Western Washington University on the Peninsulas Introduces Cybersecurity Certificate Option

Responding to the growing needs for trained cybersecurity professionals, Western Washington University on the Peninsulas is offering a new cybersecurity certificate.

This 16-credit certificate provides a means for students from all disciplines to become knowledgeable about the challenges and potential solutions to cybersecurity problems. Students will learn to apply cybersecurity principles across all aspects of an organization.

“The certificate provides a strong background in cybersecurity issues for all students. It introduces them to a technical understanding of cybersecurity, but more importantly delves into management and administrative aspects of cybersecurity such as risk management, policy, planning, ethics and privacy,” said Erik Fretheim, director of Western’s cybersecurity program.

This certificate option will be available to all Western on the Peninsulas students not currently enrolled in the Cybersecurity Bachelor of Science degree track. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with quarterly enrollment available.

Director of Operations at Western on the Peninsulas Candi Merrill said the certificate will appeal to business administration students especially, as they are preparing themselves for careers in management. Those students could take cybersecurity courses as electives to earn both the cybersecurity certificate and a bachelor's degree in Business Administration upon graduation. 

“Not all jobs in cybersecurity require a deep knowledge of technology,” Merrill said.  “There are lots of positions that have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their organization’s computer network and its data. People in those positions do not do the reverse engineering of an attack or write computer code to safeguard their network, but may manage the technical staff that does, or may be responsible for outsourcing the work.  These positions don’t need to have a deep knowledge of the technology; they need to know about cybersecurity issues.”

Courses will be held at Western’s Poulsbo location on the Olympic College campus located at 1000 NW Olympic College Way. Applications are now being accepted. More information about this certificate can be found at https://catalog.wwu.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=14&poid=6929&returnto=3070

Western on the Peninsulas, at Olympic College Poulsbo, offers four-year degrees, continuing education courses, free educational lectures, and youth programs.