Cybersecurity engineers are among the most in-demand professionals in the tech industry. With millions of open positions worldwide and a 35% growth projection in the United States, it’s a career with a lot of stability. However, choosing a school to study with is never an easy task.
Even within a specific area like the greater DMV area, there are a lot of options available so we’ve decided to make the process a little simpler. In this article, you’ll find the seven best cybersecurity bootcamps that Washington DC has to offer, along with all the information you need to choose one for yourself.
University of Maryland Global Campus (Powered By Springboard)
The University of Maryland Cybersecurity Bootcamp (Powered by Springboard) is a 24-week course that you can complete at your own pace. To help keep you motivated and accountable during your independent study, you’ll have weekly 1-on-1 calls with your industry expert mentor. You can also have on-demand calls with other cybersecurity experts when you run into a technical problem.
Identity and access management
Security assessment and training
5 out of 5 from Switchup
The bootcamp takes six months to complete at 15-20 hours per week.
Upfront discount: $9,900
Loans and scholarships available
George Washington University
George Washington University’s Cybersecurity Boot Camp is a part-time course with three live evening classes per week. Classes are taught using an online virtual classroom environment, and they run from 6:30 pm-9:30 pm. The career support offers 1-on-1 calls with an advisor and also gives you access to 260 hiring partners and premier access to job referrals.
The curriculum covers in-demand cybersecurity tools like Kali Linux and Burp Suite and teaches essential programming skills like Bash and PowerShell scripting. Because of the live class format, you will collaborate on projects with other members of your cohort to gain real-world experience.
4.62 out of 5 from Course Report
The course takes 24 weeks to complete at around 15 hours per week.
Upfront price: $11,995
Virginia Tech (Powered By Fullstack Academy)
The Virginia Tech Cyber Bootcamp has part-time and full-time options, with both including live instructor-led classes. For full-time students, classes are held Monday to Friday, and for part-time students, there are daytime, early evening, and late evening options. Both versions also include independent learning assignments.
Throughout the course, you’ll learn a range of cybersecurity skills, such as:
Asset and inventory management
Programming with Python
Career support such as resume assistance and interview preparation is also available during the course.
5 out of 5 from Course Report
Part-time and full-time options are available
The course is 26 weeks long for part-time students and 12 weeks long for full-time students.
Upfront cost: $13,495
The Towson University Cybersecurity Bootcamp lets you set your own schedule. As long as you complete the course within six months, there are no other requirements. The course is beginner-friendly and you don’t need any prior experience in programming or cybersecurity to participate.
Although the course takes an independent-study approach, you will also benefit from five coaching sessions with an expert instructor throughout the course. These will help you stay on track and accountable during your study. The course also aims to prepare you to pass one or more of the following cybersecurity certifications:
Certified Ethical Hacking
Self-paced and online
595 hours of content
Five one-hour coaching sessions
Work toward CompTIA certifications
The course must be completed within six months (around 20-25 hours of study per week).
Upfront cost: $4,299
The Ironhack Cybersecurity Bootcamp is a remote course with live instructor-led classes. Full-time students study 9 am-6 pm every weekday. Part-time students study 6:30 pm-9:30 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, with a 10 am-5 pm class on Saturdays.
The course requires no prior experience and uses a 20-hour preparation course to get students up to speed before the course starts. The three main course modules are titled:
Introduction to cybersecurity
Security and threats
Cyber attack project
Career Week prepares students for the job search with resume workshops and other activities. You will also get 1-on-1 calls with dedicated career coaches and support that lasts beyond graduation.
4.79 out of 5 from Course Report
The course is 12 weeks full-time or 24 weeks part-time.
Upfront cost: €8,500
Financing options available
The Coding Dojo Cybersecurity Bootcamp is another course with live classes and cohort learning. Because this is a part-time course, the lectures are also recorded in case you miss a session, though it is strongly recommended that you try to attend them all.
Office hours after class allow you and other students to interact with the instructor, and you can continue to chat on the dedicated Discord server. You will also always receive personal feedback on your assignments, and lifetime community and support from career services.
Once you graduate from the course, you’ll be ready to take on the CompTIA Security+ and CySA+ certifications that will look great on your resume.
4.42 out of 5 from Course Report
Train for CompTIA Security+
You can complete the course in 24 weeks at 25 hours per week.
Upfront cost: $16,995
Installment plans, financing, and scholarships are available
The Flatiron School’s Cybersecurity Bootcamp offers a full-time course with synchronous learning, and a part-time option with asynchronous learning. Full-time students are immersed in a curriculum with eight hours of classes a day, while part-time students utilize pre-recorded lessons with optional live lectures.
Every student is paired with an experienced career coach to help them find jobs they’re excited about and prepare the best applications possible. The Flatiron School Job Portal also features exclusive roles shared by its employer network.
4.48 out of 5 from Course Report
Full-time option can be in-person
The full-time option lasts 15 weeks, and the part-time version lasts 40 weeks.
Upfront payment: $16,900
Loans and installment plans available
How Do You Choose a Cybersecurity Bootcamp in the DMV?
Here are some of the main things you should think about when choosing your bootcamp.
Check the skills covered in the syllabus against real job posts for the roles you’re interested in. This will show you whether the syllabus is relevant and up to date.
Instructor Credibility and Expertise
Bootcamps focus on practical learning rather than academic theory, so it’s essential for instructors to have extensive and recent experience in the cybersecurity industry. You can check instructor qualifications on the website of most schools.
Hands-On Experience and Training
Because bootcamps aim to teach you precisely how to do the job of a cybersecurity analyst, it’s important for the curriculum to include hands-on projects. This will help you build your skills and help you learn how to practice on your own time.
All high-quality bootcamps offer some level of job support because helping graduates get hired upholds their reputation. If your budget is around the $10,000-$15,000 mark, you definitely shouldn’t settle for a course without personalized job support.
Whatever you do, make sure you check the time commitment before signing up for a bootcamp. Some schools have intense live classes eight hours a day which you need to attend to pass the class. If you can’t commit to that, you’ll need a part-time or self-paced option.
Reputation and Reviews
Always check the reviews of your chosen establishment, first to check that the promised services are properly provided, and second to get an idea of the quality.
Location and Proximity
If you want an in-person bootcamp, making sure you can travel to class is essential. However, it’s also important with online bootcamps, because classes might be held in a different time zone.
Talk to Alumni
Search for your chosen school on Reddit and see what the alumni are saying. You’ll often find more detailed and trustworthy accounts here than on review sites—and you can even join the thread and ask questions.
Making the Most Out of Your Cybersecurity Bootcamp in the DMV
Ask yourself these questions to make the most of your cybersecurity bootcamp.
How Do Cybersecurity Bootcamps Work?
The first thing to note is that bootcamps are fairly intense, even when done on a part-time schedule. You need to be ready to work hard and put in the hours if you want to achieve results. Ideally, you need to put some study in every day, whether that’s all independent work, all live classes, or a mix of both.
Support is provided to help keep you accountable during the course, but it’s mostly up to you to stay motivated and get the work done.
What Should You Expect To Learn in a Cybersecurity Bootcamp?
IT project management
Identity and access management
Security assessment and testing
What Are the Next Steps After a Cybersecurity Bootcamp?
Many cybersecurity bootcamps aim to prepare students for popular certifications like CompTIA Security+, so your very first step should be to schedule and pass the exam. Once you have a globally-recognized certification on your resume, the job search should go a lot more smoothly.
Who Is Hiring Cybersecurity Professionals in the DC Area?
Cybersecurity is a huge industry, primarily because it is needed in almost every industry. It’s said that there are over 3.5 million cybersecurity job vacancies worldwide. Every company needs to keep its data safe! Here are a few examples from the DMV specifically.
Booz Allen Hamilton
Resources to Find Cybersecurity Jobs in the DMV
Here are some resources for finding cybersecurity jobs in the DMV.
Network and LinkedIn
As mentioned, cybersecurity professionals are needed everywhere, so whatever network you have can be useful, especially if you already have a career and are pivoting.
Online and Slack Communities
One of the best ways to grow your network quickly is by utilizing online communities. If you can impress the veterans, you can end up with all sorts of advice, opportunities, and even job referrals.
FAQs About Cyber Bootcamps
We’ve got answers to your most frequently asked questions.
Can a Cybersecurity Bootcamp Get You a Job?
A bootcamp can help you get a job in cybersecurity engineering when combined with professional certifications and an impressive portfolio, which you can fill with projects from your bootcamp. Gaining experience from open-source projects or volunteer work is also useful.
What Are Some Jobs You Can Apply for After a Cybersecurity Bootcamp?
You can apply for pretty much any entry-level position, though you may need specific certifications for more specific roles.
Is a Cybersecurity Bootcamp Good for Beginners?
Many cybersecurity bootcamps are designed for beginners and even teach you the basics of Python and scripting languages like Bash and PowerShell. However, there are also providers that have prerequisites like a year of professional work, a bachelor’s degree, or prior experience in programming. These tend to be for more advanced students.
What Is the Average Salary for a Cybersecurity Professional in the DMV?
According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a cybersecurity professional working in the DMV area is $152,859. For entry-level engineers, numbers can range from $100,000 to $129,000.