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What are the best online cybersecurity courses in 2022?

What are the best online cybersecurity courses in 2022? Looking to secure your company’s digital assets or considering a career in cybersecurity? We reveal the best online cybersecurity courses for beginners to help get you started.

Cybersecurity is one of the most pressing issues affecting businesses and consumers. Year after year statistics regarding cyberattacks, malware, ransomware, data theft, fraud, and identity theft are becoming increasingly daunting. Alongside the explosion in online crime, people are increasingly interested in learning more about protecting themselves and their businesses.

The best online platforms to learn cybersecurity in 2022

1. Udemy

Typically, courses on Udemy cost money, but we’ve found a few worth checking out that won’t put a dent in your bank account. 

The “Cyber Security Course for Beginners – Level 01” could also be advantageous to take, not only for cybersecurity enthusiasts but for anyone who wants to learn more about the subject. 

However, Udemy’s real selling point is that not only does it offer some very in-depth courses, but many of these courses are also extremely cost-effective. 

Paid courses worth looking at include “Cyber Security Crash Course for Beginners: Learn From Scratch” but there are also others to consider such as “The Data Science Course 2020: Complete Data Science Bootcamp” which will help provide an insight into the intricacies of computer science.

It’s worth underlining just how comprehensive and intensive the paid courses can be, and while they may not carry any traditional educational accreditation they could be excellent options if you wanted to consider working as a freelancer to build up some experience, and in a very cost-effective way, too.

2. Future Learn

Future Learn offers a wide range of short and free online sources, with the opportunity to pay for certificates of participation either at the course level or else access all content for a set fee. The courses themselves are well-presented in short and easy-to-work sections that make learning simple and interesting.

The “Introduction to Cyber Security” offers a free taster to the subject, and is accredited by the UK Government intelligence organization GCHQ, global accreditation and examination institute APMG International, and The Institute of Information Security Professionals. However, there are also a small number of accredited degrees available in IT and computer science which includes a master’s degree in cybersecurity.

Overall, while Future Learn is more focused on general introductory short courses, there are paid-for and accredited learning opportunities available through the platform.

3. Coursera

Like Future Learn, Coursera offers a range of short courses for distance learning, including a number of cybersecurity ones such as “Cybersecurity Specialization” which was created by the University of Maryland to bring the underlying concepts of the construction of secure systems directly to your web browser. 

It consists of five courses in total, each of which can take several weeks to complete. These range from Usable Security to a Cybersecurity Capstone Project, so it’s safe to say that they’ll require you to already have some intermediate cybersecurity know-how under your belt.

There are additional cybersecurity courses available, though, covering everything from the basics to more advanced specializations.

There are also online degrees available in either computing and IT or data science, although none are focused specifically on cybersecurity, you can be assured that cybersecurity will be a significant part of the curriculum.

Overall, Coursera isn’t so well-presented as Future Learn, but there are potentially more accredited options for study through it.

4. NexGenT

NexGenT was created by two US Air Force veterans with extensive experience teaching and training in network engineering and cybersecurity.

The cybersecurity track features two courses: Basic Training, which serves as a prerequisite, and Cyber Security Specialization. Experienced candidates, however, can skip Basic Training by taking a series of tests to prove their skills.

Basic Training prepares you for both Full-Stack Network Associate (FSNA) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certificates. No prior experience is necessary, and the course is self-paced, so you can start and finish at any time. The “Cyber Security Specialization” training course takes place over 22 weeks, covers everything you need to know to protect businesses from cyber threats, and includes access to NexGenT’s Career Services, which helps students enter the workforce upon completion.

The base tuition for the Cyber Security Specialization Program is costly upfront at $12,500, or you can choose zero-fee tuition and pay 10% of your salary only once you have a job with a $40,000 salary. After seven years, all remaining debt is forgiven, even if you haven’t paid a cent. That’s how confident NexGenT is that you’ll find a job and earn a living. (Although, the zero-fee tuition option seems not to be available at the moment)

5. Open University

The UK’s Open University (OU) is a leader when it comes to distance learning, having spent decades developing its courses, and it serves an international range of students. The online portal for students is excellent with information clearly laid-out, with different modules having clear timetables to work to.

Even better is that the courses are tailored toward people of all abilities, and do a fantastic job of easing the inexperienced and unqualified into what can be quite deep and advanced topics, while actively trying to prevent students from feeling overwhelmed. 

The OU offers a dedicated online degree in cybersecurity, as part of its wide range of flexible Computing and IT honors degree courses, where you can choose to focus on different areas, all of which will show concern for security issues. The OU also offers a dedicated degree in Data Science.

The big advantage of the OU is that it can deliver an accredited degree in computing internationally, and aims to embrace all learners while allowing them to define their own learning paths. Additionally, you can take up to 16 years to qualify for your degree through part-time learning.

6. Cybrary

As the name suggests, Cybrary is an online library for cybersecurity, IT, and other InfoSec-related study materials. After creating a free account, you get access to almost 500 courses, each ranked by their difficulty and all of them free. 

You can filter classes by level – Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced – or by vendors like Cisco, (ISC)2, and Microsoft. Whether you want to learn the fundamentals of malware or the art of the Jedi mind trick, both of those curriculums are given equal prominence in Cybrary’s extensive course catalog.

What is especially good about Cybrary’s courses is that they tend to focus on specific aspects of IT, which means if there are areas you’d prefer to specialize in then you can focus on that rather than have to take a larger course to access it.

7. CISA

CISA (Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency) is part of the US Department of Homeland Security and is an obvious source of cybersecurity expertise.

However, you may not have been aware that you don’t have to travel all the way to the United States to benefit from the vast experience of US government security experts, or that you can do so for free.

The DHS has a calendar full of training events you can attend in Idaho Falls, but for everyone who doesn’t live in the midwestern US, there’s an entire portal of online courses available to those involved in the security of industrial control systems.

8. Open Security Training

Its website looks like what you’d get if you took all the slideshows and teaching materials from a university cybersecurity department and uploaded them to a domain sporting the most minimalist user interface of all time, but Open Security Training is host to a range of intermediate and advanced classes, along with a swath of beginner lessons that any newbie would be a fool to pass up.

There’s a whole rundown on the x86 and x64 architectures wielded by Intel processors, along with introductions to topics along the lines of cellular security, network forensics, and vulnerability assessment.

9. Sans Cyber Aces Online

It’s undeniably basic, and yet SANS Cyber Aces provides a nice little introduction to online IT and cyber security that’s easy to follow and understand. 

After reading through a series of comprehensive entries about operating systems, networking, and system administration, you can register for a quiz that puts your expertise to the test. Should highlight talking points such as installing Linux virtual machine software or basic PHP, Bash, and PowerShell web scripting pique your interest, you’ll be in for an engaging lecture.

Why take a cybersecurity course?

Cybercrime is a growing problem that’s becoming an inherent part of our everyday lives. Almost everyone now uses the web in some way, shape, or form at home, at work, and on the go. Even the relatively few who shy away from technology still have to deal with companies for which cybercrime is a real potential threat.

As such, it has become more of a basic requirement for people to make themselves aware of the risks that are out there and what they can do to protect themselves. Here are the three main reasons for taking a cybersecurity course:

  • To protect yourself and your family. It’s easy to plead ignorance and say that we should leave things to the experts, but think of it this way: we leave it to the police to catch thieves, but that doesn’t mean we make a habit of leaving our front doors unlocked or leaving our keys in the car. The fight against cybercrime needs to be a group effort, and educating yourself on threats and how to mitigate them is a great place to start.
  • To protect your business. Businesses, large and small, are at risk of falling behind when it comes to cybersecurity. All too often business owners only decide to step up their game when it’s too late and they’ve already suffered losses. DDoS attacks, data breaches, phishing schemes, and more can trigger major monetary losses and a lot of stress. Taking a cybersecurity course can help you be proactive in beefing up your business’ cybersecurity before it’s too late.
  • To pursue a cybersecurity career. If you’re passionate about cybersecurity and think you’d like to pursue a career in the field, you’re in luck.
  • It’s predicted that by 2025, there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings. This industry is expected to grow from $175 billion in 2015 to $1.75 trillion in 2025. Taking a cybersecurity course for beginners can help you decide if this really is your calling, and if so, which discipline you’d like to specialize in. E-learning courses are low cost, and with suitable qualifications can open up the potential for a high-paid career in cybersecurity.

Is a cybersecurity career well paid for in 2022?

Yes! In addition to being a highly important technical skill to know about, cybersecurity is an excellent field to move into if you want to be compensated well for your time. Not only are cybersecurity experts highly sought after – they also take home well above-average earnings.

 According to the latest statistics, Company Information Security Officers in America earn an average of $145,667 annually. In New York City, those earnings are even higher, coming in at around $177,000 per year. Needless to say, this makes cybersecurity a fantastic industry to move into.

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