Grand Canyon University has been recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD).

The private university was designated as a CAE-CD by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for working to reduce vulnerability in National Information Infrastructure through higher education.

“Oftentimes, the government sector will recruit from schools that have this designation because they know they have been vetted by the NSA and DHS as an approved program,” Grand Canyon University (GCU) Associate Dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology Heather Monthie said. “This opens up opportunities within the government sector, like the Department of Defense, NSA, DHS and organizations like the CIA to our students.”

There are currently more cybersecurity jobs available than people to fill them, according to the White House’s National Cyber Strategy. GCU is working to combat that through multiple online and on-campus programs.

The programs that help produce qualified cyber defense individuals include the school’s CAE-CD designated Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with an emphasis in Cybersecurity and its state-of-the-art Cyber Center of Excellence, which gives students and the public a hands-on learning opportunity.

“This is a big deal. This is essentially the NSA and DHS’s stamp of approval on our cybersecurity program,” Monthie added. “They approve of everything that’s in our program and the fact that we have cybersecurity integrated into other programs.”

GCU has also started hosting virtual career fairs for students who attend a school that has a CAE-CD designation. The fair will include employers such as the NSA, IBM, Air Force Civilian Service and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.