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Integrating The Security+ Exam Objectives Into Information Technology Curricula

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Information Technologies Classroom Instruction

Tagged Division

Information Systems

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.768.1 - 13.768.11



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Paper Authors


Akram Al-Rawi KFU

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Akram Al-Rawi is a Professor of Computer Science at King Faisal
University, Saudi Arabia. He has worked at several academic institutions
of which the last three were Zayed University, University of Missouri-
Columbia, and Columbia College, MO. His teaching interests
include programming languages, networks, logic design, and computer
architecture. His research interests include computer simulation, wireless,
security, embedded systems, and curriculum design. He holds
certifications in A+, Network+, Sun Certified Java Programmer,
ICDL, i-Net+, Server+ and CCAI.

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Azzedine Lansari Zayed University

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Azzedine Lansari received a PhD in Bioengineering from North Carolina
State University in 1992. From 1992-1998, he was a senior researcher
at Computer Sciences Corp. and MANTECH, Inc. He joined
Zayed University in August 1998. Currently he is an associate professor
of Information Technology. His teaching interests include instructional
technology and statistical modeling. His research interests include systems
modeling, educational technology and curriculum design.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Integrating the Security+ exam Objectives into Information Technology Curricula


Security is a fairly new field in the information technology (IT) knowledge domain and has recently become a critical area in IT curricula. While some IT programs in the US offer only one security course in their undergraduate programs, others offer up to four courses. The first objective of this paper is to review the offering of security courses in undergraduate programs and then examine their content to investigate the possibility of integrating the CompTIA Security+ exam objectives. The second objective of this paper is to review industrial certificates that are currently available in security and examine their possible integration in an IT curriculum. The last objective of this study is to compare the objectives of the Security+ exam with the two Cisco Networking Academy security courses. The Security+ certification exam objectives cover most of the basics of security and they can be integrated into the first security course of most IT programs. Finally, a master course syllabus that covers the Security+ exam objectives is developed to map each course objective with its corresponding certification objective. It is anticipated that colleges and universities will benefit from this study by using the proposed course syllabus as a framework for integrating the Security+ certification exam objectives into their curriculum.


Certification establishes a standard of competency in specific areas of the IT field which helps industry determine whether prospective employees meet the required credentials for different job roles. Therefore employees holding the required IT certificates may require less training or even no training during the initial employment period. Hence, some job criteria require individuals to be certified in order to be considered for employment. To the certified individual, certification provides a greater sense of confidence in their abilities and a measure of professional expertise and understanding of the job and products used in that role. It is for these reasons that certification is becoming increasingly popular and in high demand. Some IT certificates are specific to a narrow field or even individual products. The aim is to provide targeted skills that have immediate applicability in the workplace1,2.

The IEEE and ACM recognize the importance of certification and provide its members with over six hundred online courses leading to professional certifications, such as CompTIA Network+ and Cisco CCNA. Moreover, ACM has developed a K-12 computer science curriculum3 that recommends three IT certifications; the A+ Certified Technician, the i-Net+, and the Certified Internet Webmaster. The ACM report suggests that students who complete certification courses should be encouraged to take the corresponding exam as proof of acquired knowledge.

Academic institutions worldwide are constantly trying to refine or even reinvent their Information Technology (IT) curricula to address the needs of industry and government. As many new IT curricula emerge, a number of them do not satisfy well recognized standards and sometimes even lack critical curricular components. Furthermore, a highly competitive IT global

Al-Rawi, A., & Lansari, A. (2008, June), Integrating The Security+ Exam Objectives Into Information Technology Curricula Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3942

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