Cyber Workforce Academy - Maryland

Partially funded by EARN Maryland, this academy will train Maryland residents, with a focus on U.S. Military veterans and women, over the next two years in highly sought-after cybersecurity skills to provide them a pathway into the cybersecurity workforce. For more information, contact us at immersionacademy@sans.org.

Apply for the Next Cyber Workforce Academy - Maryland

The SANS Cyber Workforce Academy - Maryland is comprised of two separate tracks, a six -month Reskilling Academy which provides accelerated cybersecurity training program to individuals not currently working in cybersecurity, and an Upskilling Academy for individuals with IT experience or limited cybersecurity skills to upskill into an in-demand position. Both options are open to Maryland residents only and provide jobseekers with the advanced technical training, industry-recognized GIAC certifications and hands-on cybersecurity skills sought by Maryland employers.


  • Ongoing admissions — candidates considered for various cohorts based on when they apply
  • New cohorts launch every 45-90 days
How the Program Works

Interested candidates will follow the application process below:

  • Candidate completes a web application form.
  • The application will be reviewed and an online assessment sent within three days.
  • Candidates must complete the online assessment within five days. (unless otherwise specified)
  • Assessment results are reviewed once a week and candidates may receive an invitation to submit supporting documents including a resume and formal transcripts to complete their application.
  • Qualified candidates may be invited to a phone interview.
  • All candidates will be informed of their application status within four weeks of the application deadline.

Reskilling Academy participants will complete three training modules:

Required Course:

  • Cyber Foundations Module: SEC275: Foundations – Computers, Technology & Security and GFACT Certification
Followed by:
  • Cyber Defense Essentials Module: SEC401: Security Essentials Boot Camp Style and GSEC Certification
After passing required courses choose one of the following: 
  • Incident Handling Module: SEC504: Hacker Tools, Techniques, Exploits, and Incident Handling and GCIH Certification or an equivalent SANS training course and GIAC Certification
  • Blue Team Fundamentals Module: SEC450: Security Operations and Analysis and GSOC Certification
  • Cloud Security Essentials Module: SEC488: Cloud Security Essentials and GCLD  Certification

Upskilling Academy participants will be offered up to 2 courses, depending on their selected area of interest. Course offerings will vary based on assessed competencies in their area of interest and career goals with preference given to members of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community, those who identify as a woman, veterans, military spouses, or individuals currently working for a small or medium-sized business with limited access to additional training.

Pathways include:

Cloud, Audit & Management, Offensive Security, Defensive Security, Forensics, and Industrial Control Systems

Industry Resource of the Year Award Badge

Cybersecurity Industry Resource of the Year Award

“We’re thrilled to be recognized as a leading player in the Maryland cybersecurity community with the 2021 Cyber Industry Resource of the Year Award,” said Rob Lee, Chief Curriculum Director and Head of Faculty at SANS Institute. “Behind this recognition is our team’s determination to provide our customers with outstanding protection against cybersecurity threats. As security threats evolve, we pride ourselves on the ability to pivot and be on the forefront of innovation.”

Eligibility Requirements
The Cyber Workforce Academy - Maryland is only open to Maryland residents. Please closely review the eligibility requirements for each of the Academies before applying.

Please apply to the Reskilling Academy if you are:

  • Passionate about Information Security and looking to find employment in the field
  • A member of the BIPOC community, identify as a woman, or veteran/milspouse *(Active Military must be within 6 months of ETS/EAS)
  • Not currently working in and have not worked in an Information Security Role outside of your military service
  • MUST BE Legal Maryland Resident, and U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident

Recent or upcoming graduates of an A.S. and B.S. programs in computer science or related field are strongly encouraged to apply.

Please apply to the Upskilling Academy if you are:

  • Passionate about Information Security and looking to advance in your career
  • A member of the BIPOC community, identify as a woman, or veteran/milspouse*, or are currently working for a small or medium sized business with limited access to additional training *(Active military must be within 6 months of ETS/EAS)
  • Does NOT have advanced level GIAC Certification (certification assoicated with SANS 500 level course or higher)
  • MUST BE Legal Maryland Resident, and U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident

You are NOT eligible for EITHER program if you:

  • Do not live in or have proof of permanent residency in the state of Maryland
  • Have been employed in a direct information security role for 3 or more years outside of your military service
  • Are currently pursuing or hold a master's degree or PhD in information security Are not a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident currently not residing in Maryland
    Time Commitment for Students

    The Academy is a fast-track, intensive program and students are expected to complete all coursework and certifications in up to six months. On average, it takes most SANS students 80 hours to prepare for one GIAC certification attempt.


    "I found that most other certification programs are a two-week data dump and then a test. The SANS Cyber Workforce Academy - Maryland offers a strong hands-on component to the program. I don't have a technical background so this real-world experience was terrific." - Richard Dinio, Senior Engineering Technician, Tekla Research Inc.