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ASU launches global security and competitive statecraft graduate certificate

Woman wearing military fatigues seated at a computer typing.

Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Defense

July 13, 2022

During this emerging era of geopolitical competition and compounding security challenges, it is imperative for international security practitioners to stay up to date on current trends that shape contemporary national statecraft.

Thanks to Arizona State University’s new, forward-thinking graduate certificate in global security and competitive statecraft, security-related professionals can stay ahead of developing trends and have a stronger grasp on contemporary problems in the global strategic environment.

The online certificate, offered through ASU’s School of Politics and Global Studies, is an expansion of its Global Security graduate offerings, which include a Master of Arts in global security and a cybersecurity concentration.

“The new certificate builds on the success of our MA in global security, which students consistently describe as key to their career advancement,” said Daniel Rothenberg, a professor of practice at ASU and co-director of the global security graduate program and the Center on the Future of War.

“The complex evolving security environment requires nimble thinkers,” said Jeff Kubiak, a professor of practice at ASU and co-director of the MA in global security program. “Our new graduate certificate in global security and competitive statecraft helps train professionals to be prepared for the demands of a rapidly changing world.”

“The level of engagement I see in the courses I teach is unmatched for an online program,” said Alicia Ellis, an ASU lecturer in the global security program. “It’s an exciting place to be, and I’m thrilled that the certificate students will get that same benefit by being in the courses with our graduate student body.”

Program faculty for the certificate are leaders in their respective fields and provide policymakers’ views on everything from cybersecurity to counterterrorism to human rights.

“Students in the graduate certificate in global security and competitive statecraft will be learning from an all-star cast of experts. There is just nothing else out there that better prepares students for work in the security field,” said Magda Hinojosa, director of the School of Politics and Global Studies.

“Additionally, the certificate faculty are all a part of a much larger security network through ASU's Center on the Future of War, the ASU connection to the policy-forward Washington, D.C., think tank New America,” said Kubiak. “This network can expose students to research and employment opportunities across the security field.”

Kubiak offered insights into the new ASU Online graduate certificate.

Question: What was the motivation behind the creation of the graduate certificate?

Answer: Actually, there were several. First, many security professionals are in search of a program to update their knowledge of the evolving security field, but either already have a graduate degree or for some other reason are not interested in completing a full MA. The coursework for the new certificate is the same as is available to students in the popular and successful MA in global security. Certificate students can pick and choose from several of the offered courses and get just the information they feel is interesting or necessary. The certificate is a bite-sized offering of the MA to make the coursework available to even more interested security practitioners.

Second, several employers make funding available to employees for continued professional development, which often includes grad certificates but not full graduate degrees. The certificate provides cutting-edge security education available as professional development without the commitment to a graduate degree. Finally, we have a number of partners in the Department of Defense and elsewhere in the security space interested in certificates for their workforce. We have the flexibility to create some specific coursework for them as part of the broader list of available courses.

Q: What will students learn while completing the certificate?

A: The focus of the courses included in the certificate is the dynamic global political arena in which states and other actors compete for security and prosperity. Students can take courses on the future of war from a bestselling thought leader, Peter W. Singer; courses in cybersecurity from the first deputy commander of USCYBERCOM (U.S. Cyber Command), retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle; the impact of emerging technology on security from a former administration official and RAND political scientist, Anika Binnendijk; the impact of urbanization on security from one of the foremost experts in contemporary conflict, David Killcullen — and the list goes on. Each of the courses is taught by a top security expert and covers topics that are at the cutting edge of discourse and interest in the area of global security.

Q: How might this certificate and the faculty that lead it help advance the careers of its graduates?

A: The certificate will update current and aspiring security practitioners on the issues and ideas shaping the global security environment in a competitive era. They'll be exposed to the big ideas, the current research, and be provided new and useful frameworks for analyzing the dynamic security environment. At a minimum, students will walk away with the ability to engage in discourse on, and provide analysis of, a range of security issues and events, using cutting-edge ideas and vocabulary.

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