The Prelude Promise:

We Will Train You To Become A Cybersecurity Analyst In Six Months - Zero Previous Experience Required.

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The Reality

The word "cybersecurity" conjures up mental images of hackers sitting in a basement (or a Russian office building) working away in isolation. Many people conclude it's a "not for me" career because of the perceived difficulty of entering the industry. However, cybersecurity is an industry that you can be in, and *thrive in*, even if you have no experience today.

There is no more dynamic, exciting, and arguably important industry in the world today. And there is a **major** shortage of workers in the space - leading to vulnerabilities and risks for large companies. With an average starting salary of $86,000, it's a great career to get started in.

The Prelude Institute is a new type of school designed to help you transition into becoming a cybersecurity analyst by assessing, training and placing you in six months. Below, we explain why we chose cybersecurity analyst, what it is that you'll be doing day-to-day, and why we are so confident we can turn you into an analyst in six months.

  • Month 0: Assessment

    First we assess you to establish a baseline of how well you'd perform as an analyst.

  • Month 1-5: Training

    Then we train you to make sure you have all the job-ready skills you need to be successful.

  • Month 6: Placement

    Upon certification, we work with you to place you in a job, and change your life in the process.

  • Month 6+: Membership

    Once you're in a job, we will help support you throughout your career - providing up-skilling and membership benefits.

What Is A Cybersecurity Analyst?

A Cybersecurity Analyst works as part of a team of security professionals to help protect an organization's information and computing assets, as well as the private data of the organization's users and customers. They employ a variety of skills and technologies to monitor critical networks, computers, and software to detect attacks on the organization, and help to prevent data breaches and other problems from occurring.

They help to design, implement, and monitor solutions that defend information against being stolen, modified, or deleted by attackers. They help organizations stay compliant with laws and regulations for protecting consumers from privacy risks and fraud. Cybersecurity Analysts also work as part of an Incident Response Team to quickly contain attacks, recover from them, and harden systems to prevent successful attacks from happening again.

Why Did We Choose Cybersecurity Analyst As Our First Career?

The labor market is changing at a rapid, sometimes scary, pace. Career advice from the last generation just doesn't apply anymore - there is no more "go to school for four years, work in the same company for 30 years". Instead, careers are rapidly evolving and combining with other careers. Cybersecurity is a unique industry because it is both large and changing constantly. Just look at the headlines: any given week will have multiple breaches at the largest organizations. An industry this dynamic requires a highly trained workforce.

There are two primary reasons we chose cybersecurity as our first career.

First - there is enormous opportunity in the space. There will be an estimated 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings by 2021 [1], and the gap is growing each year, not shrinking. This acute shortage allows us to work with employers to design a curriculum that works for them. Our unique (and probably unpopular) opinion is that the need is even larger than the new openings referenced above. We believe that a significant number of current practitioners require upskilling or retraining to be prepared for the industry today.

Second, and related to the last point above - we think there is a real opportunity to transform non-cybersecurity trained individuals into *excellent* practitioners. We think the way that analysts are being taught is largely stuck in the past, and that employers require a different standard to succeed in today's world of cybercrime.

We believe that unlike many extremely difficult technology jobs, many people can succeed in the field of cybersecurity. We chose cybersecurity precisely because we think that whether you were in manufacturing, the military or any other previous career, you can be successful in this industry.

What Does A Cybersecurity Analyst Actually Do Every Day?

Specific job responsibilities and duties will vary from company to company, but Cybersecurity Analysts generally have common tasks that they must perform in order to be effective.

Organizations with mature security programs use systems called "Security Information and Event Management" or SEIMs. A SEIM helps an organization by consolidating log files and information from computers and devices (like routers and firewalls) from all over the network, so that they can be analyzed in one place. Many SEIMs can also flag items that indicate that there might be a problem. Cybersecurity Analysts are typically responsible for reviewing the data collected by a SEIM, and investigating any suspicious activity flagged by the system.

In addition to firewalls, most organizations also have Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). Depending on how the organization has set up its security technology, the IDS and IPS data may feed into the SEIM. If it does not, the Cybersecurity Analyst may be responsible for monitoring these devices in order to detect early indicators of an attack.

Security Analysts will probably be part of the Incident Response Team. They will often be the first ones to detect an attack, and alert the rest of the organization to the incident. The Analyst will play a critical role in classifying and prioritizing the incident. They will need to accurately communicate details of the incident to the rest of the team, so that an effective and efficient response can be put into action. The Analyst may help to perform investigation, collect evidence, or participate in forensic analysis of data. An analyst might even testify in court as an expert witness.

The Analyst may work with Security Administrators and other team members to identify and close the vulnerabilities and pathways used by the attacker, and lock the attacker out of the network.

Analysts will help an organization recover from an incident, and shore up defenses to prevent future attacks from succeeding. The Analyst may provide important feedback regarding what worked well in the detection and response processes, and where improvements can be made to make the team more effective.

A security analyst may also get involved in more strategic security projects, including helping to educate the computer users of the organization about online risks and ways that they can keep safe and protect information. The analyst may also be involved in helping to update security policies, procedures, and standards to better align with laws and regulations as those requirements evolve.

In order to be effective at the job, a Cybersecurity Analyst must be constantly learning. The world of online crime and security changes at a very high pace; there is always something new to learn. It is the responsibility of the Cybersecurity Analyst to keep on top of emerging trends in attacks, tactics, and defensive techniques to ensure that their knowledge is up-to-date, and that they are well-positioned to defend the enterprise against attack.

Cybersecurity is an industry that you can be in, and thrive in, even if you have no experience today.

How Much Does It Cost?

Our philosophy is that we want to succeed only when you succeed. Think about your traditional college or university - how do they charge you? First, they organize your learning into time blocks ("butt in seat modules"), and charge per block (per course, per semester). The structure of the typical college is four years, but it takes over six, on average, to graduate. It's not uncommon to have a typical four year college cost $150-200,000. Even with scholarships and bursaries, the average American graduates with $40,000 of debt.

The total cost of attending The Prelude Institute, including assessment, training and placement is $10,000. The only payment due during the first six months is $2,500 - we think that payment is important to keep you motivated and accountable during the process.

All other payments are contingent on us helping you be successful – passing The Prelude Institute Skills & Knowledge Assessment and being placed in a full-time role as a cybersecurity analyst.

  • On Acceptance

    The upfront cost of The Prelude Institute is $2,500. We collect this payment when you get accepted into the program, and it's the only thing that you'll pay until you've completed training.

  • Pre-Externship

    A second payment of $2,500 is due upon completion of the training after you pass The Prelude Institute Skills & Knowledge Assessment, demonstrating you are job ready and eligible to begin the externship.

  • +3 Months

    A third payment of $2,500 is due about 6 pay periods into your full-time employment, contingent on us getting you a great-fit job. This can be paid out of your new salary once you start your job.

  • +6 Months

    A fourth payment of $2,500 is due about 12 pay periods into your full-time employment, contingent on us getting you a great-fit job. This can be paid out of your new salary once you start your job.

It is not our goal to teach you the minimum you need to succeed on the job. We are here to make you a world-class analyst.

Other Common Questions

  • Who are the instructors?

    Ted Ipsen will be the instructor in Seattle. After more than a decade of law enforcement experience, Ted was recruited by a global "Big 4" audit and professional services firm, and managed a staff of local consultants and coordinated with 2,700 national resources to deliver advisory services in the areas of information security, and information risk management. He has over 20 years of experience specializing in high-tech crime investigation, and the delivery and oversight of consulting and advisory services in the areas of information security, secure development, security assessment, and information risk management. He has been a technical security practitioner, as well as an executive manager at multiple international security consultancies, holding Director and VP positions at CTG, IOActive, iSEC Partners, and the NCC Group. Ted has developed and led consulting practices specializing in security assessment, risk management and governance, and security training. He has contributed to multiple security publications, including "Securing Linux, Step by Step," and "Disaster Recovery Planning, Step by Step," issued by the SANS Institute. He is also a frequent security conference speaker.

  • How will I know if I can be successful in the program?

    There are two key things we test for in our applicant assessment/interview.

    1 - Grit. Are you able to push through challenges and overcome the rigorous tasks we put in front of you?

    2 - Do you have a "security mindset"? You can read more on that here:

  • Do candidates with prior experience or education get an advantage?

    No - the goal of the company is to train people from scratch. Our preference is to help people with zero experience - and we are indifferent to the previous education you've attained, whether that be a GED or a PhD.

  • Where are your first two locations?

    Cybersecurity training will be offered in Seattle, Washington and Manchester, New Hampshire.

  • What is the structure of the training? Is it in person or online-only?

    We are running two classes simultaneously - one in Manchester, NH and one in Seattle, WA - in person, Monday through Friday. Every week, 2-3 days will be taught live in each location, with the other class video conferencing in. We do this for two reasons. First - to give you exposure to two different, world class instructors and their unique teaching methods. And second - we want to teach you what it's like to work with colleagues in-person as well as remotely. In 2019, we believe learning to work in both environments is important. The remaining 2-3 days each week are dedicated to labs, group assignments and one-on-one time with the instructor to give students the opportunity to practice what they've learned and develop their capabilities.

  • Are you accredited?

    No. Accreditation is a concept almost entirely linked to unlocking federal student loans. Federal student loans, to say the least, are a major issue in this country (see Our philosophy has been to lower the cost of our training to be as inexpensive as possible - as to not require federal student loans.

    We tie our success to your success. If you don't succeed - we don't succeed. We fundamentally don't believe in loans that stay with you (and your children) forever, and get worse throughout your life:

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