Cybersecurity program earns prestigious NSA designation

CMU is the largest Michigan institution to garner the title

| Author: Logan Pellegrom

Central Michigan University has been recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity by the National Security Agency, the highest designation awarded by the nation’s top information gathering security agency.

Susan Helser, CMU Cybersecurity Program Director, says this is not only a major accomplishment for the program, but also gives CMU students who complete the program an upper hand in the job market.

“Being recognized externally by this caliber of an entity shows that the program merits whatever industry standards are set, in this case, by the NSA,” said Helser. “When students go to a prospective employer with this on their resume, that’s something they want to see.”

Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing, in-demand jobs in the U.S., a trend expected to continue for years to come. According to, there are currently more than 10,000 cybersecurity job openings in Michigan alone due, in part, to a lack of qualified candidates.

CMU earned the Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense designation, one of the three types of designations institutions can pursue, making CMU’s Cybersecurity Certificate Program a CAE-certified program.

The CMU College of Business Administration offers the program at both the graduate and undergraduate level and is now the largest four-year institution in Michigan to hold the prestigious designation. The designation also provides additional resources for the CMU Cybersecurity Program, encourages collaboration with other CAE programs on research and grants, and affords the ability to pursue NSF grants and scholarships, which Helser and program leadership are already working towards.

“This endorsement certifies that we are providing the U.S. with a source of qualified cybersecurity professionals,” said Helser.

Learn more about CMU’s Cybersecurity Certificate Program, including its signature events and learning opportunities at
View latest news