Cybersecurity Certificate Program Online
Earn a Cybersecurity Certificate for Undergraduates From GCU
Grand Canyon University’s (GCU) Undergraduate Certificate of Completion in Cybersecurity Foundations supports a career in information technology or cybersecurity by connecting you to concepts and practical applications of cybersecurity tools, technologies and procedures. GCU offers the Certificate of Completion in Cybersecurity Foundations as an instructor-led virtual program. The online format allows you to participate in a virtual setting with classmates and the instructor interacting remotely at the same time.
This cybersecurity certificate 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. You will also adopt skills in professional communications and conduct associated with a career in technology.
Program domain areas include:
- Network Administration
- Ethical Hacking and Forensic Investigations
- Information Systems Technical Skills
- Information Security
What You Will Learn in GCU’s Cybersecurity Certificate Program
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
GCU’s faith-integrated 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.
Cybersecurity Certificate Program Admission Requirements
The Cybersecurity Certificate program at GCU is competitive and includes a thorough admissions review process. For acceptance, you must complete a 250 to 500-word essay on an assigned topic and must reach a minimum score based on writing and general knowledge of the topic. Upon passing the essay, you must then demonstrate basic networking understanding by passing one of the following:
- Achieve a passing score on an online, timed assessment of basic IT and networking knowledge
- Possessing a current cybersecurity certification in Network+ or CCNA
- Having completed two 100-level college networking classes with a “B” grade or higher and approval from a faculty member
Once one of the above three criteria are met, you will then meet with a staff or faculty member for a final personal interview. Scores from all three components are stack-ranked and acceptance is also based on available space in the program. Read the University Policy Handbook for further details on the admission requirements.
Course Requirements for the Cybersecurity Certificate
Cybersecurity certificate requirements include instructor-led classes where you will participate in discussions on relevant cybersecurity topics and complete hands-on exercises to demonstrate knowledge and comprehension. You will complete four courses to gain a strong cybersecurity foundation for this 16-credit undergraduate certificate. Course topics include:
- Network technologies and platforms
- The foundations of cybersecurity
- The relationship between cybersecurity and ethical hacking
- Using cyber technologies for forensic investigations
These classes are designed to build upon the knowledge learned in the previous courses in sequence and provide a networking and security foundation. This allows you to garner the marketable skills needed to be hired into a cybersecurity career following completion of the program.
Undergraduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Career Possibilities
Like GCU’s Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity, this certificate program helps prepare you for a variety of cybersecurity careers. Some of these career possibilities include:
- Computer and information systems manager
- Information security analyst
- Computer network support specialist
- Database administrator
Working in a cybersecurity career is a rewarding and challenging path for those seeking a dynamic occupation in technology. This is also a field with a growing need for qualified professionals; the 2022 (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study found that companies are in need of 3.4 million additional employees in the global cybersecurity workforce.1 For career advancement and to gain a greater competitive edge in the workforce, GCU also offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity.
Grand Canyon University, as part of the certificate programs provides the career counseling and instruction to help you research, apply, interview and demonstrate skills during your career search. With a strong reputation within the IT and security landscape, GCU can help open doors to your first job in the field.
Gain Cybersecurity Foundations and Skills During Your Certificate
When you complete the Cybersecurity Certificate program at GCU, you will walk away with the fundamental knowledge of how to investigate, fight and prevent cyber threats and attacks across the globe. Any previous knowledge of network technologies and information security will be reinforced, allowing you to gain further insight into the current and future cybersecurity strategies needed to secure global network systems.
Cybersecurity Certificate Program FAQs
GCU offers an undergraduate certificate in cybersecurity online, providing you with a high-quality education in a format that is convenient and flexible. Online resources and support are available to help you navigate your online learning journey while you pursue your certificate in cybersecurity foundations.
Cybersecurity can be a challenging yet rewarding career. It is a great career choice for those who are passionate about technology and who are always looking to learn. Because technology and the cybersecurity world are always changing, you must be willing to continuously learn and explore new information to stay up to date and relevant, which can be challenging.
Both cybersecurity and coding careers are comprised of many different elements. While coding focuses more on the creation of software, computer programming and the usage of various coding languages, cybersecurity focuses on data and software protection, network security and user protection. Both careers have a learning curve, and some may be challenged by the highly specific skills needed to be successful in a cybersecurity career, while others may find it more challenging to comprehend and implement the many different languages required for a coding career.
Cybersecurity can be both a personally and financially rewarding career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts have a median annual wage of $102,600 as of May 2021.2
1 Retrieved from ISC2, 2022 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, in December 2022.
2 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Information Security Analysts as of May 2021, retrieved on March 14, 2023. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as information security analysts. It does not reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, and accept employment from, determines salary not only based on education, but also individual characteristics and skills and fit to that organization (among other categories) against a pool of candidates.
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.
Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.
* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.