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Private University Offers Credits for CompTIA Certifications

Through a new partnership with Cengage Group, Abilene Christian University in Texas will award students college credits in exchange for CompTIA certification through cybersecurity boot camp programs.

illustration of people with stack of books and professional certification
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With U.S. higher-ed students questioning the value of a college degree and turning to skill-building “boot camp” programs as alternatives, a private Christian university in Texas aims to lure some online students back by offering them college credits in exchange for CompTIA certification.

According to a news release in January, a new partnership between Abilene Christian University (ACU) and the ed-tech company Cengage Group proposes to save students time and money by allowing them to convert industry credentials from the IT trade association nonprofit CompTIA, earned through IT boot camps run by Cengage Group’s training company Infosec, into college credits that count toward an online bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity from ACU. The move comes as students have been gravitating toward accelerated training and “boot camp” programs instead of traditional four-year degree programs to qualify for IT security jobs, which are expected to grow more than 30 percent from 2022 to 2032, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“By recognizing the value of CompTIA certifications for college credit, we are breaking new ground in providing a pathway for learners to bridge the gap between industry expertise and formal academic achievement,” Stephen Johnson, chief executive officer of ACU’s Dallas campus, said in a public statement.

The partnership comes amid the growth of other cyber training programs such as the collaborative effort between Wright State University and other institutions, or Amazon Web Services’ Skills to Jobs Tech Alliance, an initiative launched last year in which workforce development organizations, universities and technology companies are working together to train students for cybersecurity and IT-related careers.

“At Infosec Institute, we have always believed in the power of hands-on, practical training. This collaboration with ACU Online is a testament to our shared commitment to empowering individuals in their cybersecurity journey,” said Keatron Evans, vice president of portfolio and product strategy at Infosec Institute. “The ability to earn college credit for CompTIA certifications is a game-changer, offering our learners the recognition they deserve in both the industry and academic realms.”