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How Long Does It Take to Get a Cybersecurity Certificate Online?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Cybersecurity Certificate Online?

If you’re among the many who ask, “How long does it take to get a cybersecurity certificate online?” this article is your haven. There’s no doubt that with rising threats of cyberattacks and data breaches, professionals with robust cybersecurity skills are in high demand. 

Getting online cybersecurity certifications is one of the quickest ways to enter or progress in this important industry. These programs strengthen your CV and improve your knowledge and skills in safeguarding valuable information assets.

We will discuss the time commitments of different online cybersecurity certification programs. This aims to assist future cybersecurity experts in making well-informed choices regarding their education and career trajectories. Let’s get started!

Online Cybersecurity Certifications: Durations, Cost, and Key Features

Certificate ProgramCostLengthStructureKey Features
Google Cybersecurity Certificate$49/month after 7-day free trialCan be completed in under six monthsSelf-pacedPrep for CompTIA Security+, job search resources
UPenn Cybersecurity Boot Camp$13,99524 weeks part-timeLive instructionHands-on training, final project, prep for multiple exams
IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional$44.38 to $133.14Self-paced depending on the subscriptionSelf-pacedIBM tools, potential for college credits
SANS Institute SEC275: Foundations$3,020 or $3,400 with certification120–140 hoursSelf-pacedPrep for GFACT certification, comprehensive foundation
Microsoft Cybersecurity Analyst Professional$39 to $49/monthAbout 6 monthsSelf-pacedFocus on Azure, capstone project, mock exam prep
Fullstack Academy Cybersecurity Analytics$14,99512 weeks full-time or 26 weeks part-timeLive instructionHands-on practice, red/blue team projects
CompTIA Security+$370 for exam voucherPreparation time variesSelf-paced or instructor-ledBroad coverage of IT security, widely recognized
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)$1,199 (+$100 for remote proctoring)Approx. 40 hours of instructionSelf-paced or live optionsFocus on offensive security tactics and techniques
Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate$300 for examExam duration is 120 minutesSelf-pacedPrepares for roles in cybersecurity operations centers
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)$749 for examRecommended 6 months preparationSelf-paced or instructor-ledAdvanced knowledge in information security, management focus
Online Cybersecurity Certifications

RELATED: Google Cybersecurity Certification Cost

Why Do You Need Cybersecurity Certifications?

Why Do You Need Cybersecurity Certifications?

Cybersecurity certificates validate an individual’s proficiency and abilities in the cybersecurity sector. These certifications aim to equip candidates for different positions in the security field, like cybersecurity analyst, network security engineer, or security consultant.

The significance of these certifications lies in their verification of a professional’s capacity to safeguard organizations from cyber threats and vulnerabilities.

There are numerous advantages to gaining a cybersecurity certificate. To begin with, they offer an organized educational journey that helps people acquire the essential skills and knowledge needed in cybersecurity.

Additionally, they boost one’s chances of getting hired since numerous employers value these certifications as evidence of a candidate’s technical skills and commitment to the industry. Furthermore, getting certified can result in increased salary prospects and chances for advancement in a company or field.

Cybersecurity certifications available online provide learners with flexibility and accessibility, enabling them to gain important skills without the requirement of physically attending classes. This is particularly advantageous for employed individuals or those with prior obligations who want to improve their skills or switch careers without interfering with their present way of life.

Factors Influencing the Duration of Certification Programs

Factors Influencing the Duration of Certification Programs
Factors Influencing the Duration of Certification Programs

The duration of online cybersecurity certification programs can vary widely depending on several key factors. Understanding these factors can help prospective students choose a program that best fits their personal and professional schedules.

  1. Program Format: Online cybersecurity certifications can either be self-paced or follow a structured timeline with live instruction. Self-paced programs allow students to progress at their own speed, which can be ideal for those who may need to balance learning with work or personal responsibilities. Structured programs, however, often have set class times and a more rigid schedule that can lead to faster completion but require a more immediate time commitment.
  2. Prior Knowledge and Experience: Individuals with a background in IT or previous cybersecurity experience may find they can complete courses faster, as they might not need to spend as much time on foundational topics. Conversely, those new to the field might require additional time to grasp complex concepts.
  3. Time Commitment: The amount of time a student is able to dedicate weekly to their studies significantly affects how quickly they can complete a certification. Programs often provide estimates based on the assumption of a certain number of study hours per week.
  4. Financial Resources: Continuous enrollment in a program often depends on the ability to afford tuition without interruption. Financial aid, scholarships, or payment plans can affect how a student proceeds through a program.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Cybersecurity Certificate Online

How Long Does It Take to Get a Cybersecurity Certificate Online
How Long Does It Take to Get a Cybersecurity Certificate Online

When choosing an online cybersecurity certification, it’s important to understand the specific details of each program, including how long they take to complete. Here’s an overview of several popular certifications:

1. Google Cybersecurity Certificate

  • Cost: $49 per month with a Coursera membership after a 7-day free trial.
  • Length: 8 courses, approximately 171 hours total.
  • Structure: Self-paced.
  • Completion Time: Can be completed within six months by dedicating about seven hours a week.
  • Key Features: Preparation for CompTIA Security+ exam, access to job search resources, and inclusion in Google’s Employer Consortium.

2. UPenn’s Cybersecurity Boot Camp

  • Cost: $13,995 (payment plans available).
  • Length: 24 weeks, 9 hours per week.
  • Structure: Live instruction.
  • Completion Time: Structured six-month program.
  • Key Features: Covers risk analysis, governance, compliance, and hands-on network security, culminating in a final project and preparation for several certification exams.

READ ALSO: Risk Analysis in Cyber Security

3. IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate

Getting a Cybersecurity Certificate Online?
Getting a Cybersecurity Certificate Online
  • Cost: $49 per month with a Coursera membership after a 7-day free trial.
  • Length: 8 courses, approximately 130 hours total.
  • Structure: Self-paced.
  • Completion Time: Four to eight months, depending on the weekly time commitment.
  • Key Features: Covers best practices for cyberattacks and uses IBM-specific tools, with potential college credits available upon completion.

4. The SANS Institute’s SEC275: Foundations

  • Cost: $3,020, or $3,400 with GFACT Certification.
  • Length: 120–140 hours on average.
  • Structure: Self-paced, available for 4 months.
  • Completion Time: Generally four months if maximum time utilized.
  • Key Features: Provides a comprehensive foundation in cybersecurity, preparing for the GFACT certification.

5. Microsoft Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate

  • Cost: $49 per month with a Coursera membership after a 7-day free trial.
  • Length: 9 courses, approximately 187 hours total.
  • Structure: Self-paced.
  • Completion Time: Typically completed within a few months with dedicated study.
  • Key Features: Focus on Microsoft Azure security features, with a capstone project and a mock exam for the SC-900 exam.

6. Fullstack Academy’s Cybersecurity Analytics Bootcamp

  • Cost: $14,995 (payment plans available).
  • Length: 12 weeks full-time or 24 weeks part-time.
  • Structure: Live instruction.
  • Completion Time: Either 12 or 24 weeks, depending on the chosen intensity.
  • Key Features: Covers a broad range of topics including asset and inventory management, encryption, and a red team/blue team approach.

Accelerating Your Certification Path

Accelerating Your Certification Path
Accelerating Your Certification Path

While the duration of cybersecurity certification programs can vary, there are several strategies you can employ to accelerate your progress:

  • Increase Weekly Study Hours: Committing more time each week to studying can significantly reduce the total time required to complete a certification. For instance, doubling the time you dedicate from seven to fourteen hours a week could halve the duration of the program.
  • Leverage Existing Knowledge: If you already have experience in IT or specific areas of cybersecurity, use this to your advantage. You may be able to move through certain modules or courses more quickly, focusing your time on new or more complex material.
  • Choose the Right Program: Consider your current knowledge level, learning style, and life situation when selecting a program. A self-paced program might be quicker to complete if you can dedicate a lot of time upfront, whereas structured programs with scheduled classes might keep you on track if you require more discipline in your learning.
  • Utilize Resources Effectively: Many programs offer resources like tutoring, forums, and networking opportunities that can provide answers and insights that accelerate learning. Engaging actively with these resources can help clarify complex topics and reduce study time.
  • Focus on Practical Application: Hands-on practice can often be more time-efficient for learning and retaining information than theoretical study alone. Look for programs that include labs, simulations, or real-world projects.
  • Set Clear Goals and Milestones: Breaking down your certification goal into smaller, manageable milestones can make the process feel less daunting and help keep your studies on track. Regularly assess your progress and adjust your study plan as needed to stay focused and motivated.

ALSO SEE: CompTIA Security+ Vs Google Cybersecurity Certification

Beyond the Certification

Once you have obtained a cybersecurity certificate, it marks the beginning of a continuous professional development and career advancement journey. Here are some key considerations for life after certification:

  • Entering the Job Market: With your certification in hand, you’re better positioned to apply for roles such as cybersecurity analyst, network security administrator, or consultant. Highlight your certification in your resume and LinkedIn profile to stand out to potential employers.
  • Further Education and Specialization: Cybersecurity is a broad field with numerous specializations, such as penetration testing, cyber forensics, and compliance. Consider pursuing further certifications or training to specialize in an area that interests you.
  • Continuous Learning: The cybersecurity landscape is rapidly evolving, with new technologies and threats emerging regularly. Stay updated by engaging in continuous learning through workshops, webinars, and industry conferences. This not only keeps your skills current but also expands your professional network.
  • Networking and Professional Development: Attend industry events like conferences and seminars and participate in online forums and groups. Networking can lead to new job opportunities, mentorship, and collaborations.
  • Contributing to the Community: Sharing your knowledge and experience can be rewarding and enhance your reputation in the field. Consider writing blogs, speaking at events, or volunteering in cybersecurity initiatives.

Conclusion

By now, you don’t have to ask, “How long does it take to get a cybersecurity certificate online?” anymore. Depending on factors such as program type, previous experience, and study commitment, the length of time needed to earn an online cybersecurity certificate can differ. 

You can obtain this important credential more effectively by selecting the appropriate program for your personal and professional requirements and implementing methods to speed up your learning.

Obtaining a cybersecurity certification enhances your chances of getting hired and increasing your income while also moving you closer to a fulfilling career dedicated to protecting digital systems.

Whether you want to transition into a cybersecurity position or progress in your current career, these certifications provide a strong base for a successful professional journey.

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FAQ: How Long Does It Take to Get a Cybersecurity Certificate Online

How fast can I get a cybersecurity certificate?

The speed at which you can obtain a cybersecurity certificate varies depending on the program. Some self-paced programs can be completed in as little as a few months if you dedicate a significant amount of time each week. For instance, dedicating 10-15 hours per week could allow you to complete some programs within 3-6 months.

How long is the cybersecurity certification course?

The length of cybersecurity certification courses can vary widely. Some intensive boot camp-style courses can be completed in about 12-24 weeks, while more comprehensive, self-paced courses might take 4-8 months, depending on the complexity and depth of the material.

Can I take certified in cybersecurity online?

You can obtain certifications in cybersecurity entirely online. Many reputable educational platforms and institutions offer online cybersecurity certifications that can be completed at your convenience through self-paced learning or structured, live online classes.

How long does the Google cybersecurity certificate take?

The Google Cybersecurity Certificate is designed to be flexible and is typically completed within six months if you commit to the program about seven hours per week. This self-paced program allows you to adjust your study hours to fit your schedule, potentially speeding up or extending the completion time based on your personal commitments.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your cybersecurity journey? You can do that with an expert beside you to guide you through without having to stress much. Schedule a one-on-one consultation with Tolulope Michael, a cybersecurity professional with over a decade of field experience. This will allow you to gain personalized insights and guidance tailored to your career goals.

Visit tolumichael.com now to book your session. This is your opportunity to embark on your cybersecurity career with confidence.

Tolulope Michael

Tolulope Michael

Tolulope Michael is a multiple six-figure career coach, internationally recognised cybersecurity specialist, author and inspirational speaker. Tolulope has dedicated about 10 years of his life to guiding aspiring cybersecurity professionals towards a fulfilling career and a life of abundance. As the founder, cybersecurity expert, and lead coach of Excelmindcyber, Tolulope teaches students and professionals how to become sought-after cybersecurity experts, earning multiple six figures and having the flexibility to work remotely in roles they prefer. He is a highly accomplished cybersecurity instructor with over 6 years of experience in the field. He is not only well-versed in the latest security techniques and technologies but also a master at imparting this knowledge to others. His passion and dedication to the field is evident in the success of his students, many of whom have gone on to secure jobs in cyber security through his program "The Ultimate Cyber Security Program".

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