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Three St. Bonaventure University students are taking a year-long certification course in ethical computer hacking, bolstering their resumes as they prepare for the cybersecurity industry.
“We encourage and support our students to gain their industry certificates and embed the contents required for passing those certificates into our curriculum,” said Dr. Hossein Sarrafzedah, director of St. Bonaventure’s cybersecurity program.
“This is a point of distinction of our cybersecurity program. Our graduates are work-ready as a result of these certifications and their opportunity to work at our Security Operations Center (SOC).”
In April, St. Bonaventure dedicated the Western New York Cybersecurity Research Center, a collaboration between the university, National ICT Japan, Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity and New Zealand Cybersecurity Center.
The center will engage in cybersecurity research as well as provide monitoring, alerting and forecasting for area businesses to help make Western New York safer from cyberattacks, said Sarrafzadeh.
Juniors Bobby Nguyen and Gianni Martinez and sophomore Devon Sullivan were awarded scholarships to take the online Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) program, offered by the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants, also known as EC-Council, the world’s largest cybersecurity technical certification body, operating in 145 countries.
EC-Council has trained and certified over 200,000 information security professionals globally.
“This is the most fundamental certification that every cybersecurity major needs,” Nguyen said. “It will help me so much in my career later on.”
St. Bonaventure is one of more than 900 academic institutions worldwide partnering with EC-Council to provide certification courses for students and curriculum for college instructors.
“The access we have to EC-Council curriculum helps our students prepare for the certification exams and helps us align certain courses to the requirements of the certification,” Sarrafzadeh said.
EC-Council provided one scholarship in exchange for the university’s commitment to pay for two more, one of which was financed by St. Bonaventure’s “Buzzy Fund,” designed to reimburse part, or all, of the cost for a student to advance professionally.
“The students taking the course get to use all the tools and virtual machines without downloading them because they are in the Cloud,” said Amanda Bondoc, EC-Council product specialist.
In addition to EC-Council certification, the university is also encouraging students to pursue Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA Cyber Ops) certification, Sarrafzadeh said.
“We are a Cisco Academy and that facilitates the training needed for the students to be able to pass the Cisco certificates,” he said.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.
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