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The Student Experience

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

Student Experience

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

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!

Please note that this is NOT a sales call. It's a call with our training team, which is comprised of experienced cyber pros who can answer any questions you have.

Step 4: Meet with an Instructor

Sound good so far? If so, your next step will be to meet with an instructor to ensure our Cyber Defense Analyst Program is a good fit for you. Our instructors are also our course creators, so bring any questions you have about the content!

Step 5: 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

  • Completing the rest of the tasks on this page for onboarding

Step 6: Look Out for Email Updates

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

Step 7: Attend Class Sync Before Class

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

Step 8: It's Crunch Time!

You'll be given access to the first module of the course. 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 program.

Good luck, defender!


The Program Experience

Step 1: Complete the First Set of Labs

This is your first assignment in the course. You’ll need to complete the first set of labs before the official start of the course.

Step 2: Attend Live Classes for 8 weeks

Class is held Monday through Thursday from 7-9pm CT. During these 8 weeks, you'll build an analytical process, tool mastery, critical thinking, and the ability to assess and validate your findings—in other words, your cyber tradecraft.

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: Complete Assignments (Labs, Challenges, 1:1s)

Each Friday, we’ll release the next week’s content, which will include a new set of self-paced labs, virtual challenges, career prep assignments, etc.

Step 4: Enter the Virtual SOC for 4 Weeks

For the last 4 weeks of class, you'll be immersed in a virtual Security Operations Center (SOC) to get a feel for what it's like to be on-the-job. You'll work your "shift" in the virtual SOC at the regular class time (7-9pm CT, Monday through Wednesday), and then you'll meet with your SOC manager on Thursday to review and walk through tickets from the week.

Step 5: 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 course to the test.

Step 6: 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 Program 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 course, 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!)

Ready to get started?

Apply to attend our next cohort!

Apply Now