Harper College

Cybersecurity and Information Assurance

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity will continue to be paramount for tech vendors, managed service providers, and businesses of all sizes in 2023.”   

—Scott Campbell, CompTIA

Are you passionate about safeguarding digital landscapes from threats and vulnerabilities? Our new Cybersecurity and Information Assurance courses and programs will offer a comprehensive journey into the world of cybersecurity, equipping you with the skills to identify and defend against cyber attacks, protect sensitive data, and become a guardian of the digital age. 

Program Overview

This rigorous program is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in cybersecurity principles, protocols, and practices. Through a combination of theoretical knowledge and hands-on experiences, you will develop the expertise required to navigate the complexities of cybersecurity in a rapidly evolving cyber landscape.

Why Choose Harper?

  • Cutting-Edge Curriculum: Curriculum will be specifically designed to align with employer workforce needs and continuously updated to reflect the latest cyber threats, industry best practices, and technological advancements.
  • Experienced Faculty: Learn from cybersecurity professionals with practical industry experience, enabling you to gain insights from real-world scenarios.
  • Hands-on Learning: Engage in immersive labs, projects, and competitions that replicate real-world cyber threats, giving you practical experience in tackling security challenges.
  • Relevant Skills: Develop the skills, competencies, and certifications that are highly sought after by regional employers in a very competitive IT landscape.
  • Flexible Learning: Choose between on-campus, hybrid, and online learning options to tailor your academic schedule to your unique needs.
  • Career Support: Take advantage of our comprehensive career services, networking opportunities, and job placement assistance as you transition to the workforce.
  • Basic Needs Support: Access resources and referrals for food, transportation, childcare, wellness, and housing through Hawks Care to eliminate barriers to enrolling in courses and achieving your academic goals.

Program Highlights

The Cybersecurity and Information Assurance program is currently in the approval process, but beginning in Fall 2024, you can expect to take classes in cybersecurity fundamentals, network and enterprise security, ethical hacking and pen testing, digital forensics, a capstone project, and more.

Cybersecurity

Career Opportunities

Upon completing this program, you will be well-prepared for a range of high-demand, high-wage career opportunities, including:

    • Cybersecurity Analyst
    • Network Security Specialist
    • Penetration Tester
    • Digital Forensics Analyst
    • Information Security Analyst

Cybersecurity Program Alignment with the NIST NICE Framework and the NSA Center for Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Designation Requirements

Cybersecurity

The Prioritizing Equity in Emerging Technologies Pathways at Harper (EmergingTech@Harper) project is funded through the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration's Strengthening Community Colleges Training Grant (SCC3) program. Harper is developing new emerging technologies career pathways, including a technical bridge program for students needing basic skills support, short-term and credit certificates, and associate degrees. This project also seeks to increase the number of women and people of color in IT-related career fields.

The new Cybersecurity program will align with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Cybersecurity Framework and the standards for the National Security Agency National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cybersecurity program so that Harper can earn the designation as a CAE. Courses will be designed to align with industry-recognized credential guidelines including CompTIA, (ISC)2, EC-Council, and other certifications. 

Register for the new Community Education Cybersecurity-related courses here and Continuing Professional Education courses here.


Regional Job Outlook and Wages

Cybersecurity and Information Assurance jobs are in-demand in our region and across the country, and this is a rapidly growing field that touches every industry from IT to business to banking to healthcare. Many organizations are recognizing that four-year degree requirements are not necessary to meet the need for skilled technicians in emerging technologies.

IBM, for example, has made an organizational shift away from requiring bachelor’s degrees for mainframe systems analysts and cybersecurity technicians and instead is focusing more on knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) and industry-recognized credentials which you can earn at Harper. 

Plan, implement, upgrade, or monitor security measures for the protection of computer networks and information. Assess system vulnerabilities for security risks and propose and implement risk mitigation strategies. May ensure appropriate security controls are in place that will safeguard digital files and vital electronic infrastructure. May respond to computer security breaches and viruses.

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Analyze science, engineering, business, and other data processing problems to develop and implement solutions to complex applications problems, system administration issues, or network concerns. Perform systems management and integration functions, improve existing computer systems, and review computer system capabilities, workflow, and schedule limitations. May analyze or recommend commercially available software.

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Evaluate network system security by conducting simulated internal and external cyberattacks using adversary tools and techniques. Attempt to breach and exploit critical systems and gain access to sensitive information to assess system security.

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Conduct investigations on computer-based crimes establishing documentary or physical evidence, such as digital media and logs associated with cyber intrusion incidents. Analyze digital evidence and investigate computer security incidents to derive information in support of system and network vulnerability mitigation. Preserve and present computer-related evidence in support of criminal, fraud, counterintelligence, or law enforcement investigations.

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Plan, initiate, and manage information technology (IT) projects. Lead and guide the work of technical staff. Serve as liaison between business and technical aspects of projects. Plan project stages and assess business implications for each stage. Monitor progress to assure deadlines, standards, and cost targets are met.

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What is Cybersecurity and Information Assurance?

Cybersecurity is the practice of being protected against criminal or unauthorized use of electronic data, or measures taken to achieve this. Cybersecurity can be categorized into five types: critical infrastructure security, application security, network security, cloud security, and Internet of Things (IoT) security. According to the World Economic Forum, cybersecurity is quickly becoming one of the most important industries to safeguard democratic values. The demand for cybersecurity professionals is rising globally as cyberattacks are increasing. There is however a talent shortage. There are nearly 500,000 open cybersecurity jobs in the U.S.

Increasing the number of women in cybersecurity helps address the shortage of skilled professionals in the field. By promoting diversity in cybersecurity, we can strive to create a stronger and more effective workforce that can enhance cybersecurity measures.– Barb Paluszkiewicz, CEO, CDN Technologies

Cybersecurity

According to a 2021 report from Aspen Digital, underrepresented groups such as Black (9%), Latinx (4%), and Asian (8%) professionals make up an increasing small percentage of the industry. Women are 51% of the U.S. population, but only 24% of the cybersecurity workforce. In order to create a resilient and diverse cybersecurity workforce, employers need to ensure cybersecurity and other technical fields related to cybersecurity are welcoming, inclusive professions for everyone.

According to an ISC2 article, "In order to build strong, adequately staffed cybersecurity teams, employers – and the cybersecurity profession as a whole – must make cybersecurity a rewarding and welcoming career for everyone. Understanding the challenges our profession faces related to diversity is a critical first step to accomplishing that goal and ultimately addressing the widening cybersecurity workforce gap."


 

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Last Updated: 12/14/23