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The Student Experience

Learn what to expect as a student in our Cyber Defense Analyst Bootcamp.

Student Experience

What’s It Like as a Student in the Cyber Defense Analyst Bootcamp?

Glad you asked! Use the menu to the left to navigate through the steps you'll take—from discovering if we're the right training provider for you to the first night of class!


The Onboarding Experience

Step 1: Discover

Browse our website to learn a little about us, the training we provide, and our scholarships and payment plans.

(Psst! This blog series written by a CDA graduate is a great place to start!)

Step 2: Apply

Like what you see? It's time to apply! We accept up to 35 students per cohort, and seats fill up fast. Submit your application.

Step 3: Book a Meeting

Once we receive your application, be sure to keep an eye on your email! We'll send you a reminder to book a video call with us (usually via Zoom) so we can start the intake process. No need to be nervous—we just want to learn a little more about you and your goals and make sure our experience is a good fit for you!

Still nervous? Here's a more comprehensive list of what we'll discuss during our call:

  • Expectations and requirements of the bootcamp
  • Career outcomes
  • Payment plans and available scholarships
  • Any questions you have!

Step 4: Receive a Checklist

To *officially* kick off the onboarding process, we'll email you an onboarding checklist to keep you on track and get you ready to begin class! Steps include...

  • Paying your deposit
  • Figuring out your financing plans
  • Completing our Cybersecurity Foundations course
  • A verbal 1:1 assessment
  • Reviewing the course calendar
  • Reviewing the student handbook

Step 5: Look Out for Email Updates

From here, please be sure to regularly check your email! Two weeks before the bootcamp begins, you'll receive a welcome email from us, a course infrastructure email, Zoom invitations, and Discord permissions.

Step 6: Attend Class Sync Before Bootcamp

A week before we officially kick-off the bootcamp, we'll get everyone together virtually to give you a taste of what you can expect during the bootcamp. This is a great opportunity to test your webcam/microphone, meet your instructors and classmates, and ask any last-minute questions you have!

Step 7: It's Crunch Time!

You'll be given access to the first module of the bootcamp: Networking. You'll be expected to complete all modules that don't have the "Instructor Led" tag on them before the official start date of the bootcamp.

Good luck, defender!


The Bootcamp Experience

Step 1: Complete the Networking Module

This is your first assignment in the bootcamp. You’ll need to complete all the self-paced content (the content without the “Instructor Led” tag) before the official start of the bootcamp. This includes labs, lectures, and quizzes.

Step 2: Attend Class

Class is held Monday through Thursday from 7-9pm CT. This is where we’ll put you to the test as we teach! We may detonate malware on your workstation for you to triage, or you may prepare intel on threat actors to share live with the class. Every in-class deliverable will be a report, which will help us make sure you can demonstrate and articulate your knowledge.

Please note that you’ll be expected to keep your webcam on, be attentive, and interact with your instructors and peers during class time.

Step 3: (Optional but recommended) Attend FAQing Friday

Every other Friday from 5-6:30pm CT, we spend a bit more time brushing up on the core expectations of the bootcamp. Sometimes, we even have a little home lab fun and tool development time! Oh, and we’ve been known to bring in guest speakers like John Hammond, too. ;)

Step 4: Complete Assignments Between Class Weeks

Each Friday, we’ll release the next week’s content, which will include a new set of self-paced labs, career prep assignments, etc. Be sure to complete all the modules without the “Instructor Led” tag on them before the next class!

Step 5: Prepare for and Attend Your 1:1s

You’ll be expected to schedule and attend two 1:1s with your instructors during the bootcamp. This is your platform to talk about your class experience with an instructor to ask questions and provide feedback. 

Your instructor will strategize with you on how to proceed with the job hunt, and also review your assignments with live feedback on how to improve your analysis and reporting. These will be talked about in class so you’ll know what to expect—and when it’s time to schedule your conversations.

You can expect to complete at least five deliverables to demonstrate your knowledge:

  • Network traffic analysis
  • Binary triage
  • Endpoint triage
  • Log analysis
  • Cyber threat intelligence

Step 6: Complete Career Support Assignments

These assignments will help you build a good resume, showcase your skills, successfully interview, and (hopefully!) land a job. That’s right—it’s not uncommon for students to land a job while they’re still in the bootcamp.

We’ll help you build your LinkedIn and teach you how to network in a technical field (aka, moving past the schmoozing).

Step 7: Repeat Steps 2-6 for 15 Weeks

At this point, it’s rinse and repeat! You’ll continue to work on the self-paced content, attend live classes, attend FAQing Friday, and prepare for and attend your 1:1s throughout the duration of the bootcamp.

Step 8: Schedule Your CDCP Exam

At the end of the class, you’ll have the opportunity to attempt the Cyber Defense Certified Professional (CDCP) exam. We strongly recommend that you attempt this to put the knowledge and skills you learned throughout the bootcamp to the test.

Step 9: Collect Your Badges!

You’re done! Be sure to keep an eye on your email for any badges you’ve earned throughout the course. All students who complete the course will receive a Cyber Defense Analyst Bootcamp badge, and students who pass the CDCP will receive an additional badge.


The Alumni Experience

Step 1: Keep in Touch!

If you think you’ll get rid of us just because you’ve finished the bootcamp, think again. 😉 Once you’re an alum, we want you to keep in touch. Drop us a line or reach out on Discord if you ever need anything—even if it’s just to say hi!

Step 2: Lean on Us for Career Support

Need a resume review, a practice interview, or job hunting tips? Please reach out! We’re here to help you land your dream gig. (And if you land that dream gig, please let us know—we want to celebrate with you!)

Step 3: Join Us for FAQing Fridays

FAQing Friday is open to both current students and alumni. Come hang out with us—we’d love to see you!

Ready to get started?

Apply to attend our next cohort!

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