Cybersecurity industry wisdom prescribes learning on the job as the best way for career progress, with online platforms the preferred way to obtain certifications.
As the global economy faces headwinds and a potential recession, it is highly likely that additional layoffs will occur. However, cybersecurity seems to be relatively insulated, at least for the time being, reported CNBC.
In fact, cybersecurity jobs may even experience growth during this period of economic turbulence, according to industry experts, the report said.
Recent discussions have focused on companies’ efforts to narrow this gap by considering applicants with nontraditional backgrounds, such as those seeking a career change. While this is a positive development, understanding how to transition into cybersecurity can be challenging.
Undeniably, changing careers is daunting and involves unfamiliar territory. For those interested in pursuing cybersecurity, the process may seem overwhelming.
Questions such as how to initiate a career in cybersecurity, what prerequisites are necessary, and whether certifications or a degree are required are all valid and pressing concerns.
Despite these concerns, online certifications are still favored option for cybersecurity professionals aiming to make a successful transition.
Online courses and cybersecurity career
Out of the several online platforms to learn cybersecurity in 2023, it is imperative to choose the one that best fits the requirements of the student or professional who is looking for certification. Online platforms to learn cybersecurity in 2023 either free or paid has several benefits besides being online.
The flexibility to choose the lessons when one can, rescheduling flexibility in taking lessons, exam time, date, etc., can allow candidates to ample freedom to adjust learning together with other work or personal commitments that they might have.
Students and professionals have been turning to online platforms to learn cybersecurity in 2023 to increase their skills, add more to their resumes, and gain more knowledge to level up in the corporate hierarchy.
Candidates may find free cybersecurity certifications online from esteemed universities that may be charged in institutes near them. Moreover, they can earn a cybersecurity certificate from an overseas institute right from their homes.
Free courses, paid ones, and the cost/benefit situation
The pricing of courses can be done based on individual providers. Several certification bodies offer courses that can be applied for on online platforms.
Ethical Hacking Certification (EHE), Digital Forensics Essentials (DFE), and Network Defense Essentials (NDE) from certification bodies like EC-Council and others are free to learn however, candidates may be required to pay for the certificates.
Advertisements and online brochures about cybersecurity certifications may claim to offer courses free. However, it is expected from the candidate to check with the specific platform at which stage, if any, a free cybersecurity course will be charged.
More often, free courses are charged for obtaining a physical certificate while online certification after completion of a cybersecurity course may be free.
These are some of the prominent online platforms to learn cybersecurity in 2023, both free and paid depending on the course and other factors:
- CISCO Netacad
Online cybersecurity learning platforms, both free and paid
- Cisco Networking Academy (Netacad) offers cybersecurity certification for free. The courses can be availed by candidates from various walks of life including high school students. Some of the courses are Introduction to Cybersecurity, Digital Literacy, Programming, Internet of Things, and Linux Operating System. Students may enroll in the courses in their preferred language.
- Coursera offers several free and paid online cybersecurity courses from beginner to professional levels. The paid IBM cybersecurity analyst certification, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) costs $749 and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) costs $575 for members and $760 for non-members are a few of them. Coursera collaborates with over 275 universities and companies like Google, the University of Michigan, AWS, Stanford, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay among others to offer certifications and courses offered by them.
- Courses designed by reputed company professionals can be opted for by candidates on edX. edX offers paid and free cybersecurity certifications from the likes of IBM, and Check Point. It offers executive education, master’s degree, bachelor’s degree, and others. One can opt for courses in over 53 languages on edX that offers a dashboard with nearly real-time data analysis, AR, and VR, with data that can be availed on-premises or in the cloud. One can also apply for entry-level courses in network defense, ethical hacking, digital forensics, etc from the EC-Council that are free on this platform.
- Headquartered in California, Udemy also is an online platform to learn cybersecurity in 2023. Udemy offers paid and free cybersecurity certifications. Among the free courses are Amazon Web Services – Zero to Hero, Git & GitHub Course: Create a Repository from Scratch, etc. Paid certifications include Total: CompTIA PenTest+, Complete Ethical Hacking Bootcamp 2023, Internet Security: A Hands-on Approach, Risk Management for Cybersecurity and IT Managers, etc.
- CodeRed from EC-Council offers subscription-based learning that is often opted for by cybersecurity professionals. Most of the learning materials like videos and ebooks are available free of cost. The free app can be used to access course material. Candidates can choose from the course library related to cybersecurity, data science, IT, etc.
- Pluralsight which is headquartered in the United States of America offers video training for software development, cloud engineering, IT administrators, etc. Organizations besides individuals can opt from the variety of courses available. To access the entire library, individuals can opt for a payment plan based on their needs.
- Cybrary encourages candidates to pursue a career in cybersecurity with certification in IT fundamentals, malware analysis, incidence response, scripting, etc. The platform offers different plans that offer access to certification, hands-on training, virtual labs, etc. Cybrary offers Cybrary for Teams, Cybrary Insider Pro, and Cybrary Free Access which have differing payments and perks in terms of access to the courseware.
- HackTheBox offers certification to candidates for hacking and other courses. It offers a demo for businesses that can help an entire group learn better cyber hygiene to keep their enterprise safe.
- YouTube offers several video tutorials for learners who want specific content based on their requirements. Various organizations, experts, professionals, and researchers have posted videos explaining and teaching various aspects of cybersecurity. Individuals can subscribe to channels they resonate with and get updates about the content posted on the channel. Millions of specially created video tutorials are published to be accessed free of cost on YoutTube.
- Simplilearn based in San Francisco, U.S., and Bangalore, India offers cybersecurity certifications online with virtual internships in prominent multinational companies. It offers cybersecurity certifications based on the eligibility and qualifications of the applicant.
- upGrad like other platforms also offers both free and paid cybersecurity courses online. Claiming to be designed for working professionals, upGrad offers working opportunities as well. Cybersecurity courses can also be availed at no-cost EMIs. Candidates are offered an e-Certificate after successfully completing a course. An admission counselor may also guide the candidate in case they have questions about cybersecurity courses and others.
- Microsoft offers paid cybersecurity courses online that can be enrolled in after fulfilling the basic eligibility exams that according to the selected cybersecurity course. The Microsoft Cybersecurity Architect course available in multiple languages is charged around $165. However, based on eligibility, a wide range of Microsoft certifications including learning material will be made free from June 2023.
Depending upon the present educational background, professional experience, and readiness to learn and adapt to the demands of the field, a candidate can find an online platform to learn cybersecurity in 2023 in their city, or in another country.
The work in the field of cybersecurity requires candidates to have a natural appetite to dig deep and understand cybersecurity.