New Graduate Certificates at Utah Valley University

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The board of regents approved two new graduate certificates for Utah Valley University students: the first cybersecurity and regulatory affairs certificates available in Utah.

The cybersecurity certificate is earned over the course of a year, with classes taught in managing cybersecurity operations, understanding cybersecurity on a global scale, legal and ethical privacy, advanced defense and countermeasures, secure coding as well as a case studies course.

To qualify for the program, students need a bachelors degree in information systems, information technology or computer science.

“Our hope is to continue to build the program and then to eventually go back to the board of regents and show them that we have the demand and the capabilities to be able to offer a full degree in the area, so we eventually have a masters degree,” said Michael Savoie, dean of the College of Technology and Computing at UVU.

The funding for the program will come from a $3 million grant that UVU received in 2012 from the Department of Labor. The grant is part of a federal program to train displaced workers for higher-skilled positions, called the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program (TAACCCT).

The Department of Labor approved UVU’s proposal for the grant in part to train workers to compete for the “1,500+ employment positions at the new NSA Cyber-security Data Center located in Utah County and other employment deficits relevant to cybersecurity,” according to a DOL press release.

The director of the NSA facility in Bluffdale is on the advisory board, along with other prominent representatives from other industry partners, like Symantec, EMC, Adobe, Intermountain Healthcare, Mountain America Credit Union, Security Metrics and other local technology companies.

“We have a lot of interest from industry; even more so than government right now. Various companies are looking – in light of the Target breech – at beefing up their cybersecurity teams. There’s a lot of demand in it in all sectors,” said Robert Jorgensen, program manager of the cybersecurity program at UVU. The board will watch the program to ensure students are learning skills that employers need them to know.

The regulatory affairs certificate will specifically train students with the skills they need to navigate regulations in place by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Before either certificate can be offered, the certificates need to be accredited by Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. In the meantime, students can still take classes.

Because of a new university policy, the certificates cannot be promoted and students can’t be recruited until the accreditation comes through. The accreditation is expected to be approved in October, and then students will be able to apply.

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