Founded in 2003, EC-Council University is committed to developing exceptional educational programs that help graduates effectively address the latest IT security risks and assume leadership roles when navigating and mitigating these challenges. Licensed by the New Mexico Higher Education Department, the University aims to create cyber security leaders.
Recently, we had the privilege to talk with Lata Bavisi, the esteemed President of EC-Council University, to learn more about her role in leading EC-Council University and how the University empowers professionals to face the latest cyber security threats confidently and competently.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
You have very impressive expertise. We would love to hear more about your professional journey! Please give us a brief overview of your career and how you got to where you are today.
I have served on the board of various subsidiaries of the EC-Council Group for a little over two decades and joined the Group Board in 2015. My experience has always been in business management, investments, and leadership, and I was offered the opportunity to step into the role of vice president of EC-Council University in 2015. My passion for education and my belief in the online education industry as a new and vital means of learning in the coming years excited me even more, as this platform has its own set of lessons and expectations.
The university took a different direction under my leadership, and we saw our enrollments grow 100% year over year over the next 3 years. This motivated the group to appoint me as the President of the University and since then, we have grown to serve students in 79 different countries globally. The quality of our education reached the ears of several educational organizations who approached us, and this led to partnerships that saw our courses and programs being adopted by these organizations in various countries.
Today, as the President of EC-Council University, I am privileged to lead a team of dedicated individuals and contribute to shaping the future of cyber security education worldwide. My journey has been fulfilling, and I remain committed to empowering the next generation of cyber security professionals and leaders.
Talk about EC-Council University. How is it helping students create a better future?
EC-Council University is a US-recognized accredited institution focusing on cyber security education and technology-related fields. It offers various undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including bachelor’s and master’s degrees, emphasizing industry relevance. Developed from a learning model based on Bloom’s Taxonomy, the objective of EC-Council University’s cyber security degree program is to identify what students should learn, understand, and be able to do based on their EC-Council University coursework. The university’s degree programs are established with a mix of both business management and applied practical technology studies. This is based on the industry’s need to have a balance of applied skills and disciplines in both technical domains of research and practical business knowledge in the workplace. Programs that focus on either purely technical theory or a strong managerial emphasis tend not to produce the well-rounded cyber security experts that the industry wants, so we tend to focus on both aspects of cyber security training.
As the President of EC-Council University, I am immensely proud of the institution’s commitment to excellence in cyber security education. Our university stands at the forefront of shaping the future of cyber security professionals, and I firmly believe that we are making a profound impact on the industry and society as a whole.
Our focus on industry relevance is paramount. We understand that the world of cyber security is dynamic, with threats and technologies evolving rapidly. Therefore, we ensure that our curriculum remains cutting-edge, incorporating the latest advancements and best practices. By collaborating with industry experts, we stay informed about the evolving cyber security landscape, preparing our students to meet real-world challenges head-on and excel in their careers.
At EC-Council University, we prioritize the success and well-being of our students. We strive to create a nurturing and supportive learning environment that fosters growth and innovation. Our experienced faculty members impart knowledge and serve as mentors, guiding students on their educational journeys. Witnessing our students’ growth and witnessing their accomplishments as they transition into successful cyber security professionals brings me immense joy and gratitude.
Testimonials from our students attest to the transformative power of EC-Council University’s education. We take great pride in knowing that our graduates are making significant contributions to cyber security, securing critical systems, protecting sensitive data, and defending against cyber threats with world-class organizations.
As the President, my vision for EC-Council University is to continue raising the bar in cyber security education. We will expand our partnerships with industry leaders, conduct groundbreaking research, and provide even more opportunities for practical experience. Our graduates will continue to be sought after by top companies and government agencies worldwide, making a lasting impact in safeguarding the digital realm.
I am incredibly optimistic about the future we are creating at EC-Council University. Our commitment to excellence, innovation, and student success will remain unwavering, and together, we will forge a safer and more secure digital world.
What led to the inception of EC-Council University?
The inception of EC-Council University was driven by the need to bridge the gap between the demand for skilled cyber security professionals and the industry’s talent shortage. As a leading organization in cyber security certifications, EC-Council recognized the importance of fostering higher education and academic programs tailored specifically for cyber security. By establishing EC-Council University, we aimed to equip aspiring cyber security professionals with comprehensive knowledge and hands-on skills, enabling them to make significant contributions to the cyber security landscape. Our commitment to excellence and industry relevance has led us to create a dynamic learning environment that empowers students to become the next generation of cyber security leaders.
Our deep-rooted connections with academic and industry boards around the world helped us understand how much cyber security professionals need knowledge across several domains of cyber security. They need management and communication skills to facilitate their organizations’ abilities to function effectively, and they need employees with practical skill sets to perform the tasks for which they were hired.
This understanding led to EC-Council University creating degree programs with an equal focus on management and cyber security. Our quality curriculum focuses on practical skills, which students acquire through our cutting-edge iLabs, which feature over 200 lab exercises. Students can practice their skills continuously, which ensures an environment that fosters research and the development of vital soft skills that help graduates secure jobs and retain them.
What’s the most important thing you’re working on right now, and how are you making it happen?
At present, the primary focus of EC-Council University (ECCU) revolves around the crucial task of bridging the existing gap between academia and the rapidly evolving industry landscape. Our approach to accomplishing this ambitious goal is multi-faceted and revolves around creating a curriculum that is comprehensive and highly relevant to the demands of the industry.
ECCU is dedicated to incorporating hands-on education and skills-based competency into our curriculum to bring this vision to fruition. This means that students are not just learning theoretical concepts but also gaining practical experience that directly translates into real-world scenarios. By allowing students to engage in practical exercises, simulations, and real-world case studies, we equip them with the skills and confidence needed to thrive in the professional landscape.
Furthermore, ECCU understands the increasing significance of soft skills in today’s job market. Therefore, our curriculum strongly emphasizes developing these essential skills alongside technical knowledge. By fostering effective communication, teamwork, critical thinking, and adaptability, we ensure that our students graduate as well-rounded individuals who can seamlessly integrate into diverse work environments.
To make this comprehensive vision a reality, ECCU is working diligently to collaborate closely with industry partners. By establishing partnerships and maintaining an open dialogue with industry leaders, we are able to gain invaluable insights into the evolving requirements of the job market. This enables us to continuously update and refine our curriculum to match the latest trends and advancements, ensuring that our students are prepared to excel in their careers from day one.
Another integral aspect of our strategy involves engaging experienced professionals from the industry as instructors and mentors. This enables our students to learn directly from those who have hands-on experience and insights. By bridging the gap between academia and industry through these seasoned professionals, ECCU enhances the practicality and relevance of our education.
In summary, EC-Council University’s current paramount endeavor revolves around harmonizing academia and industry through a curriculum combining hands-on education, skills-based competency, and developing vital soft skills. By staying closely aligned with the ever-changing industry landscape and fostering collaboration between education and practical experience, ECCU aims to produce graduates who not only meet but exceed the expectations of employers, contributing significantly to the cyber security and technology sectors.
How is EC-Council University increasing access to higher education?
At EC-Council University, our mission revolves around empowering individuals through accessible higher education. Our commitment to increasing access to quality education is evident through our various scholarship initiatives that cater to a diverse range of students. By fostering an inclusive learning environment, we aim to provide opportunities that transcend financial barriers and enable students to embark on their educational journeys with confidence.
Our scholarship programs are a testament to this commitment. We understand that financial constraints should not be a hindrance to pursuing one’s dreams, especially in the realm of cyber security and technology. To that end, we offer a range of scholarships designed to support students at different stages of their academic pursuits.
Academic Excellence Scholarships: Recognizing exceptional academic achievements, these scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrated outstanding performance in their previous studies. This initiative encourages and rewards dedication to learning and academic excellence.
Diversity and Inclusion Scholarships: We strongly believe in the value of diverse perspectives in the field of cyber security. These scholarships are aimed at promoting diversity by supporting underrepresented groups, ensuring that a wide array of voices contributes to the cyber security discourse.
Military and Veterans Scholarships: We hold great respect for those who have served in the military. Our military and veterans scholarships acknowledge their dedication and sacrifice by providing them with seamless opportunities to transition into the cyber security field.
Women in Cyber Security Scholarships: Encouraging gender diversity, these scholarships are tailored to support women pursuing education and careers in cyber security. We believe that fostering a gender-balanced industry enriches the field’s capabilities and innovation.
Financial Need Scholarships: Understanding the financial challenges many students face, our financial need scholarships are designed to assist those who require additional support to pursue their educational aspirations.
These scholarship programs underscore our commitment to making education accessible and inclusive. By providing opportunities to individuals from various backgrounds, we aim to create a vibrant community of cyber security professionals who bring unique perspectives and insights to the table. Empowering our students with scholarships is just one facet of our broader mission to cultivate a generation of cyber security experts who can address the complex challenges of the digital age.
At EC-Council University, we are dedicated to breaking down barriers and empowering individuals to excel in the dynamic field of cyber security. Our diverse range of scholarships reflects this commitment, offering opportunities to students based on their achievements, backgrounds, and aspirations. Through these initiatives, we aim to create a positive impact not only on the lives of our students but also on the cyber security industry as a whole.
What are the major challenges? How are you tackling those?
As the President of EC-Council University, I recognize that challenges are an inherent part of any educational institution’s journey. We see these challenges as opportunities to make a deeper impact in the lives of our students. One of the major challenges we face is keeping pace with the rapidly evolving landscape of cyber security. To tackle this, we continually update our curriculum to align with industry demands and emerging technologies, ensuring that our students are well-prepared for real-world challenges. By hiring faculty members who are not only knowledgeable but also actively engaged in the industry, we enable our students to receive instruction that is up-to-date and aligned with current trends.
Our commitment to producing graduates who can seamlessly transition into the real world is a cornerstone of our strategy. We emphasize the practical implementation of the knowledge, skills, and abilities students gain throughout the program. This approach equips our graduates with the confidence and competence needed to excel in the cyber security landscape.
Furthermore, our advisory groups and subject matter experts play a pivotal role in our pursuit of staying current with technological advancements. By collaborating closely with industry professionals and thought leaders, we ensure that our programs remain aligned with the dynamic demands of the cyber security field.
We also recognize the importance of staying attuned to industry demands and employer expectations. To address this, we maintain strong ties with cyber security organizations, conducting regular employer surveys to align our programs with the current job market.
Overall, we believe that these challenges are opportunities for growth and improvement. By continually innovating and adapting, we aim to make a lasting impact on the cyber security industry and empower our students to excel in their careers.
Do you believe in giving back to society? If so, then how?
Absolutely! At EC-Council University, we firmly believe in giving back to society and positively impacting the lives of our students and the world at large. As EC-Council University’s President, I am deeply committed to fostering an environment where education catalyzes positive change. We not only focus on providing quality education but also strive to instill values of social responsibility in our students.
I’m thrilled to share that EC-Council has recently announced a groundbreaking initiative – a $3.5 million scholarship fund for the Certified Cybersecurity Technician (C|CT) program. This certification program is designed as an entry point into the world of cyber security, equipping individuals with practical, foundational skills that are essential in today’s digital landscape. This scholarship not only addresses the pressing need for skilled cyber security professionals but also opens doors for aspiring talents who might otherwise face barriers to entry.
By investing in initiatives like the Certified Cybersecurity Technician scholarship, we aim to bridge the skills gap and foster a stronger, more secure digital ecosystem. We believe that these efforts are not only an investment in individuals’ futures but also in the collective progress of society.
One of the ways we give back is through our scholarship programs, which aim to make education accessible to deserving students who may face financial constraints. By offering scholarships, we hope to empower talented individuals to pursue their dreams in the field of cyber security, ultimately contributing to a more secure and resilient digital world. According to our Student Learning and Career Outcome Survey 2022, 100% of our graduates are employed within a year, and 89.6% of our graduates recommend our degree programs to their friends and colleagues.
Many of our graduates not only find employment but distinction in their career paths. For instance, Robert Samupindi’s journey showcases how our bachelor’s degree program in data and information management has empowered him to secure a prestigious position as an information management officer at the United Nations headquarters. Graduate Devin Acosta’s experience highlights our commitment to accessible education, as our generous credit transfer policy enabled him to obtain his bachelor’s degree efficiently, saving time and money. Similarly, graduate Takahiro Oda’s transformation illustrates the value of our Master of Science in Cyber Security degree program, enabling him to transition from an IT engineer to a successful cyber security professional with two promotions. Luciano Gavoni from Italy also emphasizes how our master’s degree has opened doors to career advancement and job opportunities, helping him achieve his professional goals. These success stories lie at the heart of EC-Council University’s mission.
One of the other ways we do this is through our Black Girl Hack initiative, which is a testament to our dedication to creating a more inclusive and diverse cyber security industry. Our Black Girl Hack initiative aims to empower and uplift aspiring women in cyber security, providing them with the necessary skills and opportunities to become cyber security leaders. We offer scholarships through specialized training to equip these talented individuals with the tools they need to succeed in this rapidly evolving field. By nurturing a diverse talent pool, we not only address the gender gap in cyber security but also contribute to a more robust and innovative industry.
In essence, giving back to society is integral to our ethos at EC-Council University. Through scholarships and other impactful initiatives, we are dedicated to shaping a better, safer world by empowering individuals with knowledge, skills, and opportunities they deserve.
What can we expect from EC-Council University in the next five years?
The world is our campus, and technology is our classroom. As an online university, we aim to build cutting-edge curricula and lab environments that allow our grads to demonstrate their abilities to be innovative, effective thought leaders. In the next five years, EC-Council University is committed to driving innovation and excellence in cyber security education. We envision expanding our program offerings to cater to the evolving industry demands, with specialized tracks in emerging areas like AI, IoT, and cloud security. Collaborating with leading industry experts and organizations, we aim to provide our students with cutting-edge insights and hands-on experiences. Our goal is to be a global leader in producing skilled and ethical cyber security professionals, addressing the ever-growing cyber security challenges of the digital era.
As we step into the future, the trajectory of EC-Council University is poised to redefine the landscape of cyber security education and innovation. Our commitment to excellence remains unwavering, and the next five years promise to bring forth a dynamic evolution that echoes our mission: the world as our campus and technology as our classroom.
Central to our vision is the development of a cutting-edge curriculum and lab environments. We recognize that in the ever-evolving realm of cyber security, innovation is key. Our graduates will be equipped not only with theoretical knowledge but also with hands-on skills that foster innovation, effectiveness, and thought leadership. By melding theoretical understanding with practical application, we ensure that our students emerge as adept problem solvers and leaders capable of navigating the complex challenges of the digital world.
Inherent in our mission is the aspiration to connect the global community. In the next five years, EC-Council University envisions itself as a catalyst for this connection, enabling the seamless exchange of ideas, skills, knowledge, and abilities across borders. Our online platform serves as a conduit for collaboration, transcending geographical limitations and fostering a worldwide network of cyber security professionals. Through this interconnectedness, we aim to create a robust ecosystem where individuals, regardless of their location, can contribute to and enhance the cyber security landscape.
Cyber threats persist in their evolution, requiring us to be ever-vigilant and prepared. EC-Council University is dedicated to bolstering this preparedness. In the coming years, we’ll continue to refine our programs to address the latest threats and emerging technologies. By staying at the forefront of the industry, we’re equipping our students with the skills and knowledge needed to combat cyber threats effectively.
Our commitment to fostering a secure digital future extends beyond the realm of education. We foresee EC-Council University becoming a pivotal contributor to the global cyber security discourse. By sharing insights, experiences, and solutions, we’re collectively fortifying our defenses against cyber threats. As we foster a community of cyber security experts, we empower them to shape the landscape positively and proactively.
In conclusion, the next five years for EC-Council University are poised to be transformative and revolutionary. Through an innovative curriculum, global connectivity, and a steadfast commitment to cyber security excellence, we’re not just preparing students for the challenges of tomorrow, we’re actively shaping the future of cyber security. The journey ahead is exciting, and we invite you to be a part of this remarkable evolution as we collectively strive for a safer and more secure digital world.