Online Learning

Microsoft Introduces edX-Based Cybersecurity Training Program

Microsoft has introduced a new series of open access courses on cybersecurity that can be taken for free or, for more formal recognition, as a certificate program for a fee. The Microsoft Professional Program Cybersecurity track includes 12 courses — 10 of which must be completed successfully to earn the certificate. The program is hosted on edX and includes labs, community interaction and quizzes. Content is delivered online through videos.

As with other Microsoft professional programs, each course runs for three months and starts at the beginning of a quarter — in January, April, July and October. The courses have to be completed during that given quarter, and they vary in how much time each requires, though typically, it's expected to be two to four hours per week. Microsoft estimated that the entire program would take between 78 to 181 hours to finish, depending on the level of familiarity a student has with a given topic. The cost is $99 per course if the student chooses to pursue a "verified certificate."

With the exception of a capstone course, they can be taken in any sequence, although the company suggested this order:

  1. Enterprise Security Fundamentals
  2. Threat Detection: Planning for a Secure Enterprise
  3. Planning a Security Incident Response
  4. PowerShell Security Best Practices
  5. Managing Identity
  6. Security in Office 365; Securing Data in Azure and SQL Server; or Microsoft SharePoint 2016: Authentication and Security
  7. Windows 10 Security Features
  8. Windows Server 2016 Security Features
  9. Microsoft Azure Security Services
  10. Microsoft Professional Capstone on Cybersecurity

The capstone course, which will be available "soon" according to Microsoft, provides a simulated environment in which the student must protect a company that's being hit by cyberthreats.

The company distinguishes its MPP program from its longtime Microsoft Certified Professional program. While the MCP program is focused on validating the existing technical skills people have when they use specific Microsoft technology, the MPP program was created, Microsoft explained in an FAQ, "to help close a skills gap by teaching conceptual and technical skills together for a variety of technologies."

Details about the MPP are available on the Microsoft website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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