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The Best Free Cyber Security Bootcamps, Courses, and Other Resources

If you want to build knowledge and skills in the field of cyber security, a free cyber security bootcamp is a great place to start. Without paying large sums of money or making a long-term time commitment, you can attend a cyber security bootcamp for free to gain foundational skills. 

Learning cyber security for free also gives you the chance to develop a basic understanding of the discipline while testing out whether or not a career in cyber security is right for you. In this article, we will cover the best free cyber security bootcamps as well as free online courses for cyber security and other learning resources.

The Top 10 Free Cyber Security Bootcamps

Cyber security bootcamps are intensive, short-term training programs that help students get job-ready in a matter of months. In addition, these programs typically come with a price tag that can range from $5,000 to $15,000. However, you can also get a taste of a bootcamp program for free, which helps you decide if pursuing a full-on cyber security bootcamp is worth it. 

We have compiled the top 10 free cyber security bootcamps. Each of these programs will help you learn the basics of cyber security through real-world applications and hands-on training. If you want to learn cyber security for free, check out the bootcamps below. 

Provider Free Cyber Security Program Length Format
Cybrary Cybersecurity Foundations 4 hours Online
Evolve Academy Cybersecurity Fundamentals N/A Online
ICTTF Cyber Security Bootcamp for Women 30 days Online
FedVTE Open Cyber Security Courses 850 hours Online
Flatiron School Learn Cybersecurity for Free N/A Online
Fullstack Academy Cyber OnRamp 25 hours Online
Heimdal Security Cyber Security for Beginners 5 weeks Online
Kable Academy Cybersecurity Fundamentals 1 week Online
Level Effect Cybersecurity Foundations 12 hours Online
SANS Institute SEC275: Foundations: Computers, Technology & Security 120 hours Online

The 10 Best Free Cyber Security Bootcamps: In Detail

Taking a cyber security bootcamp for free can be a great way of dipping your toe into the field to see if you are ready for a larger commitment, and in the case of some programs, can even be the first step to a successful career. Below, you will learn more about each free cyber security bootcamp, including what skills they cover, who should enroll, and their level of difficulty. 

Cybersecurity Foundations From Cybrary

The Cybersecurity Foundations program is part of Cybrary’s career path offerings. Students can access this cyber security bootcamp for free, and it is also self-paced, so it is great for students who are also working. Though it caters to beginners, Cybrary suggests that students have a grasp of core IT concepts before enrolling. 

The main goal of this program is to help you build the technical skills required for an entry-level cyber security job. It includes several modules that cover vulnerabilities, security architecture, and coding with Python and Powershell. By completing this course, you will master a handful of key security concepts. 

Cybersecurity Fundamentals From Evolve Academy

This free cyber security bootcamp helps you get hands-on experience and also teaches you how to secure your data and devices. If you want to learn cyber security for free, this program is a solid option as it covers introductory concepts, Linux, networking, hacking tools, and more. 

Students will receive the resources to set up their home lab and get access to a simulation platform so they can practice risk management and other key skills. Completing this course also fulfills the enrollment requirements for the Evolve Security Academy 20-week Bootcamp. 

Cyber Security Bootcamp for Women From the International Cyber Threat Task Force (ICTTF) 

This 30-day free cyber security bootcamp runs four times a year and gives women an opportunity to explore the booming field of cyber security. It is a self-paced program that features weekly modules and exams. The bootcamp also features videos, casebooks, and live instruction. 

Open to women at any point in their careers, this ICTTF program teaches core cyber security concepts and how to manage cyber risks in a variety of businesses. It is designed for cyber security beginners, so there is no need to have prior knowledge to follow this bootcamp. 

Open Cyber Security Courses From FedVTE

The Federal Virtual Training Environment (FedVTE) provides over 850 hours of training in topics including ethical hacking, risk management, and cloud security. To access the entirety of this free cyber security bootcamp, you will need to be a government employee, US military personnel, or veteran.

However, the federal government has recently extended access to select courses, providing the general public an opportunity to learn about cyber security for free. There are currently 15 publicly available self-paced courses containing some of the most up-to-date and reliable security training. Topics include cyber essentials, preventing ransomware attacks, and web and email server security. 

Learn Cybersecurity for Free From Flatiron School

Flatiron School gives students the opportunity to learn cyber security for free through a course that introduces students to important concepts and prepares them for the larger full-time and part-time programs. Anyone can take this course to learn more about cyber security systems. 

This free cyber security bootcamp also covers networks and the basics of Python programming. Students will complete a pre-test at the beginning of the program as well as a test after they have completed all of the course material. The post-test will help determine if a student is ready to join the official cyber security bootcamp. 

Cyber OnRamp From Fullstack Academy

Cyber OnRamp is a program that combines video instruction, Fullstack’s Cyberlab platform, and a variety of other resources to help students learn cyber security for free. Specifically, students will learn Linux Command Line by completing this course.

This free cyber security bootcamp covers the first 25 hours of the paid Cybersecurity Analytics Bootcamp that Fullstack Academy offers. The school offered this content for free to support its effort to make the world safer by promoting cyber security. 

Cyber Security for Beginners From Heimdal Security

You can join this cyber security bootcamp for free and get access to 20 lessons that cover a wide range of important topics, such as how to protect yourself from online security threats. This course provides five weeks of training, in which new lessons are emailed to students every two days. 

Students will learn how cyber attacks work, how to best avoid them, and what can be done if someone is a victim of a cyber attack. With this, the course will provide actionable insights that students can take to bolster their online security, including their email, cloud storage, and social media. 

Cybersecurity Fundamentals From Kable Academy

The Cybersecurity Fundamentals program is a one-week bootcamp that teaches students the basic foundations of network support and cyber security. It is a self-paced course, so students can work through the lessons at their own pace.

Though this is a free cyber security bootcamp, it is not open to everyone. Students will need to submit an application, complete a 30-minute interview with an admissions officer, and pass a technical assessment test to gain access to the course material. 

Cybersecurity Foundations From Level Effect

This 12-hour course functions primarily as a prerequisite for Level Effect’s Cyber Defense Analyst Bootcamp. The free cyber security bootcamp covers the basics of online security, networking, compliance, and risk. It also teaches students how to work with Windows and Linux operating systems. 

Overall, the course is broken up into four modules that will help you determine if cyber security is right for you. Upon completion, students will also receive a digital badge from Level Effect. 

SEC275: Foundations: Computers, Technology, & Security From SANS Institute

While SANS Institute no longer offers its Cyber Aces cyber security bootcamp for free, it is still an extremely relevant resource for anyone interested in improving their skills in this area. You can find detailed free cyber security courses covering computer hardware and networking, including a variety of hands-on labs and practical exercises.

SANS Institute offers additional free cyber security training in the form of over 65 course demos, which all together equal over a free hour of valuable instruction. The demos allow you to preview the course materials, try out the training platform, and witness the quality of SANS Institute instructors. 

Pros and Cons of Free Cyber Security Bootcamps

A woman sitting at a desk looking at a Mac monitor.
Of the benefits of free cyber security bootcamps is that you can learn at your own pace. 

If you want to learn cyber security from scratch, free bootcamp programs are one of the best ways to do so. However, like all learning paths, free cyber security bootcamps have pros and cons. Before you decide to take one of these cyber security courses for free, consider the advantages and drawbacks of spending your time on these programs. 

Pros of Free Cyber Security Bootcamps

  • No financial investment. The biggest and most obvious benefit of free cyber security bootcamps is that they don’t cost any money. Meanwhile, traditional coding bootcamp programs can sometimes cost upwards of $10,000.
  • Flexible learning. Students who join a cyber security bootcamp for free can enjoy a self-paced learning schedule. So, whether you work or just like to take things slowly, you can decide how much time you dedicate each day.
  • Designed for beginners. Since cyber security is hard to learn, it might not be for everyone. Luckily, you can learn the basics for free and test out whether or not the field of cyber security is for you through a free bootcamp program.

Cons of Free Cyber Security Bootcamps

  • Limited curriculum. Though free cyber security bootcamps can offer students an affordable way to develop foundational skills, the curriculum is extremely limited. While paid bootcamp options will get you job-read, their free counterparts will typically only introduce you to key concepts and terms.
  • No extra support. Unlike full-on bootcamps, free programs typically don’t offer educational support or career services. When you enroll in a cyber security bootcamp for free, you are often on your own.
  • No live instruction or feedback. As is expected in a free course, free cyber security bootcamps don’t offer any live instruction. While this might not seem like a downside to some, having a live instructor is valuable because it gives you the opportunity to ask questions and get feedback on your work. 

The Best Free Online Courses for Cyber Security

In addition to free cyber security bootcamps, there are also a variety of shorter free online courses for cyber security. These courses are often offered by large online education platforms, such as Coursera. However, many free cyber security courses are offered in partnership with renowned universities. Take a look at some of the best free online courses for cyber security below. 

Cyber Security Tutorial: A Step-by-Step Guide | Simplilearn

This cyber security tutorial contains four hours of learning that is broken up into 62 different lessons. It covers everything from SQL injections to cryptography. Students can see exactly what they will learn in this free cyber security course, as Simplilearn provides a detailed outline of everything that is covered. 

Cybersecurity Basics | IMB via edX

Tech giant IMB created this free cyber security course that teaches beginners about basic concepts and how they work. The course is broken up into four separate modules and takes around four weeks to complete. The last module specifically talks about common cyber security tools and gives students a better understanding of digital forensics.

Computer Systems Security | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

As part of MIT’s Open Learning initiative, the school offers a range of free online courses for cyber security. In the Computer Systems Security course, students will learn how to build and enact secure systems. Students will learn through online pre-recorded lectures, exams, lecture notes, and projects. Though the course was originally taught in 2014, it still offers students valuable cyber security skills. 

Introduction to Cybersecurity | University of Washington via edX

This course from University of Washington is another great opportunity to learn cyber security for free. It is an introductory-level course that will teach students how to identify threats, what actions should be used to respond to specific threats, how international agencies approach cyber security, and more. It is a self-paced course that takes around six weeks to complete. 

Introduction to Cyber Attacks | New York University via Coursera

New York University offers a variety of free cyber security courses online, one of which is Introduction to Cyber Attacks. This course takes around 18 hours to finish, and students will delve into topics like security frameworks, security tools, and case studies on cyber risk analysis. 

Other Resources to Help You Learn Cyber Security For Free

Websites that feature resources like webcasts, forums, and tutorials are invaluable assets to anyone trying to build their security skills. You can use them to supplement a free cyber security bootcamp or short course. Here are a few platforms to check out if you want to access additional free cyber security training. 

  • TryHackMe. This site provides free cyber security learning resources for beginners. You can follow different learning paths, bite-sized modules, and content based on virtual vulnerable networks. There are also gamified practice series to help you test your skills.  
  • Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). This government agency offers a variety of free cyber security resources in the form of training modules and exercises. While many of the exercises are for cyber security professionals, the site also has options for the general public. 
  • Defend the Crown. CISA and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory came together to create an app that helps learners of all ages better understand cyber security practices. The app is available on Android and iOS devices and teaches players how to use various cyber defenses. 
  • CSO. This is one of the best cyber security news sites. It also posts risk management analyses and research about cyber security. You can also use the site to find cyber security events, watch webcasts, and more. It is a great way to stay current with the cyber security community.
  • r/cybersecurity on Reddit. If you want to get in touch with professionals and hear about real-world challenges in the field, Reddit is one of the best cyber security resources. You can ask questions, read through message threads, and learn from experienced specialists. 

How to Choose a Free Cyber Security Bootcamp or Course 

A man sitting outside holding a laptop while researching free cyber security bootcamps.
Even if you attend a cyber security bootcamp for free, you should make sure it matches your learning goals.

If you want to learn cyber security for free, you have nearly limitless options. So much so that it can be difficult to decide which free cyber security bootcamp or course you should take. However, to make this decision easier, there are several factors you can consider. 

First, you should make sure that the bootcamp or course matches your needs. This means that it should be presented in a format that works for you and covers the topics you are interested in learning about. In addition, you should carefully consider the duration of the program. A six-week bootcamp may not be the best option if you only want to spend a couple of hours learning about cyber security. 

Are Free Cyber Security Bootcamps Worth It?

Free cyber security bootcamps are worth it if you are a beginner in the field and not yet sure whether or not you want to pursue a career in cyber security. These programs are great because they let you build fundamental cyber security skills at no cost and often at your own pace. 

While the content of these programs is limited, a free cyber security bootcamp is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with the field. Plus, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analyst is among the fastest growing occupations, so developing cyber security skills can be a strategic career move. 

Overall, free bootcamps and courses are a low-barrier starting point that can help you decide if a full-time bootcamp or cyber security certification is something you are interested in. In any case, you will gain the skills you need to better enhance your own computer security.

Free Cyber Security Bootcamps FAQ

What is the best cyber security bootcamp?

Some of the best cyber security bootcamps include those from Flatiron School, Fullstack Academy, and Kenzie Academy. All of these cyber security bootcamps can help you become job-ready within months. However, which program is best for you specifically will depend on your budget and availability. 

How can I get cybersecurity training for free?

You can get free cyber security training by enrolling in free cyber security bootcamps and online courses. In addition, you can get free training from organizations such as TryHackMe and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency.

Are there any free cybersecurity certifications?

There are several free cyber security certifications, such as the ISO/IEC 27001 certification from Skillfront and the Cisco Certified Network Associate Certification from Cybrary. In addition, Cybrary also offers a Certified Information Security Manager course for free.

How long does it take to learn cyber security?

While you can learn the basics of cyber security in a matter of hours, it can take months or even years to truly master cyber security. Since it is a highly technical field that also evolves quickly, cyber security professionals never stop learning new ways to defend against cyber attacks and protect networks.

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