Illinois Cybersecurity Certificate and Associate's Degree

Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) announced in September 2020 that, in honor of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October, it was launching a cybersecurity webinar series to help Illinois manufacturers who are defense contractors meet Department of Defense cybersecurity requirements in order to be able to maintain their contracts. Their six-part “Cybersecurity Resiliency for Defense Contractors Webinar Series” will help teach Illinois manufacturers the practical steps to protect their company’s sensitive data and meet Defense Department requirements. 

IMEC has partnered with Alpine Security and the Defense Acquisition University in the production of this webinar series. Alpine Security works in educating Illinois manufacturers on cybersecurity requirements of the Department of Defense, which can sometimes be daunting and confusing to manufacturers. The main hang-up for many of these manufacturers is the new CMMC, Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, that combines many cybersecurity standards and best practices required by the Department of Defense. 

Titles of upcoming topics in the webinar series includes Cybersecurity Compliance – Real Company Examples, Cyber Security: What Are Your Risks? And Laying the Foundation: The Need for Cybersecurity in U.S. Manufacturing. The series will run from October 8 through November 12.

If you have an interest in working within the field of information security and live in Illinois, you might want to consider getting a certificate or associate degree in cybersecurity. Keep reading to find out how you can set about doing so. 

Illinois Cybersecurity Law

The Illinois Information Security Improvement Act established the Office of Statewide Chief Information Security Officer to serve as the state’s strategic planning facilitator and coordinator. Passed in 2018, it provides cybersecurity services to support agencies. Additionally, this law requires the state Auditor General to review state agencies and their cybersecurity programs, practices and policies, focusing especially on agencies that hold large amounts of personal information of Illinois citizens. 

Cybersecurity Jobs for Associate Degree and Certificate Holders in Illinois 

With associate degree or certificate in hand, you may be eligible for cybersecurity jobs in Illinois such as:

  • Entry Level Information & Cybersecurity – Northern Trust Corporation, Chicago
  • Cybersecurity Analyst – Nigel Frank International, Chicago
  • Cyber Security Analyst – Trace Systems, Inc., Scott AFB
  • Associate Information Systems Security Specialist – AT&T, Collinsville
  • Information Security Analyst – Hub International, Chicago
  • CyberSecurity Analyst – John Deere, Moline
  • Information Security Analyst – Wintrust, Rosemont
  • Security & Privacy Analyst – Google, Chicago
  • Cyber Intel Analyst – Lockheed Martin, Scott AFB
  • Security Analyst – Alzheimer’s Association, Chicago

Associate Cybersecurity Degree Titles in Illinois

Titles of some of the associate degrees in cybersecurity available in Illinois are:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity & Defense
  • Associate in Applied Science in Cybersecurity/Information Assurance
  • Associate in Applied Science in IT Security Specialist 
  • Associate of Applied Science in Data Assurance & IT Security 

Illinois Associate Degree and Certificate Cybersecurity Programs

When you are choosing an associate degree or certificate program in cybersecurity in Illinois, make sure that the institution housing the program holds accreditation by a regional accreditation agency that has been recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).  

Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE)

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created the National Centers of Academic Excellence program in 1999 to recognize the best cybersecurity education programs in the U.S.

Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education in Illinois

These Illinois associate degree and certificate cybersecurity programs have been designated Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD):

Center for Cyber Defense Education

425 Fawell Blvd.

Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2022

Dr. Felix Davis, Coordinator, CIT program

(630) 942-2134;  

  • Illinois Institute of Technology – 

Cyber Security Technologies (Professional Certificate) (Graduate)

Cybersecurity Technologies (Certificate) (Graduate)

Cyber-Physical Systems (Certificate) (Graduate) (online)

Cyber Security Management (Professional Certificate) (Graduate)

A+, Network+ with Cyber Security (Professional Certificate) (Graduate)

College of Computing, Dept. of Information Technology & Management

10 West 35th Street

Chicago, IL 60616

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2020

Maurice E. Dawson, Director, Center for Cyber Security & Forensics Education

(312) 567-5242; 

Center for Information Assurance

700 Logan College Drive

Carterville, IL 62918-2500

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Mark Rogers, Contact 

Cyber Center

5250 Shepherd Road

Springfield, IL 62794-9256

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2023

Dr. Carmen Allen, Professor, Computer Science

(217) 786-2316; 

  • Moraine Valley Community College – 

Associate in Applied Science in IT Security Specialist

Network Security Associate Certificate

Network Security Specialist Certificate

Dept. of Computer Integrated Technologies

9000 W. College Pkwy.

Palos Hills, IL 60465-2478

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2020

John Sands, Contact

(708) 974-5426; 

  • Rock Valley College – 

Associate of Applied Science in Data Assurance & IT Security

CISCO CCNA Security Certificate

CISCO CCNP Security Certificate

Voice Over IP Certificate

3301 North Mulford Road

Rockford, IL 61114

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2024

(815) 921-4000

Illinois Cybersecurity Associate Degree Curriculum

CAE-CD associate degree programs must include certain core knowledge units in order to maintain recognition. The following course areas will be covered in any associate degree CAE-CD program:

  • Basic Data Analysis
  • Basic Scripting
  • Cyber Defense
  • Cyber Threats
  • Fundamental Security Design Principles
  • Information Assurance Fundamentals
  • Introduction to Cryptography
  • IT Systems Components
  • Networking Concepts
  • Policy, Legal, Ethics & Compliance
  • System Administration 

Cybersecurity Certificates in Illinois 

In addition to the certificates listed above, other cybersecurity certificates available in Illinois include:

  • Undergraduate Certificate in Cybersecurity (online) – Elmhurst University
  • Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance & Security – Illinois State University
  • Certificate of Achievement in Cybersecurity – Joliet Junior College
  • Certificate of Achievement in Network Security Specialist – Joliet Junior College
  • Cyber Security Certificate –McHenry County College
  • Information Security Postbaccalaureate Certificate online – Purdue University Global

Salaries for Cybersecurity Professionals in Illinois

Per the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual mean wage for information security specialists working in the state of Illinois as of May 2019 was $102,780. This is close to the national average of $104,210 for this profession. Those working in the metropolitan area of Chicago/Naperville/Elgin earned a slightly higher average salary of $103,130; as did those working in Bloomington, who averaged yearly take-home pay of $106,650.