What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting entities and people from cyber threats and attacks, which includes safeguarding computers, networks, sensitive data, hardware and software programs. As the tech world becomes increasingly innovative and fast-paced, cyberwarfare has become a significantly growing issue for organizations in all types of industries (e.g., business, finance, health care, government, retail, etc.) and people (e.g. identity theft). Thus, rapidly rising cybercrime results in a high demand for cybersecurity professionals who are skilled in the following:
- Identifying vulnerabilities
- Performing risk assessments
- Implementing security measures and best practices
- Preparing to respond to unauthorized access and cyberwarfare damages
- Developing a disaster recovery plan
Earn a Cybersecurity Certificate for Undergraduate Students at GCU
Grand Canyon University’s Undergraduate Certificate of Completion in Cybersecurity Foundations supports a career in information technology or cybersecurity by connecting students to concepts and practical applications of cybersecurity tools, technologies and procedures.
This industry-guided program integrates real-world, hands-on practical activities that go beyond theory, as well as focuses on the deployment of advanced techniques in exploitation, vulnerability assessment, penetration testing, policy management, security program design and cyber defense activities. Students will also adopt skills in professional communications and conduct associated with a career in technology.
Program domain areas include:
- Network Administration
- Information Systems Technical Skills
- Information Security
GCU’s values-based curriculum based on a Christian worldview offers a unique emphasis on ethical practice and principles. These are critical for decision making and developing offensive and defensive cybersecurity strategies that adhere to a moral code and course of action.
This undergraduate cybersecurity certificate serves as an excellent next step for those seeking a credential to strengthen their career path, skills, knowledge and overall understanding of the field.
Cybersecurity Certification Path Requirements
These in-person, instructor-led classes require students to participate in discussions on relevant cybersecurity topics and complete hands-on exercises to demonstrate knowledge and comprehension. Students will complete the following four courses to gain a strong foundation in cybersecurity for this 16-credit undergraduate certificate:
- Platforms and Network Technologies
- Cybersecurity Foundations
- Cybersecurity and Ethical Hacking
- Cyber Forensic Investigations
The classes are designed to taught in sequence and provide a networking and security foundation to allow students with no or limited experience to garner the marketable skills needed to be hired directly from the program.
What Can I do with an Undergraduate Certificate in Cybersecurity?
Mimicking GCU’s Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity, this certificate program helps prepare students for a career as an information security analyst, cybersecurity technician, security operation center analyst, penetration tester and digital forensic technician. Other cybersecurity occupations include incident analyst, cyber security consultant and cyber security architect.
Joining the cybersecurity workforce is a rewarding and challenging career path for those seeking a dynamic career in technology. This is also a field with unlimited growth and a wide range of occupational opportunities. For career advancement and to gain a greater competitive edge in the workforce, GCU offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity.
Grand Canyon University, as part of the certificate programs provides the career counseling and instruction to help students research, apply, interview and demonstrate skills during the student’s career search. With a strong reputation within the IT and security landscape, GCU can help open doors to that first job in the field.
Program Core Courses
This course exposes students to the fundamentals of networks and networking in IT. It then builds deeper understanding of how networks work, including the topics of LANs, WANs, service providers, packets, hubs, routers, switches, and Internet protocols. The laboratory reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture. Hands-on activities focus on setting up and configuring local and enterprise networks, experimenting with various topologies, and scalability planning with routers and switches. Prerequisite: CST-111 or CST-105. Prerequisite: CST-111 or CST-105 or acceptance into the bootcamp program.
This course builds upon knowledge already acquired in the areas of system architecture and operating systems and focuses on the core issues of information security. Students learn fundamental concepts of information security including data encryption, security awareness, legal and ethical issues, operational issues, security policies, and attack types; while expanding on the coverage to include security domains, forensics, security services, threat analysis, and vulnerabilities assessments. Prerequisite: ITT-120, or ITT-121 or CST-125 or CST-126 or CST-220 or CST-221 or acceptance into the bootcamp program.
This course covers mathematical models for computer security. It analyzes and compares the properties of various models for hardware, software, and database security. The course examines how system designs, network protocols, and software engineering practices can result in vulnerabilities. Students learn to design, evaluate, ethically hack, and implement adequate security measures that can safeguard sensitive information. Prerequisite: ITT-307N.
This course covers the processes and goals of cyber forensics investigations. Hands-on activities include using multiple reporting systems to initiate and provide on-going support for information security investigations relating to data privacy, incident management, data loss prevention, and digital forensics. Prerequisite: ITT-307N.