Carnegie Mellon University: New Privacy Engineering Options Provide Training Flexibility

As privacy regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act require companies to improve the way they handle user privacy, more and more working professionals are seeking formal training in privacy engineering.

“While we’ve offered a full-time master’s degree program in privacy engineering since 2013, until now we haven’t had an option for those seeking privacy engineering training while continuing to work,” said Lorrie Cranor, director of CyLab Security and Privacy Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, co-director of CMU’s Privacy Engineering Program and a professor in the Institute for Software Research and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy.

Starting this fall, CMU is offering two flexible options for privacy engineering education and training. The first allows working professionals to pursue the master of science in Information Technology-Privacy Engineering (MSIT-PE) degree part-time and remotely. Depending on the number of courses taken per semester, the part-time degree program can be completed in between two and four years.

“Working professionals no longer need to quit their jobs and move to Pittsburgh to pursue this degree and receive the training they need,” said Norman Sadeh, co-director of CMU’s Privacy Engineering Program, a member of CyLab and a professor of computer science in the Institute for Software Research.

For working professionals who cannot commit to a part-time master’s degree program, CMU offers an additional option: a privacy engineering certificate that can be obtained remotely. The certificate program comprises a combination of mini-tutorials, class discussions and hands-on exercises aimed at delivering the fundamentals of privacy engineering.

“The idea behind the privacy engineering certificate is that working professionals can learn the key concepts in privacy engineering on the weekend over the course of just two months,” Sadeh said.

The certificate program is available to individual students as well as cohorts of 15-25 students from a single organization.

According to the International Association of Privacy Professionals, privacy engineers in the U.S. earn an average salary of $136,000. Those with privacy technologist certifications earn over $170,000.

“Graduates from our privacy engineering programs will be well equipped to compete in this emerging, fast-growing job market,” Cranor said.

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