Bret Fund is the founder of SecureSet Cybersecurity Bootcamp, based in Colorado Springs, Denver, and Tampa.
Bret founded SecureSet in 2014 with two goals in mind: to help students learn the tools they would need to begin a cybersecurity career, and to develop a talent pipeline that would keep companies safe.
Below, Bret gives is his take on how bootcamps can help address the skills gap in tech.
We live in a society and world that places heavy emphasis and value on education. One of the major drivers for this is the ushering in of the knowledge economy within the last decade or so. Simply put, many people, companies and our nation at large, believe that investing in knowledge activities (creation and dissemination) will produce highly prized tangibles (new products and conveniences) and intangibles (technological advance and intellectual property). We have seen the rewards of this investment in the decades behind us and we now live in a time where the pressures for knowledge investment is ramping up. All of this is wonderful and will bring about great progress…..as long as we are included in the mix.
In the 1940’s less than 5% of Americans had a 4-year degree. A decade ago that number was around 28%. Just this year, the Census Bureau said that 33.4% of Americans had completed their bachelors or higher. I think the trends speak to the growing pressure on all of us for education so that we can become more specialized in a domain and thereby contribute productively to the knowledge economy.
A challenge arises in that our traditional educational systems as we know them today were influenced heavily by - and began to grow out of - the industrial revolution. While many universities and colleges have taken on that challenge to adapt and move toward our knowledge-based economy, the gravity of tradition is at times hard to break. Over the last seven years we have seen the rise of many forms of alternative education and credentialing. Immersive education is one of those alternative approaches and it is one I feel very strongly about.
Immersive Education has been defined in various ways. Some seek to limit it to the use of VR or simulation technologies in education. I approach it with a broader definition to mean a pedagogical approach that requires the learner to not demonstrate knowledge accumulation, but also knowledge application. For example, in the medical field, graduating from medical school does not qualify you to be an independent medical professional as a Doctor. You are required to go through rotations and specialties before you are able to practice on your own. This is because the demands of the jobs require experience/application on top of the knowledge to be a professional.
Immersive education has already helped many people to transition into the tech sector, as we’re seeing with tech bootcamps. At SecureSet, for example, we offer two programs to help students transition into cybersecurity: Our CORE program is focused on developing engineers and pen testers, and the HUNT is focused on developing analysts. To learn more about getting started in the world of cybersecurity, check out secureset.com.