This guide contains a brief look into cybersecurity career and education opportunities in Nevada. The guide will also cover the basic economics in the state of Nevada and how the outlook for cybersecurity employment and the growth of the cybersecurity can impact the state’s future.
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Nevada, alongside states such as California and Washington D.C., upholds the nation’s economy as one of the top providers for steady employment for cybersecurity.
Nevada’s economy holds its traditional roots of agriculture at a fundamental scale, highly relying on irrigation methods and livestock ranching as a source of state income.
Nevada also contains one of the most abundant mineral regions in the United States, with copper, gold, and silver as commercially valuable outputs as a resurgence of economic growth during the 1990s. However, Nevada’s superiority in state income comes from its efforts in tourism and manufacturing, which now heavily relies on robotics and artificial intelligence to transform its roots into a source for profit.
Nevada secures federal and military operations through its land, as the federal government owns more than four-fifths of the state’s land. Thus, multiple research and development enterprises reside in Nevada. At most, military operations in the state include weapons testing and emergency response training for military employees. For cybersecurity professionals, data information and network security hold high precedence, making ventures in careers throughout the state highly probable through tax generation and job support, according to Nevada Business.
Manufacturing services, including industrial machinery, printing, food products, and chemical products, make Nevada a gold-mine for productivity, as it turns its output of livestock in cattle and poultry and mineral excursions into functioning sources of state revenue through tourism. Tourist-related services, such as gambling, hospitality, and food services, all combine the state’s mining, agriculture, and manufacturing sectors to employ more than two-fifths of Nevada’s workforce. Forbes ranks Nevada among the top 15 states for its speedy job growth and high population, making it a chief employer for cybersecurity professionals looking to service the tourism industry.
Growing awareness of cybersecurity in Nevada
Nevada’s former governor, Brian Sandoval said, “The new Nevada economy is innovation and technology-based, and every industry requires talented cybersecurity professionals.”
To meet that need, the Nevada Office of Cyber Defense Coordination (OCDC) cooperates with state and partner components to enact strategic cybersecurity initiatives within Nevada. The office incorporates a single platform to integrate cybersecurity initiatives, manage government network structures, and plan strategic policy for advice and recommendations to businesses and agencies.
The Nevada State Board of Education implemented advanced cybersecurity high school programs, in cooperation with the career and technical student organization (CTSO). These programs demonstrate proper use of safety devices, understand necessary computer repair, comprehend fire suppression systems in IT environments, and use standard networking and repair tools.
In collaboration with the Nevada State Board of Education, the University of Nevada Las Vegas hosts the UNLV Cybersecurity Symposium to help the public understand the evolving state of cybersecurity, privacy issues in the financial sector, and how government plays a role in cybersecurity methods.
According to Nevada’s Office of Science, Innovation & Technology, the office has partnered with postsecondary workforce training providers such as Transmosis, the College of Southern Nevada, and the Pinecrest Academy of Nevada. These providers help to raise awareness of career opportunities in cybersecurity and develop cybersecurity training programs for employees.
Cybersecurity education in Nevada
Nevada provides its workforce with various avenues for training in cybersecurity and attaining cybersecurity degrees. Alongside the state’s cooperation with different colleges, the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies supplies training courses in basic and advanced cybersecurity methods through program providers such as CertFirst, SANS Institute, (ISC)2 and ManTech International Corporation.
Associate degrees go beyond training programs, giving students advanced careers in cybersecurity. Students working towards an associate’s degree will learn how to handle computer hacks, decoding sensitive information, firewall protection methods, and software design applications that advance productivity in their line of work. Associate degrees allow students to expand their education through transferring credits to continue their education, with the only exception being an associate of applied science, which doesn’t allow credit transfer.
At the College of Southern Nevada, an associate of applied science degrees for both digital forensics and network security offer students an education in cybersecurity in specific focuses. The college’s digital forensics degree focuses entirely on computer crime, where students learn skills related to PC troubleshooting, organizing computer policies, mitigating security attacks, and managing network projects. The network security degree concentrates on server/client and router networking issues, teaching students skills such as Linux project management, CCNA scaling networks, technical communications, and technical mathematics. The College of Southern Nevada has also developed, with industry partnership, an advanced cybersecurity lab, which greatly aids in the instruction of its students, and is often utilized by industry partners for their cybersecurity training.
For students wishing to advance their education through an intermediate step, bachelor’s degrees deliver methods and skills in cybersecurity widely required by corporate enterprises and government entities in Nevada. Through bachelor’s degrees, students interpret, comprehend, and apply cybersecurity methods in the fundamentals of network security, information systems, software applications, and advanced web development. Bachelor’s degrees deploy more substantial groundwork for career promotions and higher household incomes.
The University of Nevada Las Vegas has recently announced a new bachelor of science in cybersecurity program offered through the computer science department of the engineering school. This program will begin in Fall of 2022 and is focused on an engineering and technical perspective to provide information assurance and device configurations to secure the network perimeters of an organization. The department also offers an optional minor in information assurance for students in the bachelor of science in computer science.
The University of Nevada in Reno gives students the option to add a cybersecurity minor to their bachelor’s degree. The cybersecurity minor, offered by the university’s Cybersecurity Center, has two subsections. The interdisciplinary cybersecurity minor provides skills and theoretical knowledge about current cybersecurity challenges and how to face them, including mobile and computer system fundamentals, cryptography, national policy, and data communications. The cybersecurity minor focuses primarily on the vulnerabilities of the digital infrastructure and looks to technical experience related to engineering and digital forensics to defend against cyber attacks.
Master’s degrees offer a chance to study specific aspects of cybersecurity, revolving around the latest digital methods of protection, encryption, and innovation to defend against hacks and compromises of digital information. Master’s degrees also provide students with management skills related to projects in network security and cryptography.
The University of Nevada Las Vegas offers a hyrbid master’s degree in cybersecurity, which is jointly offered by the colleges of business and engineering. The program is a certified academic center of excellence in cybersecurity defense with the NSA and DHS. Additionally, the program is based upon the NICE curriculum and focuses on providing an adequate amount of technical and managerial skills for one to either enter into cybersecurity from another background, or to further one’s advancement within cybersecurity by understanding better how to create, manage and operate a cybersecurity program. The program is highly applied and utilizes industry partners to engage in multiple projects with real-world companies. Further, the program is offered as a hybrid program in that all in-person classes are simultaneously broadcast and recorded to allow for remote instruction. UNLV relies on the industry leader, CyberBit, to provide a realistic cyberrange to further hone student talent in a realistic, enterprise-like setting.
Currently, the University of Nevada in Reno offers an online master’s degree in cybersecurity to teach students not only high-tech defense techniques against cyber attacks and firewall breaches, but theoretical analysis of current digital trends to improve cybersecurity defense. According to the university, the cybersecurity industry will reach 3.5 million unfilled jobs by 2021, creating an increase in demand for cybersecurity jobs throughout various industries.
Cybersecurity certifications in Nevada
For certifications in cybersecurity, the College of Southern Nevada and the University of Nevada in Reno and Las Vegas provide certificates to students. The College of Southern Nevada facilitates a certificate in cybersecurity, focusing on digital forensics to teach students the basic, necessary information to investigate computer crimes and decipher computer data. The universities, on the other hand, offers a graduate certificate in cybersecurity to learn methods of cyber defense. Students desiring the graduate certificate require a bachelor’s degree as a preliminary and do not need a technical background to apply.
Cybersecurity jobs in Nevada
Nevada evokes progressive change and economic revolution through its focus on the manufacturing sector, its vast host of government and military facilities, and expansive production of tourist-related entertainment. This economic growth gives way to numerous opportunities in cybersecurity, as multiple companies in several industries always need technical specialists to protect their data and secure their digital software systems.
With a total of 3,025 job openings in Nevada, roughly 5,233 employees currently work in the cybersecurity field, according to Cyberseek.
Further analysis of the cybersecurity field in Nevada indicate:
Supply The supply of cybersecurity workers in Nevada sustains a supply/demand ratio of 1.7 in comparison to the national average 2.0, showing very low scores. Although the majority of the United States ratios maintain low scores, Nevada’s economic development and growth show a higher success rate than most states due to its progress in the tourism, service, and manufacturing industry.
Location Nevada scores a location quotient of 0.80 in comparison to the national average of 1.0. Its location quotient scores low but contrasts significantly higher than its competitive states.
Certifications Private and public sectors, alongside state government facilities, require certifications in CompTIA Security+, Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC), and Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
Some of the top job titles for present-day employees include:
- IT Technician
- Help Desk Support
- Network Administrator
- Cybersecurity Analyst
- Security Architect
- Cyber Strategy Analyst
The average hourly wage for a cybersecurity analyst in Nevada is $41.28, with the average annual salary at $85,870, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
Cybersecurity in Nevada
Nevada anticipates massive economic growth and development as its tourism industry dominates the state’s revenue. As innovative companies make hold on the profits the state provides, cybersecurity continues to become an ever-increasing threat to the livelihoods of enterprises throughout the state and across the country. Its consistent provisions for steady employment, and growing populations, cybersecurity in Nevada can enhance and improve the security of Nevada’s income generation and commercial outgrowth.