The Open University and Cisco partner FutureLearn to launch cybersecurity microcredential


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The Open University has launched a new microcredential in Cybersecurity Operations, endorsed by the Cisco Networking Academy and available now on

Using up-to-date experience from the internationally recognised Cisco CCNA Cybersecurity Operations certification, delivered by Senior Lecturer in Networking at The Open University, Andrew Smith, this course will allow students to develop the skills and knowledge needed to respond to and prevent cyber attacks and cyber crimes.

Cybersecurity is a rapidly changing world and equally evolving discipline. What professionals knew a couple of years ago will have most likely already changed and will continue to do so over time. Furthermore, the need for skilled cybersecurity talent is greater than ever, with the global IT security skills shortages already surpassing four million in 2019 according to the latest research from (ISC)2.

Microcredentials are accredited, online courses designed to help learners build specialised skills relevant to their career. The Cybersecurity Operations microcredential is designed for professionals looking to enter the growing cybersecurity industry and fill the growing skills gap, as well as those with a background in the area who are looking to upskill and reskill themselves to fill new in-demand roles.

Andrew Smith, Senior Lecturer in Networking at the Open University said: “Many Senior IT professionals recognise that a cyber attack on their organisation is inevitable. They also recognise that staff within their organisations lack sufficient skills to investigate the cause and impact. Cisco Cybersecurity Operations is a step in the right direction – ensuring that IT professionals acquire the primary skills required when dealing with any cyber Incident.”

Simon Nelson, Chief Executive of FutureLearn commented: “Both FutureLearn and our partners recognise that microcredentials will be an essential tool in the face of a rapidly changing workplace. The need is greater than ever, especially in an equally fast-moving industry such as cybersecurity, for professionals to continuously upskill themselves in order to stay relevant and marketable. Having access to flexible and affordable credentialed learning will be crucial for industry employers and professionals alike as the market continues to advance.”

Nuno Guarda, CSR Manager from Cisco also commented: “The microcredential being offered through our collaboration with the Open University and FutureLearn, brings a unique and interesting way forward for IT professionals to develop their cybersecurity professional skill set. Many of our industry partners are continually seeking individuals with sufficient skills. This microcredential and its links to our professional certification is a step in the right direction.”

The course is currently open for enrolment and begins on 16 March 2020. Students who successfully complete the Cybersecurity Operations microcredential will receive 15 UK credits at Postgraduate level from The Open University, a Certificate of Completion from Cisco Networking Academy and, a significant discount on the optional Cisco CCNA Cybersecurity Operations Exam should they pass the embedded final assessment at 75% or higher on the first attempt.

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