With a huge range of cybersecurity courses available online, it has never been easier to pursue a career in infosec. If you have an interest in learning and have a few free hours per week, you can easily gain practical knowledge and the qualifications you need to look for work.
But how do you get started? Read on and we’ll take a look at how you can jump-start your cybersecurity career.
Why take cyber security courses?
A career in cybersecurity is a future-proof position that is only in demand. It’s also a role that gives you constant opportunities to learn and grow yourself, not to mention logical problems and fascinating challenges.
Right now, the average cybersecurity specialist earns $ 98,710 per year, with the highest earners at around $ 151,500. Hundreds of thousands of cyber security roles go unfulfilled every year, so there’s plenty of opportunity here for someone with these specialist skills.
Also read: Future-proof your career and salary as an information security analyst
More business is going online than ever before, and it will continue to be the case. This presents a number of unique challenges. Chief among these is cyber security: How do you keep all that user and internal data safe?
That’s where you come in as the information security specialist, the ethical hacker, the pentester, or the consultant.
Cybersecurity jobs are not only in high demand, but are also very rewarding and challenging. You will be tasked with solving creative problems, often in a high pressure environment, and you will constantly learn new skills and abilities as the software and hardware progresses.
If all that sounds good, then cybersecurity training might be for you!
Best Free Online Cyber Security Courses For Beginners
If you are looking for a free cyber security training course, there are plenty of options available. Some of these can even lead to certification! Free cybersecurity training is also a great “taster” idea. This will give you a sense of whether a career in cysec is right for you, before putting a lot of time and money into it. This is a great starting point for most people.
An example is Cyber Security Fundamentals from RIT. This online course is completely free, but you can add a certification at the end for $ 150. The course takes 8 weeks and you will need to spend about 10-12 hours per week during that time.
Also read: 15 best antivirus and anti-malware apps for Android!
Cyber Security Basics: A Hands-on Approach from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid is a 6-week course that requires 5-7 hours per week that teaches you how to “think like a hacker, but act like a hacker. security expert “. This course again has an option to add certification for $ 50.
These are two of the best free online security courses for beginners.
You can also find a huge amount of free information on blogs and YouTube, if you’re willing to hunt around. While this won’t get you certified, it can help steer you in the right direction and give you a good idea of what cybersecurity courses can include. Many of the concepts and terms you come across may seem daunting at first, but by constantly exposing yourself to this type of information, you gradually get used to it.
A great place to start is with our own guide to ethical hacking. This post discusses some of the techniques cybersecurity specialists use and some terms that you may need to familiarize yourself with. Even if you never pursue a cybersecurity career, these are some interesting things worth exploring.
Do you need a degree to become a cybersecurity expert?
Now that you have a better idea of what a cyber security career entails, what’s next? The first question many people will ask is whether they need a college degree to get a job in the industry.
In general, most companies looking to hire a cybersecurity specialist, such as an information security analyst, will want to see some form of certification or qualification. This suggests that you have a broad understanding of the topic, although you will likely receive additional cybersecurity training on the job.
A college degree is particularly desirable and some companies will not interview anyone who does not have a degree in a related subject (such as computer science or cybersecurity in particular).
The good news is, this doesn’t apply to all businesses, so if you don’t have time for a college degree, there’s still hope! Nowadays, it is also possible to earn a university degree online, should you decide you want more options.
Here are some great options:
The highest paid online cybersecurity courses
More importantly, however, and more specific to help you learn cybersecurity, are the industry recognized certifications you can find online.
- Pentest +: Comptia Penetration Testing
- CYSA +: Cyber Security Analyst
- Security +: Comptia Security Analyst
- GIAC: Global Information Assurance Certification
- CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker
- CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional
Each of these certifications are widely recognized within the industry and should help you find relevant jobs. Getting a few under your belt will give you a huge advantage over the competition, although not all of them are suitable for complete beginners. Most also include eLearning options, which you can use to prepare for the exams.
For example, if you plan to use PenTest +, you can use their CompTIA CertMaster Learn for PenTest +. For the most part, these are reasonably priced (it costs a little over £ 300 or about $ 360).
Many universities also offer cybersecurity courses with professional certificates, such as University of Washington offers a Professional Certificate in Essentials of Cybersecurity. This is a particularly good option for beginners and only requires 2-5 hours per week for 6 months. At the end of it, you will have a broad understanding and qualification that will help you find jobs.
Alternatively, you can find all kinds of great online courses that teach you the basics for a small fee. For example, Udemy has plenty of options, such as:
You can also try this deal as a great way to get some background information for just $ 39:
Cyber security courses like this one give you a solid foundation and an idea of the types of skills you need. It’s also a great “taster”, so you can decide if this work is right for you! This Ethical Hacker Bootcamp Bundle is the ideal cybersecurity training for beginners and should serve as a great warm-up before taking something like CYSA +.
Where You Can Go With Cyber Security Training
You can continue to learn by learning specific, additional skills that may be relevant to your job in the future.
Python is a very useful language to learn, for example (check out this Ultimate Python Programmer’s Bootcamp). Learning to use Linux and understanding servers and networks can also be a useful option for beginners. Learn Linux in 5 days and improve your career is a good choice.
At some point, you may have to choose between specializing in a particular area of cybersecurity, or a broader approach that makes you suitable for a wider range of roles.
Once you’ve taken a few cybersecurity courses and are confident in your skills, the next step is to start looking for work. While you can post some freelance jobs on sites like UpWork (which is a great way to get some experience), these types of jobs are also less common. Due to the highly sensitive nature of the information you will be dealing with, many companies prefer their security to be handled by an internal employee or contractor. Browse job boards and you can start applying that way.
And so your cyber security career begins! Good luck, and let us know in the comments below which cybersecurity courses have helped you the most.