When they get five years into their careers, professionals working in the cybersecurity field have a huge opportunity to increase their job prospects and earning potential by adding the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) to their resume.
The CISSP has become indispensable for anyone seeking to gain work on government contracts related to cybersecurity. As Amazon prepares to bring 25,000 tech-related jobs to Northern Virginia, demand for this certification is expected to drastically increase.
But an individual who has spent only five years in the workforce often doesn’t have the time or resources to devote to earning a certification as rigorous as the CISSP. This is especially true for workers in the Fredericksburg region, where until very recently, qualified candidates had to commute to Northern Virginia to receive in-person CISSP prep. For a young professional who may have recently started a family, this is not an attractive option.
In addition to the time investment, individuals at this stage in their careers often don’t have the $4,000 to $5,000 that many typical CISSP prep programs cost.
But every year they don’t earn their CISSP, these workers are leaving valuable career opportunities on the table.
Continuing and Professional Studies at the University of Mary Washington saw this need. With a grant from GO Virginia, and in partnership with King George County and the Stafford County and Fredericksburg economic development authorities, UMW opened registration for its first CISSP certification course this fall. The course’s first session will start in February 2020 and run through May.
Having local, in-person training gives students the opportunity to connect with area experts in their industry.
Cybersecurity certification at the University of Mary Washington gives both individuals and local businesses the opportunity to access CISSP certification without spending too much time traveling, and the grant money makes it more affordable than comparable programs.
“The fact that this is being hosted at the University of Mary Washington, which is near to where I live—even though I have a wife and a boy and another boy on the way, it’s something I can work into my schedule,” said Matthew Fields, a consultant with Fredericksburg-based PUEO, which provides a range of digital solutions to defense, government and business clients.
PUEO founder Micah Mossman said his firm is happy to see UMW taking the lead in providing locally based training to help the region’s businesses access a labor market with more CISSP certified individuals.
“This program sends a very powerful message to organizations looking to hire—whether they are government or private-sector—that we really have a focus on building cyber talent here in the Fredericksburg region,” he said.
Providing solutions like these to employers and professionals is the mission of Continuing and Professional Studies at the University of Mary Washington. By staying in close touch with the Fredericksburg region’s employers, Continuing and Professional Studies constantly works to build and customize courses, degrees and certification programs that provide just-in-time learning to adults who are in the workforce and seek to get the most out of their careers. Check out our full list of course offerings at All Courses.
Learn more about CISSP Certification.