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Evolve Security Academy

Chicago

Evolve Security Academy

Avg Rating:4.89 ( 64 reviews )

Evolve Security Academy offers two 16-week, part-time cybersecurity bootcamp options. Bootcamp PRO is in-person, based in Chicago, IL and Bootcamp REMOTE is live-online. Evolve Academy teaches students concrete and practical cybersecurity skills they will actually need on the job. During the course, students gain real work experience through the live security assessment work they perform on not-for-profit organizations. Students will experience immersive and hands-on training delivered through live instruction, recorded lectures, and lab tutorials. The curriculum includes 12 modules – networking, application stack, intro to cybersecurity, current threat landscape, security, social engineering, defense/detection, security hardening, cryptography, vulnerability, incident response, and job search preparation.

Prospective students fill out a preliminary application online, and are then invited to fill out a full application. Applicants can expect a phone screen, recommended prep exercises, and an interview. Candidates should be passionate and curious. 1 to 3 years experience in IT or development is strongly considered, but not required. Throughout the course, Evolve Security Academy prepares students to find a job with interview and job preparation. With over 350,000 unfilled cyber security jobs in the U.S. and 1,000,000 globally, their primary focus is on creating top-tier cyber security talent and placing them into high-paying jobs.

Successful graduates of the cybersecurity bootcamps will receive a designation of Evolve Security Certified Professional (ESCP) certification after successful completion of written and lab exams, and preparation for the CompTIA Security+ certification.

Advanced training is also available on Penetration Testing. This part-time training is 5-weeks of immersive and hands-on training, delivered remotely through live instruction, recorded lectures and lab tutorials. Students will gain the knowledge to deliver a full penetration test, from scoping to reporting, at the network and application layer. Each lab is created based off real world situations encountered by Evolve Security penetration testers. Interested students can register online for this course.

Recent Evolve Security Academy Reviews: Rating 4.89

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  • IN-PERSON (Chicago) Bootcamp

    Apply
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$12,500
    Class size16
    LocationChicago
    16-weeks of in-person, immersive and hands-on training in Chicago delivered with face-to-face instruction, recorded lectures and lab tutorials. Students receive a hands-on holistic curriculum, real work experience, job preparation, and a vast network of adjunct instructors in an intimate classroom setting. Curriculum Outline: - Intro to Cyber Security - Security Program - Networking - Scripting for Security - Security Operations Architecture - Security Operations Threat Modeling - Threat Intelligence - Cryptography - OSINT & Social Engineering - AppSec & Offensive Security - Threat Hunting & Incident Response - Job Search Preparation Outcome: Upon successful completion of the bootcamp, graduates are able to not only understand the theory behind information security, but also how to apply it in real world situations In addition, graduates receive: - Certificate of Completion and 232 CPE credits upon successfully completing the course requirements and final exam. - Evolve Security Certified Professional (ESCP) certification upon meeting course requirements - and passing the final ESCP lab exam. - CompTIA Security+ Certification voucher to take the certification within 90 days after the bootcamp at no cost. - A network of cybersecurity professionals and experts from different organizations and backgrounds. - Real world project experience as a Security Apprentice that ca be shared with potential employers. - Preparation for other information security certifications if pursuing them. - Job preparation services and support in landing a cybersecurity related job.
    Financing
    Deposit$1000
    Financing
    Financing is available through SkillsFund.



    Tuition PlansOption 1: Pay full tuition upfront. A $250 discount will be applied to tuition Option 2: Pay half upfront / half at week 8
    ScholarshipScholarships available for veterans, women, and minorities. GI Bill funding for eligible veterans pending approval.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelBasic Computer Science, Networking and Linux Command Line. https://www.evolvesecurity.com/academy/getting-started-career-in-cybersecurity
    Prep WorkEnroll in our free Fundamentals of Cybersecurity course: https://www.evolvesecurity.com/academy/getting-started-career-in-cybersecurity
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes
  • Penetration Testing (Live-Online)

    Apply
    Linux, Penetration Testing, Mobile Security, Ethical Hacking
    OnlinePart Time10 Hours/week4 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$3,200
    Class size20
    LocationChicago
    This training is 5-weeks of immersive and hands-on training, delivered remotely through live instruction, recorded lectures and lab tutorials. Students will gain the knowledge to deliver a full penetration test, from scoping to reporting, at the network and application layer. Each lab is created based off real world situations encountered by Evolve Security penetration testers. There is no capture the flag exercises, made up scenarios or silly puzzles. This training is designed for anyone who wants to become a penetration tester or who is interested on how hacker breaches an organization. Topics Covered: - Approaches to Penetration Testing & Legality - Scoping & Rules of Engagement - Threat Modeling - The Methodology - Information Gathering / Discovery - Vulnerability Scanning, Analysis and Its Limitations - Phishing & Social Engineering - Web Application and API Testing / Exploitation - Windows and Linux Environment Testing / Exploitation - Password Cracking / Brute Force - Evasion Techniques - Post Exploitation, Pivoting and Persistence - Reporting and Remediation Outcome: Students will have the knowledge and skills to perform a penetration testing assessment on an organization and report the findings / vulnerabilities. Students are exposed to numerous types of practical vulnerable systems that are readily seen in the industry and will have the understanding of how to identify, exploit and remediate them. Each week, students work through various labs that will give you the concrete, hands-on work experience. Upon successful completion of the course material and final lab assessment report, you will receive the Evolve Security Certified Penetration Tester (ESCPT) certification and 50 CPE credits.
    Financing
    DepositFull payment due upon registration.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelBasic Computer Science, Networking and Linux Command Line. This training is designed to be challenging, no matter what your technical background is.
    Prep WorkRecommended prep exercises can be found here: https://www.evolvesecurity.com/academy/live-online-penetration-testing-training
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewNo
  • REMOTE Bootcamp (Live-Online)

    Apply
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$10,500
    Class size35
    LocationChicago
    16-weeks of live-online, immersive and hands-on training delivered with live instruction through video conference, recorded lectures and lab tutorials. Students receive a hands-on holistic curriculum, real work experience, job preparation, and a vast network of adjunct instructors in an online group learning environment. Curriculum Outline: - Intro to Cyber Security - Security Program - Networking - Scripting for Security - Security Operations Architecture - Security Operations Threat Modeling - Threat Intelligence - Cryptography - OSINT & Social Engineering - AppSec & Offensive Security - Threat Hunting & Incident Response - Job Search Preparation Outcome: Upon successful completion of the bootcamp, graduates are able to not only understand the theory behind information security, but also how to apply it in real world situations In addition, graduates receive: - Certificate of Completion and 232 CPE credits upon successfully completing the course requirements and final exam. - Evolve Security Certified Professional (ESCP) certification upon meeting course requirements - and passing the final ESCP lab exam. - CompTIA Security+ Certification voucher to take the certification within 90 days after the bootcamp at no cost. - A network of cybersecurity professionals and experts from different organizations and backgrounds. - Real world project experience as a Security Apprentice that ca be shared with potential employers. - Preparation for other information security certifications if pursuing them. - Job preparation services and support in landing a cybersecurity related job.
    Financing
    Deposit$1000
    Financing
    Financing is available through SkillsFund

    Tuition PlansOption 1: Pay full tuition upfront. A $250 discount will be applied to tuition Option 2: Pay half upfront / half at week 8
    ScholarshipScholarships available for veterans, women, and minorities. Apply when completing your full application.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelBasic Computer Science, Networking and Linux Command Line. https://www.evolvesecurity.com/academy/getting-started-career-in-cybersecurity
    Prep WorkEnroll in our free Fundamentals of Cybersecurity course: https://www.evolvesecurity.com/academy/getting-started-career-in-cybersecurity
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes
  • Evolve You Career!
    - 1/25/2017
    Andrew • Assistant IT Systems Administrator • Graduate
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    Going through the Evolve bootcamp gave me a lot of the skills I needed to be competitive on the job market. Thanks to Evolve (and of course a lot of hard work on my end) I was able to find my first technical role as an Assistant IT Systems Administrator within a few months of graduating from the program!

    The theory behind Evolve's teaching methods is different than most. The instructors give you a problem and leave it up to you to find the solution rather than handing you all the answers. Critical thinking and collaboration between peers were highly encouraged.

    The course is intense and very fast-paced, but incredibly rewarding once you are finished.

    I highly recommend this bootcamp to anyone thinking about a career in cybersecurity!

  • Edward Villarreal • Security Analyst • Graduate
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    Evolve Security Academy focuses on taking individuals interested in Cyber Security and help turn that interest into a career. 

    I was a recent grad from LU where I studied Criminal Justice and Computer Science. I lacked the hands on experience that was required to succeed in the IT space. I invested in myself and decided to join Evolve Security Academy. Evolve's curriculm and networking platform helped me gain the skill set required to begin a career in Cyber Security.

    Shortly after graduation I landed a position as a Security Analyst. Without Evolve showing me the path I would not have been able to land this role. If you are someone looking to change career paths or gain a competivie edge in the job market, Invest in yourself as I did and enroll with Evolve. 

  • Matthew Stelnicki • Security Apprentice • Student
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    Evolve has been a great experience. We are about halfway through the cyber security bootcamp and have already gotten hands on experience. Class usually begins with a lecture discussing our current module, and then follows up with an in-class lab which applies the knowledge we just learned to a real world example. Learning about different policies and architectures is great, but using the lab to apply our newly acquired knowledge allows us to gain a firm grasp on the concepts at hand and understand how to modify our approach for each situation.

    The instructors at Evolve Security Academy have created a fantastic learning environment and team setting for this course. I am looking forward to progressing through the remainder of the course and to continue the learning experience with our team. Each day we learn new material building off the previous day. If at any time there is a section or concept that is unclear to a student, we work together as a team to explain the problem and ensure everyone has an understanding of the material.

    Despite your background, if you are willing to put in the work and have the right attitude you will succeed.

  • Tolu Akinterinwa • Student
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    I was just out Downtown Chicago with some IT professionals with experience in cyber security. Shocking it was to learn about the day to day breaches and the increase in the sophistication level of attackers despite technology improvements by security professionals. I thought – no industry is immune to threats – this to me means there would be a continuous need for security professionals across every industry to assist organizations detect possible threats to avoid being breached. Sounds interesting right? So off the back of the chat with these IT guys, I decided to enquire more about cyber security and what life is like as a cyber security professional. Evolve Security Academy came up in one of researches and here I am today in the process of ‘evolving’ as a cyber security pro.

    I must state that this academy is exceptional in many ways. The course schedule was the first catch – very flexible. We had remote class work the first 4 weeks of the training. Tedious but was good exercise for people with little or no knowledge and wanting to get into the infosec space. For the in-person part of the training, we kick off at 6pm to 9pm Mondays through Thursdays and 9am to 3pm every other Saturday. I look forward to every class – Paul Petefish, our instructor starts off the class by getting us to discuss what’s in the news re data breach etc . Then we have our lecture; Paul knows his stuff. He dissects each curriculum in such a way that a novice is able to grab infosec concepts as quickly as possible. The Q&A during lectures is helpful. Our adjunct instructors are industry experts – imagine being in a classroom with such great talents! There is also the opportunity to attend seminars for free (e.g. THOTCON) - thanks to Evolve’s leadership team.

    We get hands-on experience. Lab work is fun – we pen test, run vulnerability scans, harden systems, etc). We sometimes get to work in groups; this helps me a lot as I get to pick others’ brains (especially when we’re doing lab work) and ultimately expanding my cybersec knowledge. The team is a fantastic one – from diverse background, and with wealth of experience from various industries.

    Chocolate, chips, peanut butter cookies etc keep the team going throughout the lecture. The class is never boring! It has been a rewarding experience so far…. More weeks to go. I recommend Evolve Security Academy to anyone looking to become a CyberSecurity pro in 13 weeks.

  • Great bootcamp!
    - 7/28/2020
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    If you're looking for an all around education in security, this is the place you should start. I came into this program with several years of tech experience looking to dive into security and they really did a good job helping me figure out what I wanted to do. The course is fast paced and packed with a broad range of information so you really get out of it what you put in. I can't emphasize on that enough .. PUT THE TIME IN. In hindsight, I wish I had spent more time absorbing every bit that I could. The price is steep BUT if you went around to other places getting education for certs and add it up, I think you'll find its fair considering how much information you can learn from this course. The biggest advantage with this bootcamp is the support system. For anyone training for OSCP or other higher level technical certs, you know the frustration with looking for white papers, stack overflow posts, and youtube videos  trying to find answers. Often the course material with many educational sites will leave you with many questions and its often hard to get answers. Here you will have a seasoned pro and several assistant educators and classmates that will help you find the right answers and help with any technical issues you run into. I do not however recommend this for those seeking to use it as a means to jump into the tech field. You should already have a decent understanding of networking, Windows  server and workstation OS's, command line,  etc. Overall I believe this bootcamp was worth it. Almost everyone in my cohort landed jobs in the security sector after completing this bootcamp.
  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    Attending Evolve Security Academy opened doors, allowing me to change career paths. I went from an individual with zero technical knowledge to landing an entry-level cybersecurity position.  

    The course work covers a wide variety of relevant cybersecurity topics and can be quite challenging at times. Although it is possible to complete the Bootcamp while working a full-time job, it can be a busy and stressful 17 weeks.  

    Overall, Evolve provided me the needed base of knowledge to jumpstart my cybersecurity career. 
  • Waste of Money
    - 5/21/2020
    Anonymous
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    Every single thing you learn is online for FREE.  They take in people with Master's Degrees in Technology alongside restaurant busboys and Uber drivers.  You can guess who might find work and who obviously won't.  90% of the class they throw you homework problems, so you are studying a lot on your own (but paying for thousands?) or class group work.  The staff was clueless, as they referred me to employers who asked why Evolve sent me over when I have little/none of the credentials.  They try to compensate for lies of job placement services by substituting with hiring basic career coaches and resume editors.  So many students feel duped but know Evolve is not giving refunds!  Evolve taught me money is what matters most.  They are trying to scramble for change as they are starting to get called out, so maybe future classes would benefit.  Spending money here was one of the biggest regrets of my life and put me into severe hardship.  Dealing with crackheads on the way to and from school was the cherry on top of the sundae.  The staff is super gossipy, sometimes throwing me random stares and dirty looks.  I never knew why.  Paying thousands for going back to Jr. High?  Never again!  Many students feel here felt secretly scammed.    
  • Bootcamp REMOTE
    - 5/18/2020
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    I was part of the online cohort and it is excellently designed and explains the various concepts of cybersecurity. The course gives insight into various areas of cybersecurity, highlighting the importance of cybersecurity. The videos and courses are explanatory and provide an abundant sources of information. My favorite has always been labs, a great chance to practice using tools to gain valuable hands-on experience. Thanks to their great network, I found my current job. Highly recommended. 
  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    Evolve helped me switch careers while having no technical/IT/Security experience prior. I've moved from an industry with little room for growth and poor working conditions to a new industry with a ton of room for growth. I'm grateful to Evolve for helping me make this change and starting a new journey.
  • A game changer!
    - 5/7/2020
    Anonymous • Student
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    I came to Evolve having worked in cyber security from a non-technical perspective. I couldn't find a good technical gig to save my life! Evolve changed that very quickly through a thorough and robust approach to teaching fundamentals that got me started in the right direction. Thanks!! 
  • Review for REMOTE
    - 1/13/2020
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    I recently completed the REMOTE program. I learned a lot more than I could by myself. Yes, as much as you learn from Evolve Security, you also must put in the effort to build yourself. There's no such thing as receiving and receiving, but by putting in the work and building avenues to succeed inside and outside the program, there is result. I would say this is a great way to break into the cybersecurity industry.

    They always welcome feedback, but as much as it is hard to change something up, I am sure they will change it in the next cohort unless it's a serious issue.

    This is also a great way to expose yourself to a work environment when working in a team to understand personalities and how to manage that. You are also self-exploring yourself rather than acquiring a skillset to expand your skills. It is underrated skillset that you won't notice, but by adapting and deep reflection, you understand how to communicate and how to improve on that if you are conscious about yourself. 

     

  • Could be better
    - 11/18/2019
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    Had high hopes after reading the reviews here on Course Report and other bootcamp review websites. I was at a point in my life where I need a change and thought Evolve Security checked all the boxes. My feedback below is based on ensuring future students are well aware of what they'd get themselves into, instead of relying on the below 'rosy' reviews. It should've caught me earlier when the reviews were this good since really is anything actually worth 5 stars? I will break each experience I had into categories below so you're aware of where I'm coming from.

    Pre-bootcamp exercises:

    Thought this was straight forward but it's a lot of material. I don't think anyone truly competed all before starting. However, I do think you need to have a firm knowledge of networking concepts. Also equally important is knowing SQL, even at the beginner level which you'll need for one of the assignments later on. You'll also need to be comfortable/intermediate with Python 3 and Bash. I suggest learning it enough to understand what and when to run For Loops. Look up and review what bash scripts are in cyber security. That should've been included in the pre-bootcamp exercise. You will also need to review basics of cryptography more which wasn't stressed so much in Evolve but is required knowledge in Security+.

    Course Material:

    The course material is a mix of online teaching/webinar-style videos and un-downloadable papers of notes. Nothing seriously wrong with the teaching videos or notes.

    The problems lie mostly in the homework and labs. There were plenty of typos and hard to figure out what was actually not wrong. Homework wasn't reviewed either which is good if you hate homework but it's bad if you do it and submit without any feedback. Instructors checked occassionally and were supposed to leave comments on errors on homework. That did not happen all the time, for almost all sections of the course materials. I did not expect it to be this way given the amount of money on the bootcamp. Our class did not feel it was ever a concern from Evolve to review and return feedback on time and it got to a point where we just didn't care as much.

    Some of the homework were 10xs difficult than beginner level. This is my main problem with Evolve. At least if you're going to feature difficult homework, call it out earlier in the bootcamp in the prep exercises.  Even those with technical knowledge found the assignments to be extremely challenging. And there was hardly any follow up on those modules so you can bet that some classmates didn't complete or even get a chance to ask since homework wasn't reviewed.

    There is also a strong leaning towards Linux and Apple which was clearly obvious as the majority of the course material was intended for these. It was difficult for those without a Mac to follow through as some of the commands or plug-ins had to be downloaded. Windows/PC is still used a lot in IT and Security so it would've made more sense to feature courses around Windows Malware and importantly having courses in general for those with PCs only.

    Also as a bootcamp grad, note you'll be spending more time googling, looking at stack overflow, and watching YouTube videos. I didn't think it was going to be like this mostly but turns out it was at least 60-70% of the time like this.

    Quizzes:

    There are quizzes after each section of every module. Some of the questions were hard to understand and were timed. Some of them were also too easy. It should've been modeled after the Security+ or Network+ past exams so that we'd understand more and find it more useful.

    Assessments:

    This is only available for the in-person bootcamp cohorts. It's basically a test to see what you've learned from some of the modules and based on actual interview questions. At first we thought the assesments were intimidating but over time it was good 1 and 1 time with our instructor. Towards the end of the bootcamp, we slacked off these assesments, and naturally because it got really busy.

    Projects:

    You get a nonprofit client to work with. The client project also is on-site at their physical location. Our cohort enjoyed this part of the bootcamp for the most part since it was hands-on and we got a chance to see how an actual penetration test looked like, including putting together a client report and assesment. What was confusing was how Evolve organized the assesments. The assesments were conducted not only on-site but in the Evolve Security Academy office and there was confusion on who was supposed to organize what program or run whatever command (sorry I can't give these command details away). There was also a reliance on some of the more technical classmates and it felt like the instuctors had deferred it back to us. I would've thought they would guide more since it was our first time but to some point, it felt hands off. At least our cohort were working closer together so we helped each other out.

    Some classmates didn't really do much for the client which happens in class settings. I do think they could've participated more or at least managed something part of the assesment for their own experience instead of taking credit for the project. However, we managed to present to the client and they liked our work a lot. 

    ESCP exam:

    This exam happens at the end of the bootcamp. I felt it was extremely hard. We were caught up with the work with the client where practicing with others and studying was left at the way side. We also didn't have one of our key instructors to go over issues with. I wasn't expecting a lot of hand-holding but I did want to study more instead of having to deal with a client. I know it's hard already in a bootcamp and not having enough time to study was also harder. You are expected to pass this ESCP in order to pass the entire bootcamp, so I thought this should've been something we studied for 2-3 weeks and in groups with one another.

    Instructors:

    Overall all of the instructors were good but I do think the typos and mistakes overshadowed the amount of learning. One of the instructors was a strong penetration tester and we were supposed to have him instruct us but he left for a few weeks because of personal issues. We didn't have anyone except our Teacher's Assistant who is also quite busy working for Evolve separately. I think the depth of knowledge is different from both and it was a cop out that we didn't get a chance to really get into malware or forensics which was hardly touched on and was supposed to be discussed by the lead instructor.

    Separately there was a google sheet for feedback for each instructor or after each week. It didn't feel like it was being reviewed honestly. Also Evolve could've had a section after each module asking what students felt so that they would actually review it in the course. We had left some comments on there that asked or spoke about whta could be better but not sure it was going to be implemented, at least in our cohort.

    You can try to catch an instructor at the beginning or at the end of each class. There was also time to go over with the Teacher's Instructor. I thought this was good at least I could reach out. I do think there should've been a review time too to go over in more detail the harder subjects i.e Cryptography.

    Job Preparation:

    This is the reason why I took the boot camp. It seemed like everyone had a fantastic experience which means they should've gotten jobs! Sorry it wasn't so. At your disposal is a career coach and a few resume reviews and a few job recruiters who are only based in the Chicago region. For those seeking remote positions, I don't think anyone gave information on how this could be done. I didn't like how the recruiters seemed to offer contract roles only and only in Chicago. What about those who lived elsewhere? But that's that's on them to figure out. There wasn't any talk of developing projects or figuring out how to network but rather deferring that back to us. Also some of the past alums seemed to be helpful while others seemed too busy or not willing to really help. I would've expected a direct hire style since those graduates were working in a few well known companies like banks or consulting companies but there's nothing like that built yet. You still have to reach out to alums and you still have to apply through job sites. 

    Network:

    Since its a Chicago based company, they do have a relatively familiar name. I was able to get by during some meetups talking about Evolve. Some folks were curious as to what a cybersecurity bootcamp is. Evolve is also connected to a few organizations like United Airlines and CME group who have some graduates who work there. However, note that those who work there might not have been a direct hire so you have to weigh that back in as a contractor.

    Conclusion:

    If you're deciding on going to Evolve, it's mostly b/c you saw the news about the job shortage in cybersecurity or you might have some knowledge in programming or IT. You'll have a clear advantage if you come from either programming or IT as concepts are pulled from those areas or cybesecurity is part of those subjects. If you're not as techincal, it will be hard for you. I don't think Evolve did a great job helping those out who are not as technically inclined. You can work had to try and learn cybersecurity concepts but what's expected from you  is to pass the ESCP exam which is a bit more difficult for those who are new. 

    Also looking back I do wish I had told instructors how I felt but felt pressured since not everyone felt they could speak out. I spent so much money and only now realized I could've spent that money learning the Security+ exam inside/out and following through with online courses. Yes online courses are also detailed and might not be updated but they cost significantly less. There are also alternatives like pluralsight, ITPROTV or pentesteracademy/pentesterlab. Also there are more amazing cybersecurity communities out there online and Security professionals overall are helpful. I think what made Evolve interesting is the name it gave and for the glowing reviews. It's also slightly well known in Chicago but not heard as much else where (that's only because Evolve is still new).

    I would also look into job descriptions. If you read what the industry is really looking for, it sounds very 'experienced'. I wouldn't let that deter you from pursuing cybersecurity but be realistic of what you'd have to pay and what you'd get in return. You can also spend nearly the same amount of money for a grad certificate or even at for-profit online college or gone on edx.org for a micro-masters degree which would've had peer reviewed the content and passed it through educational boards. (Like those typos would've not existed)

    I wish all the best to those who are part of Evolve. I wished it was worth the time and effort. I also think they should just own up to the work and take this review as a critique from someone wants others to be successful and not disillusioned by cybersecurity. Evolve offered a foundational knowledge but it didn't feel like it was worth much.

Thanks!