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Best Online Classes And Programs For Cybersecurity

Due to the rise in cybercrimes, which are predicted to cost up to $6 trillion per year in damages by 2021, cybersecurity experts are in high demand. 

Currently, there is a “significant shortage of trained, skilled cybersecurity professionals,” according to the SANS Institute (SANS), a well-known cybersecurity company. And in the U.S. alone, it is estimated that cybersecurity jobs will increase by 37 percent through 2022

Additionally, cybersecurity jobs come with high earnings and tremendous income and growth potential. 

Therefore, it’s a great time to get into this burgeoning field, and the best part is, there are plenty of online courses that you can take at your leisure and from the comfort of your home.

So, whether you desire to pursue a career in cybersecurity or just want to learn enough to protect yourself online, we have assembled a list of free and affordable online courses that will get you started quickly.

Introductory Courses on Cybersecurity

1. Cyber Security Concepts 2019

Taught by Al Anders who recently retired from the U.S. government as a cybersecurity specialist, this new course has already garnered a high rating. It is intended for those exploring a potential career in the field or IT professionals who need to expand their knowledge of cybersecurity concepts. Divided into four sections, this course covers more than 50 of the most critical cybersecurity concepts and terms in use today, including topics such as “defense-in-depth strategy,” “attack vectors,” “ransomware,” and “advanced persistent threats.”  This is a beginner course so prior knowledge of cybersecurity is not required.

  • College credits: NO — Certificate of Completion only
  • Price: $11.99 on sale ($19.99 regular price)
  • Financial aid or scholarship: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: 2 hours
  • Languages: English with subtitles in English
  • Vendor: Udemy

Note: Prices for all courses listed in this article are true on the date of publishing, but are subject to change.

2. The Beginners Guide to Cyber Security 2019

This cybersecurity course is intended for those who have little to no prior background or knowledge about the field of cybersecurity. Divided into four sections, this course will cover basic concepts and terminology used in information security and cybersecurity, hacking methodology, malware types, browsing security, and more. This course will teach you how to stay safe online and give you sufficient knowledge that can help to jumpstart your career as an information security professional.

  • College credits: NO — Certificate of Completion only
  • Price: $11.99 on sale ($199.99 regular price)
  • Financial aid or scholarship: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Languages: English with subtitles in English
  • Vendor: Udemy

3.  The Complete Cyber Security Course: Hackers Exposed!

This best-selling course — with more than 100,000 students enrolled — is the first of a four-volume cybersecurity series taught by Nathan House, who has more than 24 years of experience in the field and is the CEO of Station X, a cybersecurity consultancy company. This beginner course is designed to place you on the path to become a cybersecurity specialist. Throughout the course, you will learn how to stop and prevent hacking, and you’ll learn about IT security and information security. The instructor is confident that upon completion of all four volumes (Volumes 2–4 described below), you will know more than 80% of security professionals, government and law enforcement agents, and even expert hackers about maintaining security, privacy, and anonymity. 

  • College credits: NO — Certificate of Completion only
  • Price: $11.99 on sale ($119.99 regular price)
  • Financial aid or scholarship: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: 12 hours
  • Languages: English with subtitles in English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, and Turkish
  • Vendor: Udemy

4. The Absolute Beginners Guide to Cyber Security 2019 – Part 1

This course is perfect for both those who are interested in becoming a cybersecurity or information security professional as well as for those who just want to know the basic concepts used in this field. The course is divided into five sections. The first section covers basic terminology and topics like the trinity of IT security and computer protocols. The second section explores the world of hackers and the hacking methodology. The third section introduces students to the various ways in which cyber criminals and hackers attack systems and networks. The fourth section covers the methods employed by cyber security professionals to protect systems and networks from cyber attacks. The last section covers topics related to both information and cyber security such as the BYOD policy and cyber warfare.

  • College credits: NO — Certificate of Completion only
  • Price: $11.99 on sale ($99.99 regular price)
  • Financial aid or scholarship: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: 3 hours
  • Languages: English with subtitles in English, Indonesian, Italian, Polish, Romanian, and Thai
  • Vendor: Udemy

5. The Absolute Beginners Guide to Cyber Security 2019 – Part 2

This course builds on the course above — The Absolute Beginners Guide to Cyber Security 2019 – Part 1 — and is designed to provide you with the knowledge and tools to not only better protect yourself against malware but to also prepare you for a career in the cybersecurity field if you so wish. You will learn all the latest techniques used in the world of cybersecurity today and understand how many security technologies work behind the scenes. 

  • College credits: NO — Certificate of Completion only
  • Price: $11.99 on sale ($199.99 regular price)
  • Financial aid or scholarship: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: 7 hours
  • Languages: English with subtitles in English
  • Vendor: Udemy

Advanced Courses on Cybersecurity

6. The Complete Cyber Security Course : Network Security!

This course is the second of a four-volume series taught by Nathan House and is also a bestseller with nearly 75,000 students enrolled. It builds on the foundation of his first course, The Complete Cyber Security Course: Hackers Exposed!. Upon completing this course, you are expected to know how to discover security vulnerabilities across an entire network by using network hacking techniques and vulnerability scanning. You are also expected to know how to architect your network for maximum security and prevent local and remote attacks, among other things. To take this course, you should have a basic understanding of networking concepts. Note that while you are not required to complete the preceding course, the instructor recommends that you do so.  

  • College credits: NO — Certificate of Completion only
  • Price: $11.99 on sale ($119.99 regular price)
  • Financial aid or scholarship: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: 12 hours, 30 minutes
  • Languages: English with subtitles in English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, and Romanian
  • Vendor: Udemy

7. The Complete Cyber Security Course : Anonymous Browsing!

This course is the third of a four-volume series taught by Nathan House — the first two courses are described above. Throughout the course, you will learn how to stay anonymous online and maintain total privacy against even a well-resourced adversary with global influence. The course covers both the theory and the practical aspect of setting up everything discussed in the class.  You will need a basic understanding of using operating systems, networks, and the internet to take this course. Note that while you are not required to complete the two preceding courses — The Complete Cyber Security Course : Hackers Exposed! and The Complete Cyber Security Course : Network Security! — the instructor recommends that you do so.  

  • College credits: NO — Certificate of Completion only
  • Price: $11.99 on sale ($119.99 regular price)
  • Financial aid or scholarship: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: 13 hours, 30 minutes
  • Languages: English with subtitles in English, Indonesian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, and Thai
  • Vendor: Udemy

8. The Complete Cyber Security Course: End Point Protection!

In this final course of a four-volume series, instructor Nathan House will teach you how to secure laptops, desktops, and mobile devices from all types of threats, including advanced hackers, trackers, exploit kits, thieves, and much more. While this course can be taken as a standalone course, the instructor recommends that you take the three preceding courses — The Complete Cyber Security Course : Hackers Exposed!, The Complete Cyber Security Course : Network Security! and The Complete Cyber Security Course : Anonymous Browsing! — first. According to the instructor, if you complete all four courses, you will know more than 80% of security professionals, government and law enforcement agents, and even expert hackers about maintaining security, privacy, and anonymity.

  • College credits: NO — Certificate of Completion only
  • Price: $11.99 on sale ($194.99 regular price)
  • Financial aid or scholarship: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: 16 hours, 30 minutes
  • Languages: English with subtitles in English, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Romanian, and Thai
  • Vendor: Udemy

9. Introduction to Cybersecurity

This course is designed to give you the foundational skills you need for a career in cybersecurity. But, according to the instructors, to take this course, you should have intermediate programming experience with Python. Throughout the course, you can expect to learn how networks handle routing, DNS, load-balancing, and more. Additionally, you will learn the Linux operating system, review programming and APIs, and even start building cloud infrastructure.

  • College credits: NO
  • Price: FREE
  • Financial aid or scholarships: NO, but available 3rd party scholarships posted here 
  • Mobile learning: NO
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: Approximately 4 weeks
  • Languages: English
  • Vendor: Udacity

Online Programs on Cybersecurity 

10. IT Fundamentals for Cybersecurity Specialization

Offered by IBM, this cybersecurity specialization will provide you with the basics you need to get started as a junior cybersecurity analyst. In four courses, you will learn about cybersecurity tools and processes, system administration, operating system and database vulnerabilities, types of cyber attacks, and basics of networking. You will also learn about cryptography and digital forensics and what IBM experts need to secure IBM and its clients’ security systems. Upon successful completion, you will be eligible for the IT Fundamentals for Cybersecurity IBM digital badge.

The 4 Courses:

Course 1: Introduction to Cybersecurity Tools & Cyber Attacks

Course 2: Cybersecurity Roles, Processes & Operating System Security

Course 3: Cybersecurity Compliance Framework & System Administration

Course 4: Network Security & Database Vulnerabilities

  • College credits: NO — Specialization Certificate only
  • Price: FREE to audit, but there’s a fee to earn and buy a Specialization Certificate
  • Financial aid or scholarship: YES
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Hours needed for completion: Approximately 1 month (17 hours/week suggested)
  • Languages: English with subtitles in English
  • Vendor: Coursera

11. Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Specialization

In a series of five courses, this cybersecurity specialization prepares students for entry-level careers in cybersecurity, with an emphasis on administering the Palo Alto Networks Next Generation Firewall. Students are required to demonstrate fundamental networking and skills learned in configuring the Palo Alto Networks firewall, such as creating and analyzing packet captures using Wireshark, and creating a firewall zero-trust environment with zones, security policies, and NAT. The five courses and required labs are designed to help you prepare for the PCCSA (Palo Alto Networks Certified Cybersecurity Associate) certification.

The 5 Courses:

Course 1: Palo Alto Networks Academy Cybersecurity Foundation

Course 2: Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Gateway I

Course 3: Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Gateway II

Course 4: Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Essentials I

Course 5: Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Essentials II

  • College credits: NO — Specialization Certificate only
  • Price: FREE to audit, but there’s a fee to earn and buy a Specialization Certificate
  • Financial aid or scholarship: YES
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Hours needed for completion: Approximately 3 months (6 hours/week suggested)
  • Languages: English with subtitles in English
  • Vendor: Coursera

12. Introduction to Cyber Security Specialization

Students, developers, managers, engineers, and even private citizens can benefit from the Introduction to Cyber Security Specialization offered by the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. The four-course program is designed to help learners develop a deeper understanding of modern information and system protection technology and methods. The program includes customized interviews with industry partners to help connect the cyber security concepts to live business experiences.

The 4 Courses:

Course 1: Introduction to Cyber Attacks

Course 2: Cyber Attack Countermeasures

Course 3: Real-Time Cyber Threat Detection and Mitigation

Course 4: Enterprise and Infrastructure Security

  • College credits: NO — Specialization Certificate only
  • Price: FREE to audit, but there’s a fee to earn and buy a Specialization Certificate
  • Financial aid or scholarship: YES
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Hours needed for completion: Approximately 2 months (9 hours/week suggested)
  • Languages: English with subtitles in English
  • Vendor: Coursera

13. Cybersecurity Specialization

Offered by the University of Maryland, this specialization covers the fundamental concepts underlying the construction of secure systems in five courses. You will learn about hardware, software, and the human-computer interface, using cryptography to secure interactions, among other things. According to the program description, the underlying concepts are illustrated with examples drawn from modern practice and augmented with hands-on exercises involving relevant tools and techniques. 

The 5 Courses:

Course 1: Usable Security

Course 2: Software Security

Course 3: Cryptography

Course 4: Hardware Security

Course 5: Cybersecurity Capstone Project

  • College credits: NO — Specialization Certificate only
  • Price: FREE to audit, but there’s a fee to earn and buy a Specialization Certificate
  • Financial aid or scholarship: YES
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Hours needed for completion: Approximately 5 months (6 hours/week suggested)
  • Languages: English with subtitles in English
  • Vendor: Coursera

14. RITx’s Cybersecurity MicroMasters® Program

Offered by the Rochester Institute of Technology, this Cybersecurity MicroMasters® Program covers the essential knowledge and expertise needed in network security and forensics needed for cybersecurity in enterprise environments. You will learn the fundamentals of networks, systems administration, and how to protect computer networks and other systems, and more. This program offers five graduate-level courses and has specific due dates for assignments and exams. If you successfully earn the MicroMasters program certificate, you are eligible to apply to RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences for graduate program certificate options.

  • College credits: NO — MicroMasters Program Certificate
  • Price: $1,080 on sale ($1,200 regular price)
  • Financial aid or scholarship: YES  
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Hours needed for completion: 1 year (400–480 hours of effort)
  • Languages: English
  • Vendor: edX