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Why Consider a Certificate?

You may be or reach the dilemma of whether to pursue a graduate certificate or a master’s degree in cyber security or associated field. How do you decide? The answer depends on your career goals. One is not necessarily better. We will focus this article on the merits of a certificate and offer choices to boost your credentials and complement your bachelor’s degree.

One of the major advantages of a certificate is the cost and time-savings. Many are available online so there will be no interruption in your work, if applicable. The degree is a two-year commitment in the typical master’s program. The tuition for one year of graduate school may fall in the range of $10,000-$20,000. There are college programs with lower tuition, of course. Both the certificate and the degree have the benefit of taking either one online.

Advice from academics is for students to look at the demand in the marketplace. You can check this by perusing professional online employment sites to see what qualifications employers require. It may not be an either-or decision on whether to go for a graduate certificate or master’s degree. Graduate certificates can be useful even when pursuing a master’s degree and give you a leg up on employment once you graduate.

wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=What Graduate Certificates are there?

Cybersecurity Management and Policy

This certificate examines governmental and organizational responses to cyber security threats. You will assess technical and organizational controls that can prevent and detect cyber intrusions. You will also create and assess policies and procedures to restore operations after a cyber attack. You will explore the legal foundations of cyber security as well as the roles of government, international and private organizations.

You will learn how to analyze and draft cyber security policies; create practical approaches to risk analysis; practice techniques to prevent intrusions and attacks that threaten organizational data.

Cyber Security Technology

This graduate certificate in cybersecurity technology curriculum features emerging topics in the field and was developed with the help of an advisory board of senior security executives, so what you’re learning is on the cutting edge of cybersecurity. You will use protocol analyzers, intrusion detection systems, intrusion prevention systems, networking mapping tools, encryption/decryption tools, and password cracking tools.

Information Assurance

By taking this certificate, you will gain a practical understanding of the principles of data protection, cybersecurity, and computer forensics with a graduate certificate in information assurance. This program was named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.

As a graduate of the 15-credit certificate, you will have the skills to protect networks using risk analysis, defense models, security policy development, authentication and authorization controls, firewalls, packet filtering, virtual private networks (VPNs), and wireless network security.

Cyber Security

This graduate certificate in Cybersecurity will benefit advanced computer professionals who wish to strengthen their knowledge and skills in the fast-changing field of cybersecurity. It will also be of value to students who have majored in disciplines other than Computer Engineering and Computer Science who want to gain knowledge and skills in cybersecurity.

The Cybersecurity graduate certificate program consists of 12 hours: two required courses from Computer Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) department and two elective courses selected from a list of relevant elective courses.

Another Cybersecurity graduate certificate is available from a Top Tier Western University. This certificate program is geared toward adults who have a bachelor’s degree, are already in the workforce and are seeking a management-level position in the cybersecurity field. Through this graduate degree certificate, you will obtain the foundational knowledge that will help you embark on further preparation for information assurance industry exams including:

  • (ISC)2
  • Cisco
  • ISCA
  • Electronic Commerce Council

An online option is the Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity designed for professionals in business, government or nonprofit organizations.  You will learn from expert faculty to gain advanced knowledge about computer networking, and wireless networks and security; applied cryptography for industry; how to integrate principles of risk management and assessment in the development of cybersecurity strategies; and how to address professional and ethical responsibilities. This 12-credit graduate certificate program can be completed in just one year of full-time study.

Conclusion

In your review of graduate certificates, there are some things to keep in mind. You will find that tuition varies. Is there a minimum grade you must receive in each course? Do you prefer one weighted towards computer and network security? Some certificates will be more computer-intensive. There are many from which to choose. For example, you may want to take a course in cryptography. This introduces you to the basic theory and practice of cryptographic techniques used in computer security. The material may also explore the inner workings of cryptographic primitives and how to use them correctly.

Additional Resources

What should I know about Designations for a Degree in Cybersecurity?

What are the best Certifications to add to my Degree in CyberSecurity?

What is the Difference in a Degree in Cybersecurity and Network Security?

Why should I consider a Degree in Cybersecurity?

Where are Jobs in Demand with a Degree in Cybersecurity?