If you are interested in pursuing a career in Cyber Security, you may have come across EC-Council and EC-Council University. Here I will share with you some of the things I think you should consider before applying to ECCU.
My Experience with EC-Council
EC-Council stands for International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants and is a organisation based in Albuquerque, New Mexico that certifies individuals in information security skills. I first heard about EC-Council back in 2013 when I was studying to become a Certified Ethical Hacker. This certification and the Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator certification has become quite popular in the infosec industry over the years. I enjoyed the self-studying and the certification bootcamp I took to prepare for the exam. In addition, the syllabus was practical with many good exercises and examples.
Becoming C|EH certified, I was able to renew my CompTIA Security+, Network+ and A+ without having to retake those exams. This saved me both time and money. When studying for C|EH I learned that people in the industry have mixed feelings about EC-Council. Some claim they are serious and others claim they overrated and shows signs of being a diploma mill. In my opinion, they have improved over the years. And C|EH is now part of the United States Department of Defense Information Assurance Workforce Improvement Program.
Because of this accreditation I will continue to renew my C|EH certification, and I will probably be doing the C|HFI in a year or so, even though the exams are expensive. Deakin University offers students credits for taking forensics and ethical hacking subjects as part of their degree program in Cyber Security. Students can also enrol in SIT002 and SIT003 and become C|EH and C|HFI certified, but students won’t receive any university credits for doing so.
Thoughts on EC-Council degrees
EC-Council offers the Bachelor in Cyber Security and the Master of Cyber Security. And the outline for both programs are quite attractive. Unlike most universities ECCU is less strict when it comes to English Proficiency required for international students to attend higher education. You only need a score of 71 on the TOEFL to meet the requirements.
On the website is a list of developing countries and if you are from one of the listed countries you basically don’t need to demonstrate your English proficiency. In my opinion, this is pity because you need to communicate well in English when writing scientific research papers. As a non-native English speaker, daily English is very different from academic English. Even after years of traveling and working overseas, the latter is like learning a completely new language.
EC-Council’s reputation is an ongoing debate. My main reason for not choosing EC-Council for my degree is because ECCU is not being listed in the World Higher Education Database (WHED). WHED is a database with comprehensive information about 18 000 qualified higher education institutions. It is difficult to have your degree recognized overseas when EC-Council is not listed in this database. This is problematic when you want to apply for a job or master or Ph.D. programs in the EU, Middle East, Asia, Australia or public institutions in the U.S. Lastly, I will still continue to pursue certifications from EC-Council.
Note that EC-Council University will calculate your tuition and fees based on your citizenship. Expect to pay significant higher fees if you’re from the EU, Australia, New Zealand or North America.
Accredited Online Cyber Security Degrees
Occasionally I receive email from readers that are interested in pursuing cyber security degrees, at the comfort of their home and in their own pace. Therefore, I have started compiling a list of accredited online cyber security degrees that serve as reliable options from reliable institutions with a long history. This is not a sponsored entry, so feel free to contribute by leaving a comment below. I encourage you to read up on each course and make up your own decision before applying.
Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia – Cloud Campus
Master of Cyber Security (click to open) – degree with fundamental subjects and without any thesis. This course is recommended if you are somewhat new to cyber security. For example, where you hold an undergraduate degree in business/economics but have limited background in IT.
Master of Cyber Security (Professional) – (click to open) – with major thesis, or alternatively, a minor thesis plus the professional practice (internship). Opting for the major thesis is safest alternative if you plan to work in the EU and want to have your degree recognized there (M.Sc.), or aim to pursue Ph.D. anywhere. Unlike the above course, this course does not include the fundamental courses, so expect a steeper learning curve.
Recommended reading: IT-certification or degree?