FAQ - Cyber Security

How many courses per semester may I take? 
We do not have any limits on the number of courses that a student may take each semester. The courses are 3-credit hour, graduate-level courses that have been compressed into an 8-week format.  We don't recommend taking more than 2 classes at a time, given their compressed format and related intensity.  However, each individual student’s situation is unique with regard to the demands on his/her time and the level of knowledge in each area.  It is ultimately up to the student to determine his/her ability to take more than one course per semester.

Is there any particular course sequence I should follow?
The Certificate in Cyber Security Management is designed with maximum flexibility for part-time, working adults and consists of 4 required and 2 elective courses. To a large extent, students may choose which courses they take, how many they take, and the order in which they take them.  That said, ideally, you should take BUS 5010 Cyber Security Management first, as it is essentially an introductory course.  We don’t require that you start with this course, but it is highly desired, especially if you are new to the cyber security environment. BUS 5010 is offered twice a year.

Are all of the courses in the graduate Certificate in Cyber Security Management offered online?
Yes.

Can I enroll in just a few courses? I'm not interested in applying to and earning the certificate.
Yes.

Can I take courses before applying to the program?
Individuals must apply to and be offered admission to earn a certificate. A maximum of two courses that will count towards satisfying the requirements for the certificate may be taken at SCPS prior to admission. 

Can I transfer credit into this program from another institution?
Individuals can transfer one course for academic credit from a regionally accredited college or university. The transfer course will count towards one elective course in the certificate program, and must have been taken within the last three years. Transfer courses are not accepted for required courses in the certificate. Official transcripts and course syllabus are required for an analysis of the content, level, and comparability of the transfer course, as well as the quality of the student’s performance with a grade of B- or better.  Official transcripts with a request for transfer of credits can be sent to SCPSadmissions@virginia.edu or School of Continuing and Professional Studies, 104 Midmont Lane, PO Box 400764, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4764 Attn: Admission Services 

Please note that if you are considering continuing on to pursue a master’s degree through our articulation agreement with Syracuse University, Syracuse may or may not accept that same course into their program.

What grades must I earn to be awarded the certificate?
Students must earn a B- or better in all courses required for the certificate to be awarded. Should a grade fall below a B-, the student has the option of retaking the course in order to complete the requirements and be awarded the certificate.   

I don't have a background in cyber security or information technology. Can I still apply to the certificate program?
The ideal applicant for our Certificate in Cyber Security Management has a background in information technology and/or some exposure to cyber security concepts in one form or another.  However, this background is not required to be successful in the program.  Often, our applicants have an academic background (e.g., a bachelor's degree in engineering, computer science, or information systems) or have practical experiences (e.g., networking, programming, or intelligence analysis) or a combination of both.  Occasionally, we have accepted applicants who have backgrounds in political science with evidence of critical thinking ability, analytical skills, and a strong desire to enter the field of cyber security.

Does this program lead to a degree program?
The Certificate in Cyber Security Management is designed to be a stand-alone certificate program. However, if you think you might be interested in pursuing a master’s degree at some point, please see the details related to our articulation agreement with Syracuse University’s Information School. This agreement allows for the potential transfer of 15 credits from our program into their Master’s in Information Management. Students interested in pursuing degree programs with institutions other than Syracuse are encouraged to contact those institutions for their specific policies on the acceptance of transfer credit.

What are the job prospects in this field?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 37 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand will be especially high in the federal government to protect the nation’s critical information technology systems, and in the healthcare industry to protect the expanding use of electronic medical records.

Through a partnership between NICE, CompTIA, and Burning Glass, CyberSeek provides a visual representation of cybersecurity supply and demand across the nation. CyberSeek also features a Career Pathways tool which provides information on different types of positions to help students, job seekers, and workforce trainers visualize career advancement in cybersecurity. The Map and Career Pathway tools both incorporate the job categories, specialty areas, and knowledge, skills, and abilities from the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework. 

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