Cybersecurity Degrees in Colorado


Updated June 23, 2023

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Like many other states, Colorado's labor force faces a cybersecurity talent shortage. Explore the wealth of opportunity available to professionals with the right skills. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Colorado's economy has embraced technology as it continues to modernize and diversify. The state's Office of Economic Development and International Trade reports that Colorado hosts almost 11,000 tech industry businesses, with a new tech startup launching every 72 hours.

Yet, according to a 2022 report published by the Colorado Sun, Colorado only has 59 qualified cybersecurity professionals for every 100 job openings in the field. This combination of strong tech activity and a shortage of qualified workers creates a favorable profile for cybersecurity professionals.

For years, Colorado's college network has addressed the state's critical skills gap by expanding opportunities. Studying cybersecurity in Colorado has never been more accessible. This guide provides a detailed analysis of the Colorado cybersecurity landscape from educational and professional perspectives.

Colorado at a Glance

  • Average Wage for Computer and Mathematical Occupations: $116,020
  • % of Workforce in Tech: 8.3%
  • Economic Impact of Tech Industry: $53 billion
  • Number of Higher Learning Institutions: 61

Sources: Cyberstates™, NCES, OEWS

Why Study Cybersecurity in Colorado?

Colorado continues to grapple with one of the most critical shortages of skilled cybersecurity professionals in any U.S. state. As the University of Colorado Denver notes, the state can only meet about 58% of its cybersecurity labor force needs.

In 2022, CompTIA rated cybersecurity as Colorado's fourth-leading area of tech industry employment in its annual Cyberstates report. The disconnect between employment levels and ongoing cybersecurity labor shortages indicate many opportunities for people with the right knowledge and training.

Colorado enjoys a strong reputation as a cybersecurity education destination. As of June 2022, the state hosted 13 institutions recognized as Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) in cybersecurity by the National Security Agency (NSA). Cybersecurity students enjoy a varied lineup of learning opportunities across community colleges, public universities, and private schools.

Earning a cybersecurity degree in Colorado offers an ideal way to pursue roles in a high-paying job market. In May 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that Colorado-based computer and math workers earned an average annual wage of more than $116,000 per year.

Popular Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Education Statistics for Colorado

Colorado hosts more than 60 degree-granting undergraduate institutions. More than half of the state's student body engages with online learning, but overall rates fall below the national average.

Colorado vs. National Education Statistics
Higher Education Statistics Colorado Data National Data
Four-Year Colleges 38 2,679
Two-Year Colleges 23 1,303
Students Enrolled in Distance Education 55.9% 72.8%

Sources: NCES

Accreditation for Colorado Schools

Institutional accreditation ensures that a school meets specific academic standards, as assessed by third-party agencies. Prior to February 2020, U.S. schools were either nationally or regionally accredited. However, this distinction has since been dissolved.

Before the 2020 changes, the Higher Learning Commission functioned as Colorado's main regional accrediting body. Any national or regional agency can now accredit Colorado institutions. You can trust institutional accreditors recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Some Colorado cybersecurity schools and programs hold additional, optional endorsements from specialized accreditors. Examples include ABET and the NSA-backed CAE recognition in cybersecurity.

Considerations for a Cybersecurity Degree in Colorado

When considering schools, prospective students should evaluate costs, location, career support, program diversity, and graduate outcomes. Many candidates also prioritize the course delivery format that best aligns with their preferred learning method.

The main delivery formats include campus-based courses and online learning, along with hybrid models that blend these methods. As the table below shows, Colorado students participate in distance learning at rates slightly below the average.

Overall, the data suggests that Colorado generally keeps pace with national trends. The state's well-developed higher education network supports learning opportunities in every format.

Explore rankings for top cybersecurity programs around the country:

Associate Degree Programs in Cybersecurity

Associate Degree Programs in Cybersecurity

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Top Doctoral Degree Programs in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity Concentrations and Similar Degrees

Cybersecurity and information security, a related field, represent two of many technology education concentrations available in Colorado. You may benefit from alternatives if your career plans extend into other areas.

CompTIA's 2022 Cyberstates report listed software, network engineering, and information technology support as the top three areas of tech industry employment in the state. If you would like to train for careers in these industry branches, the following computer science concentrations may interest you.

Software Engineering

Software engineering programs focus on the technical skill sets professionals use to develop computer programs and applications. Engineering work often includes security efforts, as well.

Information Technology

IT programs develop the proficiencies professionals need to assist organizations in meeting their technology needs. They focus on networking, network and system architecture, programming, and troubleshooting.

Computer Information Systems

Computer information systems degrees cover general topics, including cybersecurity, systems analysis, and programming. Graduates emerge with versatile and highly transferable skill sets.

Paying for Your Cybersecurity Degree

In general, Colorado's higher education costs line up with national averages. A notable exception applies to private four-year colleges, which are significantly cheaper in Colorado. Across four years, total average tuition costs at Colorado private colleges approach $100,000.

As costs rise, students increasingly need help paying for their cybersecurity degrees. Prioritize aid sources that do not require repayment, such as scholarships, fellowships, and grants. Though they can create long-term debt, federal and private loans offer another option.

In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition

Public colleges typically apply higher tuition rates to out-of-state students, and Colorado is no exception. The policy reflects the underlying notion that residents contribute to the local higher education system through taxes, which subsidize tuition costs.

Colorado-bound students from neighboring states may qualify for reduced rates through the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE). The WUE is the largest tuition reciprocity compact in the United States. Similar opportunities apply to learners seeking advanced degrees through the Western Regional Graduate Program.

Colorado's Cost of Living

Local living costs can significantly affect student budgets, especially for campus-based learners. As of 2023, Colorado's cost of living score is higher than average — especially for housing.

The Cost of Living Index uses 100 as the base average for the United States, then rates each state relative to that score. Colorado's 2023 cost of living index score is 105.3 — on the whole, Colorado is 5.3% more expensive than the typical U.S. state.

Cybersecurity Careers for Colorado Graduates

According to CompTIA's 2022 Cyberstates report, Colorado ranked 14th among U.S. states for net technology industry employment and seventh in tech job growth. CompTIA tracked about 127,600 technology job postings in Colorado in 2022, of which nearly 36,000 were in emerging fields.

U.S. News & World Report highlights many positives about the Colorado economy, ranking it third in the United States. Many of the state's leading industries have acute needs for Colorado cybersecurity professionals. Beyond technology, these industries include financial services, bioscience, energy and natural resources, and healthcare.

Employment opportunities concentrate heavily in the greater Denver metro area, which hosts approximately half the state's population. However, the growth of technology and the ongoing shift toward remote work combine to create opportunities for qualified cybersecurity professionals in Colorado.

The subsections below explore available cybersecurity careers in Colorado. Consider them as you plan your career path in the Centennial State.

Select Colorado Cybersecurity Careers

Vulnerability Assessor

Vulnerability assessors identify gaps and weaknesses in cybersecurity and information security systems. These professionals hold junior positions in cybersecurity teams, making the career accessible to candidates with undergraduate degrees.

  • Average Salary (June 2023): $87,000
  • Job Outlook in Colorado (2020-30): +27.7% (information security analysts)

Security Auditor

Security auditors perform systematic reviews of organizations' cybersecurity efforts and infrastructure. The role combines vulnerability assessments, penetration testing, and cybersecurity best practices with organizational policy development and implementation.

  • Average Salary (June 2023): $77,800
  • Job Outlook in Colorado (2020-30): +27.7% (information security analysts)

Cloud Security Engineer

Professionals in this senior position focus on designing and optimizing cybersecurity solutions for cloud-based systems. As with other cybersecurity specializations, individuals typically start their careers as analysts and in other supporting positions. Candidates then advance as they gain skills and experience.

  • Average Salary (June 2023): $132,440 (cloud solutions architect)
  • Job Outlook in Colorado (2020-30): +30.4% (computer and information systems managers)

The following subsections explore employment and salary trends related to Colorado's technology landscape.

Colorado Employment Trends

Projected Job Growth for Computer Hardware Engineers, Computer Network Architects, and Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers
Year State National
Computer Hardware Engineers
2020 Employment 4,960 66,200
2030 Projected Employment 6,550 67,300
Projected Job Growth, 2020-2030 +32.1% +1.7%
Computer Network Architects
2018 Employment 7,150 165,200
2030 Projected Employment 8,870 174,200
Projected Job Growth, 2018-2028 +22.2% +5.4%
Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers
2020 Employment 46,650 1,847,900
2030 Projected Employment 59,420 2,257,400
Projected Job Growth, 2020-2030 +27.4% +22%

Source: Projections Central

Salaries for Cybersecurity and Related Careers, May 2021
Career Colorado Employment Colorado Average Annual Wage National Average Annual Wage
Computer and Information Systems Managers 11,150 $179,190 $179,670
Computer Hardware Engineers 4,000 $136,150 $140,830
Computer Network Architects 10,570 $133,610 $129,490
Computer Network Support Specialists 3,980 $78,660 $76,060
Computer Programmers 2,140 $120,370 $102,790
Computer Systems Analysts 9,410 $119,020 $107,530
Information Security Analysts 5,820 $118,480 $119,860
Network and Computer Systems Administrators 10,350 $101,310 $97,160
Software Developers 40,930 $136,230 $132,930
Web Developers 2,770 $84,650 $87,580

Source: BLS OEWS

Several Colorado-based cybersecurity and technology jobs pay salaries above national averages. This data indicates strong earning potential for cybersecurity in Colorado, even after factoring in the state's cost of living.

Professionals seeking an optimal balance of job opportunity and earning power can consider careers with high employment figures and strong wages. In Colorado, computer and information systems managers, computer network architects, and software developers lead the tech jobs that fit this profile.

Popular Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Cybersecurity Employers in Colorado

Sungard Availability Services: This national IT, cybersecurity, and cloud computing company maintains a location in the home-ruled Denver suburb of Thornton. A 2023 Clutch analysis found that about one-third of the company's services focus on cybersecurity solutions. Sungard was recently acquired by 11:11 Systems.

Integris IT: This mid-size, Denver-based information technology firm hires new team members to support its client base of more than 1,800 organizations across multiple states.

Wells Fargo: This financial institution is the largest bank in Colorado, as measured by branch locations. Other major Colorado banking networks include Chase, U.S. Bank, FirstBank, and Bank of the West.

Professional Cybersecurity Organizations in Colorado

Professional organizations help new and established cybersecurity workers sharpen their skills and connect with jobs. The following organizations can benefit Colorado-based cybersecurity professionals:

Denver Information Systems Security Association

Denver's ISSA chapter aims to "develop and connect Denver's cybersecurity leaders." Monthly meetings cover industry-focused special interest groups, training and development, and socially oriented networking programs.

Aspen Security Forum

This high-profile annual event occurs in the Colorado ski resort municipality of Aspen. It assembles a group of government and business leaders, academics, and cybersecurity experts to discuss national and international security issues.

(ISC)2 Pikes Peak Chapter

This technology nonprofit maintains a chapter in Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs. Membership benefits include discounts on development programs and extensive professional networking and career-building opportunities.

Schools With Cybersecurity Degrees in Colorado

Popular Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

FAQ About Cybersecurity in Colorado

Can I get a cybersecurity degree in Colorado?

Yes — accredited schools allow you to study cybersecurity in Colorado at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can also participate in introductory and graduate-level non-degree certificate programs.

Are the best cybersecurity schools in Colorado expensive?

Colorado's higher education costs are relatively close to national averages. One exception applies to the state's private colleges: According to NCES data, these are significantly less expensive than average in Colorado.

What cybersecurity degree do I need for a good career?

Insiders generally recommend an associate degree as the minimum education needed to secure an entry-level cybersecurity job. For more advancement potential, consider a bachelor's or master's degree, plus recognized and respected cybersecurity certifications.

Is cybersecurity a good career in Colorado?

Technology careers in Colorado tend to pay above-average rates, and Colorado labor market analysts report that the state can only fill less than 60% of its cybersecurity vacancies. From these viewpoints, cybersecurity can provide a promising career path for Colorado residents.

Last reviewed June 5, 2023.

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