As more of our life shifts online, investing in cybersecurity has become absolutely crucial. Businesses and organizations are in dire need of skilled professionals to help protect their sensitive information and critical systems from cyberattacks. For this reason, the cybersecurity industry has seen an explosion in job opportunities in recent years. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs for information security analysts, including cybersecurity professionals, will grow by 33% between 2020 and 2030. This growth rate is remarkably higher than the national average of only 7.7%.
If you're looking to build a career in this booming industry, a cybersecurity bootcamp is one of the best ways to pick up the necessary skills. Here's how to get started with the right bootcamp and gain industry-grade expertise in under six months.
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What Is a Cybersecurity Bootcamp, and How Does It Work?
Cybersecurity bootcamps are intense, comprehensive courses that equip students with industry-relevant cybersecurity skills in a short period of time. Bootcamps may be offered full time or part time, but they always prioritize technical skills and hands-on learning over theory. This is one of the fundamental differences between bootcamps and traditional college degrees. Bootcamps offer a shorter and more rigorous learning path that is focused on real-world experience and skill development.
Some cybersecurity bootcamps for beginners that are designed to prepare you for entry-level roles do not have strict prerequisites or admission requirements. But bootcamps for advanced learners that cover specialized topics like penetration testing, ethical hacking, and application security testing often require prior experience or certifications.
How Much Does a Cybersecurity Bootcamp Cost?
The cost of a cybersecurity bootcamp can vary a lot depending on the program, provider, length, and possible specializations. Most bootcamps from reputable providers have an average tuition fee between $9,000 and $20,000. Learners can usually choose to pay upfront or make monthly payments on a loan. Interest rates for the loan can also be a major factor in determining the overall cost of the program. Some bootcamps also offer flexible "pay-per-month" plans that can be more affordable in the long term.
The University of Massachusetts Global Cyber Security Bootcamp equips you with the same cybersecurity skills and capabilities as the high-end programs but for a fraction of the cost. Full bootcamp tuition is $11,120, with a 12% discount offered if you pay upfront. You also have the freedom to choose from easy month-to-month payments or a Climb Credit loan.
Cybersecurity Bootcamps vs. College Degrees
Cybersecurity bootcamps equip students with career-ready skills through rigorous, comprehensive coursework. This format is very different from traditional academic degrees that place emphasis on a theoretical understanding of information security concepts. State-of-the-art bootcamps offer specially curated content and project work that is designed to prepare you for a job in this dynamic field.
Bootcamps that are specifically geared towards certification exams are even more valuable for aspiring security professionals. They take your training a step further and help you earn globally-recognized certifications. This ensures that when you graduate from the bootcamp, you'll have all the skills and qualifications necessary to land a job in information security.
The UMass Global Cyber Security Bootcamp offers curated coursework, mock exams, and quizzes to help you prepare for the CompTIA Security+ exam. This program also has dedicated 1:1 career coaches to guide you on how to build a cybersecurity resume, how to research jobs, and how to master the interview.
What Will You Learn in a Cybersecurity Bootcamp?
The skills taught in a bootcamp can be quite diverse, based on the program goal, provider, and level of difficulty. If you are enrolled in a beginner-friendly bootcamp, you can expect to learn IT security fundamentals like network security, host-based security, identity and access Management, and security assessment and testing. More advanced bootcamps may focus on specific concepts and techniques such as cryptography, computer forensics, risk assessment, and penetration testing.
Do Cybersecurity Bootcamps Help You Get a Job?
Cybersecurity bootcamps are uniquely designed to make you job-ready in a fraction of the time and money needed for a college degree. With hands-on project work and guidance from industry experts, you will be well equipped to land entry-level positions right after the completion of the program. Most bootcamp students who don't have previous IT experience take up jobs as cybersecurity specialists, cybersecurity responders, or cybersecurity analysts. Cyber security bootcamps also build a solid foundation for more advanced roles like:
Threat intel analyst
Cyber crime analyst/responder
Security operations center (SOC) analyst
How Much Do Cybersecurity Jobs Pay?
According to talent.com, the average salary for cybersecurity professionals in the USA is $117,107 per year or $60.05 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $88,482 per year on average, while most experienced workers make up to $164,825 per year. Average salaries for some of the most in-demand cybersecurity roles are:
Data Security Analyst ($113K-$160K)
Network Security Administrator ($103K-$147K)
Systems Security Administrator ($105K-$149K)
Incident Response Analysts ( $79K-$118K)
Chief Security Officer ($140K-$223K)
Information Systems Security Manager ($129K-$182K)
Network Security Engineer ($110K-$152K)
What You Should Consider When Deciding on a Cybersecurity Bootcamp?
The major differentiating factors between different cybersecurity bootcamps are:
Course structure and schedule
Prep and prerequisite work
Choosing the right elements and flexibilities is necessary to make the cybersecurity bootcamp worth it for you. The perfect blend of these factors will create the most effective learning process and boost your overall satisfaction with the bootcamp experience. For example, if you are completely new to the tech industry, you might need an intensive coding bootcamp before you can make the most of a cybersecurity bootcamp.
You can choose to take a beginner, intermediate, or advanced cybersecurity bootcamp that might be offered on-campus, online, or with a hybrid model. Bootcamps generally range from 12 to 36 weeks in length. More comprehensive programs tend to take longer, but you still have the option to manage your time with a full-time or part-time commitment.
The Verdict: Are Cybersecurity Bootcamps Worth It?
The answer ultimately depends on what stage of your career you're in and what you're looking to get out of the bootcamp experience. Pursuing a traditional college degree might be a better option if you want to explore foundational computer science concepts and advanced computing topics in depth. Cybersecurity bootcamps are a great option for anyone who needs a flexible and affordable opportunity to upskill. They are also particularly helpful for young professionals who want to become job-ready in a relatively short time and for IT professionals who intend to get a job in the lucrative cybersecurity industry.
The UMass Global Cyber Security Bootcamp brings you the best of both worlds—the rigorous, industry-grade coursework of a bootcamp coupled with the credibility of a leading university. The 100% online bootcamp offers unique features like unlimited 1:1 career coaching, student advisor support, and mentorship from an industry expert. Learn in-demand skills, and prepare for the globally recognized CompTIA Security+ certification with the cutting-edge UMass Global Cyber Security Bootcamp today!