UCF Continuing Education will launch two cybersecurity certificate programs to address the global workforce shortage of highly-trained professionals to safeguard against growing digital threats. The Cyber Defense Professional Certificate and the Ethical Hacking Professional Certificate will prepare students with the skills and experience to thrive in this fast-growing field.

“Every day governments, corporations and private citizens experience cyberattacks that impact billions of people worldwide,” says Sean Armstrong, Continuing Education interim executive director. “This program meets the global demand for increased cybersecurity by offering a curriculum that teaches students the fundamentals of protecting digital environments from cyberthreats.”

Cybercrime is a global threat that cost the United States $2.7 billion in financial losses last year, as reported in the 2018 Internet Crime Report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Consequently, the need for qualified cybersecurity professionals is critical and continues to grow. According to the 2018 Global Information Security Workforce Study, there is a worldwide shortage of 2.9 million qualified cybersecurity specialists. These jobs represent lucrative opportunities for qualified professionals who can earn approximately $98,350 annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To develop the certificate programs, Continuing Education has partnered with HackerU, a global cybersecurity-education provider with more than 20 years of experience. Each program begins with a 30-hour trial course that introduces students to what it’s like to work in the defensive and offensive cybersecurity fields before they commit to the entire program. Both certificates prepare graduates for internationally recognized certification exams and are designed to accommodate working professionals with part-time schedules taught during evenings and weekends at the Wayne M. Densch Partnership Center on the Sanford/Lake Mary campus of Seminole State College.

Cyber Defense Professional Certificate

Students will learn in-depth theory, as well as hands-on training in cybersecurity and programming. The 400-hour course prepares students for seven of the top certification exams in the field of cybersecurity: Microsoft MCSA, Linux LPI Essentials, Cisco CCENT, Cisco CCNA Security, CompTIA Cloud+, CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA CySA+. Students do not need any prerequisite experience to enroll in the program; it is suitable for those with self-taught technical background.

Ethical Hacking Professional Certificate

Veterans in both IT and cybersecurity fields will learn with the critical skills employers seek in offensive security experts. The 210-hour course focuses on advanced infrastructure attacks, cross-platform elevation of privileges, python programming for security, and web application penetration testing to prepare students to take the Offensive Security Certified Professional and the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker certification exams. To enroll in the program, applicants should have a degree in computer science or comparable work experience in the IT, coding or programming fields.

Taught by Expert Faculty

Instructors are leaders in the cybersecurity industry, offering students firsthand access to their knowledge and expertise of theory and defense methodologies. The programs, which utilize state-of-the-art virtual cyberattack labs, emphasize project-based learning to expose students to real-world scenarios in cyberbreach detection, assessment, blocking and prevention.

Career Services Included

All UCF Cyber Security Professional Certificate students will receive access to career services, with a 10-hour course at the end of the program dedicated to professional development, networking and assistance with job and internship placement with leading security organizations, corporations, national and state governments, and law enforcement agencies.

For More Information

Classes for UCF Continuing Education Cyber Security Professional Certificates begin July 29. To learn more about UCF Cyber Security Professional Certificate programs, visit cybersecurity.ce.ucf.edu. Prospective students can also speak with a program advisor by calling 407-605-0575.