Best Cybersecurity Bootcamps 2020
Cybersecurity is an increasingly important field in the tech industry. The rapid digitization of information changed the world. It also opened up a new way for criminals to steal information. Trillions of pieces of valuable data are stored online and in the cloud. As a result, a single security breach could compromise sensitive information and affect millions of people. Cybersecurity professionals are the first line of defense against digital criminals.
Cybersecurity is one of the most objectively interesting fields in tech. This field is home to so-called ‘ethical hackers’ who purposely breach their own security systems to expose flaws. Ethical hacking is only a small part of the industry—but as a whole, these programmers are well-paid. Glassdoor reports an average base salary of $115,744 per year for these engineers. Additionally, bonus pay ranges from around $10,000 on average to almost $26,000 per year.
Best Cybersecurity Bootcamps 2020
Why Choose a Cybersecurity Bootcamp?
Cybersecurity is a complex field with many subcategories. Cybersecurity analysts, engineers, information security engineers, and network security analysts all fall within the category. Nonetheless, most cybersecurity fields share foundational skills, many of which can be learned in a bootcamp.
There are many ways to enter the cybersecurity field. Some people begin with a degree in computer science (or a similar field) and attend a bootcamp to specialize in cybersecurity. Others begin in bootcamp and advance in the field with experience.
Regardless of what path you choose, cybersecurity coding bootcamp can be a viable option. Compared to college, these programs are quite economical—and special financing programs, like income share agreements, can reduce the burden of tuition further. For most people, bootcamp is the fastest way to transition from a non-tech career into the field of cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity Bootcamp Curriculum
All cybersecurity bootcamp programs are free to arrange a program how they see fit. Nonetheless, cybersecurity bootcamps generally cover the same core topics. All of these topics are common in the field, and many are absolutely necessary to know in the industry.
Many bootcamps begin with an introduction to the field. They discuss the basics of networks, databases, and other vulnerable systems. Students eventually begin to learn a variety of coding languages and analysis tools. Compared to a field like software engineering, cybersecurity has a surprisingly small variety of common coding languages. We put together a list of common cybersecurity curriculum subjects to give you a better idea of what to expect.
Coding is a big part of most cybersecurity bootcamps, but there’s also much more to the field than writing code. Strategy and analysis are a huge part of the curriculum. Programs teach students how to conceptualize and identify security risks, and what to do when they’re found.
Popular Cybersecurity Bootcamp Courses
Cybersecurity bootcamps come in a wide range of schedules and intensities. Full-time bootcamps, which are known for rigorous hours, are the most popular rendition. These programs typically require full days of attendance 5 or 6 days per week. Part-time programs are also available. Part-time bootcamps limit hours to half-days, nights, and/or weekends.
Online programs are available full-time and part-time. Online cybersecurity bootcamps offer live classes and instructors, teacher’s assistants, a peer network, and more. Students can also opt for a flexible online program, which students can often complete on their own pace.
Today, there are nearly limitless schedule and curriculum variations available in cybersecurity bootcamps. In most cases, anyone can eventually locate a program that works with their busy or unpredictable schedules.
Cybersecurity Bootcamp Interview Process
Cybersecurity bootcamps, like college, can be as selective as they deem necessary. And while individual requirements vary, virtually all cybersecurity programs have an application and interview process during admissions. Students must first fill out an application and send it into the admissions department of the bootcamp. If the admissions team believes that the prospective student is qualified (or just a good fit), they reach out to schedule an interview.
The initial interview is a combination of fact-finding and goal assessment, with some practical testing thrown in. Many bootcamps require applicants to take a basic coding test prior to enrollment. While the test may seem intimidating, it’s usually fairly easy to learn what to do. If all goes well, students either proceed to the final interview or get invited to attend the program. Additional applications and evaluation are often necessary to take advantage of income share agreements and other perks.
Bootcamp Financing Options
Cybersecurity bootcamps offer a variety of financing options. Because bootcamps operate independently, they have the liberty to offer a wide range of payment options. Traditional financing plans are available, but bootcamps also pioneer new and experimental payment plans.
Cybersecurity Bootcamp Loans
Income Share Agreements (ISAs)
Income share agreements, or ISAs, are a new way to pay for career education. Many bootcamps have already adopted the system, and many more join every year. In fact, the programs have been so well received, that some colleges are starting to adopt them.
ISAs defer tuition until after students graduate and get a job making above a set income threshold. Once employed, students pay a small percent of their income for 2-3 years. If students can’t find a job, most schools waive tuition entirely. The program forces schools to produce competitive graduates and removes much of the burden of risk off of students.
Cybersecurity Bootcamp Structure
Each cybersecurity bootcamp is free to arrange its structure however it deems appropriate. Nonetheless, bootcamps tend to follow a similar trajectory, especially when dealing with beginners.
Bootcamps begin by introducing the basics of cybersecurity and covering the fundamental rules and concepts. Depending on the intensity of the program, students sometimes start coding during this initial phase.
Coding intensifies during the intermediate stage of the program, and instructors introduce students to subjects of ever-increasing complexity. At this point, students often work on peer projects, and get their first taste of real-world cybersecurity work.
The final stage is the most advanced. Students work on capstone projects, often solving complex real-world problems from scratch. During this phase, students also meet with career counselors and job placement experts. Students put together an entry-level portfolio, send out completed resumes, and often begin networking on their LinkedIn profile.
Companies Hiring Cybersecurity Bootcamp Grads
Many tech companies hire cybersecurity bootcamp graduates. Companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google are known to hire these individuals—some with little prior industry experience. And while all bootcamp grads should apply to the big players, it isn’t always realistic to land a top security job right out of bootcamp (but try anyway, seriously).
Instead, most graduates find an entry-level position at a mid-size company or startup. The tech industry values experience, and a job at one of the thousands of companies hiring cybersecurity grads is a great place to start. Over time, graduates will earn the credentials to become picky with their employer.
Will coding bootcamp help me get a job?
Absolutely! Coding bootcamp is a proven way to train for a job in tech. Many coding bootcamps offer job guarantees, and some refund tuition if graduates can’t find a job in the field they trained for. In fact, coding bootcamp teaches skills that many college computer science graduates lack.
How much do coding bootcamps cost?
Coding bootcamp tuition varies. Coding bootcamps in New York City cost around $10,000 to $20,000. However, many scholarships and tuition deferment programs are available, so what you see doesn’t have to be what you pay.
What are income share agreements?
Income share agreements, or ISAs, are a new way to pay for education. These programs defer tuition until after students graduate and find a job in the industry. Once students are employed and making above a certain income threshold (usually $40-60,000 per year) they begin paying a fixed percent of their income, often for around 2 years. If students can’t find a job, many bootcamps waive the cost of tuition.
Do I have to learn coding to work in the tech industry?
You don’t have to learn coding to work in the tech industry. In fact, there are several non-coding bootcamps in New York City. These programs train you for a position in tech sales, marketing, or product management–all of which are well-paid positions with plenty of advancement opportunity.