Free education opportunities don’t happen every day. So, when you find them, it’s important to take advantage. You may want to figure out if cybersecurity is the right field. Or maybe someone on your team needs to brush up on some things. Closing the skills gap in cybersecurity is a team effort, and it’s important to take advantage of all the resources out there.

7 Free Online Cybersecurity Education Courses

Here’s a list of some free, online cybersecurity education courses – in no particular order.

1. Western Governors University: Network and Security Foundations

Consider this course your intro to network security, risk mitigation, and security management. It’s an eight-week, self-paced course that can be done in about 10 hours/week. And if you want unlimited access to the content after you’re done with the course, you can purchase it for $166.08. The course is a great option to test out a top online cybersecurity master’s program.

2. University of Colorado: Windows Server Management and Security

This five week, free course is for the beginner level, and you can opt in to pay for a certificate at the end. It’s part of the University of Colorado’s cybersecurity programs. The course explores what it takes to design and build the server side of Windows in an enterprise environment, looking at everything from Windows Server installation to configuring users, to hardening the server operating system itself.

3. University of California: Security Governance & Compliance

This free, four-week course is an introduction into the cybersecurity field. It’ll focus on security and risk management. At the end, you should have an understanding of things like NIST cybersecurity framework, relevant laws and regulations, as well as, policies and strategies for cybersecurity governance.

4. Stanford University: Cryptography I

You may not get into Stanford, but you can certainly take a class from them. Cryptography I is just a four week course, but it’ll take approximately 23 hours to complete. This course lets students work through real-world problems. Bonus is that it offers a certificate upon completion that you can add to your resume.

5. New York University: Introduction to Cyber Attacks

It’s usually not a matter of if you’ll experience a cyber attack. It’s simply a matter of when. And companies and individuals need to be prepared to respond. This four-week course has about 19 hours of material to work through that offers a baseline understanding of common cybersecurity threats, vulnerabilities, and risks.

6. University of Michigan: Internet History, Technology and Security

This 10-week course will teach you not to take the internet and technology for granted. We have a lot of technological issues facing our society today, and there’s a lot more innovation still ahead of us. This course could help you see a future where you can grow. Whatever path you pursue, this course can give you the right mindset going forward.

7. University of Maryland: Software Security

This six-week course will look at the foundations of software security. You’ll look at vulnerabilities and which attacks exploit them. With about 18 hours worth of material, learners will work on shifting the software design mentality of including cybersecurity as an afterthought. Building in security to the design is an important component to future success – especially in the DoD. For this class, you may want to already have some C/C+ or other programming language understanding, like Java. Web tutorials can help you fill knowledge gaps in these areas as you work through the course.

Stay Curious

I continue to hear employers say they want curious candidates. Cybersecurity touches everyone, so take advantage of all the resources available. Whether you want to reskill or join the cybersecurity industry, free online courses from well-known universities and colleges can get you the leg up that you need. Take advantage of whatever learning opportunities come your way.

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.