportunities are available in Virginia, thanks in large part to the state’s economy. With a GDP of nearly $500 billion, Virginia is a leader in information services and technology, and contains a large percentage of government employees because of its proximity to Washington, D.C. The state is also a major player in cyber security education, with nearly twenty colleges and universities offering IS programs, half of which are CAE-designated by the NSA and DHS.
Cyber Security Jobs in Virginia
Virginia ranks first in the country for both population (11,550) and concentration of information security analysts, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Virginia IS workers also earn $10k more than the national average of $93k, and senior-level positions command premier salaries. As previously mentioned, the majority of jobs are government-related in Northern Virginia. The largest hub is Arlington, home to twenty federal agencies including the Department of Defense, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Defense Information Systems Agency, and Transportation Security Administration. From there, Herndon, McLean, Reston, and Chantilly are the next-to-largest talent magnets; and beyond government agencies, prominent cyber defense and security contractors include Booz Allen Hamilton, General Dynamics Information Technology, ManTech International Corporation, CACI, and Leidos. Still, not all Virginia jobs are defense-oriented. Healthcare, financial services, and other industries are excellent job sources for security professionals interested in the private sector.
Cyber Security Degrees in Virginia
A dozen schools offer certificates in cyber security, including Old Dominion University, Radford University, Virginia Tech (which also offers a minor), University of Virginia, and University of Richmond, among others.
Strayer University, Regent University, Marymount University, and ECPI University offer bachelor’s degrees in Cyber Security, including specializations in Digital Forensics and Network Security.
For those interested in advanced programs, eight schools offer master’s tracks in cyber security specializations: George Mason University, Liberty University, Virginia Commonwealth University, James Madison University, Hampton University, Marymount University, Strayer University, and University of Fairfax. Fairfax also has a unique Doctorate in Information Assurance, one of the few of its kind in the country.