EKU Increases Access to Innovative Certificate Program for Working Professionals

Published on July 07, 2023

By Sarah Bashford

Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) is opening applications to a certificate program that is the first of its kind in the United States. The Financial Technology and Cybercrime certification program is geared toward working professionals and upcoming students interested in the banking and financial industry, filling a critical need in the sector. 

“Cyber security is one of the most important risks to our financial system. We hear it from federal regulators and in the private sector when we exercise oversight in the Financial Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives,” said Congressman Andy Barr during a press conference announcing the certificate program. “The number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs has grown by 50% since 2015. EKU is leading the charge in creating the next generation of financial services cybersecurity professionals by offering this interdisciplinary certificate, and the labor force for cybersecurity professionals is growing at a rapid pace.” 

According to a Cost of a Data Breach Report conducted by IBM in 2022, insufficiently staffed organizations average $550,000 more in breach costs than those that state they are sufficiently staffed. Additionally, more than 60% of global financial institutions with at least $5 billion in assets were hit by a variety of cyberattacks according to the ABA Banking Journal. With EKU’s new Financial Technology and Cybercrime certificate, students will learn how to prevent cyberattacks within the financial sector. 

“The certificate in Financial Technology and Cybercrime includes curriculum that is updated regularly to remain current with industry challenges so our graduates are trained in real-world issues,” said Maggie Abney, director of EKU Evans Banking and Financial Services program. “We accomplish this by hiring industry professionals to teach the courses and partnering with consulting firms to ensure the coursework is current and relevant.” 

Curriculum for the certificate will include financial forensics, cybercrime and cybersecurity controls. The program prepares students with an understanding of financial systems and cyber threats and current best practices for cybersecurity management controls. The certificate is available to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as non-degree seeking working professionals to fulfill continuing education requirements. At 21 credit hours, the certification could be completed in less than one year. All courses in the certificate are offered with the option of in-person or online.

The certificate, made possible through a $1-million gift from Commonwealth Credit Union (CCU), will be offered through the EKU Evans Banking and Financial Services program.

EKU’s Financial Technology and Cybercrime certificate can be added on to any major and particularly complements studies in finance, business, criminal justice, IT and homeland security. The certificate also offers a convenient option for working professionals wanting to gain credentials. EKU is currently accepting applications to the certificate program. Current students can simply add the certificate and non-degree seeking students can apply for admissions online.