Launch a
Cybersecurity Career in Less Than a Year

Comprehensive Hands-On Education

The UCF Cyber Defense Professional Certificate program provides you with the hands-on training and career guidance you need to enter the cybersecurity industry in just 10 months. Taught by expert instructors active in the field, the program is designed to take you from zero experience to a job-ready professional by helping you build real-life cybersecurity skills you’ll need to perform on the job from day one.

With over 460,000 job
openings nationwide,
there’s never been a
better time to join the
cybersecurity
industry

Source:
Cyberseek.org

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Upgrade Your Career With
an Accelerated Curriculum
Gain a Marketable Skill Set
in 10 Months

Develop the advanced skills that will help you stand out to employers while gaining hands-on
experience with the top industry tools and software.

Train to Defend
Against Cybercrimes

Real-World Cybersecurity Training
Hands-on Simulations and Labs

Hands-On Classes

Our interactive classes and cyberattack simulations deliver practical knowledge of cybersecurity tools and techniques, providing learners with job-ready skills that will prove crucial in succeeding in the world of cybersecurity from day one.

Virtual Classroom

Whether you are taking classes remotely or in person, you’ll have access to a full suite of dedicated online tools that facilitate communication and collaboration, provide additional resources, and deliver an engaging and well-rounded learning experience.

Expert Instructors

Our instructors are cybersecurity experts working in the field. They bring their experience directly into the classroom, contextualizing what you’re learning through their real-world experience, and providing learners with invaluable mentorship and guidance.

Cyber Labs and CyWar

Get ahead and stay ahead by practicing your new skills! Our learners use Cyber Labs for guided practice while also taking advantage of our proprietary virtual platform, CyWar, and its immersive gamified simulations of real-life cyberattacks.

Get 360°
Personalized Support

Thrive With a Community
Dedicated to Your Success

Professional Network

Our program provides learners with access to a community of cybersecurity professionals through networking opportunities and events. You can connect with our local and national hiring partners and discover new possibilities for your future cybersecurity career.

Career Coaching

A team of professional career coaches helps learners determine their unique career goals and create a clear path to achieve them. They also assist with technical interview prep and polishing your resume and LinkedIn profile, giving you the edge you need to ace your interviews.

Student Support

Learners are paired with success managers who can provide access to additional resources and facilitate tutoring sessions and exams retests. By keeping you accountable and providing constant guidance, they help you thrive throughout the program and beyond.

Job Placement Assistance

While the program provides you with the skills to become a cybersecurity professional, our career services team helps you find the right job openings to start your new career and can connect you to the companies and opportunities for your first cybersecurity role.

Discover
Our Courses
Dive Into the
Program Catalog

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Program Overview

30-Hour Introductory Course |
370-Hour Extended Program

  • Introductory Course

    Take the Cyber Defense Professional Certificate program for a test drive with the Introductory Course. During this course, you’ll learn about the industry and will be introduced to networking and network security fundamentals, security on the Linux and Microsoft platforms, offensive security, threats/threat actors, and more.

    You’ll also get a feel for the remote learning environment and acquire all of the information you need to make an informed and confident decision on signing up for the extended program.

    When the Introductory Course is over, the results from your assessment exam will help you determine your ability to excel in a cybersecurity career.
  • Fundamentals Phase

    In the Fundamentals Phase, learners acquire the basics of the cybersecurity career path. It includes training on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and basic network and cloud security. This phase acts as foundational training for the more rigorous portions of the program.
  • Microsoft Security

    Many companies across the globe rely on Windows Server to manage their computers, networks, and infrastructure. The Microsoft Security course will give learners a real-world, hands-on education in both modern and widely used versions of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Server. Learners will gain best practices for administrating and securing the Microsoft ecosystem of products.
  • Computer Networking

    Computer networking is an essential skill for cybersecurity professionals since networks are used in a variety of fields—including health care, finance, technology, manufacturing, travel, and more. The Computer Networking course will give learners a firm understanding of computer network basics, including protocols, topologies, network design, and devices.

    Additionally, the Computer Networking course will give learners a foundation for preparing to take the CompTIA Network+ exam*.
  • Linux Security

    The Linux Security course imparts knowledge and practical skills on the most used operating system in the world—one that is absolutely essential to cybersecurity professionals. Learners will learn all of the basics of using and manipulating Linux and will also learn about the various Linux distributions available.

    Upon course completion, learners can begin preparing for the LPI Linux Essentials certification exam*.
  • Cloud Security

    Cloud solutions like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure are all becoming commonplace as more organizations adopt them. The Cloud Security course prepares learners to discuss, identify, compare, contrast, and use common cloud service platforms and providers. It also covers security offerings so that learners can understand how to implement security for cloud-based platforms.

    Upon completion of the course, learners will have a foundation of cloud security knowledge that they can use to prepare for the AWS Cloud Practitioner certification exam*.
  • Fundamentals Phase Final Project - Building Your Own Environment

    In this project that simulates a real-world environment, participants build their own insecure small business infrastructure. From there, they’ll learn how to secure the platform while practicing carrying out cyberattacks and digital forensics. Upon completion of the final project, learners will be able to use it in their portfolio as a demonstration of their skill level.
  • Cybersecurity Infrastructure Phase

    In the Infrastructure Phase, learners begin focusing exclusively on security concepts and practices. This phase allows course participants to study Python programming, network security, and Critical Infrastructure Security (CIS). Learners gain practical security skills and experience that will prepare them for the Advanced phase of the program.
  • Network Security

    Networks are the foundation for nearly everything on the internet. Learners will leave this course with the skills needed to suggest, design, or implement controls to build secure networks from the design stage to post-implementation. They will have the digital skill set and know-how needed to appeal to potential employers looking to fill technical positions.

    The Network Security course gives you the skills and knowledge to prepare for the EC-Council CND exam*.
  • Critical Infrastructure Security

    Critical infrastructure consists of anything from fire and rescue departments to power plants that keep the lights on. In the Critical Infrastructure Security course, you’ll develop the skills needed to protect these important facets of everyday life. Learners will develop knowledge to ensure supply chain, Industrial Internet of Things, and environment security. This skill set is in high demand across the business world, as well as in the cybersecurity industry.

    This course will prepare learners to begin studying for the industry-standard CompTIA Security+ exam*.
  • Python for Security

    Sometimes the best cybersecurity tool is the one you make yourself. Often, cybersecurity professionals find themselves needing to analyze data, scan a system, or review hosts on a network in a novel way. The Python for Security course gives learners the tools they need to create these custom scripts on the fly, serving as an introduction to basic programming concepts in Python.

    Whether you need a web scraper or a network sniffing tool, having a firm understanding of programming allows you to build your own tools and modify others on the fly. This Python for Security course gives learners the knowledge and tools needed to create custom scripts. It also serves as an introduction to basic programming concepts, which can be used in Python and beyond.
  • Infrastructure Phase Final Project

    In the Infrastructure Phase final project, learners will use the setup they created in the previous project to analyze a threat scenario and provide the necessary steps to secure it. This will demonstrate infrastructure hardening.
  • Career Services Workshop

    Get the competitive edge you need to succeed in technical interviews with this specialized workshop. CyWar also hosts a dedicated resource hub that includes detailed career guides as well as asynchronous classes.
  • Advanced Cybersecurity Phase

    In the Advanced Phase, learners solidify existing skills and begin building new ones in advanced security concepts like game theory, digital forensics, incident response, and ethical hacking. By the end of this phase, learners will have a more complete view of cybersecurity and will be well-prepared to enter the industry.
  • Ethical Hacking

    This course is a deep dive into the world of ethical hacking, which is critical to the cybersecurity industry. Ethical hackers can include anyone from penetration testers to GRC auditors. The Ethical Hacking course lets the learner get into the mindset of criminal hackers and provides them with the foundation needed to pursue a career with ethical hacking as the primary role.

    Upon completion of this course, learners will be ready to study for the EC-Council CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) certification exam*.
  • Digital Forensics & Incident Response

    When there’s a cyberattack, first responders are there to analyze and contain the incident. The Digital Forensics & Incident Response course gives learners the necessary tools to appropriately respond to attacks, conduct various types of investigations and evidence gathering, and report the results.

    After completing this course, learners will be prepared to study for the EC-Council CSA (Certified SOC Analyst) certification exam*.
  • Advanced Phase Final Project: Attack & Response

    In the Advanced Phase final project, learners will build upon the secure infrastructure created in past projects. They’ll design an attack to compromise the infrastructure, use their skills to gather forensic evidence, and complete an investigative report with details about the simulated incident.

    When they complete the program, learners can add the code, reports, and designs from their projects to form a solid portfolio to showcase to hiring managers and prospective employers.
  • Game Theory

    In cybersecurity, game theory allows professionals to analyze the nature of cyber attacks by viewing each incident as a series of games and players. This allows them to describe the interactions and outcomes between a threat and an organization without knowing who the threat actually is. The Game Theory course covers the basics of philosophy and mathematics and also provides experience in how to use game theory in cybersecurity. This course helps develop soft skills that are highly critical in cybersecurity by fostering a learner’s ability to think creatively and critically.
Icon

Introductory Course (8 Lessons - 30 Hours)

Take the Cyber Defense Professional Certificate program for a test drive with the Introductory Course. During this course, you’ll learn about the industry and will be introduced to networking and network security fundamentals, security on the Linux and Microsoft platforms, offensive security, threats/threat actors, and more.

You’ll also get a feel for the remote learning environment and acquire all of the information you need to make an informed and confident decision on signing up for the extended program.

When the Introductory Course is over, the results from your assessment exam will help you determine your ability to excel in a cybersecurity career.

Icon

Fundamentals Phase

In the Fundamentals Phase, learners acquire the basics of the cybersecurity career path. It includes training on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and basic network and cloud security. This phase acts as foundational training for the more rigorous portions of the program.

Icon

Microsoft Security (10 Lessons - 40 Hours)

Many companies across the globe rely on Windows Server to manage their computers, networks, and infrastructure. The Microsoft Security course will give learners a real-world, hands-on education in both modern and widely used versions of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Server. Learners will gain best practices for administrating and securing the Microsoft ecosystem of products.

Icon

Computer Networking (9 Lessons - 35 Hours)

Computer networking is an essential skill for cybersecurity professionals since networks are used in a variety of fields—including health care, finance, technology, manufacturing, travel, and more. The Computer Networking course will give learners a firm understanding of computer network basics, including protocols, topologies, network design, and devices.

Additionally, the Computer Networking course will give learners a foundation for preparing to take the CompTIA Network+ exam*.

Icon

Linux Security (8 Lessons - 30 Hours)

The Linux Security course imparts knowledge and practical skills on the most used operating system in the world—one that is absolutely essential to cybersecurity professionals. Learners will learn all of the basics of using and manipulating Linux and will also learn about the various Linux distributions available.

Upon course completion, learners can begin preparing for the LPI Linux Essentials certification exam*.

Icon

Cloud Security (7 Lessons - 25 Hours)

Cloud solutions like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure are all becoming commonplace as more organizations adopt them. The Cloud Security course prepares learners to discuss, identify, compare, contrast, and use common cloud service platforms and providers. It also covers security offerings so that learners can understand how to implement security for cloud-based platforms.

Upon completion of the course, learners will have a foundation of cloud security knowledge that they can use to prepare for the AWS Cloud Practitioner certification exam*.

Icon

Fundamentals Phase Final Project - Building Your Own Environment (2 Lessons - 10 Hours)

In this project that simulates a real-world environment, participants build their own insecure small business infrastructure. From there, they’ll learn how to secure the platform while practicing carrying out cyberattacks and digital forensics. Upon completion of the final project, learners will be able to use it in their portfolio as a demonstration of their skill level.

Icon

Cybersecurity Infrastructure Phase

In the Infrastructure Phase, learners begin focusing exclusively on security concepts and practices. This phase allows course participants to study Python programming, network security, and Critical Infrastructure Security (CIS). Learners gain practical security skills and experience that will prepare them for the Advanced phase of the program.

Icon

Network Security (8 Lessons - 30 Hours)

Networks are the foundation for nearly everything on the internet. Learners will leave this course with the skills needed to suggest, design, or implement controls to build secure networks from the design stage to post-implementation. They will have the digital skill set and know-how needed to appeal to potential employers looking to fill technical positions.

The Network Security course gives you the skills and knowledge to prepare for the EC-Council CND exam*.

Icon

Critical Infrastructure Security (9 Lessons - 35 Hours)

Critical infrastructure consists of anything from fire and rescue departments to power plants that keep the lights on. In the Critical Infrastructure Security course, you’ll develop the skills needed to protect these important facets of everyday life. Learners will develop knowledge to ensure supply chain, Industrial Internet of Things, and environment security. This skill set is in high demand across the business world, as well as in the cybersecurity industry.

This course will prepare learners to begin studying for the industry-standard CompTIA Security+ exam*.

Icon

Python for Security (7 Lessons - 25 Hours)

Sometimes the best cybersecurity tool is the one you make yourself. Often, cybersecurity professionals find themselves needing to analyze data, scan a system, or review hosts on a network in a novel way. The Python for Security course gives learners the tools they need to create these custom scripts on the fly, serving as an introduction to basic programming concepts in Python.

Whether you need a web scraper or a network sniffing tool, having a firm understanding of programming allows you to build your own tools and modify others on the fly. This Python for Security course gives learners the knowledge and tools needed to create custom scripts. It also serves as an introduction to basic programming concepts, which can be used in Python and beyond.

Icon

Infrastructure Phase Final Project (2 Lessons - 10 Hours)

In the Infrastructure Phase final project, learners will use the setup they created in the previous project to analyze a threat scenario and provide the necessary steps to secure it. This will demonstrate infrastructure hardening.

Icon

Career Services Workshop (1 Session - 5 Hours)

Get the competitive edge you need to succeed in technical interviews with this specialized workshop. CyWar also hosts a dedicated resource hub that includes detailed career guides as well as asynchronous classes.

Icon

Advanced Cybersecurity Phase

In the Advanced Phase, learners solidify existing skills and begin building new ones in advanced security concepts like game theory, digital forensics, incident response, and ethical hacking. By the end of this phase, learners will have a more complete view of cybersecurity and will be well-prepared to enter the industry.

Icon

Ethical Hacking (12 Lessons - 50 Hours)

This course is a deep dive into the world of ethical hacking, which is critical to the cybersecurity industry. Ethical hackers can include anyone from penetration testers to GRC auditors. The Ethical Hacking course lets the learner get into the mindset of criminal hackers and provides them with the foundation needed to pursue a career with ethical hacking as the primary role.

Upon completion of this course, learners will be ready to study for the EC-Council CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) certification exam*.

Icon

Digital Forensics & Incident Response (12 Lessons - 50 Hours)

When there’s a cyberattack, first responders are there to analyze and contain the incident. The Digital Forensics & Incident Response course gives learners the necessary tools to appropriately respond to attacks, conduct various types of investigations and evidence gathering, and report the results.

After completing this course, learners will be prepared to study for the EC-Council CSA (Certified SOC Analyst) certification exam*.

Icon

Advanced Phase Final Project: Attack & Response (2 Lessons - 10 Hours)

In the Advanced Phase final project, learners will build upon the secure infrastructure created in past projects. They’ll design an attack to compromise the infrastructure, use their skills to gather forensic evidence, and complete an investigative report with details about the simulated incident.

When they complete the program, learners can add the code, reports, and designs from their projects to form a solid portfolio to showcase to hiring managers and prospective employers.

Icon

Game Theory (4 Lessons - 15 Hours)

In cybersecurity, game theory allows professionals to analyze the nature of cyber attacks by viewing each incident as a series of games and players. This allows them to describe the interactions and outcomes between a threat and an organization without knowing who the threat actually is. The Game Theory course covers the basics of philosophy and mathematics and also provides experience in how to use game theory in cybersecurity. This course helps develop soft skills that are highly critical in cybersecurity by fostering a learner’s ability to think creatively and critically.

*Although the course curriculum provides the knowledge necessary to do well on industry exams, this isn’t a test preparation program, where the main focus is how a learner performs on an exam. Certification exams are not taken as part of the program and will require additional costs not included in the program tuition.

Knowledge You Can Apply to
Certification Exams

If you are new to the cybersecurity industry, obtaining industry-recognized certifications can help boost your credentials when applying for jobs. While this is not a certification-prep program, we are committed to providing you with the support you need to launch your career in a new field, and that’s why we’ve created in-depth resources you can use to learn skills applicable to the cybersecurity certification exams below.

  • LPI Linux Essentials

    The Linux LPI Essentials exam offers learners a way to verify their knowledge of the Linux operating system, as well as the workings of various open-source applications. The exam tests the ability to manage users and groups on Linux and also measures their competency with the Linux command line, system permissions and security, basic network configuration skills, and overall Linux administration.
  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

    The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification exam is meant for individuals with knowledge of the widespread AWS Cloud platform, as well as its infrastructure and systems. Security and compliance experience in AWS Cloud is a key requirement for passing the exam.
  • CompTIA Network+

    The CompTIA Network+ certification exam measures a learner’s ability and knowledge of network device configuration, management, and troubleshooting. It also tests a cybersecurity professional’s familiarity with emerging mobile, cloud, communication, and virtualization technologies.
  • EC-Council CND - Certified Network Defender

    The EC-Council CND - Certified Network Defender certification should be considered by aspiring cyber professionals who want to pursue a career as network administrators. It tests a learner’s knowledge and training in defending, detecting, and responding to threats on a network.
  • CompTIA Security+

    The CompTIA Security+ certification exam takes learners a step above the CompTIA Network+ exam. Considered an entry-level certification in the cybersecurity field, the CompTIA Security+ exam measures a candidate’s skill over a wide range of disciplines, including networks, systems, security administration, and penetration testing.
  • EC-Council CSA - Certified SOC Analyst

    The Certified SOC Analyst certification should be considered by aspiring cybersecurity professionals who want to join and work in a security operations center (SOC) environment. It’s meant for current and aspiring Tier I and Tier II SOC analysts and measures a candidate’s proficiency in both entry-level and intermediate SOC operations.
  • EC-Council CEH - Certified Ethical Hacker

    The Certified Ethical Hacker certification is engineered for cybersecurity professionals who want to work in a discipline that incorporates Ethical Hacking, red teaming, or penetration testing from a vendor-agnostic perspective.
  • (ISC)² SSCP – Systems Security Certified Practitioner**

    For learners who have achieved one year of experience after completion of their program.

    Learners with at least one year of experience after the completion of their program can take the (ISC)² SSCP – Systems Security Certified Practitioner certification exam.

    The (ISC)² SSCP exam is meant for cybersecurity professionals who have proven, practical, and hands-on experience and knowledge of the security environment. Once they obtain this certification, individuals have proof that they can carry out the implementation, monitoring, and administration of information technology infrastructure according to information security best practices, policies, and procedures.

LPI Linux Essentials

The Linux LPI Essentials exam offers learners a way to verify their knowledge of the Linux operating system, as well as the workings of various open-source applications. The exam tests the ability to manage users and groups on Linux and also measures their competency with the Linux command line, system permissions and security, basic network configuration skills, and overall Linux administration.

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification exam is meant for individuals with knowledge of the widespread AWS Cloud platform, as well as its infrastructure and systems. Security and compliance experience in AWS Cloud is a key requirement for passing the exam.

CompTIA Network+

The CompTIA Network+ certification exam measures a learner’s ability and knowledge of network device configuration, management, and troubleshooting. It also tests a cybersecurity professional’s familiarity with emerging mobile, cloud, communication, and virtualization technologies.

EC-Council CND - Certified Network Defender

The EC-Council CND - Certified Network Defender certification should be considered by aspiring cyber professionals who want to pursue a career as network administrators. It tests a learner’s knowledge and training in defending, detecting, and responding to threats on a network.

CompTIA Security+

The CompTIA Security+ certification exam takes learners a step above the CompTIA Network+ exam. Considered an entry-level certification in the cybersecurity field, the CompTIA Security+ exam measures a candidate’s skill over a wide range of disciplines, including networks, systems, security administration, and penetration testing.

EC-Council CSA - Certified SOC Analyst

The Certified SOC Analyst certification should be considered by aspiring cybersecurity professionals who want to join and work in a security operations center (SOC) environment. It’s meant for current and aspiring Tier I and Tier II SOC analysts and measures a candidate’s proficiency in both entry-level and intermediate SOC operations.

EC-Council CEH - Certified Ethical Hacker

The Certified Ethical Hacker certification is engineered for cybersecurity professionals who want to work in a discipline that incorporates Ethical Hacking, red teaming, or penetration testing from a vendor-agnostic perspective.

(ISC)² SSCP – Systems Security Certified Practitioner**

For learners who have achieved one year of experience after completion of their program.

Learners with at least one year of experience after the completion of their program can take the (ISC)² SSCP – Systems Security Certified Practitioner certification exam.

The (ISC)² SSCP exam is meant for cybersecurity professionals who have proven, practical, and hands-on experience and knowledge of the security environment. Once they obtain this certification, individuals have proof that they can carry out the implementation, monitoring, and administration of information technology infrastructure according to information security best practices, policies, and procedures.

** In order to be certified, learners must have a minimum of at least one year of cumulative work experience in one or more of the seven disciplines of the SSCP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK)

Program Tuition

This is your chance to invest in your professional development and use this career-prep program to jumpstart your future as a cybersecurity professional.

30-Hour Introductory Course

$180

370-Hour Extended Program

$17,800

Requirements

Internet access

Drive, ambition,
and passion

Introductory course
and admission exam

Tuition, fees, and deposits subject to change.

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