MSU Denver

Preparing for a more secure future

Cybersecurity is an exciting, complex, and diverse field that is critical to all industries. As our lives become more dependent on internet-based tools and services, the demand has grown for cybersecurity experts. The security field in Colorado continues to grow, and is expected to have 13,500 job openings in 2025.

The Introduction to Cybersecurity course exposes learners to a wide range of fields within Cybersecurity, such as infrastructure, network and internet security, intrusion detection and prevention, information systems strategy and planning, security risk analysis and risk management, information assurance, and cybersecurity infrastructure.

This course encourages learners to identify their areas of interest to continue their academic career or find a job. This course also helps those already working to gain more knowledge and understanding about cybersecurity.

Course description

The Introduction to Cybersecurity course provides a broad overview of cybersecurity, including how computers and networks are attacked, how the attackers benefit, and how to mitigate attack. The terminology, approaches, and underlying technologies used in cybersecurity are also covered. Social engineering, cryptography, and application security are introduced.

Learning objectives:

  • Assess threat models and their influence on an organization
  • Compare the various uses and approaches to cryptography
  • Prepare for and respond to security incidences
  • Design effective and efficient password schemes
  • Plan environments that are resistance to malware
  • Choose an effective set of training experiences for an organization
  • Prepare a plan to defend from the usual attacks on networks and hosts

Competencies to be gained:

  • Identify and distinguish between various types of malware
  • Create an effective security policy
  • Configure a computer for optimal security
  • Recover deleted or hidden files via file carving and steganography
  • Encrypt and decrypt using simple ciphers

Cybersecurity career goal pathways

After taking the course, the learner can immediately enter the workforce, or continue on academic career to increasing earning potential.

Pathway 1: Enter the workforce quickly. Complete the Introduction to Cybersecurity course and immediately enter the workforce with job titles like cybersecurity technician, cybercrime analyst, incident analyst, IT auditor, junior penetration tester, and systems administrator.

  • The median salary is $52,700 a year.

Pathway 2: Continue your academic career to earn a degree in Cybersecurity, which will allow you to increase your earning potential. The Introduction to Cybersecurity class can count toward the degree’s required courses. Job titles include information security analyst, security analyst, customer security specialist, IT auditor, and security engineer.

  • The median salary is $70,100 a year.

Pathway 3: Continue your academic career beyond a bachelor’s degree to earn one of MSU Denver’s Cybersecurity certificates in cyber defense, cybersecurity leadership, and cybercrime investigation.

  • The median salary is $96,600 a year.

Pathway 4: Enhance your earning power with MSU Denver’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity. The Introduction to Cybersecurity class can count toward the degree’s required courses. Job titles include cybersecurity case manager, senior cybersecurity engineer, senior network security operations engineer, application security architect, and director of IT security.

  • The median salary is $120,600 a year.


Approximate return on investment for each pathway

four pathways of the course, also described in the text

About the course

Fall 2022 Schedule

Introduction to Cybersecurity course

  • Registration closes – October 1
  • Class ends – November 11

Credit-By-Exam to convert the class to credit

  • Registration opens – October 6
  • Registration closes – November 18
  • Credit-By-Exam must be completed – December 18


Spring 2023 schedule

Introduction to Cybersecurity course

  • Registration opens – Mid-November
  • Classes start – February 1
  • Last day to register – March 1
  • Class ends – April 1

Credit-By-Exam to convert the class to credit

  • Registration opens – March 1
  • Registration closes – April 15
  • Credit-By-Exam must be completed – May 15


Introduction to Cybersecurity course

  • The course is $395, with a $35 transaction fee per payment. There are no books to purchase.


  • If you choose to convert the noncredit class to credit, you will take a Credit-by-exam. The cost is $122, and there is no transaction fee.

What do I receive after I pass the course?

After successfully completing the Introduction to Cybersecurity course, you will receive a certificate of completion. You can also request to receive a digital badge that will be embedded with the competencies learned. You can include this badge on your resume, LinkedIn page, portfolio, or share it with an employer.

You will also receive a personal advisement session with industry leader and Director of the Cybersecurity Center at MSU Denver, Richard MacNamee.


About the Instructor

Jesse Schulman is an MSU Denver faculty member with a firm belief that cybersecurity can be fun. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre from Trinity University and a Master’s degree in Cybersecurity from the University of North Carolina Charlotte. He is currently working toward his Ph.D. at Northcentral University.

Having worked as both a security engineer and a security researcher, Jesse helps students learn and engage with computer security in an enjoyable and easy-to-understand way. He believes that the ultimate purpose of education is to help students discover their passion and find what career they genuinely enjoy.

Headshot of Jesse Schulman


Frequently asked questions

Request more information

If you are a current MSU Denver student who is or has been enrolled in courses for the recent current spring, summer, or fall semester, do not submit any forms. Contact Andrea Pazos at [email protected] for instructions on how to register for these courses.

Contact us

Email us

Phone: 303-615-1234

Office Location:
Jordan Student Success Building
3rd Floor – #330
Auraria Campus

Mailing Address:
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Innovative and Lifelong Learning
P.O. Box 173362
Campus Box 6
Denver, CO 80217-3362