You’re probably familiar with the term “hacking,” but do you really understand the importance of cyber security? Did you know that by 2019, it’s projected that globally we’ll need 6 million security professionals, but we’ll be short by 1.5 million? Cyber security is comprised of technologies and practices to protect networks, computers, software programs, and data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access. The need for technical security talent is increasing and Security Bootcamps are launching to fill this void. If you’re deciding on which coding bootcamp route to take, and you’re interested in cyber security, there are a few things to consider (and we’ve listed where you can learn these skills!)

Job opportunities are constantly growing for information security and cyber security professionals. In order to decrease barriers to this tech profession, we're starting to see more cybersecurity bootcamps help fill the tech talent skills gap.

Threats to our cyber networks are on the rise as cyber crime is predicted to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021. As a result of these threats, the cyber security market is expected to grow annually by 9.8%, up from $74.4 billion in spending in 2015 to an estimated $170 billion by 2020. Since 2013, the number of information security incidents and data breaches have increased by 70% and 242% respectively. Many of the these attacks (62%) were targeted at small to medium sized businesses which simply didn’t understand the consequences of not taking cyber security seriously.

In addition to understanding the need for security tech talent based on the market, you should also be aware that this demand for skills is greater than supply. Job postings for cybersecurity roles increased by 91% from 2010-2014, compared to just 28% for all IT positions. Currently, 84% of cyber security job postings call for a bachelor’s degree, 83% require at least 3 years of experience, and 35% of jobs call for industry certification such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or CompTIA Security+ certifications. While this may be the case, employers are now turning to alternative tech education methods such as bootcamps and technology trade schools to meet their hiring needs. With projections of a shortfall of 1.5 million security talent, it’s safe to say that learning security skills will ensure that you’ll always be in-demand. If you're interested in learning more about the industry as a whole, check out this directory of Info Security Conferences to meet people in the field.

Job Roles: What does a career in security look like?

According to US News & World Report, Information Security Analyst was ranked as the #8 best job in technology in 2015, making an average wage of $90,120. It’s important to keep in mind that when moving up the career ladder in security, salary ranges will rise. The average 2016 U.S. security professional salary ranges are as follows:

  • Data Security Analyst ($114k-$160k) Analysts need to know every aspect of computer and network security, especially firewall administration, encryption, and network protocols. CISSP certification is definitely an asset.
  • Systems Security Administrator ($106k-$150k) This role requires technical knowledge of data systems security protocol and hardware and software systems. You’ll also want to keep abreast of security trends and government regulations.
  • Network Security Administrator ($103K-$147k) You will need a strong technical background with knowledge of network management protocols, networking architecture, authentication practices, and security administration.
  • Network Security Engineer ($110K-$153K) This role must translate security policies and procedures into technical architectures, while having insight on how to install, monitor, and maintain network security solutions.
  • Information Systems Security Manager ($130k-$182k) You’ll need a technical background along with strong communication and leadership skills. It’s expected to have five or more years of security experience with industry certifications CISSP or CompTIA Security+.
  • Chief Security Officer ($140k-$223k) Once you reach the top, you will have over 10 years of security experience and in-depth knowledge of ever changing business functions. This role requires excellent judgment and planning to maintain complex security systems.

Security Bootcamps: What are my options?

Most security bootcamps are not for complete tech newbies– so if you’ve never coded before, you should consider general full-stack coding bootcamps before setting your eyes on cyber security. We’d also recommend taking additional Information Security (InfoSec) classes as the security industry involves more than just coding. The majority of security bootcamps require one to two years of IT systems or development experience, with a general understanding of networking. Applicants must be proficient in a scripting language like Ruby, Javascript, Python, or Perl and should be familiar with common operating systems like Windows and Linux. Many in this field have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, or engineering and previous networking certification. After attending a security bootcamp, students can expect to land entry level positions like: Information (IT) Security Analyst, Cybersecurity Analyst, and Security Sales Engineer.

We’re excited to see the growth in cyber security education via the bootcamp model. Here’s a list of security bootcamps ready to teach you top skills needed to ward off those hackers:

Cyber Retraining Academy

Length: 10 weeks, full-time
Curriculum: Cyber Retraining Academy was created by the SANS Institute, recognized as a global leader in computer and info security training, along with the UK Government to aid in the lack of security tech talent. Students will learn security technology fundamentals, enterprise infrastructure, OS security, virtualization, cloud infrastructure security, compliance audit and risk, incident response, forensics, penetration testing and ethical hacking. The full program is on site.
Career Prep/Certification: There is no job guarantee, but students will end the program earning an industry-recognized GCIH certification.
Cost: There is no program cost to the student.
Location: London, England

Evolve Security Academy

Length: 12 weeks full-time, or 17 weeks part-time
Curriculum: Evolve Security Academy courses cover Security Program Creation, Social Engineering, Defence, Detection, Architecture, Cryptography, Vulnerability Detection, Forensics, and Incident Response. Students will spend 4 weeks learning remotely with the remainder of the program onsite.
Career Prep/Certification: There is no job guarantee yet, successful graduates receive a Diploma in Cyber Security, and will be introduced to a network of security professionals and experts.
Cost: Tuition is $10,000 and financing is available through Climb and PAVE.
Location: Students learn online and in Chicago, Illinois.

Open Cloud Academy

Length: 9 weeks, full-time
Curriculum: As a Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) approved, and Rackspace inspired Education Center, Open Cloud Academy students will learn Linux SysAdmin and Network Operations utilizing CompTIA Network, -RHCSA I & II, Apache, MySQL, Cloud Basics, and more. The full program is onsite.
Career Prep/Certification: There is no job guarantee yet, students will be able to successfully complete the Network+ or Network Fundamentals Exam.
Cost: Tuition is $3,500.
Location: San Antonio, Texas


Length: 20 weeks, full-time
Curriculum: Sabio offers a cybersecurity course to help students learn the safety and security of enterprise data, programs, and systems. The course is highly selective and students will need to have a high aptitude for network protocols and systems topology and design.
Career Prep/Certification: There is no job guarantee, but students will receive career prep assistance.
Cost: Tuition is $19,950 for full-time and $9,950 for part-time 
Location: Denver, Colorado

SecureSet Academy

Length: 20 weeks, full-time
Curriculum: SecureSet Academy courses include extensive hands-on instruction in state-of-the-art labs, guided product training, and essential certifications (CISSP and Security+). SecureSet℠ Academy’s accredited CORE programs are comprised of Network Security 1 & 2, System Security 1 & 2, Applied Crypto, Detection & Logs, Policy & Regs, Strategy & Analysis, and Security Culture. The full program is onsite.
Career Prep/Certification: There is no job guarantee yet, there is extensive job-placement mentoring and networking.
Cost: Tuition is $19,950
Location: Denver, Colorado

Software Guild

Length: 12 weeks, full-time
Curriculum: The Software Guild has partnered with Israeli premier cybersecurity training firm, HackerUSA, to offer world-class security program. Students will learn networking, IT Security, TCP/IP, Python and more while choosing from 3 tracks to learn IT cyber security, penetration testing, and cyber risk management.
Career Prep/Certification: There is no job guarantee, but students will receive career guidance and access to exams for industry professionals by Microsoft and CISCO focusing on security knowledge and Ethical Hacking.
Cost: Tuition is $13,750
Location: Akron, Ohio

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About The Author


Lauren is a communications and operations strategist who loves to help others find their idea of success. She is passionate about techonology education, career development, startups, and the arts. Her background includes career/youth development, public affairs, and philanthropy. She is from Richmond, VA and now currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

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