Reviewing the CAPSLOCK bootcamp – a new cyber career in 16 weeks
For those looking to reskill into a new career sector, cyber security is an attractive option. We are becoming increasingly reliant on technology in all aspects of life, which means that a huge number of new technology-focused jobs are constantly emerging. Cyber security clearly isn't going anywhere, and it’s an easier career switch than you might think.
In fact, it is estimated that the cyber industry will need an additional 3.5 million qualified professionals by 2023, so it’s a great time to be considering a career in cyber.
With that in mind, how should people go about switching careers to a cyber security role? Well, one option that we’ve come across is CAPSLOCK: a new education start-up that seems to offer a straightforward path for people looking to fully re-train in cyber security.
CAPSLOCK is a government-backed educational institution, designed to re-skill adult learners and kick-start their cyber security career in as little as 4 months. They provide cyber re-training education, delivered live online by industry professionals, via a curriculum built around in-demand job roles and employer needs. Their model utilises income share agreements, meaning there are no upfront costs for learners, who won’t pay for the course until they land a high-paying job.
So, how does it all work?
Firstly, anyone can apply to CAPSLOCK. You don’t need a degree, A-levels, or specific cyber experience. They simply want applicants who are passionate about technology, willing to learn, and motivated to change their career.
The course itself looks impressive. It’s conducted 100% online in a virtual classroom, and you’ll be doing hands-on learning in specially developed cyber labs. You have the option to attend the live classes on a full-time basis which takes 16 weeks, or part-time which takes 26 weeks. The curriculum was built by the former lecturers who developed the cyber security master’s degree for the University of Bradford, so as you can imagine, it’s pretty intense. But the team are confident that their carefully constructed course can take someone with little to no cyber knowledge, and turn them into a qualified cyber professional at the end. Topics on the course cover technical topics like ethical hacking and cloud security, as well as “softer” skills like compliance and governance.
The course also includes 4 well-respected and highly sought-after cyber qualifications, so it really is an all-in-one package that helps you re-train in cyber and gain industry recognised certifications. These certifications are: CompTIA Security+, ISO 27000 Foundation, CCSK and CISMP.
Secondly, CAPSLOCK place a lot of emphasis on mentoring and careers guidance. Over the duration of the course, learners will be able to receive tailored advice about transitioning into the world of cyber, and be offered help finding the right role for them. They also get access to the CAPSLOCK cyber employer network, which features companies who are keen to interview CAPSLOCK graduates. Companies include BT, Dell and BAE Systems.
Finally, we looked at the cost. Rather than charging learners a tuition fee, CAPSLOCK use the Income Share Agreement (ISA) model. That means you don’t have to pay for the course up-front. Instead, you pay back 15% of your monthly income for 36 months after the course, but only once you are earning over £27,000 a year. You’ll never pay back more than £19,000, and ISAs are paused if your income drops below £27,000. The Financial Conduct Authority have backed CAPSLOCK to pilot this model in 2021. There are other funding options too, such as a student loan. You also have the option to pay up front if you can, which is £10,000.
So, in a nutshell: CAPSLOCK offer a comprehensive re-training programme, built by industry experts, where you’ll learn workplace focused skills and gain vital cyber certifications. You’ll also receive help finding a job once you graduate. It seems like a very attractive option for anyone looking to re-skill and break into the world of cyber.
Applications are still open for the first courses, which will kick off in February 2021, at https://capslock.ac. The deadline to apply for the February course is 31st January. The second round of courses will begin in the summer.