Cybersecurity Bootcamp Graduate Interview
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- The increase in remote work has fueled cybersecurity attacks to a record high.
- The BLS projects 16,300 information security analyst job openings each year from 2020-2030.
- Cybersecurity bootcamps can help train those new to the field.
Demand for information security analysts has soared since the start of the pandemic. Cyberattacks reached historic levels as remote work became the norm for many professionals.
In 2020, cybercriminals launched almost 7 million phishing scams and websites, and ransomware attacks rose globally by more than 40%. In 2021, 16 industries confirmed over 5,000 data breaches, 86% of which were financially motivated. The last two years have also seen increased threats to cloud platforms and malicious botnet activity.
Employment for cybersecurity professionals must now meet the increased demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for information security analysts to grow by 33% from 2020-2030, which would create more than 47,000 new positions in this field. This projected growth rate is much faster than average.
If you want to enter this in-demand profession, you may be interested in attending a cybersecurity bootcamp — an intensive, career-focused training program that can teach you cybersecurity fundamentals.
But are cybersecurity bootcamps worth it? We talked with Gabriel Schram, a security analyst at MorganFranklin Consulting, to see how his coding bootcamp prepared him for the workforce.
Meet a Cybersecurity Bootcamp Graduate
Schram landed a cybersecurity job at the consulting firm MorganFranklin after attending a 22-week bootcamp at Nucamp. He studied full-stack web development and mobile applications development.
Schram also holds a master's degree in cybersecurity from Utica College. In graduate school, he specialized in cyber intelligence and earned a CipherTrace Certified Examiner certification for cryptocurrency and blockchain forensics. This tech background complemented Schram's coding bootcamp experience.
“I viewed my bootcamp as a supplement to my studies and technical knowledge of web application security”
"I do not think a coding bootcamp alone is enough to be prepared for a cybersecurity job," Schram explained. "I viewed my bootcamp as a supplement to my studies and technical knowledge of web application security. Nucamp is fantastic, but my internship with MorganFranklin Consulting was the most valuable element in my preparation for my current position."
The Cybersecurity Bootcamp Experience
At Nucamp, Schram studied new technologies and made connections with others entering the cybersecurity industry. He met fellow students, instructors, and his future employer through a summer internship.
"Over the course of 22 weeks, I became acquainted with several other students and instructors; I became cognizant of the job market for web development and DevSecOps," Schram said. "I also learned to use new technologies and became involved in more tech communities."
Cybersecurity Careers After a Bootcamp
Career development is a key component of most bootcamps. Bootcamps often offer support such as networking events, job search training, internships, and interview practice. Many bootcamps also boast corporate partnerships and share information about companies where graduates have found work. Investigating these career outcomes can help you to decide on a bootcamp.
Nucamp offers career coaches and access to recruiters at monthly hackathons to prepare students for cybersecurity careers. Schram said his summer internship at MorganFranklin Consulting prepared him for his current position as a cybersecurity analyst.
"I spent this past summer as an intern for MorganFranklin Consulting — they recently hired me as a cybersecurity analyst," Schram said. "I earned their scholarship while I was a student and maintained professional connections with members of their leadership team. They eventually brought me on as an intern and prepared me for the position I have now."
Schram graduated from Nucamp in January 2021. The bootcamp reports that, as of October 2021, 70% of students enrolled in the last two Nucamp bootcamp cohorts graduated and 79% of graduates found tech work within six months of graduation.
Advice From a Coding Bootcamp Graduate
Before deciding whether to attend a cybersecurity bootcamp, consider your career goals. This way, you can pick a bootcamp that provides training in the right tools, skills, and coding languages for your desired cybersecurity career.
Coding bootcamps usually offer career services that can help you make connections with industry professionals. Some bootcamps offer internship placements, which can help you get a job in cybersecurity when you're just starting out.
Schram credited his internship experience as being the most helpful factor in his career journey. "Nucamp is fantastic, but my internship with MorganFranklin Consulting was the most valuable element in my preparation for my current position," he said.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cybersecurity Careers
Coding bootcamps offer opportunities to beginners who want to break into tech or working professionals in other fields who want to switch careers, making them worth it to many students. Coding bootcamps offer training in disciplines such UX/UI design, web development, and cybersecurity. The intense pace of a bootcamp offers a quicker training pathway than a traditional degree.
Many coding bootcamp graduates start out at entry-level positions in cybersecurity. Some possible positions for graduates include security analyst, cybersecurity consultant, vulnerability analyst, and systems engineer. Higher-paying cybersecurity jobs often require a bachelor's or master's degree.
Jobs in cybersecurity typically pay well. According to October 2021 data from PayScale, cybersecurity analysts make an average wage of about $76,630, while cybersecurity engineers earn an average salary of $97,120. Computer and information technology occupations paid a median annual wage of $91,250 in 2020, according to the BLS, which is almost $50,000 higher than the median salary across all occupations.
Gabriel Schram (he/him/his) is a cybersecurity analyst working for MorganFranklin, a leading finance, technology, and cybersecurity advisory and management consulting firm that specializes in solving complex transformational challenges for its clients. Prior to this position, Schram was working towards his now completed master’s degree in cybersecurity from Utica College. While attending UC, he specialized in cyber intelligence and obtained his certification as a CipherTrace Certified Examiner for cryptocurrency and blockchain forensics.
Feature Image: Thomas Barwick / DigitalVision / Getty Images
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