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The Rundown of a Cybersecurity Certificate

Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing industries across the United States. With over 1.3 million U.S. professionals working in cybersecurity, cybersecurity has been considered a highly profitable degree around the world. And that shouldn’t be a surprise. Today, over 60% of all corporate data and personal data are stored in cloud systems like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and DropBox. And while these are simple and effective ways of managing data, cyber threats are becoming not only more common but also more pervasive to infrastructures, information systems, and networking databases resulting in high costs and higher damages if a cyber attack is successful. Add on top the fast-paced industry, the demand for qualified cybersecurity analysts and technical experts is at all-time high. From private to public entities, companies are on the hunt for qualified applicants who are interested in aiding in the halt and cease of cyber attacks and hackers. However, the question remains – how can applicants get started in this exciting field? 

While most IT professions like becoming a Systems Security Manager, Network/Cloud Architects, and Data Security Analysts require a bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field, there are a multitude of other cybersecurity careers that merely require the completion of a certificate program. 

And that’s where ACU Online comes in. 

Through our two complementary online undergraduate cybersecurity certificates in Fundamental System Security and Essential System Forensics and Defense, future IT professionals like you can learn the basics of computer programming and system defenses in order to understand how to better protect information systems without the need of a four-year degree. Focused on teaching you the necessary and unique skills in coding languages, network infrastructure, and professional skills such as project management and effective communication, you will be prepared not only for the workforce but also for an additional certificate. Through these dual certificate programs, you will be equipped and fully capable of applying current tools and techniques to support client/server softwares, as well as re-establish vital communications infrastructures for your company. 

The Certificate in Cybersecurity 1: Fundamental System Security

Unlike most Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity degrees, our 16-credit hour Certificate in Cybersecurity 1: Fundamental System Security can be completed in less than a year and provides you with the most foundational pieces of knowledge you need to get started in the field of cybersecurity. During your first few months, you will learn basic security techniques used today to promote additional protection for systemic vulnerabilities on a local, national, and global scale. Gaining a deeper understanding on how to strengthen and create more secure networks, you will also obtain the ability to comprehend systematic issues to better protect intellectual property – something that is highly important for any major corporation dealing with confidential information. 

Through classes like Introduction to Information, Technology, and Computing; Introduction to Programming Using Scripting; and Cloud and Network Defense, you can expect to be challenged to quickly learn the fundamentals of system security in order to become more proficient in computer softwares. And if that wasn’t enough, you will also be even more prepared by being prepped to take the CompTia Security+ certification exam, a global certification that validates your understanding of the baseline skills needed to perform core security functions.

In just a matter of months, you will have covered a lot of ground within the field of cybersecurity; a sweet deal for those looking to get started in their next career move sooner rather than later. 

The Certificate in Cybersecurity 2: Essential System Forensics and Defense

Within our Certificate in Cybersecurity 2: Essential System Forensics and Defense, you can pick-up right where you left off in Cybersecurity 1. Honing in on the essential techniques required to control data for computer softwares, you will begin to understand more about how networks should be organized, defended, and addressed should a breach or cyber attack occur. Expanding beyond the basics of computer science, this second certificate is more applied toward those who are interested in knowing more about internal vulnerabilities and how those can cause serious issues for networks both big and small. 

Through coursework like Networks and Security Administration, System Forensics, and Incident Detection, Prevention, and Response, you’ll gain an immense amount of knowledge in cyber attacks, threats and hacking strategies – ideal skills to know if you plan to work for any type of corporation. Plus, you will also have the chance to take the CompTia Security+ certification exam, if you didn’t take it during the first certificate. 

Potential Career Opportunities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for information security analysts and cybersecurity experts is projected to grow upwards of 35 percent, faster than any other occupation worldwide. With close to 20,000 open positions every year, companies are in desperate need for educated and trained professionals in various types of settings and sectors. Some of those high-demand jobs requiring a certificate include: 

  • Security Operations Center (SOC) Analyst, is someone responsible for the centralized efforts of ensuring the security of an organization. SOC analysts work as a part of the team and are mainly responsible for proactively monitoring, analyzing, and responding to cybersecurity incidents. In many cases, they are seen as the first line of defense against cyber attacks. Average Salary | $78K 
  • Malware Analyst, primarily seeks to understand how cyber threats like viruses, worms, and trojans function and create possible impacts. These analysts examine and investigate malware in systems and networks to understand the nature of cyber attacks while conducting reverse-engineering techniques to help build defense lines to prevent cyber threats and improve system hardening. Average Salary | $88K 
  • Cybersecurity Analyst, who are mainly responsible for preventing and preempting data breaches on systems and networks by monitoring, analyzing, and responding to cyber threats. They are also seen as some of the front line of defense personnel in combating cyber crimes like stealing data and information. Average Salary | $99K

Plus, with our partnership with InfoSec, ACU Online will award academic course credit to students who successfully complete CompTIA certifications through Infosec’s boot camps. This partnership is designed to elevate the professional journeys of students and professionals alike as well as position them as leaders in the ever-evolving field of cybersecurity. 

A career in IT and cybersecurity is possible for those looking to make a change in their career. Through these two exciting certificates, you can even save over thousands of dollars in tuition and fees without needing to pause your current work or goals. With the possibilities of starting your future career in as little as 12 months, your journey can begin with just one simple phone call. 

Visit our website or call our admissions team today at 855-219-7300. 

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