Certificate aligns to CCISO industry certification and is designed for professionals already working in the cybersecurity field.
Earlier this year, University of Phoenix announced a certificate in Cybersecurity Policy and Governance aligned with the Certified Chief Information Security Officer Certification (CCISO) offered through the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council). IT employers with at least 100 employees indicated in a recent survey that this certification is one of the most important for their employees to possess.
For students in cybersecurity programs or currently employed in the field, the survey1 highlights the needs and preferences of responding companies for employees to set themselves apart from other job candidates through industry certifications.
Kathryn Uhles, associate dean of the College of Business and Information Technology at University of Phoenix, said that the certificate in Cybersecurity Policy and Governance is designed for professionals already working in cybersecurity. The base of knowledge obtained from already working in the industry is highly valued.
“We recognize that there are a lot of cybersecurity professionals who have been working in the industry since before cybersecurity was a common term,” Uhles said. “Organizations need standards and compliance measures to follow. This is what our certificate, with the coursework aligned to EC-Council, covers.”
The CCISO is a certification program that helps prepare professionals in information security. UOPX aligned its certificate program with EC-Council, whose certification outcomes are mapped to NIST NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (NCWF) and are recognized within the United States Department of Defense and the U.S. military.
In the survey1 administered jointly by UOPX and EC-Council, 59 percent of companies said that they plan to staff information security (InfoSec) professionals in 2020, and 67 percent of IT executives with 100 employees or more said that industry certifications area basic requirement. The favored domain preference was governance, more specifically, the authoritative power directing information security in its entirety.
University of Phoenix has worked with EC-Council for nearly three years and continues to offer various courses derived from specific EC-Council InfoSec certifications. Alvarez said that the identification of the importance of certifications emphasizes the importance of real-world expertise acquired through hands-on experience.
Uhles said that students can pursue the certificate in Cybersecurity Policy and Governance as a stand-alone certificate option, or they can add it onto their Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree, so long as their credits remaining permit.
Fees for industry certification exams are sometimes seen by students as an obstacle to obtaining additional certifications by those already employed in the field. This is another valuable aspect of the UOPX/EC-Council alliance. Uhles said once a student successfully completes the EC-Council aligned courses, they can request a voucher that entitles the student to a discount of up to 75 percent on the exam fee.
“Our alliance with EC-Council means that we can provide students a discount on the exam fee,” she said. “We’re excited to be one of the first universities to offer this coursework as part of a certificate or bachelor’s degree.”
Alvarez noted the win-win aspect for employers and employees related to the aligned industry certifications and the particular benefit to students who can stand out in the job market.
“We tend to look at the bigger picture of career opportunities as a nation, when we should be focusing on what skills and credentials employers value most when considering a candidate,” Alvarez said. “As much as they love to hack, it is paramount that graduating students who achieved these challenging credentials understand how to harness their skills in a professional environment.”
 This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix from October 10 – 21, 2019 among 256 U.S. adults aged 18 and older who are employed full-time at a company with 100 or more employees, work in IT, and have the job titles of CTO, CIO, Chief Security Officer, Chief Information Security Officer, Information Security Manager, Director of Information Security, or Cybersecurity Manager. Data were weighted where necessary by employee size to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. For the purposes of this report, qualified respondents will be referred to as “IT executives.” For complete survey methodology, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.