SaaS sales • Student • Cybersecurity Professional Certificate Program • Los Angeles
Oct 20, 2020
Having just completed the introductory course from August-September 2020 I can confidently say that the introductory program has done its job at helping me determine whether Cybersecurity is a good fit for me long term. In fact, this is the only university program in my area that I know of that offers an introductory course before fully committing hundreds of hours and thousand of dollars into CyberSec. For example, UCLA's extension course did not have an intro and required you to put $1...
Having just completed the introductory course from August-September 2020 I can confidently say that the introductory program has done its job at helping me determine whether Cybersecurity is a good fit for me long term. In fact, this is the only university program in my area that I know of that offers an introductory course before fully committing hundreds of hours and thousand of dollars into CyberSec. For example, UCLA's extension course did not have an intro and required you to put $12K for the full course, regardless of whether you realized it wasn't a good fit for you early on. Think of it as a sampler before the real thing.
Aryan, our instructor, is not a racist and I don't like seeing a good professor's name get dragged down like that. As an Asian American I know discrimination when I see it and I haven't seen it in the class at all. In fact, I thought our cohort had a diverse mix of Latinos, Asians, Blacks, and Whites and had a couple women as well, each with their own experience level in IT, and I saw Aryan treat everyone there with respect. Yes, his jokes may fall flat sometimes but remember, we're learning from people in IT, not communications, so it's pretty much a given. Aryan was very helpful and patient in guiding volunteers thru hands-on labs that the rest of the class would follow on their own computers. If you were having difficulties keeping up with the lab there was always an associate professor, who you could ping, and you and him can split off into a separate Zoom call where the associate gets you up to speed. For example, last class I had some stubborn networking issues on my Virtual Machines that prevented me from keeping up so I messaged the associate instructor on Slack and after 15 minutes of fiddling with the settings, got my machines back up and running. I also appreciated how Aryan would relate what we learned that day to something he either experienced during his time at Boeing and Disney, as well as telling us stories of how the best hackers he met had backgrounds you'd least expect, which helped me since I was someone who came from software sales into CyberSec. He also helped us develop good habits early on that would help us be successful in tech, such as being familiar with Slack and using Google for researching solutions. What was also pretty nice about the course was that once it was time for class to end Aryan respected our schedule and didn't lecture over time, but offered to show an actual computer hack to people who wanted to stay for longer.
The course load was very doable, as long as you stay diligent. Expect to read around 15 pages before each lecture, with most of the pages consisting of diagrams and screenshots and "What is ______" homework questions. Completing the labs were pretty simple as the directions are very clear and the screenshots that accompanied them were self-explanatory. I would highly recommend getting familiar with how Networks work and doing the labs multiple times so you get a good feel for the different console commands in Kali Linux and Windows 10. I thought the technical learning curve was also very manageable for someone with a common grasp on computers. I know as much about computers as the next guy and I was still able to keep up with the rest of the class. In fact, I actually surprised myself with how I installed the Linux and Windows virtual boxes by myself, thanks to the directions on the VM installation labs.
Would I recommend the Introductory course to a friend? Of course. The ability for you to try out the field of cybersecurity without going all-in is a very helpful feature for those looking for other career options during these *cough* times. Aryan is a solid, albeit quirky, instructor who I could tell is passionate about Cyber Security and the opportunities it brings to those who choose this field. Granted, since this is an Introductory course I think it is a good idea to set appropriate expectations so people don't set one star reviews with the intent to damage a man's reputation. Will this course make you interested in CyberSecurity? Yes. Will it make you into a turbo-1337 hacker in 4 weeks? Not yet, but it does scratch the tip of the iceberg and give you enough of a foundation to feed your curiosity. If after the course you still want to be a turbo hacker, then the Intro has done its job and that's what the extended program is for.