Are Cybersecurity Bootcamps Worth It?

Cybersecurity as a career has increased in popularity over the last few years, which explains why more students and enthusiastic learners have enrolled for cybersecurity training. As of now, there is a surge in demand for security professionals in the digital space, with the Federal Government predicting that cybersecurity is becoming more important than ever.

With more businesses migrating online, cyberattack threats have simultaneously increased. The increase reflects the increasing demand for cybersecurity professionals, which is expected to grow by 31% by 2029. That said, interested learners can consider cybersecurity bootcamps for their training.

What are Cybersecurity Bootcamps?

Cybersecurity bootcamps are among the many ways that cybersecurity students can advance their cybersecurity skills and expertise. Bootcamps offer full and part-time studies where students gain the required technical skills and certifications to enter the cybersecurity world.

Unlike college degrees that take four years, cybersecurity bootcamps are short, lasting between 12 and 14 weeks, and intense. The short and intense study period helps students to easily identify, mitigate, and resolve cybersecurity incidents. Training in bootcamps combines theory and hands-on learning.

Different cybersecurity bootcamps focus on varying cybersecurity roles, including cybersecurity analyst, penetration tester, cybersecurity engineers, compliance analyst, system security administrator, cybersecurity consultant, and more.

Student on his laptop taking a class for a cybersecurity bootcamp.

What to Consider when Choosing a Cybersecurity Bootcamp

Cybersecurity bootcamps operate differently than a typical college education. College programs focus on philosophical teaching, while bootcamps focus on imparting skills through hands-on experience. This applies to coding and data science bootcamps as well.

Since cybersecurity bootcamps take a short period, training is rigorous than the typical college learning process. Also, since bootcamps teach different topics, you should check the specific cybersecurity topics before enrolling. Research what’s expected of you before joining the bootcamp or learn more about them with Cybint’s Ultimate Bootcamp Guide.

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To find a suitable bootcamp, consider the following pointers:

Are There Any Skills Required?

Prerequisite cybersecurity knowledge required during enrolling depends on the program that you choose. However, most cybersecurity bootcamps targeting cybersecurity beginners, such as those with slight networking, IT, and operating systems knowledge, only require a high school diploma.

For absolute beginners, they should discern the course chosen carefully. With the tight curriculum, evaluate if you can master the coursework within the training period sufficiently enough to get a job after graduating. If you doubt your ability, it is prudent to start familiarizing yourself with the course before joining the bootcamp.

Depending on the topic of the bootcamps, beginners should also consider taking foundational lessons on security and coding. For interested persons with some cybersecurity background, intermediate programs are the best option. To join intermediate programs, you should have prior IT experience, networking certifications, and familiarity with cybersecurity architecture.

What are the Admission Requirements?

Different cybersecurity bootcamps have varying admission requirements that students should satisfy before being accepted. The requirements are meant to weed out students who are not passionate or committed enough to withstand rigorous learning. Note that cybersecurity bootcamps do not conform to national or state education requirements.

Beginner programs generally have minimal admission requirements. On the other hand, high-level programs have stringent admission requirements. They may begin with skill tests and interviews before students are admitted. You may also be asked to produce a college degree or baseline certification for advanced programs.

Student on his laptop with headphones on, taking a class for a cybersecurity bootcamp.

What Certifications do you Get After Cybersecurity Bootcamp?

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You should also consider the certifications given by the organizers after graduating. Certifications are the only proof that cybersecurity students without college degrees can use to get employment opportunities. Common certifications offered by cybersecurity bootcamps include;

  • Certified Information system security professional
  • Certified Information Systems Manager
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor
  • CompTIA Security

While cybersecurity bootcamps will give you 90 percent of what you need to begin a career in cybersecurity, enroll in additional courses to stand out from other job applicants.

What Do Cybersecurity Bootcamps Teach?

As mentioned, cybersecurity bootcamps focus on hands-on experience and skills. Therefore, student learning will focus on completing assignments, working on labs, and troubleshooting security problems. However, coursework slightly varies depending on the specific topic that you choose.

For instance, beginner courses will teach broad concepts, such as system administration, maintaining computer systems, networking basics, and more. Intermediate courses will teach ethical hacking, incident response, security auditing, and SIEM administration. Advanced classes are geared towards penetration testing, advanced infrastructure, python programming for security, and more.

So…are Cybersecurity Bootcamps Worth It?

Cybersecurity bootcamps equip learners with the necessary cybersecurity skills immediately transferable to the real world. Employers also currently rely on bootcamps for talents. Students with a genuine interest in cybersecurity can apply for financial aid through GI Bill benefits or non-profit programs.

That said, the answer as to whether cybersecurity bootcamps are worth it or not is a resounding yes. Currently, employers prefer bootcamp graduates for their practical experience. Besides high chances of landing a job, cybersecurity employees command high salaries.

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To learn more about the opportunities in the cyber field, download our free infographic on the Cybersecurity Career Landscape.

Ben Kapon

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