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We have recently created a new bachelor’s degree in cyber security (B.Sc. CS) [1] to address the national and pressing needs for cybersecurity specialists, cyber-crime analysts, incident and intrusions analysts, IT auditors, and many other cyber security related fields. The new degree addresses not only the technical objective of the degree, but also the legal, corporate, policy, procedure, and human ones as well. To achieve such a wide range of objectives within the cyber security degree, a student is required to obtain two national certifications before they graduate. These certifications are embedded in the curricula and are an integral part of the degree. In this paper, we present our academic and hands-on approach to these certifications. In particular, since these certifications are obtained by students with no expected extensive job experience or training, the choice of the certifications, the resources needed, and the academic approach to teaching them becomes very important. In the paper, we will present:

• The list of certifications that were carefully selected and the fields they cover:
o Promoting vendor neutral certifications
o Allowing customized certifications for experienced students.
• The complete degree plan with the embedded certification:
o When to take the certification
o What SLOs should be covered in courses leading to the certification
• The course developments for these certifications and how they are delivered:
o Department-wide course template and resources
• Resources available to the students:
o Internal and external
o A live and ever-expanding compiled set of resources
• Practical and Mock exams
• Compilation of adds by leading companies that require certifications as extra motivation for students.

By presenting our efforts, we hope that other institutions who are considering expanding their programs of study to include Cyber Security and Certifications can benefit from our experience by adopting best practices while avoiding pitfalls.


Copyright 2023 ASEE.

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2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition