Apollo Education Group

University of Phoenix® College of Security and Criminal Justice and ASIS International launched the Enterprise Security Competency Model. Designed to represent the competencies that are essential for being prepared for a career in today’s ever-changing security industry, the model is the first of its kind. Careers in Enterprise Security fulfill critical roles in the protection of national and global economies, and the industry is changing. Yet despite its size and scope, until now the security industry has not yet widely endorsed a clear set of competencies and skills to enable the workforce to keep pace with expanding roles and responsibilities.

To develop a security workforce well equipped to meet a multitude of risks and challenges, the industry must better define itself by promoting its variety of dynamic career paths and required competencies. Today’s security careers span every industry, offer opportunities for specialization, and can open up paths to executive leadership roles. Security leaders need education and training that is distinct from that of law enforcement, and comprehensive enough to meet the growing need to safeguard a complex global economy.

To respond to workforce development challenges, the ASIS Foundation, partnered with University of Phoenix® College of Security and Criminal Justice, engaged in multiple research initiatives to identify the specific professional competencies and skills that are required to respond to the security risks that enterprises are most likely to face over the next five years. The goal of these research efforts was to establish consensus on which security competencies are needed across industries to close the skills gap by defining clearer career pathways for tomorrow’s professionals.

Those key tenets include:

  • Expand education and training programs to match industry challenges.
  • Ensure that curriculum and competency standards apply to a variety of job descriptions.
  • Include experiential learning and critical thinking components that allow learners to practice skills under a variety of conditions, and apply their learning to solve complex problems.

Increasingly, business and STEM courses are emerging as essential requirements for security professionals; thus, interdisciplinary and integrated education programs can prepare the security workforce with a more expansive skill set. “The dynamic between a rapidly changing environment and a lack of industry-accepted competencies contributes to the skills gap and the related misalignment of educational programs available to support the industry,” said Spider Marks, executive dean, College of Security and Criminal Justice, University of Phoenix. “Through this Enterprise Security Competency Model, University of Phoenix is able to provide the educational degrees, training and certificate programs to prepare security professionals and employers for these challenging and rewarding roles.”  The Enterprise Security Competency Model details the core set of skills and knowledge that industry practitioners are expected to have.


The Enterprise Security Industry Competency Model

Find the interactive Enterprise Competency Model here.  


Written by University of Phoenix in collaboration with the ASIS Foundation, the leading security organization this model has been adopted by the U.S. Department of Labor. The base tiers of the pyramid represent a broad foundation of personal abilities; the middle tiers show educational, technical and functional proficiencies; and the top tiers reflect competencies by occupation. Employers use this model to assess skills when recruiting job candidates or evaluating employee performance. Additionally, the model serves as a resource to inform discussions among industry leaders, educators, economic developers and public workforce investment professionals.

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