South Dakota has the nickname the “Silicon Prairie,” due to the fact that it has the highest number of small business per capita of any state (and many of these businesses are in the technology sector), at 4725 small businesses per 10,000 residents. Even with this great number of small businesses, only 6.9 percent of all businesses in the state have declared bankruptcy.
The state also signed a data privacy bill into law requiring all companies and residents to report data breaches affecting more than 250 residents to the state’s Attorney General and to consumer reporting agencies within 60 days of discovery of the breach. Because of all of these factors, Verizon recently named South Dakota one of the top five states least likely to go bankrupt after a cyberattack.
While this is good news for the businesses and residents of South Dakota, it does not mean that South Dakota is free from cyber threats. Anyone who uses the Internet and computer systems is, unfortunately, open to and at risk of cyberattacks. Only well-trained and educated cybersecurity professionals can help to fight the threat and minimize risks taken every day by individuals and businesses. If you live in South Dakota and are interested in working in the information security field, keep reading to discover how you can obtain an associate degree or certificate in cybersecurity in South Dakota.
Cybersecurity Law in South Dakota
In March 2018, South Dakota enacted the state’s first breach notification law. This law goes on to define personal information and protected information, and includes a breach notification requirement. The law mandates all state companies and residents to report data breaches that affect over 250 residents to the state’s Attorney General, and to the major big three consumer reporting agencies, within 60 days of discovery of the breach. All individuals who are affected by a data breach must be notified if data is obtained in an unauthorized manner, if this compromises the confidentiality, security or integrity of personal, protected or private information. South Dakota was the second-to-last state to enact a breach notification law (Alabama was the only state left in 2018 without a breach notification law).
South Dakota Cybersecurity Jobs for Associate Degree or Certificate Bearers
Entry-level cybersecurity jobs in South Dakota often accept associate degree or certificate holders as applicants. Recent vacancies include:
- Cyber Threat Analyst, Entry-Level – Peraton, Inc., Madison
- Cyber Mitigations Engineer/System Vulnerability Analyst, Entry-Level – National Security Agency, South Dakota
- Malware Analyst, Entry-Level – Peraton, Inc., Madison
- Computer Science Software Engineer/Cyber Developer, Entry-Level- National Security Agency, South Dakota
- Security Engineer- Inmar, Fort Pierre
- IT Security Engineer – Physical Therapy Solutions, Sioux Falls
- Remote Cyber Security Engineer- Virtual Vocations, Sioux Falls
- Information Security Analyst – American Express, Pierre
- Cloud Cyber Security Threat Management Engineer- Humana, Aberdeen
- Accounting Assistant – SBS Cybersecurity, LLC, Madison
Cybersecurity Associate Degree and Certificate Programs in South Dakota
Any institution in South Dakota that you select in which study cybersecurity should be accredited regionally or nationally by an accreditation agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Major accreditation agencies for such institutions include:
- Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC)
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
- New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Southern Associate of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
- Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)
South Dakota Cybersecurity Associate Degree Program Titles
Associate degree programs in cybersecurity may be called by different names. In South Dakota, they include:
- Associate of Science in Network Security and Administration
- Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems – Network & Cyber Security Specialist
- Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology Security
Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE)
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Security Agency (NSA) created the National Centers of Academic Excellence program to showcase the best cybersecurity degree and certificate programs in the nation.
Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education in South Dakota
One school in South Dakota has cybersecurity programs at the associate degree and certificate levels and has been chosen as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD) under the NSA-DHS National Centers for Academic Excellence program:
- Dakota State University –
The Beacom College of Computer & Cyber Sciences
820 N. Washington Ave.
Madison, SD 57042
CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2022
More Associate Degree and Certificate Programs in Cybersecurity in South Dakota
The following South Dakota colleges and universities also host cybersecurity programs at the associate degree and certificate level:
- Lake Area Technical College – Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems – Networking & Cyber Security Specialist Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
1201 Arrow Ave
P.O. Box 730
Watertown, SD 57201
- National American University – Certificate in Cybersecurity (online) Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
College of Undergraduate Studies, Information Technology Dept.
5301 Mt. Rushmore Rd.
Rapid City, SD 57701
- Southeast Technical College – Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology Security
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
2320 N. Career Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57107
Kenneth Schaffer, Contact
(605) 367-5866; firstname.lastname@example.org
South Dakota Cybersecurity Associate Degree Program Programs
Although courses will vary from one institution to the next, generally, courses that you will take in an associate degree program in cybersecurity in South Dakota include:
- Introduction to Cyber Operations
- Computer Science I and II
- Information Security Management
- Operating Environments
- Networking I and II
- Routing and Switching
- Hardware, Virtualization and Data Communication
- Introduction to Computers
- Information Security Fundamentals
Cybersecurity Salaries in South Dakota
Per the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual mean wage for information security analysts working in South Dakota in May 2019 was $91,130. Those working in the Rapid City metropolitan area earned higher than average annual salaries of $107,290. Those working in the Sioux Falls metropolitan area earned slightly lower than state average salaries of $88,960, while those employed in the East South Dakota nonmetropolitan area earned $89,800 per year.