LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Times change and with them, new fields of employment open up.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock computer science department chairman Albert Baker said certification in cybersecurity will catch a prospective employer’s interest.  

The university is part of the CyberLearn Arkansas consortium, which received a $1.96 million start-up workforce development grant from the Arkansas Office of Skills Development.

UA Little Rock cybersecurity professor Philip Huff, who has 15 years of experience in the discipline, said the advantage is not just for students pursuing cybersecurity training and that the certification can help with whatever career track they take.

“Anybody interacting with technology moving into their career, it’s going to be an asset for you to understand cybersecurity and how that interacts with the job you’re doing,” Huff said.

In his 15 years in the field, Huff has seen the nature of cybersecurity change as the level of technology has increased over time. Earlier the lack of technology left more room for mistakes, but now he noted that, “the stakes are higher.”

The stakes are higher for everyone, not just employees tasked with cybersecurity, but also for those who have to tech prospective employees how to contend with the ins and outs of the science.

A program offering certificates in cybersecurity it much needed, UA Little Rock graduate student Andrew Bomberger said.

“Any bit that we can help teach individuals to better secure themselves, in its own way will help protect the system as a whole,” Bomberger said.

Along with UA Little Rock, the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff and five additional institutions across the state will provide certification in cybersecurity to students. For more information on the program, head to CyberLearnArkansas.org.