Nevada Cybersecurity Certificate and Associate's Degree

A county in New Mexico was hit with a cyberattack in May 2020. Consisting of a ransomware attack, the county of Rio Arriba was subjected to an incident involving its encrypted network servers, electronic files, and databases. All county servers that contained files or databases were affected by the cyberattack in some way. The cyber hackers locked county officials out of the data and files, holding it for ransom. The county ended up paying the hackers $180,000 to retrieve its data (with the county’s insurance provider paying $170,000 of this ransom). 

Since 2016, New Mexico has been the victim of 15 cyberattacks like this one, according to cybersecurity firm SecuLore Solutions. Other agencies in the state that were targeted through these attacks include the Public Regulation Commission, Farmington Police Department, University of New Mexico, and Presbyterian Healthcare Services in Bernalillo County. 

It is clear that New Mexico needs more trained, educated cybersecurity professionals to work to prevent attacks such as these from occurring again. If you are interested in the field of cybersecurity, you might want to consider getting an associate degree or certificate. This could be your first step towards starting an exciting new career!

Cybersecurity Laws in New Mexico 

New Mexico was one of the last states (48th) to sign a Data Breach Notification Act into law, in 2017. This law requires New Mexico’s businesses to protect, transfer, secure, and dispose properly of any documents that contain personally identifiable information (PII). It also requires companies to provide notice to any individuals whose PII is compromised through a security or data breach. The New Mexico Attorney General is charged with enforcing the Data Breach Notification Act and may impose fines on businesses that don’t follow the law. 

Under the Act, any business, individual or organization that owns or licenses PII of a New Mexico resident must “implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature of the information to protect the personal identifying information from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure.”

PII, under this law, is defined as a person’s first name or first initial and last name, combined with:

  • a social security number
  • a driver’s license number
  • a government-issued ID number
  • biometric data (i.e., fingerprints, voice prints, facial scans, iris scans, hand geometry)

Or, an account number, credit card number, or debit card number in combination with any of the following:

  • security code
  • access code
  • password

Cybersecurity Jobs for Associate Degree or Certificate Holders in New Mexico

An associate degree or certificate in cybersecurity may help you to land jobs in New Mexico such as:

  • Entry-Level Network Implementation Technician – AIETA, Albuquerque
  • Cyber Security Operations – SAIC Corporation, North Valley
  • R&D Cybersecurity Engineer – Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque 
  • Remote Security Analyst – Virtual Vocations, Albuquerque
  • Entry-Level Security Services Consultant – IBM, Las Cruces

Selecting a Cybersecurity Associate Degree or Certificate Program in New Mexico

When you are seeking a cybersecurity associate degree or certificate program in New Mexico, be sure that the college or university you select is regionally or nationally accredited through an agency listed with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Associate Degrees in Cybersecurity in New Mexico

Names of some of the associate degrees in cybersecurity available in New Mexico are:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems, Cyber Security Concentration
  • Associate of Applied Science in Information Systems Cybersecurity
  • Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity
  • Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology with Cybersecurity

Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE)

The National Centers of Academic Excellence program was started by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA) in 1999. Its intention is to highlight the best cybersecurity degree and certificate programs nationwide. 

Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education in New Mexico

These cybersecurity programs in New Mexico are designated as Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD) under the NSA-DHS National Centers for Academic Excellence program:

  • Central New Mexico Community College – 

Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems, Cyber Security Concentration

Certificate of Completion in Computer Information Systems, Cyber Security 

School of Business & Information Technology

900 University Blvd. SE

Albuquerque, NM 87106

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2022

DuJuan McCoy, BIT Advisor

(505) 224-3811; 

  • Eastern New Mexico University – Ruidoso Community College-

Associate of Applied Science in Information Systems Cybersecurity

Certificate of Completion in Computer & Network Security

Cybersecurity Center of Excellence

709 Mechem Drive (Highway 48)

Ruidoso, NM 88345

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2024

Stephen Miller, Director

(575) 808-1138; 

Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering

801 Leroy Place

Socorro, NM 87801

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2024

Dr. Dongwan Shin, Contact

(575) 835-6459; 

Additional New Mexico Cybersecurity Associate Degree and Certificate Programs

There are more associate degree and certificate programs in cybersecurity in New Mexico, like:

  • New Mexico State University, Dona Ana Community College-

Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity

Certificate of Completion in Cybersecurity

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Dept. of Computer & Information Technology

2800 N. Sonoma Ranch Blvd.

Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001

(575) 527-7500; 

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Department of Computer Science/Information Technology

4000 University Drive

Los Alamos, NM 87544

(505) 662-5919; 

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

School of Behavioral Sciences

Phelps Dodge 237

Silver City, NM 88062

Damon Bullock, Advisor

(575) 538-6187; 

New Mexico Cybersecurity Program Associate Degree Courses

Although your classes may vary in title from one university or college in New Mexico to another, if you are a student in a cybersecurity program, plan to study topics such as:

  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • IT Infrastructure Support
  • PC Maintenance and Repair
  • Linux Operating System
  • Windows Operating System
  • Database Application and Design
  • Linux Server
  • Windows Server Administration
  • Routing and Switching Essentials
  • Introduction to Networks
  • Network Security
  • Introduction to Cryptography
  • Introduction to Cyber Defense
  • Introduction to Managing Information Security 

Cybersecurity Salaries for New Mexico Professionals

The average mean wage for information security analysts working in New Mexico in May 2019 was $109,550, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries vary throughout the state, as you can see below:

  • Albuquerque: $111,060
  • Eastern nonmetropolitan area: $77,070
  • Santa Fe: $94,230