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SPCS shifts academic certificates online to better meet statewide learning needs

February 16, 2022

SPCS Academic Update

In response to the shortage of qualified data analysts, IT security experts and information system specialists throughout Virginia, the University of Richmond is converting its certificates in Data Analytics, Information Security and Information Systems from seat-based programs to completely online programs beginning in fall 2022.

These academic certificates build on the knowledge and skills of a bachelor’s degree. They provide specialized theory and hands-on experience that can be earned in only a year at a cost that’s far less than a comparable graduate certificate.

The online certificate in data analytics requires only six classes. Two courses in data analytics and data visualization focus squarely on data analysis, and four electives from among data-related skills can be aligned with your professional learning needs.

The online certificate in information security requires only seven classes. Three courses in LAN, IT security and risk management focus squarely on information security, and four electives from among IT-related skills can support your career growth.

The online certificate in information systems requires seven classes. The program is fully customizable, and you’ll build your entire program of study from a wide range of IT electives to fill in your skills gaps.

The School of Professional & Continuing Studies is offering these certificates as asynchronous, self-paced courses with weekly assignments and due dates. Our 15-week semesters provide students time to learn and apply new skills through reflective practice. Most students take two or three classes each semester (fall, spring and summer) in order to finish within a year.

The School seeks to meet the needs of adult learners and working professionals who require flexibility and support to earn updated credentials in response to the rapidly advancing job market.

“Shifting these post-bachelor’s certificate programs to an online delivery format aligns with the needs of many of today’s adult learners,” said Dr. Jamelle S. Wilson, dean of SPCS. “It also allows us to reach outside the Richmond region and help thousands of Virginians to earn a professional credential as they prepare for a career change, which is especially important as the economy and job market continue to evolve.”

Post-bachelor’s credentials are able to focus directly on the skills and outcomes that students need, without meeting the additional curricular requirements of a bachelor’s degree. Students who’ve already earned a bachelor’s degree are able to quickly add skills for increasingly complex job expectations.

“Our online certificates in data analytics, information security and information systems will help meet the increasing demand for a data and technology capable workforce by offering opportunities for nontraditional students to upskill and reskill,” noted Dr. Lionel Mew, program chair.

These newly online certificates expand the online program offerings of the School, building on our online bachelor’s degree completion program in interdisciplinary studies. Recent graduates of online bachelor’s degrees, including our own interdisciplinary studies online program, might consider one of these online certificates as a valuable add-on credential focused on specialized knowledge and skills.

Learn more about the University of Richmond’s newest online programs through the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.