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A Beginner’s Guide to Cyber Security Courses

The ever-increasing reliance on technology and the internet for personal and business activities have brought a massive amount of data under the radar of malicious hackers. The information pertaining to a user’s address, banking activities, credit card information, and other sensitive data is now available online and possess a high risk of being compromised. We have already seen how cyber threats like hacking, phishing, trojans, and ransomware attacks have led to the theft of important user information and the disruption of critical services. 

These ongoing risks to online data have led to the need for strong cyber security measures that can help maintain its integrity, availability, and confidentiality. Now cyber security is a broad field that encompasses a range of practices and technologies designed to protect systems from cyber threats. Some of its important disciplines include network security, application security, data security, end-point security, cloud security, disaster recovery and business continuity, and compliance and regulatory requirements. Responding to cyber threats may involve implementing security measures like firewalls, and encryption, conducting vulnerability assessments, penetration testing, and responding to security incidents. 

As you can infer, you need to become well-versed in a number of areas if you want to become a cyber security expert. This is the reason people don’t rely on self-study but rather pursue online Cyber security courses to gain relevant skills in this domain and land their dream job. Now, without any prior knowledge of cyber security, if you start looking for online courses, then you may not be able to find the one that best matches your learning needs. You may get stuck with a course that claims to offer high-quality training but fails to meet your expectations. 

To avoid such a scenario, we have given you a complete guide on cyber security courses and how to choose the best one among the many options available online. 

Cyber Security Courses – A Complete Guide 

A cyber security course is a training program that teaches you all the cyber security concepts from scratch. Being a broad field, not all training courses have the same kind of syllabus. Some may give you an overview of all the topics as a summary, while others may deal with a particular topic in depth. Here we have described what kind of courses you can come across.

Introductory cyber security courses: These courses just deal with the basics of cyber security and are suitable for those people who are entirely new to this field. You may find many free introductory courses on cyber security. However, before you enroll, make sure that you check its syllabus and online reviews available. A course in partnership with a reputed university or tech company is more reliable than other ones. 

Master’s Program or Post Graduate Programs in Cyber Security: These courses are often long-term courses that give you an in-depth understanding of all the concepts. The syllabus is structured to include basic topics first, then intermediate, and finally advanced topics. This way, you will have a step-by-step coverage of all the topics, and you will have clarity on each level. When it comes to pricing, these cyber security may cost the highest compared to other short-term courses. 

Courses related to renowned cyber security certifications: You might not know, but there are industry-recognized certifications from reputed institutes that help you gain demonstrated cyber security skills. You can obtain these certifications after clearing a rigorous exam associated with them. Now, the courses that we are talking about are dedicated to helping you pass these certification exams. Some of the important cyber security certifications are:

  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) by the EC-Council 
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) by (ISC)2
  • CompTIA Security+
  • Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
  • Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) by ISACA 

The courses are preparatory training programs for these certifications and are paid ones but cost less than master’s programs. 

Now, here is a checklist you can refer to when deciding the best course for your upskilling goals. 

  • Check the syllabus of the course. It should cover the topics from the basics first and then include advanced topics. 
  • Look at online reviews of the course on portals like Trustpilot, SwitchUp, CareerKarma, and Quora. Not all reviews need to be positive, but overall, they must meet your expectations.
  • Collaboration with a renowned university or software company is an added benefit. You will find a couple of courses that are offered by Stanford University, Harvard University, Caltech CTME, and companies like Google, IBM, and Accenture. 
  • For preparatory courses, online training programs are also offered by the certification bodies themselves. For example, the EC-Council offers various learning resources to prepare for the CEH certification exam. Prefer such official courses to third-party ones. 
  • Check out the instructor profile as well. A reputed training provider always mentions the details of their cyber security course instructors. They must be highly qualified and have years of domain experience. 
  • Finally, you can check whether the course focuses on practical learning or not. There should be learning elements like integrated labs, industry projects, capstone projects, knowledge of popular cyber security tools, interactive quizzes, chapter-end assignments, and case studies. 

We hope that you now have a clear idea about cyber security courses in general and can choose an online course based on your unique learning needs.

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