Entering the cyber security industry can be an uphill battle without the right qualifications. Thankfully, the best introduction to cyber security courses for beginners can equip you with essential knowledge and skills to secure a career in the field of cyber security.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, cyber security is projected to grow 33 percent faster than the average of all occupations. This shows there are numerous viable career opportunities to choose from, depending on your interests.
What Is Cyber Security?
Cyber security refers to processes or techniques employed to secure devices and networks from external threats like data breaches and damage. Companies hire competent cyber security experts to ensure their information remains confidential, improve their clients’ confidence in them, and boost employees’ productivity.
Cyber security follows the security policy of “CIA,” or confidentiality, integrity, and availability. This means that your organization’s data remains private and intact, but it can be modified by authorized users and accessed anytime. A primary concept in cyber security is authentication. This process helps the system identify whether the person who wants to access data is who they claim.
How to Learn Cyber Security for Beginners
- Online Courses. Courses are a great way to learn cyber security for beginners as many of them are available online and self-paced. Some are free, enabling you to establish a successful career in this field without incurring financial strain. Typically, online courses for cyber security provide a certificate of completion.
- Degree Programs. Although they take longer, degree programs can often equip you for better job opportunities. A Bachelor’s Degree in Cyber Security will provide you with more in-depth cyber security knowledge.
- Workshops. Workshops provide numerous learning resources such as discussions with leading experts, discussion panels, and classes taught by top professionals.
- Coding Bootcamps. Coding bootcamps enable you to acquire basic knowledge and skills within a short period of time. Usually, the best cyber security bootcamps take between three and 12 months to complete. In addition, these types of learning opportunities provide hands-on experience and have market-based curricula.
- Conferences. Conferences are among the top events where you can learn about technical subjects, including cyber security and programming. If you want to enter the field of cyber security, Infosec has some of the best conferences you can attend.
Best Cyber Security Courses for Beginners
|Introduction to Cybersecurity||Cisco||Free||15 hours|
|Introduction to Cyber Security||Class Central||$94 for certificate||8 weeks 3 hours|
|Introduction to Cybersecurity||Codecademy||Free||6 hours|
|Introduction to Cyber Security Specialization||Coursera||$59 per month for certificate (Coursera Plus subscription)||4 months|
|Introduction to IT and Cybersecurity||Cybrary||Free||1 hour 41 minutes|
|Basics of Cybersecurity||Microsoft||Free||2 hours 5 minutes|
|SEC 301: Introduction to Cyber Security||SANS||$6,660||5 days|
|Introduction to Cyber Security: Stay Safe Online||The Open University||Free||24 hours|
|Introduction to Cybersecurity Nanodegree||Udacity||$1,356||4 months|
|Introduction to Cyber Security||Udemy||$99.99 (discounts frequently available)||9.5 hours|
The Best Intro to Cyber Security Courses: Explained
Are you passionate about securing systems and data? Enrolling in one of the best cyber security courses for beginners will enable you to establish a successful career as a cyber security professional. In addition, it will help you learn the fundamentals of the industry and gain skills to execute different roles, for instance, identifying cyber security threats.
Introduction to Cybersecurity | Cisco
Cisco offers a comprehensive introductory course for all aspiring cyber security professionals. The course covers the fundamentals of cyber security to help you understand network attacks, vulnerabilities, and business protection.
You can access this online self-paced course anytime, even if you have the busy schedule of a working student. Offered by a reputable provider, this intro to cyber security course comes in different languages to accommodate students from across the globe, including Italian, Dutch, and German.
Introduction to Cyber Security | Class Central
This free online course is supported by the UK government’s National Cyber Security Programme. It focuses on improving your online safety with information about topics such as malware, network security, trojan virus, identity theft, and cryptographic techniques.
The GCHQ-certified training does not require any preliminary knowledge on the subject. So whether it’s your first time learning about cyber security or not, the course is easy to follow and understand. However, it costs $94 to obtain a certificate from Class Central. You can also explore other cyber security courses offered by the provider, depending on your interests.
Introduction to Cybersecurity | Codecademy
Codecademy offers an introductory course to cyber security online. The course takes 6 hours to complete and does not have any prerequisites. It focuses on basic concepts, helping you protect systems against common online security threats and cyber attacks. It also equips you with fundamental principles such as authentication methods and network security basics.
The course is reputable as it attracts NASA, IBM, Google, and Facebook employees. It covers a wide range of topics, including cyber security standards, network security basics, and cyber threats. You can check the detailed course description showing the quizzes, articles, cyber security exams, and information.
Introduction to Cyber Security Specialization | Coursera
Offered by the Tandon School of Engineering, this specialization provides four courses, including Introduction to Cyber Attacks, Enterprise and Infrastructure Security, Cyberattacks, Countermeasures, and Cyber Threat Detection. The course is 100 percent online, allowing you to learn at your own pace.
Upon completing the course, you receive a certificate to show that you’re equipped to take on certain roles, helping you kickstart your career in cyber security. The course is also available in different languages, including Arabic, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Spanish, so whether you’re a native English speaker or not, you can take advantage of this course.
Introduction to IT and Cybersecurity | Cybrary
Planning to pursue a career in IT and cyber security but can’t figure out the best option? Cybrary offers an introductory course to IT and cyber security that explores different professions in this field, including network administrator, incident responder, system administrator, cloud engineer, and cyber security manager.
The course contains 9 modules that give an overview of different roles in the tech industry. It helps you learn common cyber security skills and certification requirements for your dream career. As an entry-level course, it gives you clear guidance on your career journey.
Basic Concepts of Cybersecurity | Microsoft
This globally recognized tech company offers an introductory course to cyber security, helping you become familiar with digital safety. If you want to acquire core cyber security skills to enhance your level of security or a system’s safety, this Microsoft course is here to help you accomplish that.
The free online course, which takes less than three hours to complete, teaches essential skills and an in-depth understanding of the fundamental concepts in cyber security. It contains seven modules that are accessible online anytime.
SEC 301: Introduction to Cyber Security | SANS
SANS provides a flexible cyber security course to ensure it meets your needs. You can apply for the in-person option that requires you to attend topical summits and training events if you have ample time. If you’re working on a tight schedule, you can choose between the on-demand and live online options.
The syllabus covers securities foundations, computer functions and networking, an introduction to cryptography, and cyber security technologies. To undertake this course, you need a PC running Microsoft Windows or a Mac, a web browser, automatic IP address configuration, and the ability to connect to WiFi.
Introduction to Cyber Security: Stay Safe Online | The Open University
Our lives continue to rely on online services as fraud and cyber crime increase. The Open University offers an introductory course to cyber security to help you enhance your safety. The course introduces different types of malware, including trojans, viruses, and basic security concepts like the application of cryptography, risk management, identity theft, and network security.
Upon completing this course, you will receive an Open University digital badge, proving continuing professional development. Moreover, it does not assume previous knowledge of the subject. So whether you’re familiar or not with computer cyber security, it is a fitting course.
Introduction to Cybersecurity Nanodegree | Udacity
Another great opportunity to learn cyber security for beginners is Udacity’s course. The nanodegree program equips you with essential knowledge and skills to assess, monitor, and maintain a system’s security. This course helps you identify threats, evaluate them, and react to cyber security issues.
Some of the topics it covers include cyber security foundations, threats and vulnerabilities, risk and compliance, and system security. Although the course comes at a fairly high price, it provides invaluable insights to aspiring tech professionals, helping them establish successful careers.
Introduction to Cyber Security | Udemy
Renowned for high-quality courses, Udemy offers a great learning experience to aspiring cyber security experts. The course covers basic concepts of cyber security, including cyber crime and cyber warfare. Upon completing this course, you will understand cyber areas and acquire skills in forensics and hacking.
Even if you’re using a TV or smartphone, you can access this course anywhere and anytime. Moreover, once you make the full payment, you enjoy full lifetime online access. You also obtain a certificate upon completion and two downloadable learning resources. You can explore the different course contents to understand what it entails.
Is Learning Cyber Security Worth It?
Learning cyber security is easy and very beneficial as it can provide you with many viable career opportunities to choose from. Moreover, the career paths in this field are high-paying and continue to have a high job outlook. So, whether you want to pursue a short course or a two- to four-year program in cyber security, you have plenty of options.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
Introduction to Cyber Security FAQ
The highest-paying cyber security job is a director of information security, who earns an average annual salary of $118,708, according to Indeed. Other top-paying jobs in this field include software architect, application security engineer, chief information officer, and senior security consultant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top 10 percent of earners in the information security field make $163,300 per year.
To know if an intro to cyber security course is suitable for you, you should consider the syllabus, price, and accessibility. If you have a full-time job, you may need to consider a course that’s available on demand.
You may or may not be able to get a refund if you decide to drop the course, it depends on the course provider. Make sure you read and understand the terms before paying for any intro to cyber security course.
To take a beginner’s cyber security course, you need the software and hardware specified by the course provider. Some course providers will require you to get a PC with the current version of Windows, Linux, or macOS. Familiarize yourself with the requirements before enrolling in a course.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.