Guide to Cybersecurity Bootcamps

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The top network and cybersecurity bootcamps prepare individuals for careers in this rapidly growing security field. Jobs are in high demand, and the pay is excellent!

Cybersecurity Bootcamps teach students to protect networks, software, computers, and data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access. These condensed courses quickly prepare students for information security and cybersecurity security jobs.


What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. These attacks are usually aimed at accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information, extorting money from users, or interrupting normal business processes. Cybersecurity is also known as information security, computer security, or IT security. Types of cybercrime can include:

  • Identity theft and financial theft
  • Ransomware attacks and cyber extortion
  • Data breaches
  • Email and Internet fraud

What is a Cybersecurity Bootcamp?

What is a Cybersecurity Bootcamp?

Cybersecurity bootcamps are intensive, hands-on training programs designed to teach students cybersecurity fundamentals. These bootcamps provide both the knowledge and fundamental skills graduates need to pass certification exams. And prepare students for roles in ethical hacking, network security, digital forensics, cryptography, and more.

Bootcamps typically last anywhere from a few days to several weeks and cover a broad range of topics. As a result, students can gain a comprehensive understanding of the field and build experience through practical exercises. The best cybersecurity bootcamps offer tech education for everyone from new part time students to career professionals. So keep reading to learn more about the top cyber security bootcamps!

Top Cybersecurity Bootcamps:

1. edX + university partners

Several universities partner with edX to offer online Cybersecurity boot camps. The curriculum includes 6 learning modules. Security Fundamentals, Defensive Security, Systems Administration, Offensive Security, Networks and Network Security, and Test Prep and Final Projects are the topics.

Topics and technical skills:
  • Networking: Packet Analysis, Wireshark
  • Systems: Windows and Linux Administration Techniques Windows and Linux Hardening cybersecurity
  • Cybersecurity: Secure Network Design and Architecture, Risk Management, Cryptography, Vulnerability Assessment, Identity and Access Management, Cloud Security Risks
  • Ethical Hacking and Penetration: Kali Linux, Metasploit, Hashcat, Burp Suite, Web Vulnerabilities and Security
  • Cybersecurity Careers: Digital Forensics Methods, Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessment, Security Operations, and Analytics
  • Programming and Scripting: Bash Scripting, PowerShell Scripting

Students in these bootcamp programs learn skills applicable to certifications such as CompTIA Security+, Linux+, Network+, Server+, Cloud+, and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). They also gain experience with popular tools such as Kali Linux, Wireshark, Metasploit, and also Nessus.

edX offers educational programs to private companies, corporate partners, and also nonprofit partners. Below are a few of the educational partners that offer cyber boot camps.

University Partners:

Location: Online through university partners

Program: edx Cybersecurity Bootcamp

Curriculum: 6 cyber security courses or modules

Cost: $12,745

Length of Time: 24 weeks

2. QuickStart + university partners

QuickStart partners with several universities to offer online bootcamps. Their information security bootcamp provides continued education to college students and cybersecurity professionals. These university bootcamps offer flexible scheduling and 20-30 hour weeks, so students still have time for a part-time job or college courses. 

University Partners:

Location: Online through university partners

Program: QuickStart Cybersecurity Bootcamps with Immersive Cybersecurity Bootcamp and Flex options

Curriculum: 9 cyber security courses

Cost: $5,100 to $7,900

Length of Time: 24 weeks

3. Flatiron

Flatiron School offers a comprehensive program in cybersecurity both online or in person. The school also provides robust career services. So graduates move on to fulfilling careers. 

Location: New York City, Online, Denver

Program: Cybersecurity

Curriculum: 7 Courses

Cost: $16,900

Length of Time: 15 weeks full-time, 40 weeks part-time

4. Eleven Fifty Academy

The Eleven Fifty Academy is a nonprofit coding and cybersecurity bootcamp headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. The school offers a 15-week bootcamp for full-time students.

Eleven Fifty Academy offers a variety of funding options, including private loans, GI Bill funds, Progressive Income Share Agreements (PISA), and scholarships.

Location: Online

Program: Eleven Fifty Academy Cybersecurity

Curriculum: 11 Modules, 1 Exam

Cost: $13,500

Length of Time: 3 months full time, 6 months part time

5. Level Effect

Level Effect is a cybersecurity training provider founded by former National Security Agency (NSA) analysts. The organization offers a 14-week, live Cyber Defense Analyst (CDA) Bootcamp.

This bootcamp uses training techniques similar to those used in the military to quickly equip students with vast knowledge. At the end of the bootcamp, students can earn a Cyber Defense Certified Professional (CDCP) certification. Additionally, students who want to earn a Cybersecurity degree at Purdue University Global can earn 47 credits toward their BS when they complete this program.

Location: Online

Program: Cyber Defense Analyst (CDA) Bootcamp

Curriculum: 1 Course

Cost: $11,000

Length of Time: 15 weeks

Why Attend a Cybersecurity Bootcamp?

Attending a cybersecurity boot camp is a great way to quickly gain knowledge and skills related to the field. Bootcamps can provide comprehensive training in network and data security, cryptography, and digital forensics. Additionally, many boot camps offer a hands-on experience that can help prospective students become more prepared for the real world. This can help them understand the importance of cybersecurity and improve their job prospects.

By attending a boot camp, students can also learn the skills of successful security personnel. For example, they understand the potential risks and threats, develop effective security protocols, and respond to cyber attacks. Finally, cybersecurity education helps students build a network of peers and mentors who can help them stay ahead in the field.

What are the Different Types of Cybersecurity Bootcamp Providers?

There are a few different types of cybersecurity boot camp providers. These include academic, independent, and eligible training providers (ETPs).

Academic Providers

Universities and colleges offer boot camps with an independent provider or outside partner. Most of these provide both online and in-person classes. These companies structure the programs, and the university hosts them. So, bootcamp descriptions on university websites often contain the same coursework and structure.

Academic Cyber Security Bootcamp Providers

  • University of Connecticut 
  • Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA)
  • University of Denver (Denver, CO) 
  • Northwestern University
  • University of Maryland (College Park, MD) 
  • Southern Methodist University 
  • University of California–Irvine
  • Kansas State University–Olathe
  • University of San Diego

Independent Providers

Training companies and skills academies are independent providers of bootcamp education. There is tremendous variety among these providers. For example, some cybersecurity boot camps focus on security information and event management (SIEM). 

Cybersecurity Bootcamp Independent Providers

  • Coding Dojo
  • SecureSet Academy
  • Kable Academy
  • The Hacker Group
  • Craft Academy
  • Springboard
  • Fullstack Academy
  • Kenzie Academy
  • Simplilearn Solutions
  • CyberCamp
  • SecureNinja Cybersecurity Bootcamp
  • Cyber Bootcamp by the SANS Institute
  • Cybrary’s Cyber Security Bootcamp
  • Evolve Security Academy
  • Great Learning
  • The Secure Coding Academy
  • EC-Council Certified Security Analyst Boot Camp
  • Cybrary Cybersecurity Boot Camp
  • Thinkful Cyber Security Bootcamp
  • Cyber Security Academy
  • Code Fellows
  • The Tech Academy
  • Clarusway
  • Claim Academy
  • BrainStation
  • CourseCareers
  • NGT Academy

Eligible Training Providers

Some independent companies are Eligible Training Providers (ETPs). This designation qualifies the bootcamp to provide training services under the WIOA or Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act. In addition, many ETP providers have state grants and scholarships for both dislocated workers and adult learners. Search Career One Stop to find your state’s directory of WIOA-eligible training programs.

Other Providers

Other types of bootcamps partner with corporations or government agencies. Corporate Bootcamps are for employees of large companies to learn and stay up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity trends. Government Bootcamps are specifically for government employees. Different branches of the military or government agencies are typical providers.

How are Cybersecurity Bootcamps Structured?

Cybersecurity boot camps are typically structured as intense, full-time courses lasting four to twelve weeks. Bootcamps usually cover networking, cryptography, system administration, and ethical hacking. Additionally, some intermediate and advanced bootcamps have opportunities to gain real-world experience with micro internships.

Some boot camps also offer career development services such as job-placement assistance and practice interviews. At the end of the BootCamp, students typically receive a certificate of completion.

Cybersecurity Bootcamps by Delivery Format

Bootcamps offer online, on-campus, and hybrid classes. Online cybersecurity bootcamps provide online courses and resources. Some programs maintain a strict schedule and attendance policy with synchronous or live classes. Or an online cybersecurity Bootcamp may be self-paced with asynchronous courses that allow students to learn independently. 

On-campus boot camps offer in-person classes led by experienced cyber professionals. Hybrid Bootcamp programs provide a combination of online and in-person courses.

Cybersecurity Bootcamps by Skill Level 

Beginner cybersecurity boot camps are for individuals who are just starting in the field of cybersecurity. Students will learn the basics of information security and operational security. They will also learn about common cyber threats and how to identify and mitigate them. Graduates from a cybersecurity bootcamp for beginners qualify for entry-level jobs in roles like Security Analyst.

Intermediate cybersecurity boot camps are for individuals with some cybersecurity experience and knowledge. They will learn more advanced concepts such as malware analysis, digital forensics, and incident response.  

Advanced cybersecurity boot camps are for security professionals with experience in the field and who want to take their deep security knowledge to the next level. These boot camps will focus on more advanced topics such as cryptography, application security, and penetration testing.

What are the Admission Requirements for a Cybersecurity Bootcamp?

Skills and experience are more valuable than formal education in this field. So, many boot camps do not require students to have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree.

Additionally, many offer pre-course tutorials to prepare students for these rigorous programs. This supplemental curriculum can fill in holes for students that need it and ensure everyone starts in the same place. And most programs require the items below. 

  • high school diploma
  • submission form or a complete application
  • complete a problem-solving assessment 

What Can You Expect From a Cybersecurity Bootcamp Program?  

Cybersecurity bootcamp programs provide students with the foundational skills and knowledge to enter the cybersecurity industry. Depending on the program, it typically consists of several components, such as class lectures, lab work, and hands-on projects. 

Students learn how to design, implement, and maintain secure systems. They also learn defensive and offensive cybersecurity and how to analyze and respond to security threats. Some programs may also include a capstone project in which students apply their knowledge to a real-world scenario. Lectures and lab work may cover computer networks, computer operating systems, cryptography, digital forensics, and system security.  

What Courses Do you Take in a Cybersecurity BootCamp?  

Below are some typical courses students take in a cybersecurity boot camp.

  • Introduction to Information Security 
  • Cybersecurity Foundational Skills 
  • IT Project Management 
  • Host-based Security 
  • Network Security
  • Identity and Access Management 
  • Security Assessment and Operations
  • Application Security 
  • Operating System Security  
  • Digital Forensics 
  • Ethical Hacking 
  • Secure Networking 
  • Cryptography and Cryptanalysis 
  • Malware Analysis and Reverse Engineering 
  • Applied Computer Security 
  • Incident Response and Disaster Recovery 
  • Application Security 
  • Cloud Security 
  • Privacy and Regulatory Compliance

How Long are Cybersecurity Bootcamps?

Bootcamps aim to quickly have graduates job-ready for a specific career track. They also want to produce graduates ready to sit for certification exams. The time commitment for most Cybersecurity Bootcamp programs is typically 12 weeks to 36 weeks. Students can take either full-time or part-time classes.

However, class attendance and coursework are not the only commitments. Bootcamp students work on independent projects and also network with professionals at career events.

How Much Does a Cybersecurity Bootcamp Cost?

The cost of a cybersecurity boot camp can vary greatly depending on the program and course length. Generally, boot camps cost between $2,000 and $20,000 for a full-time, four-week program. Part-time and self-paced programs usually are less expensive, ranging from $1,000 to $12,000.

Are there Free Cybersecurity Bootcamps?

The SANS Technology Institute offers free Cybersecurity Bootcamp resources. Classes are taught by leading security experts and provide a comprehensive overview of cybersecurity and the necessary skills to pursue a career. Additionally, the SANS cybersecurity classes offer hands-on, practical experience with the tools and techniques used in the area.

How Do You Pay for a Cybersecurity Bootcamp Education?  

Typically bootcamps are less expensive than a four-year college degree program. However, students cannot use federal financial aid for bootcamps. Hopefully, this will change in the near future. But, there are other ways to pay for your bootcamp.

Most cyber security boot camps offer a range of payment options, including full payment upfront, monthly payments, and deferred tuition. Some boot camps also provide financing options, such as a loan from a third-party lender. Additionally, some boot camps may offer scholarships or discounts to qualified students.

Bootcamp education can be paid for with various methods, such as credit cards, loans, employer tuition assistance, and scholarships. Some boot camps also offer income-share agreements, which allow students to pay tuition after they’ve found a job in the field.

Guide to Student Discounts

What are Cybersecurity Bootcamp Financing Partners?

Since the government does not offer student loans, private companies have moved into this space. A bootcamp financing partner provides financing options to students who wish to attend a bootcamp. This could include providing loans, scholarships, or other payment options.

In addition, the financing partner may provide guidance and advice to students on how best to finance their education and manage their debt. They may also help students understand the terms of their loan and other financial considerations. Some popular companies are Skills Fund, Climb Credit, Ascent Funding, and SoFi.

Will a Cybersecurity Bootcamp Advance Your Career?  

Yes, a cybersecurity bootcamp program can advance your career. It can help you quickly acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to land a job in the field. And it will give you the confidence to tackle complex security challenges in your cybersecurity career. Depending on the program, you may even be able to earn certifications that will further bolster your qualifications.

What are the Hiring Rates for Cybersecurity Bootcamp Graduates?  

The hiring rates of cybersecurity bootcamp graduates vary significantly depending on the bootcamp, program, and region. Generally, the hiring rate for cybersecurity bootcamp graduates is around 80-90%, with some bootcamps boasting a 100% job placement rate. The average salary for a cybersecurity bootcamp graduate is around $60,000 – $90,000 per year.

What are the Best Cybersecurity Careers for Bootcamp Graduates?  

There are many career paths for cybersecurity professionals. Below are some typical job titles.

Cybersecurity Analyst and Cybersecurity Specialist

Cybersecurity analysts identify and address security vulnerabilities in systems and networks and monitor and respond to security incidents. These professionals also design and implement security architecture and networks.

Job Outlook: 35% increase from 2021 to 2031

Median Salary: $102,600 (BLS)

Penetration Tester

Penetration testers conduct vulnerability assessments. They also identify and exploit security vulnerabilities in systems and networks. This process is called Vulnerability Assessment Security Operations.

Job Outlook: 21% increase from 2021 to 2031 (BLS)

Median Salary: $98,220 (BLS for Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers)

Cybersecurity Architect

Information and cybersecurity architects design, build, and maintain secure systems and networks.  

Job Outlook: 4% increase from 2021 to 2031 for Computer Network Architects

Median Salary: $120,520 (BLS)

Cybersecurity Engineer

Cybersecurity Engineers develop, test, and also deploying security controls. Examples of these controls include firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and also encryption technologies. 

Job Outlook: 26% percent from 2021 to 2031

Median Salary: $120,730 (BLS)

Cyber Defense Incident Responder (CISA)

Cyber incident responders are the first on the scene when there are security incidents such as data breaches, malware infections, and also system outages. These incident response analysts monitor and identify security threats to an organization. They identify vulnerabilities and perform security audits, penetration tests, risk analyses, network forensics, and also malware analyses.

Job Outlook: 15% percent from 2021 to 2031

Median Salary: $00 (BLS)

Information Security Manager

Information security managers oversee the security of an organization’s systems and networks. These cyber and network security professionals typically work as security specialists before moving to management roles. Experience managers are some of the most knowledgeable industry professionals.

Job Outlook: 16% increase from 2021 to 2031

Median Salary: $159,010 (BLS)

Ethical Hacker 

Ethical hackers are responsible for testing and assessing security systems and networks to identify and address vulnerabilities.

Job Outlook: 15% percent from 2021 to 2031

Median Salary: $105,650 (Salary com)

What are Cybersecurity Certifications?  

Cybersecurity certifications are qualifications that demonstrate an individual’s skills, knowledge, and abilities in information security. A cybersecurity certification generally involves completing a program or course of study, passing an exam, and demonstrating experience in the field. Most boot camps prepare students for cybersecurity certification exams relevant to the program they attend.

Various organizations and vendors offer certifications, and they usually require ongoing education and maintenance of the certification to remain valid. Examples of popular cybersecurity certifications include Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), and CompTIA Security+ certification.

What are the Best Cybersecurity Certifications?  

  • CompTIA Security+
  • EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC)
  • ISACA Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
  • Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
  • EC-Council Certified Incident Handler (ECIH)
  • EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA)

How Do Cyber Security Bootcamps Compare to Cyber Security MOOCs?

Both cyber security bootcamps and cyber security MOOCs provide similar types of education in cyber security, but there are some key differences. Cyber security bootcamps are typically more intensive, in-person courses that last for a few weeks or months and focus on teaching a specific set of skills. They are often more expensive than MOOCs, and the learning experience is more hands-on and immersive.

On the other hand, cyber security MOOCs are more flexible and typically available online. They are generally less expensive than bootcamps and provide a more general overview of the subject. MOOCs are also self-paced and can be completed on your own schedule, so they are a great option for those who need more flexibility in their learning.

What is the Job Outlook for Cybersecurity?

Overall employment in computer and information technology occupations is growing much faster than the average for all occupations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts this occupation group to grow 15 percent from 2021 to 2031.

Within computer occupations, cybersecurity jobs are in even higher demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts the employment of cyber and information security analysts will grow 35 percent by 2031.

What is the Salary for Cybersecurity Professionals?

The median annual wage for all computer and information technology occupations is $97,430 (BLS). And similar to their high demand and growth, cybersecurity jobs also have high salaries.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the average salary for information security analysts is $102,600. An entry level cybersecurity job may pay less. However, professionals with experience can earn much more.

How Do You Choose a Cybersecurity Bootcamp?

Before you decide on any boot camp, you should research the different options available to you. Look into the curriculum, the instructors, and the reviews from past students. Factors to consider are cost, time commitment, certifications, and level.

Cost: You need to consider the cost of the bootcamp, and if you will be able to afford to attend it.

Time Commitment: Make sure that you can commit to the time that is required for the bootcamp. It is important to make sure that you can make the deadlines and complete the coursework in a timely manner.

Certifications: If you are looking to gain certifications, make sure that the bootcamp you choose offers the certifications that you need.

Experience: Consider the experience level that is required for the bootcamp. If you are new to cybersecurity, you may want to look for a bootcamp that offers an introductory course.

Your Career

The need for cybersecurity professionals grows every day. And the cybersecurity industry is where serious security professionals with cyber knowledge and cybersecurity skills can find excellent jobs. The future is bright for cybersecurity bootcamp graduates!

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