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VetSuccess Academy


A United States Cyber Academy program

To help fill the skills gap, the SANS Institute created the SANS CyberTalent Immersion Academy, an intensive, accelerated training program that provides SANS world class training and GIAC certifications to quickly and effectively launch careers in cybersecurity. SANS CyberTalent Immersion Academies are 100% scholarship-based and no cost to participants.



Eligibility Requirements:

  • Transitioning service members not more than six months away from separation.
  • Veterans with less than ten years out of the service. Veterans cannot be working in the information security field or have prior work experience from the information security field outside of the military
  • Active duty spouses not working in the information security field or with prior work experience in the information security field.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Legal Resident (Green card holder).

Preferred Degrees/Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree and at least 1 year of work experience in information technology, information security, or audit, from the military service or
  • Associate's degree and at least 3 years of work experience in information technology, information security, or audit from the military service.
  • Those without a college degree should hold at least 3-5 years of work experience in information technology, information security, or audit from the military service.

Click here for a list of Current Immersion Academies and the admission requirements.

How the Program Works

Candidates meeting the Academy requirements may submit an application and proceed to complete an online assessment.  Based on the results, applicants may be invited to submit additional documentation to complete their application and may advance to the next step for a personal interview. The Admissions Committee will determine which candidates are accepted and will notify them of next steps.

Students will complete up to three SANS courses and industry-leading certifications.

"The SANS VetSuccess program trains veterans on hyper-current hacking techniques. When it came time to perform 'in-real-life' at VDA, I felt prepared and could provide instantaneous value to the company." - Gregory Hatcher, Information Security Consultant, VDA Labs

Time Commitment for Students

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

All courses are taken online via SANS OnDemand and are self-paced. Students are required to complete each course and certification in five weeks, depending on the particular academy's schedule. The VetSuccess Academies generally takes three to four months to complete.

Course Set Up

All VetSuccess students will begin their Academy program by taking SEC401 through SANS OnDemand. The course and GSEC certification exam must be completed in five weeks. Students who successfully pass the certification exam move on to SEC504 via SANS OnDemand and will have five weeks to complete the OnDemand course and GCIH certification exam. Students who choose to pursue a third course and certification will have five weeks to complete the OnDemand course and successfully pass the certification attempt.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are excited about this program and meet the basic requirements above, we invite you to review our Current Academies page to see which Academies are of interest. Please review the qualifications for each Academy as there may be different or advanced requirements for each.

If you have questions, please contact us at immersionacademy@sans.org.