This guide is about cybersecurity schools in Maine and it will take a look at what the state has to offer in terms of cybersecurity programs and employment prospects.
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Featured Cybersecurity Degree Programs
|School Name||Program||More Info|
|Southern New Hampshire University||Online BS in Cybersecurity or Online MS in Cybersecurity||website|
|Syracuse University||Online MS in Cybersecurity | Complete in 15 Months||website|
|University of New Hampshire||UNH Cybersecurity Boot Camp||website|
|Utica University||Online BS in Cybersecurity||website|
|Purdue University Global||Online BS in Cybersecurity||website|
|UC Berkeley School of Information||Master’s in Cybersecurity | No GRE/GMAT Required||website|
Cybersecurity development in Maine
Maine is the easternmost state in the country. The United States 2020 census had the state’s population at 1,362,359, which is a 2.6 percent growth over the 2010 census. Both the United States Census Bureau and the Maine state government are projecting a slow growth (the Census Bureau’s figure for 2021 was 1,372,247.)
It’s no surprise that most of its economic development is driven by outdoor tourism and other natural resource industries like fishing and logging. Maine produces 90 percent of the nation’s lobster supply. Nearly 89 percent of Maine’s land area is covered by forest. As a result, the state is one of the world’s leading producers of paper products.
However, tech developments have recently begun to rise. There are some pockets of innovation such as the Maine Aqua Ventus project, which is designing the first floating offshore wind platform. According to a state-funded study, the Maine Economic Development Strategy 2020-2029, Maine is in a strong position to innovate in many industries. along with a government push to increase the cybersecurity educational programs available within its higher education system.
Until 2018, none of the companies listed in the Fortune Top 1000 were headquartered in Maine. However, there are several larger businesses like banks and insurance companies that have opened offices in the state, bringing with them cybersecurity employment opportunities According to CyberSeek, There are over 5,000 individuals employed in cybersecurity with over 1,000 openings across Maine.
Cybersecurity education in Maine
Maine is a phenomenal state for those looking for a quality education. Three Maine public universities hold accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The University of Maine (the flagship in Orono) has 12 accredited programs, including a program in computer science.
There are several community colleges with cybersecurity offerings as well as universities with cybersecurity education programs (check out the school listings below for more info). Two state universities (the University of Maine at Augusta and the University of Southern Maine) have formed a partnership for a master’s degree in cybersecurity.
Let’s take a look at some of the cybersecurity programs available in this state.
Campus-based Cybersecurity Associate’s Degrees in Maine
Associate-level degrees in cybersecurity are excellent entry points for those wishing to study the field. These often incorporate a high proportion of general education classes but usually cover the fundamentals or foundational knowledge necessary to succeed in cybersecurity.
The Maine Community College System has seven institutions, but only three have on-campus cybersecurity associate degree programs:
- The Central Maine Community College’s Cybersecurity-Digital Forensics Program prepares students for a wide range of professional outcomes. The curriculum is designed around standard industry certifications, many of which can be obtained while on campus and in the program.
- The Northern Maine Community College’s Network Administration and Cybersecurity is a two-year program. The goal is to prepare students for the cybersecurity and IT workforce — and/or to provide enough education that they continue on to a four-year degree. The program is also very hands-on and tactical.
- The Southern Maine Community College obtained the National Security Agency’s Center for Academic Excellence designation in 2019. The curriculum covers a lot of cybersecurity basics including forensics, penetration testing and ethical hacking, and network and digital security. Like the other programs, cybersecurity studies at Southern Maine Community College promise hands-on learning and professional preparation through industry certification preparation.
BACHELOR’S AND MASTER’S DEGREES
Campus-based cybersecurity bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Maine
Bachelor’s degrees are a great choice for students wanting to solidify cybersecurity as their professional field. These degrees have curriculums that focus more on actual cybersecurity topics rather than just foundational computer science areas. Many of these include opportunities for work internships or for practical projects that can be used to demonstrate skills and may be necessary for graduation.
Bachelor’s degrees are typically the first degree type needed to secure a job in the cybersecurity field.
There are several private institutions that offer a cybersecurity degree:
- Husson University has a certificate in forensics and a certificate in counter-terrorism and security. The certificate programs do not have cybersecurity-specific courses at this time, but the material is related.
- Thomas College has a range of cybersecurity degree options, ranging from a cybersecurity minor, a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity, a master’s in cybersecurity, and an MBA with a cybersecurity specialization.
The University of Maine System has seven institutions, but only four have on-campus cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs:
- The University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) was the first institution to have a bachelor’s cybersecurity program in Maine. The NSA approved the program in 2014 and the first UMA catalog to reflect this was the 2015-16 edition. Today, UMA has two four-year cybersecurity degrees. One is the bachelor’s and the other is the post-baccalaureate degree. Additionally, the following degree tracks are available:
In cooperation with the University of Southern Maine, UMA offers the following:
Additionally, there are other collaborative cybersecurity education programs in Maine, including:
- In 2018, UMA along with other institutions created the Maine Cybersecurity Center (MCC) as the designated Center for Cyber Education.
- UMA helped the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) and its program started in 2019.
- Also in 2019, UMA cut the ribbon on the Maine Cyber Range (MCR). The cyber range provides hands-on training for students and professionals.
- The University of Maine at Presque Isle has a minor and bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity.
The University of Southern Maine (USM) has a bachelor of science in cybersecurity. The degree offering requires 16 computing courses and is comparable to a computer science degree in many ways. The degree program also offers internships and the opportunity to defend against cyber attacks in a simulated cyber range environment.
In addition, USM offers a minor, a graduate certificate, and a graduate degree. The two graduate offerings are joint with UMA.
Online bachelor’s degrees
The University of Maine at Augusta UM’s Augusta campus offer bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity via online formats. These follow similar curriculums as the on-campus offerings above but enable students to complete their education on a more flexible timescale.
With COVID-19, many institutions began to use video meetings and other remote learning approaches. For some institutions, this was a major change from being strictly an in-the-classroom institution. This has made it possible for students to complete a degree without attending an in-person class. For example, UMPI computing professors have the option to teach a course as “Hyflex,” which means that the sessions are live in-person with video meeting access.
Campus-based cybersecurity certificate programs in Maine
Cybersecurity certificates are a good choice for people that aren’t fully committed to the field as a primary profession or for those that want to increase their skill set to pursue a job related to cybersecurity, like an IT administrator.
Maine has several cybersecurity certificates. UMA has a certificate in cybersecurity, a certificate in cyber forensics, and a graduate certificate in cybersecurity.
UMFK has a certificate in information security. UMPI has submitted a package for offering a certificate in cybersecurity.
Certificates are perfect for combining with another computing degree that doesn’t focus explicitly on cybersecurity. Or students can use it to get a taste for the field and see if it’s something that they want to pursue more seriously.
Cybersecurity Jobs in Maine
Maine is a rural and low-population state. It only has a few cities large enough to warrant a cybersecurity workforce. Portland, Maine, is by far the biggest cybersecurity hub and metropolitan area, so most cybersecurity workers would either live nearby or be based in that city.
There are currently over 5,000 cybersecurity workers within the state with an additional 1,000 current cybersecurity job openings according to CyberSeek.org. The ratio of cybersecurity supply to demand is 94%, which means that there are enough cybersecurity workers to fill 94% of the cybersecurity jobs that employers demand. (The national average is 68%.) There is no documentation for employers that wish to hire individuals with cybersecurity skills plus other skills. Also some out of Maine cybersecurity positions can be handled remotely and these are not reflected on the supply to demand ratio. workers to demand is also 5.0: much higher than the national average of 2.0 for these types of jobs. In other words, pickings are very slim within the state but there also aren’t very many workers compared to other states across the country.
When it comes to wages, Maine is about average compared to many other states in the country. The average hourly wage of a cybersecurity worker in Maine is $39.55, which translates to a yearly average salary of about $82,270.
This is lower than the average wages in a state like Maryland or Massachusetts, but Maine is a cheaper state to live in than many across the country. The cost of living is higher along the coast and in the cities. The cost of living is a bit lower in rural areas such as Aroostook County. Out of a scale of 100, with 100 being the national average cost, Maine has a cost of living is 96.5. In other words, your cybersecurity paycheck will go farther in this rural but beautiful state than in many others.
Maine and Cybersecurity
All in all, Maine is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to cybersecurity education and employment. It has several excellent programs up to the bachelor’s degree level and a great Master’s level program.