Why You Should Study A Cyber Security Degree

Do you know where your sensitive information is or more importantly who is responsible safeguarding it? In all likelihood your personal, sensitive information is sitting in various computer database throughout the country in all types of organizations.

Hopefully your information is being guarded over by diligent and educated information security professionals whose mission in life is to ensure that this information does not fall into the wrong hands.

As you may have ascertained, the work that these men and women perform is critical to our economy, our businesses and our government.

Have you ever considered a career in cyber security? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), those who work in cyber security will see rapid job growth and greater demand for skilled technicians at a 10 year projected growth rate of 16%. This of course will generate a greater demand for cyber security experts which will lead to increases in the expected earnings of those working within the field.

According to, the current median salary for a computer security specialist is $70,943.00 annually. Unlike many information technology jobs, outsourcing data integrity or cyber security work will likely remain ill-advised due to the various laws, policies and limitations placed on those organizations whose business it is to have access to such sensitive information. As a result, job security is expected to remain strong.

Education and training will of course remain vital to this industry. Those who have attained the proper credentials will not only be in the highest demand but also are expected to see the highest paying jobs.

For those considering earning a degree in cyber security, the opportunities in online education have never been better.

If you are considering a master’s degree in cyber security, try to begin with the end in mind. What level of degree do you wish to attain? An associate’s, bachelor’s or even a master’s degree?

An associate’s degree will likely impart a good amount of technical knowledge and allow for an entry level position to the graduate. Fortunately an associate’s degree can be acquired while working towards a bachelor’s degree.

A bachelor’s degree is generally considered the standard foundation from which a professional career is built and will of course open many more doors than what would be expected from a two year degree.

Finally a graduate degree would best serve those who already have a healthy amount of industry experience, for those seeking management positions or even for those who already have an unrelated undergraduate degree and that are looking at making a career change.

In addition to earning a degree, a student may also earn various vendor neutral certifications in cyber security such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or the Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) offered by (ISC) which is largely regarded as a standard in the industry. The Security certification offered by CompTIA would also be a good credential to attain.

There are of course specific certifications which are designed to capitalize on technologies provided for by vendors, such as Symantec or Cisco Systems. Some degree programs may even require or at least provide training specific for these certifications which will look great on a resume next to a degree. So consider this in evaluating potential schools.

Cyber security is an up and coming profession holding a bright future for those working within the information technology industry. Due to the specialized skills and training required combined with the increased demand for these skilled professionals job opportunities are expected steadily grow.

For those potential students who would like to work with technology and computers, cyber security is one specialization that should be strongly considered due to the culmination of industry growth, job security and compensation.


Lean Sigma Six Green Belt & Refresher Green Belt Certificate Program

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate

The Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification Online course is designed for professionals with full schedules and little or no prior experience with Lean Six Sigma. It provides students with an introduction to the tools, techniques and methodologies that will empower them to lead LSS projects in their organization.

Students learn the problem-solving framework for improving processes – Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control (DMAIC) – and also receive instruction in the tools for streamlining production and services from end to end. By course completion, you will be well-versed in the knowledge and skills needed for successfully leading a Green Belt-level project to reduce or eliminate waste, lower defects in your organization’s products and processes, and improve customer satisfaction.

As a course graduate, you will get Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification online from Purdue University. You also have the option, at no additional cost, of earning 4.5 CEUs (continuing education units), which come with a Purdue transcript.

Green Belt Certificate Program:

  • Online: Yes
  • Format: Instructor-led
  • Course Fee: $2,195
  • CEUs: 4.5
  • Course Availability: Monthly
  • Time to Complete: 10 weeks
  • Prerequisites: None

Who Can Benefit

  1. Project managers and process owners who want to learn how use Lean Six Sigma to make improvement projects more successful.
  2. Financial managers, plant managers, floor supervisors and administrators who are seeking a proven method for dramatically improving their organization’s financial performance.
  3. Professionals in health care, education and the military, among many other industries, who are interested in pursuing Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification.

The Purdue Online Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate Difference

Our Lean Six Sigma Green Belt curriculum is particularly thorough, providing added Lean training and preparing students for the rigor of our LSS Black Belt course. Instead of completing a Green Belt project, our students learn through case studies. This approach offers students greater flexibility and the opportunity to gain a more holistic understanding of tools for identifying waste and reducing defects. Students also are encouraged to begin thinking about their Black Belt projects.

Many Black Belt certification courses include review of some Green Belt-level instruction and require no work on a Black Belt project during the course. Since Purdue online Black Belt students jump right into their project during the course, they must already know how to use many pivotal LSS tools.

Learning Outcomes

  • Relate LSS concepts to business objectives
  • Identify waste within the value stream
  • Demonstrate ability to effectively analyze and present data
  • Define and apply team leadership tools
  • Collect and process customer input/requirement
  • Identify key metrics for measuring success
  • Define the DMAIC process
  • Effectively use tools and concepts associated with each phase of the DMAIC process
  • Employ Lean Six Sigma skills in process improvement projects

Green Belt Refresher

The online Six Sigma Green Belt Refresher is designed for previously certified Lean Six Sigma professionals who would like to brush up on their Lean Six Sigma Green Belt-level knowledge and/or prepare to complete Purdue University’s online Lean Six Sigma Black Belt course. Because courses offered by other providers may diverge somewhat from Purdue’s own course, our Green Belt Refresher helps ensure that all of the students who enroll in the Black Belt course have the necessary tools to succeed.

The Refresher also provides students with an opportunity to test out of the online Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, which is one of two prerequisite courses for the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. The online Lean Principles course is the other prerequisite.

Students who pass the Green Belt Refresher pre-assessment can register for Lean Principles and, upon completion, the LSS Black Belt course. Professionals who obtained their Green Belts more than a few years ago through a company program or from a provider with somewhat different standards than those of Purdue, may find that they need to fully complete the Green Belt Refresher course before advancing in the certification process. If the pre-assessment indicates, however, that a student has major deficiencies in Green Belt-level knowledge, they will have to take the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt course to advance.

Green Belt Refresher Certificate Program:

  • Online: Yes
  • Format: Instructor-led
  • Course Fee: $395
  • CEUs: N/A
  • Course Availability: Access at any time
  • Time to Complete: 6-month access
  • Prerequisites: None

How the Green Belt Refresher Works

The instructor assesses a student’s Green Belt-level knowledge through a structured online venue and phone interview. If they identify knowledge gaps during the assessment process, they will give students up to 12 assignments designed to strengthen their Lean Six Sigma knowledge and address any deficiencies.

After the initial online assessment and phone interview, the Green Belt Refresher is primarily a self-study course. Instructors are available to interact with students via the online environment, email and phone.


GIS for Local and Federal Government

Geographic information science and technology have a long history with both federal and regional government. In fact, the Library of Congress contains the world’s most comprehensive collection of maps, and geospatial intelligence has played a vital role in resolving numerous historical conflicts between nations. But how does the government use GIS today?

Government GIS Data Sharing Continues to Grow

One of the common challenges for how the government uses GIS has been in sharing spatial data among different agencies. This has been a key problem even when considering state and local government organizations, but it can be even more difficult to determine how to effectively share information across the local, state and federal level. As noted by some researchers, as much as 80% of data stored by the government has a spatial component. However, differences in operational processes, the structure of the data itself and different policies regarding sharing have contributed to complexity in creating standardized ways for governments to implement spatial data sharing practices.

Many of the examples for organizations implementing sharing programs and building out spatial data infrastructures come from individual organizations. However, organizational leaders have started to look toward particularly effective practices to use as a model for larger scale sharing.

For example, the Los Angeles County Office of the Assessor was recognized with the 2018 URISA Exemplary Systems in Government Award in the enterprise systems category. The organization developed an Assessor Portal that showcases an abundance of information about real estate and property values, including square footage, type of building (e.g. single-family, multi-family), year built, address and numerous other data points. Users may search either by address, legal assessment description or via a map-based interface.

Government GIS Applications for Public Health and Safety

One of the major shifts in the government using Geospatial Information is the push toward publishing GIS applications and data for both government and non-government users to view. This can be especially useful for bringing awareness to multifaceted problems that might be difficult to understand without a visualization of the scale or potential consequences if issues are left unaddressed.

For example, research published in 2018 by the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky found that residents living in the Appalachian Region were not as healthy as other Americans, on average. To help others truly feel the impact of this finding, the organizations published a series of reports in the form of interactive maps, which allow users to filter a range of spatial and health information, such as morbidity rates, poverty and other indicators of health.

The ability to identify specific problems and key areas of strength for specific regions can be invaluable in improving the effectiveness of outreach. For example, one of the published maps shows the density of mental health providers, which can be instrumental in determining which communities may be in the greatest need of additional counselors or therapists.

Note: The USC online M.S. in GIST program curriculum includes a spatial data acquisition and integration track as well as a data visualization track; this program is GIS professionals who are interested in solving some of the challenges related to data sharing.

Federal Government GIS Applications for Disaster and Air Quality Mapping

One of the popular examples of GIS in government is the mapping of national problems. For example, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) publishes a robust set of earthquake data. This information can then be used to assess the risk of major earthquakes in specific regions and develop strategies for mitigating damage before a disaster occurs.

The National Park Service also leverages GIS for monitoring air quality across its parks. The NPS overlays spatial information with a variety of environmental measures, including ozone, visibility, particulate matter, nitrogen and sulfur deposition, as well as atmospheric mercury. This is helpful for stakeholders ranging from environmental researchers to public health officials, since the visualizations provide an easy way to view areas with problematic air quality, including the issues that impact specific regions.

Note: USC’s online M.S. in Human Security and Geospatial Intelligence is an ideal fit for professionals interested in solving geospatial challenges in domains ranging from earthquake relief to terrorist threat response.

The Future of Government Using GIS

There are a few current trends that offer clues as to how the government will use GIS moving forward. As illustrated in an infographic published by Gov 2020, key links between current GIS technology and the future include:

  • Geotagged mobile and social data will lead to government agencies being able to send safety and alert information directly to users based on their locations.
  • Machine learning will become a bigger part of GIS applications, enabling organizations ranging from law enforcement to disaster relief groups to develop spatial models to more accurately predict risks such as crime.
  • Remote sensing and imaging will evolve, enabling improved monitoring of public infrastructure. Government agencies will be able to use this data to identify infrastructure in need of repairs and better allocate their resources.
  • There will be growth in the number of road signs and utilities with internet connectivity. This will empower utilities and disaster response teams with highly accurate, real-time data they can use to respond to problems like power outages faster than ever.

As all of these trends evolve together, it will likely elevate the importance of data sharing and of open data practices between agencies at the local, regional and federal levels. The availability of more spatial information and the push toward real-time GIS data will necessitate automated sharing, and platforms that multiple agencies can access, since the volume of data and speed at which it is collected will become unmanageable for over reliance on manual processes.