2023 Best Online Cybersecurity Bootcamps
Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field, and professionals are needed across industries to keep networks and systems at homes, schools, and businesses safe. Because of the job growth and higher salaries associated with jobs in IT and technology, many people are using online cybersecurity bootcamps to break into the field or advance their careers with the latest tech skills.
Some online cybersecurity bootcamps help students prepare for specific certification exams or focus on specific skills that help keep current IT professionals up to speed. Others are designed to help those with little or no industry experience land a job in cybersecurity. With so many options, it can be hard to choose the bootcamp that best fits your needs. SwitchUp exists to help people identify the cybersecurity bootcamps that will help them reach their professional goals.
Our ranking list below includes online cybersecurity bootcamps that have been thoroughly vetted by a minimum of 10 students and earned at least four out of five stars. Click here to see our full methodology, or read on for more information about preparing for a career in cybersecurity through bootcamps.
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What Is an Online Cybersecurity Bootcamp?
Online cybersecurity bootcamps are intensive programs that cover the basic knowledge and technical skills needed to work in information security. In less than a year, students develop hands-on skills through experiential and immersive learning experiences.
There are more than 100 cybersecurity bootcamps available that offer different options depending on your personal goals and current knowledge. Some programs focus on one skill or tool, while others are more comprehensive.
Most basic online cybersecurity bootcamps will cover the fundamentals of IT support, network support, and security support. This includes training in networks and network security, operating systems, databases, defensive and offensive cyber technology, penetration testing, ethical hacking, and other areas of study. Most comprehensive bootcamps should prepare you for the Computing Technology Industry Association's Security+ certification exam as well.
Online cybersecurity bootcamps usually last between three to nine months and are offered on a part-time and full-time basis. Some allow you to work at your own pace, while others require you to keep pace with the class, similar to how you would if you attended in person. Online students may need to sign in at a specific time to attend virtual classes or may have the option of watching recorded lectures when it's convenient for them.
FAQs About Online Cybersecurity Bootcamps
Is an Online Cybersecurity Bootcamp Different From an In-person Bootcamp?
Students in online cybersecurity bootcamps will learn the same skills and tools as they would at an in-person bootcamp. The main differences between an online and in-person bootcamp are how students attend class, work with their classmates and teachers, and the career support and networking opportunities.
Some online bootcamps allow students to watch lectures when it's convenient for them, while others require you to sign in at a certain time and attend live classes virtually. While in-person students have the opportunity to attend networking events, online students might need to rely more heavily on their LinkedIn network and virtual job fairs to get a job.
What Jobs Can You Get After an Online Cybersecurity Bootcamp?
What kind of job you can get after a cybersecurity bootcamp depends on your previous experience and level of education. Common jobs in cybersecurity include cybersecurity analysts and consultants, penetration and vulnerability testers, cybersecurity managers, network or systems engineers, and administrators.
After a cybersecurity bootcamp, many people land entry-level positions as security engineers, analysts, and consultants. Jobs in cybersecurity compliance and auditing are also common.
Some cybersecurity professionals work in software development and engineering, although that's a more common outcome for graduates of coding bootcamps.
How Much Can I Make After an Online Cybersecurity Bootcamp?
How much you'll earn after a bootcamp also depends on your previous experience and education as well as where you live and what kind of job you get. Median salaries for cybersecurity specialists range from $57,910 for entry-level jobs in computer support to $102,600 for information security analysts, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Are Online Cybersecurity Bootcamps Worth It?
To figure out whether an online cybersecurity bootcamp will be worth it or not, prospective students should weigh the potential benefits they'll get from the program against what they'll have to give up. For students who want to pursue a career in cybersecurity but don't want to go back to college to get a full degree, online bootcamps can be a great alternative. However, you will still have to do the work to find a job after your bootcamp, and you may be competing for jobs with people who have prior experience or more formal education.
A bootcamp is also a significant investment of time and money. Look at salaries and educational backgrounds for careers you are interested in to estimate what kind of financial payoff you could see. Students can get more value out of their bootcamp by applying for scholarships, choosing a free bootcamp, or taking an individual cybersecurity class first to see if it's right for them.
Learning online is the best option for some students who live in areas without access to bootcamps or who need to fit their education around work and other responsibilities. However, others might get more out of a bootcamp if they attend in person. Our lists of the best cybersecurity bootcamps overall and best bootcamps by city can help students find local options near them.