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Diversity Workforce Academy - California (DCWA - CA)

DCA is an all-inclusive program focused on providing cybersecurity education for women of all ethnicities and minorities - Black, Latinx, Native American, that are career changers, with a high aptitude and passion for cybersecurity. If you have questions, please contact us at immersionacademy@sans.org.
Facts about the SANS Cyber Workforce Academy - California:
  • This free cybersecurity training program is geared towards the following individuals:
    • All women of all races
    • All Hispanic, Latinx, Native American, Black, African-American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander men
    • Unemployed or underemployed people of color
    • Community college, college, and graduate students of color not currently working in cybersecurity or pursuing a degree in cybersecurity
    • Working people of color seeking to transition careers into cybersecurity
    • Must be a resident of California
  • SANS and the Bay Area Chapter of the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP) are excited to announce applications for the ICMCP Diversity Cyber Academy - California (DCWA-CA) will open on October 1, 2020. The Academy is open to all California residents.
  • The DCWA-CA is a 100% scholarship-based diversity, equity, and inclusion program.
  • 100 candidates will have the opportunity to take the SANS Foundational learning program - an immersive cybersecurity training program that teaches python, C++, Linux, encryption, ethics, and other cybersecurity foundational principles.
  • 25 candidates who excel at the SANS Foundational program will receive three industry-recognized GIAC training and certification attempts that will prepare them for a lifelong career in cybersecurity.
  • All participants in the program will receive mentorship and ICMCP/SANS professional guidance and support.
Eligibility Requirements

DCA is an all-inclusive program focused on women of all ethnicities and minorities - Black, Latinx, Native American, that are career changers, with a high aptitude and passion for cybersecurity and meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • All women of all races
  • All Hispanic, Latinx, Native American, Black, African-American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander men
  • Unemployed or underemployed people of color
  • Community college, college, and graduate students of color not currently working in cybersecurity or pursuing a degree in cybersecurity
  • Working people of color seeking to transition careers into cybersecurity
  • Must be a resident of California
  • Applicants must be willing to provide a testimonial of their Academy experience and career path upon the successful completion of the program

Note: Transitioning military service members, active members of the reserves forces, US Coast Guard members, and military veterans are encouraged to apply to the VetSuccess Immersion Academy instead. Applicants must be within six months of separation or less than five years out of the service.

How the Application Process Works

Interested candidates will follow the application process below:

  • Candidate completes a web application form
  • Qualified candidates will be sent a link to take a CyberTalent Enhanced Assessment
  • Candidates must complete the assessment test within five days, unless otherwise specified
  • Qualified candidates will be invited to a phone interview
  • Candidates that are not qualified will also receive a notification of their status
Curriculum
  • 100 candidates will take the SANS Foundational learning program
  • 25 candidates will receive up to 3 SANS industry-recognized GIAC training and certifications

CyberStart Foundations & Game

In CyberStart Foundations, students learn the role of a CPU, how it executes code, its relationship with memory and the fundamentals of how attackers disrupt intended behaviors. Protocols and constructs behind networks are also taught, including the inner workings of packets and protocols that allow the internet to function as are Windows and Linux and programming in two languages widely used by cybersecurity professionals. The course and labs teach how core technologies actually work and are attacked. CyberStart Foundations is composed of the following skill areas across its' modules:

  • Computer Hardware
  • Data
  • Networking
  • Operating Systems
  • Virtualization
  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Google
  • Kali
  • Encryption
  • Python Programming
  • C Programming
  • Security
  • Reconnaissance
  • Exfiltration
  • Exploitation
  • Privilege Escalation
  • Lateral Movement
  • Persistence
  • Forensics

Students study each topic interweaved with other topics, in a sequence slowly increasing in difficulty until they grasp each concept, rather than overloading them with information on a single topic. Students with little background are able to move at a slower pace in earlier modules and levels of the simulation, while students who have some related understanding will complete earlier modules quickly and move on to topics they don't already know.

In CyberStart Game, using the suite of online challenges and games, players take on the role of a security agent and tackle realistic examples of tests and threats faced by cybersecurity practitioners in the field. CyberStart Game is student driven, inquiry-based learning. Including over 300 hours of content, players drive and measure their progress as they work through challenges by themselves. CyberStart Game includes a Field Manual and hints to provide scaffolding so that students have a resource when they struggle or hit a wall.

Points and in-game rewards will naturally motivate students through the challenges.