Is a Non-Degree Program Right for You?
Do you want to learn new skills and advance your career in information security but don’t have time to enroll in a degree program? A non-degree certificate or program may be for you.
Why Opt for Non-Degree Status?
Non-degree courses and certifications are academic programs that can be earned without taking classes or bearing the full financial cost of a degree. Students can choose any course of interest in non-degree programs, making them ideal for gaining proficiency in technical and practical skills on a flexible schedule.
Rather than focusing on candidates’ educational backgrounds, many industries are now more interested in employees who can demonstrate their skills in real-time. This is especially true for jobs in applied fields like technology. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.4% of information security analysts, 24.5% of computer network support specialists, and 21.2% of computer network architects do not have a degree (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021).
Non-degree certificates and programs can add recognition and value to your knowledge and skills while boosting your employability. For example, Glassdoor recently published a list of the top companies that do not require their prospective employees to have degrees; employers who made the list, like Google, Apple, and IBM, offer lucrative jobs to those with a non-traditional education (Glassdoor, 2021).
Let’s explore the benefits of non-degree courses so that you can decide whether it’s the right learning path for you.
1. Passion for Learning
Cybersecurity professionals must be lifelong learners and stay up to date with the latest hacking tactics, tools, and technologies that threat actors exploit. Research and training should be ongoing processes for successful cybersecurity professionals. Non-degree certificates are ideal for those seeking specialized skills and knowledge in a specific area. For example, it would be easier to focus only on cybersecurity fundamentals in a non-degree or certification program instead of taking a full course load on top of a job, hobbies, family, and other responsibilities.
2. Stand Out From Peers
A degree is not the only way to get your foot in the door at large-scale organizations—there are other ways to remain ahead of the competition or start a new career path. Certifications and non-degree courses on your resume show employers that you go above and beyond by staying dedicated to learning more about your field. They also allow you to enhance your professional qualifications, gain specific experiences and a competitive advantage, and expand your knowledge base.
3. Getting Back in the Game
For IT and security professionals looking to relaunch their careers, opting for non-degree credentials can help you gain professional training and stay current with trends, challenges, and concepts. You can learn industry-relevant skills and knowledge without a degree. You need a growth mindset and the wiliness to learn new things to establish a successful career.
Non-degree programs also offer hands-on training to equip students with job-ready skills to break into the industry, which means they’re a great way to test the waters before joining a degree program. If you do well in your chosen course, you might decide to pursue a full-time degree later on.
4. Flexibility to Choose
Non-degree certificates offer the flexibility to choose the classes that interest you, eliminating the need to take electives and, often, prerequisite courses. You don’t need to complete a full four or two-year program to gain technical proficiency. As a non-degree student, you can take the classes that interest you or that you need to climb the corporate ladder.
5. Pocket Friendly
One of the most appealing factors of non-degree certificates and programs is that they are cost-effective. Often, families and students take out student loans to pursue post-secondary education. As a non-degree student, you’ll only pay a fraction of the cost of a full-time degree program to learn the skills you want.
If you’re interested in taking non-degree courses, EC-Council University (ECCU) has many options. Our courses allow students to advance their careers and gain specialized skills on a subject without enrolling in a full-time degree program.
Certain non-degree programs at ECCU offer the opportunity to attain an industry-recognized certification along with the course. Students can also attain course credits that can then be used to pursue a degree program.
For each 10-week term, students can select up to two courses in non-degree status. Aspiring cybersecurity professionals across the globe can choose a specific course(s) from ECCU’s bachelor’s or master’s degree programs, or they can apply as non-degree students.
ECCU has many courses under our Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security (BSCS) and our Master of Science in Cyber Security (MSCS). Both programs offer a hands-on experience to prepare students to join the cybersecurity workforce and move up to managerial and executive positions in the industry. Certain courses are aligned with various industry-recognized certifications, including the Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH), Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (C|HFI), Certified Network Defender (C|ND), LPT (Master), and the Certified Chief Information Security Officer (C|CISO).
Students opting for a non-degree status can make the best use of this opportunity. EC-Council’s industry-recognized certification will enhance your knowledge and open doors to better professional opportunities.
For more details on our non-degree program, visit: https://www.eccu.edu/academics/non-degree/
Glassdoor. (2021, November 8). 15 More companies that no longer require a degree—apply now. https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/no-degree-required/
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021, September 8). Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation. https://www.bls.gov/emp/tables/educational-attainment.htm