Diplomas Open Doors: WGU launches program to meet demand for cyber security professionals

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"All of us have a digital footprint, whether we realize it or not."

Chancellor Spencer Stewart runs the Nevada branch of Western Governors University. 12 months ago, he implemented a new degree program that allows people get a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree online in the increasingly vital field of cyber security.

Stewart says he started the program because—at a time when keeping information safe is more important than ever—Nevada companies are on the hunt for employees with cyber security expertise.

"We've seen incredible demand, not just in Nevada, but around the country, from organizations looking for a more skilled workforce with the necessary skills to keep corporate information safe and secure,” says Stewart.

Chancellor Stewart says part of his program at WGU is designed to teach people how to protect their own vital information online: usernames and passwords on your smart phone, bank account information, even your social media accounts.

"I think what we've seen in the news over the last few weeks only reinforces not only the need for people with this skillset. But we also need to combine this with ethical considerations, too. Which is something our program discusses," Stewart says.

The Chancellor estimates that more than 1,000 cyber security jobs are available right now in Nevada. The program at WGU costs about $3,000 over its course, usually 1-4 years per student.

Stewart believes WGU can shoulder the burden of fulfilling Nevada’s growing need for cyber security professionals.

"As businesses continue to relocate to the state, we need to make sure we have a skilled work force to meet that need."

For more information about WGU’s cyber security program, click here.

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