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Cybersecurity Essentials

  • Certificate
  • Online
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    The graduate certificate in Cybersecurity Essentials is designed to build cybersecurity competencies for individuals with no previous cyber training who want to expand their careers into the realm of cybersecurity. These competencies can be used to obtain industry professional certifications such as CompTIA Networking+, CompTIA Security+ and Global Information Assurance certifications. The Cybersecurity Essentials certificate will equip successful students with the skills to protect and defend mobile applications, networks, devices, critical systems and cyber infrastructure.

    Keeping our critical cyber infrastructure safe and secure while maintaining privacy is a primary concern for both public and private sector employers. The report by Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions globally by 2021. With this increased demand in essential cyber jobs, Gannon's graduates have the opportunity to fill highly sought-after positions in the region and nationally. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for an information security analyst is approximately $98,000.


    Complete four 3-credit courses to obtain the graduate certificate in Cybersecurity Essentials.

    Online courses are offered in two, 7-week sessions per semester.

    Build cyber competencies with the foundational knowledge needed to obtain industry professional certifications:

    • CompTIA Networking+
    • CompTIA Security+
    • Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC)

    Stackable Credentials

    Gannon's flexible, convenient certificate programs can be completed within as little as one year each, and credits are applied toward completing the Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity. Complete one certificate or continue on and stack your credentials to earn your master's degree on your time.


    Gannon offers students the ability to enter the cybersecurity job-market on a fast-track, 12-credit certificate that can be completed online within one year. This timeline allows recent graduates or working professionals the ability to obtain cybersecurity credentials and enter the cyber market much faster than a traditional graduate program.

    Gannon's Cybersecurity Essentials graduate certificate will provide the region, and beyond, professionals to fill the disparity between jobs and a competent workforce within the cybersecurity industry. 


    1. Graduates will be able to apply cybersecurity principles and practices to maintain operations in the presence of risks and threats.
    2. Graduates will be able to demonstrate appropriate skills in operating and managing networks using appropriate cybersecurity analysis tools to identify network vulnerabilities
    3. Graduates will be able to display competence in the common standards related to information assurance to recognize professional responsibilities and make informed decisions in cybersecurity practice.


    Build cyber competencies with the foundational knowledge needed to obtain industry professional certifications:

    CompTIA Network+ helps develop a career in IT infrastructure covering troubleshooting, configuring and managing networks.

    • Design and implement functional networks
    • Configure, manage and maintain essential network devices
    • Use devices such as switches and routers to segment network traffic and create resilient networks
    • Identify benefits and drawbacks of existing network configurations
    • Implement network security, standards and protocols
    • Troubleshoot network problems
    • Support the creation of virtualized networks

    CompTIA Security+ is a global certification that validates the baseline skills you need to perform core security functions and pursue an IT security career.

    • No other certification that assesses baseline cybersecurity skills has performance-based questions on the exam. Security+ emphasizes hands-on practical skills, ensuring the security professional is better prepared to problem solve a wider variety of issues.
    • More choose Security+ for DoD 8570 compliance than any other certification.
    • Security+ focuses on the latest trends and techniques in risk management, risk mitigation, threat management and intrusion detection.
    • The new Security+ certification covers the Junior IT Auditor/Penetration Tester job role, in addition to the previous job roles for Systems Administrator, Network Administrator and Security Administrator.

    Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) validates the skills of information security professionals. The purpose of GIAC is to provide assurance that a certified individual has the knowledge and skills necessary for a practitioner in key areas of computer, information and software security.

    • GIAC certifications are trusted by thousands of companies and government agencies, including the United States National Security Agency (NSA).
    • GIAC Management and Leadership Certifications build the next generation of cyber leaders and managers, preparing them to be a vital part of developing and delivering the organization's strategy.


    • Bachelor's degree in any discipline from an accredited college or university.
    • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.50. 
    • There are no prerequisite course requirements for the graduate certificate in Cybersecurity Essentials.


    GCYSEC 501, Networking Fundamentals
    Provides students with a basic understanding of how networks are built and operate. Provides students with basic network analysis tools. Students are exposed to the concept of potential vulnerabilities in networks. Prepares students for the CompTIA Network+ certification.

    GCYSEC 502, Cybersecurity Foundation
    Provides students with a basic understanding of the fundamental concepts behind cybersecurity. This is a high-level introduction to various cybersecurity topics. Prepares students for the CompTIA Security+ certification.

    GCYSEC 503, Security Leadership
    Provides students with the appropriate level of knowledge and skill necessary to supervise information security staff. This course covers the leadership aspect of the Global Information Assurance Certification

    GCYSEC 504, Cybersecurity Management
    Provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to manage an information security staff. This course covers the management aspect of the Global Information Assurance Certification.