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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University is offering two online summer boot camps designed to prepare information technology professionals to earn certifications that can lead to giant leaps in their careers by qualifying them for in-demand, highly paid jobs in cybersecurity.

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) boot camp, which begins June 7, is for individuals, especially managers, with at least five years of experience. It offers a foundation of knowledge in eight security domains: security and risk management, asset security, security architecture and engineering, communication and network security, identity and access management, security assessment and testing, security operations, and software development security.

For more information and to register, visit the CISSP program website.

The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) boot camp, which begins June 21, is open to information technology professionals with two or more years of experience. Students who have graduated with a four-year degree in cybersecurity also can take the course. The boot camp, the first step in becoming a penetration tester, covers topics including an introduction to ethical hacking, threats such as malware and denial of service attacks, hijacking web servers and applications, hacking wireless networks and mobile devices, evading firewalls and other protective systems, cryptography, the Internet of Things (IoT) and more.

For more information and to register, visit the CEH program website.

In both cases, students should have a basic understanding of security and networking. The boocamps are presented in live, instructor-led online sessions from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET over five days. The sessions are built around two-way interaction with the instructor, using student questions to guide what is emphasized and maximize understanding. Areas of focus for the certification exams also are highlighted.

Those taking the courses also receive access to electronic textbooks and exam preparation resources, in the case of CISSP to CertMaster Practice, a set of practice tests and real-time feedback. The CEH course includes access to more than 140 hands-on labs, quizzes and practice tests.

Students who complete the boot camps successfully receive a voucher to take the relevant certification exam, good for up to a year, although Meenaxi Dave, instructor for Purdue’s bootcamps, suggests taking the exam much sooner. “The rule of thumb is three to four weeks,” Dave said.

The CISSP exam is administered by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, also known as (ISC)². The Certified Ethical Hacker exam is offered by the EC-Council, the international professional organization that administers the CEH program.

Cybersecurity is among the hottest fields, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting job growth of 32% for security analysts through 2028. CISSP-certified professionals average salaries of more than $130,000 annually, (ISC) says. PayScale.com reports that ethical hackers earned a median annual income of $85,000 in 2020.

The bootcamps are offered through the Purdue Polytechnic Institute’s Cyber Education Network Training Resources (CENTR). CENTR is an umbrella organization that provides cybersecurity education and workforce training aimed especially at companies, other organizations and working professionals. Among other things, CENTR offers certification exam preparation, bootcamp-style training sessions and custom security courses – now available online through a partnership between the Purdue Polytechnic Institute and Purdue Online. For more information on CENTR and Purdue’s cybersecurity short courses and certification prep courses, visit the CENTR website.

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