ST. LOUIS – In recognition of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), WGU Missouri is offering $25,000 in scholarships to new students interested in a career in cybersecurity. The online, nonprofit university is launching the scholarship in an effort to attract students to the cybersecurity field and address the critical shortage of cybersecurity professionals nationwide.
The WGU Missouri Cybersecurity Scholarship is open to new students enrolling in the B.S. Cybersecurity and Information Assurance or M.S. Cybersecurity and Information Assurance programs. Each scholarship is valued at up to $5,000 ($1,250 per six-month term, renewable for up to four terms) and will be applied to WGU Missouri’s already low tuition of about $3,500 per six-month term. The scholarship is open until Dec. 31, 2019 at https://www.wgu.edu/financial-aid-tuition/scholarships/general/cybersecurity.html.
As a fully online university and a leading educator of cybersecurity professionals, WGU is also committed to keeping students and others safe online as part of its observation of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Recognizing that people access the internet for far more than just classes, the university offers the following tips to help people stay safe online:
- Choose strong, unique passwords. Most services – from banking and paying everyday bills to ordering food, tickets to entertainment venues and even car rides – now offer an online component. While this has made life extremely convenient for many of us, having information available at our fingertips can also make us vulnerable to hackers. This is why it’s important to choose strong passwords when creating accounts. Avoid using passwords that contain your name, birthday or any other easily accessible information. Consider using lengthy passwords with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers. And don’t reuse passwords – make sure each password is unique to every account.
- Maintain anti-virus software. Anti-virus software helps protect your computer from known viruses or malware. Installing anti-virus software is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your computer but requires updates to ensure safety. New and updated viruses and malware are found every day, so it’s essential to keep your software up to date so it can properly protect your information.
- Be conscientious while using public WIFI networks. Free public WIFI is bittersweet. Its convenience can be necessary while traveling, working or studying, but it can also do major harm by exposing your personal information. Make sure you check the validity of the network before connecting. Avoid accessing personal information or making online purchases while on public WIFI. Some things are better left for when you can access cellular data or a secure network.
- Back up your data. If you become a victim of a cybersecurity incident, you will most likely have to wipe the data from your device. Ensure that you don’t lose your valuable documents by regularly backing up your data to an external hard drive or online storage system.
“Staying protected online is vital in today’s connected world,” said Dr. Angie Besendorfer, Chancellor of WGU Missouri. “While it’s important for all of us to follow measures that can keep us safe from cyber attacks, it’s equally important to have a robust number of cybersecurity professionals working to protect us, companies and our government from harmful attacks. WGU is working to address the growing need for cybersecurity professionals by providing students access to affordable, high-quality education that prepares them for careers in this critical field.”
WGU Missouri’s cybersecurity programs are perfect for either current or aspiring cybersecurity professionals. The cybersecurity curriculum is designed and regularly updated with input from cybersecurity experts and leading IT employers to meet the most recent U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Security Agency (NSA) guidelines. Students enrolled in these programs are able to earn industry certification, embedded in the curriculum and at no extra cost, along the way. Graduates work for leading companies and organizations around the world – including at the highest levels of the federal government.
To learn more about WGU Missouri or its Cybersecurity Scholarship, visit missouri.wgu.edu.