Off to the Granite State for grad school or to start your academic career? We’ve got a list of cyber security programs, plus a peek at New Hampshire’s top professional organizations, employers and research studies.
Studying Cyber Security in New Hampshire
From certificates at community colleges to doctoral research in the Ivy League, New Hampshire is active on the cyber security front:
- In 2014, HP asked computer security experts to name the top schools for the discipline. Dartmouth College came in the top 20 despite not having a program. That’s because much of its work exists at the postgraduate level within Computer Science. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security designate Dartmouth a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research. It’s the only one in the state.
- Most of Dartmouth’s research comes out of the school’s Institute for Security, Technology and Society, which won over $20 million in funding between its founding in 2000 and 2016. Much of ISTS’s focus is on healthcare IT security. Its biggest project in that category is Trustworthy Health and Wellness (THaW), which looks for ways to keep private healthcare data secure on mobile and cloud-based platforms.
- The most recent entrant to the catalog is Great Bay Community College’s associate degree in Cyber Security Infrastructure, which was added for fall 2017. Great Bay joins four other two-year colleges in the state that offer associate degrees and/or certificates in cyber security.
- Although many of them attend classes online, Southern New Hampshire University’s students come together for cyber security competitions. The CyberSNHUpers placed within the top 10 in the National Cyber League’s fall 2017 season. Regardless of where they finish, the experience allows them to earn academic credit.
- University of New Hampshire also has a cyber defense team, although it competes elsewhere – in the annual Northeast Regional finals of the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.
Online Cyber Security Programs in New Hampshire
Southern New Hampshire University is the main distance education provider within the state. And for cyber security, it’s the only distance education provider. It places one bachelor’s and two master’s degrees online.
Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Cyber Security
SNHU’s online BS in Information Technologies with a concentration in Cyber Security gives students the broad instruction in software development, hardware design, website building and programming you’d expect from a standard IT degree, while adding in defensive techniques to keep networks secure. All of that can lead to a career as an information security analyst or similar profession. But there’s also plenty of discussion of ethics and policies within the discipline, which lays the groundwork for students interested in moving into leadership roles.
Online Master’s Degrees in Cyber Security
SNHU has two programs you should take a look at. The first is the MS in Information Technology with a concentration in Information Security. This degree is considered a Professional Science Master’s, which means it intersperses management courses with technical work. It presumes students have a handle on information systems but still provides a broad overview of networks, databases, operating systems and programming to go along with fundamental information assurance concepts.
The other SNHU program, the Master of Science in Cyber Security skips all the networking, database design, operating systems and programming coursework that’s unrelated to information systems. You’ll drill deeper into pure cyber security content and even complete a capstone project. The program incorporates three electives, but you can swap those out for management courses and, voila, you’ll have a Master of Science in Cyber Security with an IT management concentration.
Cyber Security Events in New Hampshire
Cyber Security Meetups & Communities in New Hampshire
One positive of cyber security communities within New Hampshire is how spread out they are. From Lebanon to Nashua to Portsmouth, there’s a group out there for you:
- DC 603: Part of the DEFCON group movement spun out by the popular Las Vegas conference of the same name, DC 603 meets every second Saturday at Gusanoz Mexican Restaurant in Lebanon to chat about the latest exploits and vulnerabilities.
- Infragard-NH Alliance: You can work with the FBI to protect New Hampshire’s cyber infrastructure. Just join Infragard and you’ll get an invite to listen to guest speakers from government agencies at its monthly meetings.
- ISACA New England Chapter: New Hampshire tends to get lumped in with New England. If you’re comfortable taking the train up to Portland or down to Boston to network, join this group of information systems audit control professionals. Members conduct monthly chapter meetings and organize regular certification trainings.
- (ISC)2 New Hampshire Chapter: Have an advanced certification from (ISC)2? Consider becoming a member. The group meets the fourth Tuesday of each month and alternates monthly meetings between Concord and Nashua. Expect a bit of networking and some guest presentations.
- ISSA New Hampshire: The Information Systems Security Association, or ISSA, is a professional organization that recruits student members. The New Hampshire chapter hops around the state, mainly between Portsmouth and Manchester. Joining gets you into regular chapter meetings, where you can enjoy free food while listening to presentations from some of the best InfoSec practitioners in New England. The group also conducts social events if you’re hungry to network.
- PineSec: Billed as “less formal than ISSA,” this Manchester meetup does away with presentations and memberships. It’s basically just a chance to hang out with Granite Staters who geek out on information security. Meet at the Manchester Makerspace at 6pm on the first Wednesday of the month.
If none of these strikes your fancy, you can try a couple of other groups that are sporadically active: OWASP Southern New Hampshire is the local branch of the Open Web Application Security Project and tries to meet in Salem at least a couple times a year. To the west, some folks in Keene have organized a 2600 meeting, which is similar to a DEFCON meetup. They don’t have a web presence, though, so you’ll have to show up on the first Friday of the month to see if they’re up to anything.
Cyber Security Conferences & Workshops in New Hampshire
The Granite State accommodates several cyber security conferences throughout the year, some quite specialized and others tailored for anyone with an interest in the topic:
- CyberCrime Symposium: A two-day event held each November in Portsmouth (although coming to Portland in 2017), the CyberCrime Symposium puts together a slate of presentations on data breaches, malware, cyber-insurance and other topics businesspeople should be interested in.
- MCC Days of Cyber Security: Manchester Community College’s Computer Science Department launched a three-day summit in 2016 and it’s since become an annual event. Admission to the forums and demonstrations is free, and the organizers encourage students and faculty from around the state to attend, as well as industry professionals and members of law enforcement.
- Securing the eCampus: Dartmouth has hosted this event for campus’ chief information security officers and IT security managers since 2007. Day 1 lets participants choose between several workshops, while Days 2 and 3 launch into presentations revolving around best practices in information security for college administrators.
Sidenote: One fringe event to explore is Porcupine Freedom Festival. It’s not a cyber security conference or even a tech event, per se. It’s a weeklong campout that, kind of like Burning Man, incorporates panel discussions and workshops, with technology being a popular theme.
Cyber Security Jobs in New Hampshire
Everyone these days wants to be the next Silicon Valley, but New Hampshire may have the coolest idea of how to get there. Several tech companies – both startups and existing brands – took over abandoned textile mills along the Merrimack River in Manchester and converted them into new workspaces. The result: Silicon Millyard. That’s where you’ll find security companies such as WWPass, which sells cloud-based authentication services to banks and healthcare institutions.
Not everything is in Manchester, though. Two members of the Cybersecurity 500, an annual list of the best companies, have their U.S. headquarters in Nashua and Portsmouth. The former, SnoopWall, sells hardware and software that prevent data breaches. The latter, GlobalSign, focuses on SSL certification.
These tech companies represent just a portion of the market. It’s more likely you’ll find a job with a big corporation. In fact, BAE Systems is one of the biggest employers in the state, with roughly 1500 New Hampshirites on its workforce. One of the defense contractor’s specialties is cyber security, and it regularly hires security engineers in and around Nashua. In the financial sector, Liberty Mutual extends up from its Boston headquarters to employ security analysts in Portsmouth.
Cyber Security Salaries in New Hampshire
New Hampshire information security analysts, who rake in over $95,000 annually, earn several thousand more than the national average. Moreover, they also have bragging rights over their colleagues in Vermont and Massachusetts, where salaries are lower. One thing that bodes especially well for New Hampshirites is the quality of their degrees. According to the PayScale 2017 ROI Report, Computer Science grads from Dartmouth and UNH have higher earnings than many of their peers.
All Cyber Security Programs in New Hampshire
Below are all the matching programs we found in our directory, from 7 New Hampshire schools.
Great Bay Community College
|Portsmouth, New Hampshire|
Manchester Community College
|Manchester, New Hampshire|
Nashua Community College
|Nashua, New Hampshire|
NHTI-Concord’s Community College
|Concord, New Hampshire|
River Valley Community College
|Claremont, New Hampshire|
Southern New Hampshire University
|Manchester, New Hampshire|
White Mountains Community College
|Berlin, New Hampshire|