Due to the rising cybercrime, cyber security is a thriving and vital part of the IT world now. As a result, we have an increased demand for cyber security professionals, and researchers find new ways to train specialists faster and more efficiently.
And while we’re on the subject of cyber security soldiers, bootcamps are becoming a more popular way to train new IT professionals. Originally used to describe the locations where military recruits receive their basic training, the term refers to intensive training sessions in various IT fields and disciplines.
What is a cyber security bootcamp?
Cybersecurity bootcamps are full-time or part-time courses that teach students the hard and soft skills and certifications they’ll need to get a job in the niche.
Compared to a four-year degree in a similar field of study, bootcamps typically take about 12-14 weeks to complete. These programs provide students with the fundamental knowledge and skills required in information technology security. They teach you to detect, prevent, and respond to data breaches and cyber security incidents at work. These coding bootcamps also emphasize hands-on learning over theory, commonly taught in traditional learning programs.
The following are professional roles you can get prepared for through bootcamps:
- Cyber Security Analyst
- Compliance Analyst
- Threat Intel Analyst
- Penetration Tester or Ethical Hacker
- Cyber Security Engineer
- System Security Administrator
- Information Systems Security Manager
- Cyber Security Consultant
Pros and cons of choosing a cyber security bootcamp for your career
Bootcamps provide professionals with the necessary tools to prepare for future challenges. A cybersecurity bootcamp gives more exposure and hands-on practice than a university or college. Below we’ve specified both pros and cons of cybersecurity bootcamps you may want to consider before entering:
- You’ll learn the skills that employers value.
- You’ll have to answer for your work and progress.
- Collaboration and teamwork in class.
- When you’re stuck, advisors and instructors are always available to assist you.
- You’ll have to stick to a strict schedule to stay on track.
- The best bootcamps offer career services to help you conduct a successful job search.
- You’ll leave with a complete portfolio to show to potential employers.
- You’ll be ready to contribute right away, thanks to your extensive hands-on experience.
- A bootcamp provides professionals with an accredited course diploma.
- Value for money for learning cybersecurity basics.
- It may be full-time or intensive, so plan accordingly.
- Cybersecurity bootcamps are expensive.
- Tuition varies by course, discipline, and location. The bootcamps preparing you for analyst roles tend to be slightly less expensive than those preparing students for technical roles like pen tester or network security engineer.
How to choose a cyber security bootcamp
To choose a top cyber security bootcamps, it would help if you checked the following criteria. A worthy bootcamp must:
- Offer at least a 20-hour cyber security program.
- Have qualified teachers.
- Follow CISSP, Security+, and GCIH curriculum.
- Help with career. If a bootcamp doesn’t offer career services, find one that does. The best bootcamps provide career coaching and valuable career services, saving students thousands of dollars. You pay for a new career, not just cyber security skills when you enroll in a bootcamp.
- Have alumni reviews and at least one cohort of students.
- Commit to diversity, openness about student outcomes, and scholarships or innovative payment plans like deferred tuition or ISA.
Also, consider the following factors when choosing a cyber security bootcamp to join:
Coding bootcamps are of three types, with each tailored to its participants’ needs:
- Full-time: Full-time coding bootcamps help you get better at coding and turn a novice into a professional in three to six months.
- Part-time: Part-time bootcamps cater to working professionals willing to upgrade skills. They require less time commitment and usually take place on weekends and evenings.
- Online: Anyone can attend these bootcamps. But while most online bootcamps are self-paced, some do require daily attendance anyway.
Cyber security bootcamps provide intensive network and security administration training, computer science, penetration testing, vulnerability assessments, data security, and more.
For IT professionals who already know the basics, there are intermediate and advanced cyber security bootcamps. As for beginners, they usually take the following courses in bootcamps:
- IT forensics
- Network safety
- Risk control
- Security fundamentals
Unlike traditional college, IT, or computer science programs, many (but not all) bootcamps offer career services to help graduates find work, including tips on resume and portfolio creation and interviewing skills improvement.
Career services are a critical part of leveraging and showcasing your hard-earned skills and making your bootcamp experience worthwhile.
Cost and paying options
The best cyber bootcamps last 12-15 weeks and cost between $11K and $20K.
While a coding bootcamp may appear to be expensive, there are ways to cut costs. Several coding bootcamps provide scholarships, grants, and other financial aid to students. So when you choose a school to enter and learn cyber security, check all the options carefully to see if they meet your needs and opportunities.
Also, please consider if the bootcamp takes on some financial risks or it will be a student’s responsibility.
New York, Dallas, and Washington, D.C. have the highest concentration of cybersecurity professionals. And according to the data from ZipRecruiter, the national average salary for security analysts in the United States is about $100K. The same numbers come from Indeed and the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), which makes cyber security a super attractive niche to join.
When choosing a bootcamp to teach you cyber security skills, do your best to check the information about their students’ employment rate. How many of their alumni got hired after graduation? What jobs have they got? Does a bootcamp help with employment?
Like colleges, coding bootcamps should be transparent about their job placement rates. After a year of coding bootcamp mishaps, it’s critical to have third parties certify a coding bootcamp’s legitimacy.
It matters for newbies who’ve just entered the field and looking for support and guidelines on where to go.
Alumni reviews can give you a good idea of what to expect from a coding bootcamp. So, before applying to a cyber security school, go to corresponding communities or bootcamp reviews websites and read the latest feedback from students:
What did they like or didn’t like about the bootcamp? What would they change? Were their instructors professional? Were they lucky to find a job after graduation?
You can contact some alumni directly via email or Twitter, if available, and ask questions on your chosen bootcamp.
Get to know the staff and students. You deserve to speak with a student, teacher, or employee before committing time and money to a coding bootcamp. Attending local events or workshops may be required. Maybe it’s just a phone call. Do whatever it takes to feel prepared and familiar with their school’s culture.
Top cyber security bootcamps to consider in 2022
Cyber security bootcamps focus on the courses and skills needed for a successful career in this particular niche.
This list is not ranked. Remember that the best cybersecurity bootcamp for you depends on your learning style, career goals, and availability. Check reviews, talk to alumni, take an introductory course, and ask about job outcomes data.
Below are a few cyber security bootcamps that are worth your attention in 2022:
- Becker Graduate and Professional Studies Bootcamps for IT:
Becker College offers 28-week Cybersecurity and Web Development bootcamps. Both are 100% online. This program will fit busy professionals who work full- or part-time. Bootcampers have self-paced lectures with live coaching twice a week. An industry expert mentors students and guides them through the bootcamp.
Cyber security courses are available in New York, Miami, London, Toronto, Vancouver, and online. BrainStation’s mission is to help individuals, businesses, and brands succeed in the digital age by providing diplomas, certifications, and training options. They offer a collaborative, project-based learning environment with daily curriculum updates for professionals.
On-site and online Web Development and Cybersecurity courses are available at Codaisseur, and their curricula go in conjunction with industry experts and employers. Professionals teach what they know and love through this unique course. Students will gain cutting-edge technology skills by participating in code reviews, quality assessments, team collaboration, and more. Everything is in English to prepare students for working in an international coding environment.
- Code Fellows:
Code Fellows is a Seattle-based technical skills training academy that offers full-time and part-time Software Development, Operations, and Cybersecurity courses online and in person. For you to ensure students get the most industry-relevant training possible, the bootcamp has taught over 1,600 students since their first cohort in 2013. Code Fellows develops passionate learners to meet industry needs and increase diversity. Daily lectures, pair programming, weekly presentations by full-time industry professionals, one-week project sprints, and more immerse students in their learning.
- Craft Academy:
Craft Academy in Sweden offers two 12-week bootcamps: Full Stack Web Developer and Cybint Cybersecurity. Before starting the bootcamp, applicants must complete a 4-week part-time course and a 1-week pre-course. The school offers their Cybint Cybersecurity bootcamp both on and off-campus. Every Friday, students get a weekend challenge to complete and, therefore, practice the skills they’ve learned.
Programs in Software Engineering, Data Science, Cybersecurity, and UX/UI Design are available on-campus and online in Flatiron School. A robust career services framework and dedicated one-on-one coaching post-graduation are in the tuition for their immersive courses.
Ironhack offers full-time and part-time bootcamps in Web Development, UX/UI Design, Data Analytics, and Cyber Security in Miami, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Mexico City, Berlin, Amsterdam, Sao Paulo, and Lisbon. The bootcamp allows students to customize their learning experience based on their personal goals.
Advanced topics in Data Analytics include Data Wrangling/Cleaning and Machine Learning. The Data Analytics program trains students in Python, SQL, and Tableau to load, clean, explore, and extract valuable insights from datasets. Students learn how to use cybersecurity tools and software to secure jobs in this course.
Before choosing a cyber security bootcamp, decide on your expectations and research different options on the market. Some bootcamps assume no prior knowledge, while others require pre-work; their cost and payment options also vary; the reviews from graduates can help you decide if your chosen bootcamp is worth entering.
Consider why you want to enter cyberspace. Think about your career and salary goals. Working hard becomes easier when you have a vision and keep your eyes on the prize. So, if you want solid cyber security training, whether you are a newbie or an experienced professional looking to expand your skillset, bootcamps are a good option. Preparing yourself with free introductory courses would help, even if your chosen bootcamp doesn’t require it.