Preparing for a Career in Cybersecurity

Take advantage of the many cybersecurity programs available in state


Business, government agencies and nonprofits all across the country face a critical skills shortage for trained cybersecurity professionals. In Oregon alone, there are more than 3,000 unfilled job openings while on a national level there are nearly 300,000 more openings than available candidates. Given the high cost of a data breach or ransomware attack, organizations are more than willing to invest in the people they need to strengthen their defenses.

If you’re considering a move into this lucrative and necessary field, Oregon’s colleges and universities are a great place to start your cybersecurity education. You can start with a two-year degree or move into bachelors and advanced degree programs while immersing yourself in cutting edge research programs.

High school students considering a cybersecurity career will want to take advantage of one of the cyber camps offered around the state. These camps combine hands-on learning with expert advise from Oregon cybersecurity professionals.

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Chemeketa Community College

Salem, Oregon

Chemeketa Community College is a National Security Administration-designated Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity and offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity. At Chemeketa, students engage in a variety of coursework to prepare them to enter into a career as a cybersecurity professional. Throughout their education, students have the opportunity to explore topics such as ethical hacking and computer forensics as well as take the first steps towards preparing for industry-recognized cybersecurity certification exams. When outside of class, Chemeketa enables students to connect with like-minded peers and supplement their education by practicing what they learn in the classroom through the college's student-lead cybersecurity club.

Cybersecurity Program: Zachary Yamada

Contact: 503-584-7370

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Mt. Hood Community College

Gresham, Oregon

Mt. Hood Community College offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree program that is recognized by the National Security Agency and offers professional certifications such as Cisco, CompTIA, and others. The college founded the Oregon Center for Cyber Security, Oregon’s first Community College Center of Excellence.

Cybersecurity Program: Wayne M. Machuca, PhD

Contact: 503.491.7631


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Oregon Institute of Technology

Klamath Falls & Wilsonville, Oregon

Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) currently offers a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with focused electives in cybersecurity. Students learn the fundamental skills needed for all the major disciplines within the IT field, including networking, server administration, programming, databases, cybersecurity and systems analysis. This degree is offered at the Portland-Metro and Klamath Falls campuses, as well as online.

Information Technology Program: Professor Jeff Dickson

Contact: 541.885.1857

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Oregon State University

Corvallis, Oregon

Oregon State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with an applied track in cybersecurity. The university’s cybersecurity program has six computer security research professors. The Cybersecurity Research Group at OSU develops tools and techniques to protect sensitive data & infrastructure against malicious attacks. The university is also one of the host locations of NW Cyber Camp, a summer cybersecurity camp for high school students.

Cybersecurity Program: Professor Rakesh Bobba

Contact: 541.737.3333

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Portland State University

Portland, Oregon

Portland State University offers a Masters Security Certificate and Master of Science Computer Science degree with a security track. Undergraduate courses in cybersecurity include security tracks and Capture-the-Flag clubs for beginner and advanced students. The university, which offers high school internships each year, also sponsors multiple high school computer camps and cybersecurity camps.

Cybersecurity Program: Professor Wu-Chen Feng

Contact: 503.725.2408


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University of Oregon

Eugene, Oregon

University of Oregon’s Center for Cyber Security and Privacy (CCSP) is the university’s primary hub for cybersecurity research and education. Led by director Prof. Jun Li, CCSP conducts a variety of research projects and educational efforts focusing on the security and privacy of computer networks and systems. The center brings together faculty working in multiple departments and schools, including Computer and Information Science, Philosophy, the Lundquist College of Business, the School of Law, and Information Services, among others. University of Oregon will host an Oregon Cyber Security Day on April 23, 2018.

Cybersecurity Program: Professor Jun Li

Contact: 541.346.4424


sourceU (Warner Pacific University)

Portland, Oregon

Warner Pacific University's sourceU school opened in August  2019 and offers a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with an emphasis on cybersecurity and web development. Students may begin by earning a certificate in either Web Development or Cybersecurity and then continue their studies toward as Associate or Bachelor's degree. Students will be able to earn an Associate degree in 16 months at which point they will be ready to enter the work world while continuing to work toward their Bachelor degree. Courses will run in 4-week increments with a full 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. immersion. All technical courses are led by instructors with extensive industry experience and will focus on using current technology to solve real-world problems.

External Ambassador: Meghan Varner

Contact: 503-517-1518




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Got questions about cybersecurity? Here is where to find the answers.

Spotlight Profile


Rakesh Bobba

Rakesh Bobba is an assistant professor in Electrical & Computer Engineering at Oregon State University. He specializes in security for distributed and networked systems. His research interests include access control models and mechanisms, key management, cryptographic protocols, and applied cryptography among others.

His current research focus is on the security for critical cyber-physical infrastructures such as smart grids, cloud computing infrastructures and real-time systems. Prior to joining Oregon State University, Rakeesh was at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) as a research scientist at the Information Trust Institute (ITI) from 2010 to 2011, and as a research assistant professor in the College of Engineering from 2012 to 2014 with appointments in ITI and ECE departments. His research is funded by NSF, DOE, ONR and AFOSR/AFRL.

Professor Bobba supports cybersecurity education for high school students through his management of one of the NW Cyber Camp sessions at Oregon State University.

To reach Professor Bobba, please contact him at Oregon State University at 541.737.3333 or send email.

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"In this era of smart handhelds, ubiquitous connectivity, remote storage and computing, our information, identities, intellectual property and even our critical infrastructure are at increasing risk. In addition to training future cybersecurity professionals at Oregon State University, our research teams are doing some interesting work that I hope will help reduce the risk of cyber attacks that adversely impact all of our social and economic well-being."

Rakesh Bobba

Cybersecurity Glossary


An unauthorized individual who attempts to or gains access to an IT system.


When IT professionals purposefully attempt to exploit a website or program’s security vulnerabilities to identify and eliminate weaknesses.


To encrypt or encode plaintext using a computer algorithm.


IT team that emulates cybersecurity hackers in a mock attack.


IT team that defends against cybersecurity attacks in a mock attack.


A cybersecurity challenge focused on exploiting or defending system vulnerabilities.


A cybersecurity competition in which contests must complete challenges from multiple categories or in red team vs. blue team type contests.

Cybersecurity Education Camps

NW Cyber Camp, formerly known as PDX Cyber Camp, is a week-long cybersecurity education summer camp for high school students who are cybersecurity novices. The core curriculum and program design for this camp is based on the Air Force Association’s CyberCamp and includes expert guest speakers with extensive experience in cybersecurity technologies and careers as well as cybersecurity educators.

Speakers at the 2017 camps included information security specialists, cyber incident responders, malware analysts and cybersecurity researchers from several leading companies and organizations including Cylance, FBI, Galois, IBM, McAfee, PacStar, Splunk, Thales, OHSU and more. During the 2017 camp, educators from Oregon State University, Oregon Tech and Mt. Hood Community College gave presentations about their college’s cybersecurity programs. According to NW Cyber Camp’s organizers, the 2018 camp is shaping up to have a similar schedule of top industry experts and educators.

For the second year in a row, 2018’s camp will include a girls-only camp location in the Portland metro area that will include women instructors and guest speakers. This camp is designed to encourage interest from girls in the cyber security field in an environment led by women professionals.

The program also includes an evening networking reception with industry sponsors and experts, where students and parents will have a chance to talk one-to-one with cybersecurity professionals and businesses. During the camp, students will gain valuable skills which will position them well for cybersecurity internships at local companies.

Founded in 2016 as PDX Cyber Camp by Amelia Kawasaki, a high school student and president of the Lincoln High School Coding Club, and her father Charlie Kawasaki, founder of Software Diligence Services, the popular cybersecurity camp continues to expand. In 2016, the first PDX Cyber Camp was held at Lincoln High School. In 2017, the camp expanded to include three locations in the Portland area including Lincoln High School, the Center for Advanced Learning in Gresham, and Mentor Graphics in Wilsonville. In 2018, the name of the camp was changed to NW Cyber Camp to reflect its continued expansion and two additional camps at Oregon State University in Corvallis and Central Oregon Community College in Bend were added.

2020 NW Cyber Camp: October 10 & 17 

Full day camps was held on successive Saturdays in October with a combination of online and in-person training at multiple locations.

First Saturday
Three locations simultaneously

Mt Hood Community College (online)
Gresham, OR

Oregon Institute of Technology (online)
Wilsonville, OR

Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR

Second Saturday online/in-person
All campers from each location participated in a team-based competition.


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