ETP Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

See below for more information about the Education Training Program Certificate.

Is comprised of an evolving set of tools, risk management approaches, technologies, training, and best practices designed to protect users, networks, devices, applications, and data from attacks and unauthorized access.

A cybersecurity analyst is responsible for protecting an organization's data, computing systems, and networks from cyber threats. This role involves a blend of technical, analytical, and administrative tasks to ensure the security and integrity of information systems.


Starting a career in cybersecurity can be a rewarding decision for a variety of reasons: High demand, attractive compensation, job security, diverse opportunities, continuous learning, impactful work, global relevance, challenging and fulfilling, ethical considerations, and growth opportunities. In summary, a career in cybersecurity offers opportunities for personal and professional growth, financial rewards, and the chance to make a significant impact in the world of technology and beyond. For individuals who are tech-savvy, analytical, and passionate about making a difference, cybersecurity can be an ideal career path.


You! No prior cybersecurity experience or specific knowledge is required. In addition, the courses and related certificate are also designed for incumbent IT workers, career changers, managers, and anyone looking to reskill.

The ETP Certificate not only focuses on the technical knowledge and skills you need to be a cybersecurity professional, but also the social and organizational skills (e.g., critical thinking, collaborative work, and time management).

You'll learn these job-ready skills in the certificate program through interactive content (e.g., hands-on lab exercises, discussions) in a year.  Along the way, you'll work with and alongside University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign cybersecurity experts with decades of experience. 

You'll learn to use a range of software in the certificate program such as:

  • Linux and Windows operating systems 
  • Python, bash, and PowerShell scripting
  • Wireshark/tcpdump
  • Nmap
  • Ansible
  • Cisco Packet Tracer 
  • pfSense
  • Nessus/OpenVAS
  • GitHub
  • GitPod, Docker, VMware
  • Jupyter Notebooks
  • KASM
  • CrypTool

Our certificate consists of three courses, all available in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. You must take them in the following order:

  1. Foundations in Secure Networking
  2. Foundations in Secure Systems Administration
  3. Foundations in Cybersecurity

The ETP Certificate and related courses help prepare learners for in demand jobs such as:

Computer Network Support Specialist

Computer User Support

Customer Service & Technical Support

Cybersecurity Analyst

Cyber Defense Analyst

Help Desk Specialist

Information Technology (IT) Administrator

IT Security Analyst

IT Technician

IT Technical Support Professional

Information Security Analyst

Network Administrator

Network Analyst

Network Operations Specialist

Network Services

Network Support

Network Support Technician

Network Support Specialist

Network Systems & Data Communications Analyst

Technical Support Specialist

Security Analyst

Security Administrator

System Administrator

Security Operations Center (SOC) Analyst

The course material is fully online, delivered asynchronously. That means you work on the material at your own pace. The course content is organized to be completed in 8 weeks, but learners have access to the course material for 6 months, starting the day they access the class. 

The course’s instructional content will be made available via Canvas Catalog, a web-based Learning Management System (LMS), that allows institutions to manage digital learning, educators to create and present online learning materials and assess student learning, and students to engage in courses and receive feedback about skill development and learning achievement. In addition, Canvas Catalog allows institutions to list, manage, and provide open enrollment or fee-based courses and programs. It functions similarly to the regular Canvas LMS (if you are familiar with it) but is geared towards continuing education and professional development. Users can easily enroll in courses, with options for enrolling in free courses or those requiring payment. Canvas Catalog offers a streamlined process for signing up, paying for, and beginning courses, with additional features for tracking course completion, joining waiting lists, and obtaining proof of completion. It is designed to accommodate individual learners as well as organizations seeking bulk enrollments for their employees.

Each of the three (3) classes is "chunked" into 8 weeks. A motivated and disciplined learner with the necessary time outside of other commitments (e.g., family, work) could complete the program in 8-9 months. However, allowing for a calendar year may be more realistic.

Learners will have access to course materials for 6 months, starting the day they pay and get access to the online class.

Each week’s module may contain the following (not all modules have the same assignments):

  • Due dates.
  • Learning objectives for that week’s module.
  • Required and supplemental (optional) reading material.
  • Links to supplemental materials.
  • Video(s).
  • Hands-on lab assignment(s).
  • List of concepts/glossary of terms.

Some yes, some no. However, there is a final grading scale, based on the following:

  • Pass = Learner earns a score of 70% or higher on all graded coursework.
  • Fail = Learner earns a score of 69% or lower on all graded coursework.

Pass all 3 classes with a 70% (or higher) final grade, in each class.

Students come to a course with different time constraints. Some researchers suggest that students should spend approximately 2-3 hours outside of class, per credit hour per week. Although this is a non-credit certificate program, each of the 3 classes in the Certificate are 4-credit equivalent courses, which would require between 12-16 hours per week of study time (the 12-16 hours includes the 4 hours students would be in-class in a traditional face-to-face course, where there is time spent both in-class (e.g., 4 hours for a 4-credit class) and out-of-class (e.g., 8-12 hours). Other experts question the validity of this advice. In addition, how much time a learner needs to allot for study time depends on many factors (e.g., the amount and difficulty of the material, the learner's prior knowledge and skills, etc.). Regardless, students need time to work through the material to fully master the content. To determine if you have the time to be successful in a one of the classes, assume you should spend approximately 8-12 hours per week working on the course material. To see how this equation fits into your current lifestyle, go to the Time Management Calculator website. This interactive tool will illustrate how you currently allocate your responsibilities in a typical week. Using this chart, you can quickly identify areas of opportunity to maximize your potential for success in this program.

Each course costs $995 U.S. dollars.

Yes. If you register for all three courses at the same time, you will receive a 15% discount: 

$995 per course x 3 courses = $2,985. 15% discount = $448 off the total price, or $2,537.

Once the course is started, no refunds will be issued.