While the nearby Baltimore and D.C. regions are well known for their cybersecurity prowess — thanks, in large part, to their proximity to federal agencies — Philly isn’t thought of as a premier destination for the work. Yet.
The University of Pennsylvania announced Tuesday that it will now accept applications for a cybersecurity bootcamp, aimed at preparing those who work in the digital sphere for a career in the rapidly growing field. The 24-week, part-time course was created as in collaboration with the College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS) and the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
A recent Burning Glass Technologies Labor Insight report about local workforces showed that there were about 10,000 cybersecurity roles that needed to be filled in the Philadelphia metropolitan region in 2018, a 127% increase over five years, according to Penn’s Rita McGlone. (Technical.ly could not independently confirm this figure.)
McGlone, the executive director of professional and organizational development at LPS, said the curriculum for the Penn Cybersecurity Boot Camp was organized after the university saw interest and success with the Penn LPS Coding Boot Camp. That program has since graduated about 270 students since it launched in January 2018.
And those leaving the program are getting jobs not just with large employers like Comcast and J.P. Morgan, but also at tech startups, software companies and customer b2b services, said Boon Thau Loo, the associate dean of master’s and professional programs at the engineering school.
“There’s always a strong demand for cybersecurity, and we have the opportunity as part of the Philly region to become a hotbed for tech companies,” Loo said. “We hope we will play a role in making that happen.”
The first quarterly course will begin Nov. 12 and will meet for two three-hour evening classes during the week, plus a four-hour session on Saturdays. The intensive class time will also be followed by about 20 hours a week of outside projects, homework and assignments like “penetration testing to learn how to test an organization’s security by breaking into its machines,” the university said.
The curriculum will focus on IT and networking, and teach tools like Wireshark, Kali Linux and CompTIA Security+. It will also offer professional services like portfolio reviews and recruiting.
Applications for the program are open now and will likely close a few weeks before the program begins. About 25 people will be accepted into the first cohort, and another round of the bootcamp will likely start three months after the first, McGlone said.
Tuition for the course is $11,995.