North Dakota Cybersecurity Certificate and Associate's Degree

North Dakota’s Chief Information Officer and head of the state’s information technology department, Shawn Riley, noted that in 2019, cyberattacks against the North Dakota state government increased by almost 300 percent from 2018’s numbers. While in 2018, the state experienced about five million cyberattacks per month, in 2019 the number grew to 15 million per month. 

In October 2020, the North Dakota Information Technology Department launched “DefeND,” a new statewide cybersecurity awareness program designed to educate citizens about cyber dangers. The DefeND campaign is set to run on television and digital channels for months and educate and alert North Dakotans about security mistakes like phishing, password vulnerabilities, sharing personal data and information online, and more. The campaign’s hashtag is #BeCyberSmart, and this will hopefully appeal to users of social media. The state has also set up a website to teach North Dakotans basic security tips and facts. 

Governor Doug Burgum noted, “Make no mistake that cybercrime is not a little thing, and it’s not just something that might show up in a movie. It is now a multi-billion dollar illicit enterprise. Educating North Dakotans on this growing threat is a priority.”

If you would like to become part of the solution to the ongoing, chronic problem of cyberattacks, getting an associate degree or certificate is a great first step. Keep reading to discover how you can do so in the state of North Dakota. 

Cybersecurity Law in North Dakota

North Dakota’s Governor Doug Burgum is a former Microsoft executive. Therefore, he knows the importance of cybersecurity and in 2019, signed Senate Bill 2110 into law to protect his state’s digital infrastructure. He noted that this new law will help to protect the state network’s 252,000 daily users and more than 400 entities from cyberattacks. The state has been seeing about five million cyberattack attempts each month. North Dakota’s new bill authorizes the state’s Information Technology Department to define cybersecurity for all of the state’s public entities, including counties, cities, state agencies, public school districts, and higher education institutions. 

North Dakota Cybersecurity Jobs for Associate Degree and Certificate Bearers

Associate degree and certificate holders in cybersecurity in North Dakota may become eligible for jobs such as:

  • IT Security Analyst – Eide Bailly, Bismarck
  • Cyber Security Information Tech I – Anthem, Minot
  • Cyber Security Analyst (Remote) – The Evolvers Group, Bismarck
  • Cyber Security Analyst – NDIT, Bismarck
  • Information Systems Security Officer – ALTA IT Services, LLC, Grand Forks County
  • Information Systems Cybersecurity Analyst – North Dakota Information Technology Dept., Fargo
  • Security Analyst – Western State Bank, Absaraka and West Fargo
  • Digital Information Security Analyst – Gate City Bank, Fargo
  • IT Security Specialist/Risk Management- Sanford Health, Bismarck
  • Network Security Analyst – Information Resource Group, Bismarck 

Choosing a North Dakota Associate Degree or Certificate Cybersecurity Program 

When you are searching for a cybersecurity degree or certificate program in North Dakota, make sure that the college housing the program holds regional or national accreditation through an agency that has been recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) . 

Names of Cybersecurity Associate Degrees and Certificates in North Dakota

Names of associate degree and certificate programs in cybersecurity in North Dakota include:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity & Computer Networks
  • Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity & Data Privacy 
  • Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity
  • Certificate in Information and Communications Technology- emphasis in Information Technology Forensics
  • Cyber Security Certificate

Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE)

The National Centers of Academic Excellence program was set up in 1999 by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA). It was designed to give recognition to the best degree and certificate cybersecurity programs in the country.    

Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education in North Carolina

These cybersecurity associate degree and certificate programs in North Carolina have been named Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD) under the NSA-DHS National Centers for Academic Excellence program:

1500 Edwards Ave.

Bismarck, ND 58506

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2024

(701) 224-2406; 

Department of Computer Science

1340 Administration Ave.

Fargo, ND 58102

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2024

(701) 231-8562; 

More Cybersecurity Associate Degree and Certificate Programs in North Dakota

Other associate degree and cybersecurity programs in North Dakota include:

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

1305 19th Ave. N.

Fargo, ND 58102

(701) 231-6935

  • Turtle Mountain Community College —

Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity and Data Privacy 

Cyber Security Certificate

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Career & Technical Education

10145 BIA Road 7

P.O. Box 340

Belcourt, ND 58316

(701) 477-7862

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Business & Trades Technology Department

1410 University Avenue, Western Star CTE 115

Williston, ND 58801

Ken Quamme, Professor of IT

(701) 774-4207; 

North Dakota Cybersecurity Associate Degree Program Courses

Depending upon the school in North Dakota you choose, your courses may have different titles. Generally, however, they will include the following topics:

  • Introduction to Cybersecurity
  • Operating Systems
  • Networking Fundamentals
  • Microsoft Windows Server
  • Hardware Repair & Maintenance
  • Firewalls & Network Security
  • Linux Administrator
  • Introduction to Digital Forensics
  • Incident Response & Disaster Recovery
  • Cybersecurity Infrastructure Configuration
  • Cloud Foundations
  • Ethical Hacking & Network Defense
  • Cybersecurity Law & Ethics
  • Cybersecurity Prevention & Countermeasures

Cybersecurity Salary in North Dakota

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that as of May 2019, information security analysts working in the state of North Dakota earned an annual mean wage of $87,090. Those working in the Bismarck metropolitan area earned slightly lower than average wages of $82,370 annually; while those working in the Fargo metropolitan area earned wages that were slightly higher than the state average, at $95,630 per year.