Colorado Sees Growth in Cybersecurity Sector

With its large concentration of federal agencies and government contractors, it’s not surprising that the Washington, D.C., region has a large concentration of cybersecurity jobs. But beyond the Beltway, it’s tough to beat Colorado.

In per-capita job openings in cybersecurity, Colorado lags only Maryland and Virginia, according to research by Burning Glass.1 With more than 7,600 job postings in 2014, the state has seen the number of cybersecurity positions more than double since 2010.1 Overall, Colorado ranks 11th in the total number of cybersecurity jobs, rivaling much larger and more populous states including California, New York, and Texas1.

Denver is at the center of Colorado’s cybersecurity boom; it ranks as the third fastest-growing city in the nation for cybersecurity careers and the ninth largest city for jobs overall, according to Burning Glass4. Cybersecurity job openings in the Denver area have grown by 176 percent since 2010, with only Austin, Texas, and Columbus, Ohio, seeing greater growth.1

When looking at per-capita job openings, Denver’s cybersecurity career opportunities are 203 percent greater than the national average.6 Only Washington, D.C., the San Francisco Bay area, and Baltimore have higher concentrations of cybersecurity jobs.

Colorado’s six military bases, federal agencies, and the contractors and businesses that have grown to support them all are competing for qualified cybersecurity professionals. So are a growing number of high-tech firms specializing in cybersecurity, including Red Canary, ProtectWise, Asbio, LogRhythm, and Webroot, the largest privately held internet security company in the United States.7 By one count, nearly 100 cyber-focused businesses are now operating in Colorado Springs and Denver.3

“We’re beginning to see a blooming of small companies around cyber,” Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said last year.9

Job prospects continue to increase.

Colorado’s cybersecurity job prospects are only growing. The Air Force Space Command, based in Colorado Springs, has taken a lead in the nation’s cyber defense. Founded in 2016 on the site of a former manufacturing plant, the National Cybersecurity Center in Colorado Springs has emerged as a driver of collaboration between federal agencies and the private sector.10 Its CEO recently said that 10,000 cybersecurity jobs across the state have gone unfilled.5

Colorado Cyber, a state-level consortium of information security companies, is working to elevate the state’s profile in the cybersecurity space.1 An ecosystem of cybersecurity accelerators and bootcamps is evolving, and the state’s first cybersecurity summit for the healthcare industry was held last year.2 Colorado remains a destination of choice for techies of all types: Boulder recently ranked third in the best places for STEM graduates.8

Colorado’s cybersecurity growth mirrors national trends. Job demand for information security analysts is projected to grow 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, a much faster rate than other occupations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.3 One report projects a worldwide shortage of 1.5 million skilled cybersecurity workers by 2019.1 Skill demand translates into opportunities, as cybersecurity professions command a salary premium of nearly $6,500 a year, or 9 percent, more than their peers in other IT fields, according to Burning Glass.1

An online or on-campus Master of Science in Information Assurance (MSIA) with a specialization in cybersecurity or information assurance policy management from Regis University’s College of Computer and Information Sciences can provide you with the credentials for a career in this fast-growing field. To learn more, request information online or call 877-820-0581 to speak to an admission counselor.