Certified Cyber Analyst/Operator (CCAO)
In recent years, the demand for cybersecurity professionals has soared. Forbes magazine reports that there may be as many as 3.5 million unfilled positions in the industry by 2021. In addition to seeking talent from traditional sources such as degree programs, increasingly employers are seeking talent from non-traditional sources as well to fill their workforce.
The Certified Cyber Analyst/Operator program is an intensive, hands-on training program designed to prepare individuals for careers in cybersecurity. The program combines our three core cyber certificate programs, and includes the following topics:
- Computer Basics – Hardware, Architecture, Operating Systems, Troubleshooting
- TCP/IP and Networking Fundamentals
- Information Assurance Fundamentals
- Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices (ICND1)
- Linux for Cyber Fundamentals
- Linux for Cyber System Administration
- Introduction to Programming with Python
- Windows Internals and Command Line Operations
- Network & Packet Analysis
- Penetration Testing Methodology
- Introduction to Malware Analysis
- Wireless Analysis & Exploitation
- Critical Thinking
- Certified Cyber Analyst/Operator Capstone and Presentations
While the core focus of the program is to build the technical competency of our students to be able to perform in technical roles, the curriculum is aligned with several professional certifications, including:
- CompTIA A+
- CompTIA Network+
- CompTIA Security+
- CompTIA PenTest+
- Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT)
Students are provided with practice exams and exam vouchers for each of the certifications above.
For students pursuing a degree this program has been approved by the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service for 15 semester hours in Information Systems or Computer Science at the baccalaureate level.
April 29, 2019 – February 26, 2020 (M/T/W/Th Evenings) – Application Deadline April 8, 2019
October 8, 2019 – August 9, 2020 (T/Th Evenings, Saturdays) – Application Deadline September 17, 2019
While the core focus of this program is to prepare students with the technical skills and credentials required to begin a career in information technology or cybersecurity, periodically throughout the program there are also career resources made available to students, such as:
- Career workshops
- Connections with regional cybersecurity employers
- Notices of regional career-oriented events such as cyber career fairs and networking events
Candidates who already have experience in the information technology field or have a technical degree may be eligible for our Cyber Apprenticeship program.
The application process is as follows:
- Attend an Online Information Session
- Meet with an Admissions Advisor
Why You Should Take This Course
This program prepares candidates for the following cybersecurity job roles, as defined by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE):
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What are the job outcomes from CCAO?
CCAO prepares students for entry-level roles in cybersecurity analysis and operations. Job titles include: cyber technician, cybersecurity specialist, cyber analyst, cyber operator, cybersecurity engineer, and cyber consultant.
Am I guaranteed a job after completing this program?
No. While periodically throughout the program there are career resources made available to students, the core focus of this program is to provide students with the technical skills and credentials required to begin a career in information technology or cybersecurity. We continuously work to build the network of employers interested in hiring our graduates and facilitate connections to those employers, however, employment is not guaranteed and it should be expected that students will need to put in their own effort in their pursuit of new career opportunities.
Can anybody work in cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a booming industry actively looking for workforce diversity. Students graduating from this program have accepted positions ranging from entry-level to more advanced roles in the field – those without prior experience will be eligible for entry-level positions, with the understanding that they will have the technical preparation to advance as they accrue more experience in their role and the foundational knowledge to earn additional specialized industry certifications.
Do I need a degree?
You do not need a 4-year degree to start a career in cybersecurity. Degrees are beneficial, but many positions require industry certifications or experience independently from a degree.
What’s the difference between certifications and a degree?
Certifications are earned by passing exams through industry organizations such as CompTIA and vendor-specific companies like Cisco. Passing these exams indicates to potential employers that you have the abilities associated with the skill set you are tested on. These certifications can be earned in a shorter period of time than to a degree program. Degree programs focus more on the theoretical aspect of cybersecurity, with less skills-based application of how to perform various operational and analytical tasks.
How much do cybersecurity professionals make?
Cybersecurity professionals are paid salaries commensurate with their education and experience – salary ranges for entry level positions can start at $40,000 up to $70,000, while after several years of experience this figure is closer to $80,000, increasing from that point with additional experience and expertise. For more information on the pay-scale for various roles in cybersecurity, please refer to https://www.cyberseek.org
Do I need a clearance?
You do not need a clearance to obtain a job in cybersecurity. Cybersecurity professionals work across all industries, with many not requiring clearances. However, if you do have a clearance, it can help open up more opportunities with government and contract positions.
What are the requirements for admission?
There are two different pathways for students to be accepted into the CCA/O program. Applicants are either evaluated on previous educational and professional experience or on the results of a technical assessment administered to those without an IT background. We provide resources for test prep are provided, and the assessment is focused on computational logic and problem solving rather than specific IT knowledge. Additionally, an interview may be required for some applicants based on the criteria above.
How much does the program cost? What funding options are available?
The total cost of the program is $19,995 in addition to a $25 application fee and $75 reservation fee. There are multiple financing options available, including SallieMae Smart Option Student Loans, in-house payment plans, and state grants awarded to qualified candidates. We are also approved to accept VA funding for retired and transitioning service members.
What are the program outcomes?
CCAO graduates earn UMBC Training Centers’ 4 certificates in cybersecurity: the Certificate in Cyber Foundations, Certificate in Cyber Operations, Certificate in Cybersecurity, and Certified Cyber Analyst/Operator. Students also earn 15 ACE recommended transfer credits at the bachelors level.
Throughout the program, students will be qualified to take the following industry credential certification exams: