Utah Cybersecurity Certificate and Associate's Degree

A recent news article noted that computer systems throughout the state of Utah are being attacked 1.9 billion times each day. These figures are from the Utah Cyber Center and Mike Hussey, the Chief Information Officer overseeing Utah’s Division of Technology Services. These attacks, of course, are just attempts at hacking Utah’s computer systems, and not successful attacks. Hussey notes that the state monitors intrusion attempts in state and local computer systems all across Utah, and that these attempts originate from all over the world. 

The advent of telework during the COVID-19 pandemic increased intrusion attempts in Utah, as more state employees were working from home with less security. During the height of the teleworking period, DTS logged three billion hack attempts per day. Hussey noted that most hackers are seeking confidential data on private citizens that can be monetized.

In 2012, Utah experienced a major data breach when its Medicaid data was compromised. In 2019, Garfield County was the victim of a ransomware attack. Why is Utah such a target for hackers? Hussey noted that there are many tech companies throughout the state, as well as the National Security Agency (NSA) data center located in Bluffdale, and Hill Air Force Base. Many hackers believe that if they can get a “foot in the door” in one government system, they will be able to hack the entire government system. 

These are all reasons why cybersecurity is becoming so crucial to our daily lives, not just in Utah but around the world.  Many people who are interested in breaking into the cybersecurity field begin by attaining an associate degree or certificate. Read on to discover how you can get started on this path towards a new cybersecurity career in Utah. 

Cybersecurity Law in Utah

Under Utah’s cybersecurity law, all entities doing business in Utah must take measures to protect, secure and dispose of records containing personal information, as well as notifying individuals if their personal information is compromised through a security breach. Personal information, under this law, includes an individual’s first name or first initial and last name, along with their social security number, driver’s license number, state ID card number, or financial account number, credit/debit card number in combination with security code, access code or password. Reasonable procedures, however, are not as well-defined under this law. Legal experts suggest that entities doing business in Utah look to other states’ data security regulations for guidance in this area, including Massachusetts and New York. 

Utah Cybersecurity Jobs with an Associate Degree or Certificate

If you have an associate degree or certificate in cybersecurity in Utah, you may be eligible for jobs such as:

  • Junior Cyber Security Specialist – ManTech, Clearfield and Salt Lake City
  • Junior Cyber Security Engineer- ManTech, Hill AFB
  • Cyber Security Analyst – DXC Technology, Salt Lake City
  • Security Analyst – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Riverton
  • Cyber Security Analyst – Leidos, Salt Lake City
  • Junior Cybersecurity Engineer- Booz Allen Hamilton, Clearfield
  • Cloud Security Analyst – Vivint, Provo
  • Cybersecurity Analyst – BAE Systems, Inc., Hill AFB
  • Cyber Security Researcher – Stage 2 Security, Lehi
  • Junior Cyber System Configuration Management Specialist – ManTech, Hill AFB

Cybersecurity Associate Degree and Certificate Programs in Utah 

Make sure that any institution that you select in which to study cybersecurity in Utah holds regional or national accreditation through an agency listed with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Security Agency (NSA) set up the National Centers of Academic Excellence program in 1999 to signify the best cybersecurity programs in the country.

Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education in Utah

Utah houses the following CAE program at the associate degree level:

Dept. of Computer Science & Information Systems

351 W. University Blvd.

Cedar City, UT 84720

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2023

Nathan Barker, Dept. Chair

(435) 586-5415; barkern@suu.edu 

More Associate Degree and Certificate in Cybersecurity Programs in Utah

More cybersecurity associate degree and certificate programs in Utah include:

Department of Business & Technology

4600 South Redwood Road

Salt Lake City, UT 84123

James “Robbie” Sweeten, contact

(801) 593-2412; https://www.davistech.edu/cybersecurity# 

  • Salt Lake Community College – 

Certificate in Cyber Defense

Certificate of Proficiency in Network and Cyber Security

Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

School of Business, Computer Science and Information Systems Department

4600 South Redwood Road

Salt Lake City, UT 84123

Paul Anstall, Professor

(801) 957-4233; paul.anstall@slcc.edu 

Information Systems & Technology

800 West University Parkway

Orem, UT 84058

(801) 863-8888

Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Goddard School of Business & Economics

Ogden, UT 84408

(801) 626-6354; advisebusiness@weber.edu 

Utah Cybersecurity Associate Degree Program Courses

In a typical cybersecurity associate degree program in Utah, you will take courses such as:

  • Programming with Python
  • Introduction to Digital Forensics
  • Advanced Digital Forensics
  • Systems Administration
  • Server Administration
  • Data Communications and Networking
  • Information Systems Project Management
  • Systems Analysis and Design
  • Defensive Security
  • Computer Applications

Cybersecurity Salary in Utah

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that the annual mean wage for information security analysts working in Utah as of May 2019 was $88,480. Those working in the Ogden and Clearfield areas earned higher than average salaries of $90,420; and those working in the Salt Lake City area also earned higher than the state average, at $90,300. Information security analysts working in the Provo and Orem area earned slightly lower than average salaries of $86,040.