The Cyber Defenders program mission is to help close the cybersecurity workforce gap by training professionals seeking new career opportunities. With 1.8 million open cybersecurity jobs looming, companies can ill afford to be understaffed against increasingly costly cyber attacks. With this dire level of workforce deficits, combining AI, automation, and a new specialized talent pool is the most likely way out of this seemingly intractable situation.
Few college-level degrees provide the specific skills for entry-level cybersecurity jobs while professional programs such as General Assembly omit cybersecurity training from their course offerings. The Cyber Defenders program finds untapped potential, provides them job ready cybersecurity skills without the burden of years of debt and helps them earn incomes that lift their local communities. In fact, our program attendees don’t pay us, they are paid as interns by the San Jose non-profit work2future as an investment in both their future professional careers and their contributions back to the community. Attendees who would otherwise not have been introduced to the cybersecurity industry have gone on to enroll in degree programs and land cybersecurity internships.
The 8-week boot camp program includes foundational training including:
- Python programming
- Network security
- OWASP Top 10
- Penetration testing (Kali Linux, Metasploit)
- Incident Research
- Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence
- Capture the flag tournament co-hosted with Lawrence Livermore National Lab
- Industry course project culminating with pitch style lightning presentations at an industry night
But translating these technical skills into real-world success also requires training in:
- Bug bounty programs (HackerOne, Bugcrowd)
- AGILE development with individual and group Kanban boards
- Github profiles and project development
- Open-source contributions
- LinkedIn profile and network building
- Medium blogging
- Industry outreach and cold emailing
- Access to a digital library of technical and cybersecurity literature
- Guest industry lectures from local cyber security companies
- Join and attend local cybersecurity meetups
- Soft skills: resume writing, customer interfacing, job searching, presenting
If you are looking to join our program, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are in industry, contact us at email@example.com if you are interested in partnering with us by:
- Having a guest speaker during a class session
- Participating or host a hackathon while evangelizing your products
- Participating as an industry panelist during student project demos
- Getting a free penetration test or developing free security marketing tools for your product, let us know — our students are eager to help!
- Some other idea we didn’t think of yet!