UPDATE: CSO found that 53% of organizations are facing a cybersecurity skills shortage. This is up from 42% since this article was published.
With this in mind, they created a list of sixonline cybersecurity courses for beginners – https://comparite.ch/cyseccourses. For anyone considering starting a career in cybersecurity, or pivoting into the niche from another IT career, these will prove a good starting point.


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Hire Our Heroes have teamed up to offer training for Veterans in cybersecurity, in support of Veterans join our nation’s cybersecurity workforce.

DHS’s Federal Virtual Training Environment (Fed VTE) offers free online, on-demand cyber security training to government employees and Veterans. Veterans can sign up for an account through the Hire Our Heroes website and follow instructions through “ID me” to verify veteran status and register for a FedVTE account.

DHS also offers a Veterans Cybersecurity Training and Education Guide to help Veterans assess their readiness and interest in a cyber security career, prepare and plan for the necessary training, and engage by developing cybersecurity skills and abilities.

Fed VTE has over 100,000 users and contains more than 800 hours of training. Users can take courses in risk management, malware analysis, mobile and device security and ethical hacking.

According to the training website, cybersecurity professionals report an average salary of $116,000, nearly three times the national average. The demand for cybersecurity experts is growing 12 times faster than the current U.S. job market, making cybersecurity one of the most highly sought-after careers in the country.

In addition to these resources and in hopes of developing a technically skilled workforce and a pipeline for future employees, DHS and the National Security Agency (NSA) jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence program. Through this program, Veterans interested in pursuing a degree in cybersecurity or a related field can attend a college or university designated as a Center of Academic Excellence and recognized for aligning their programs with skills needed to work in the career field.

Veterans enrolled in select cybersecurity academic programs may want to apply for the CyberCorps®: Scholarship for Service (SFS). This program provides scholarships for college students studying cybersecurity in return for Federal, State, local or tribal government service upon graduation.

Have questions? Check out this blog from DHS — click here to read it.  If you have additional questions after reading the blog, contact vets@HQ.DHS.GOV.

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Published on Aug. 15, 2016

Estimated reading time is 2 min.

Views to date: 2,115


  1. Robert S. Broun August 25, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Hi Megan,
    Is it possible to talk with a career counselor to see if I can train and be hired successfully? I am 56, I have degenerative disc disease complicated by periphreal neuropathy. In the late 90’s I was A+ certified and worked as an assistant team leader for Minolta Business systems covering southern Los Angeles county. I transitioned into the steel industry in 1999 and during 14 years I earned a stack of certificates of training that run the cambit of trains and cranes to 5 different types of material handleing forklifts. Sadly I will not be able to use thise certificates anymore. So I am just seeking some more definitive information to help me decide if I am to old or to handicapped to take this carreer path.
    I am very grateful for your assistance.
    Bob Broun

    • Megan Moloney August 25, 2016 at 1:48 pm


      Your best bet is to touch base with the Hire our Heroes folks or DHS as they are running the program. VA does provide Vocational Rehabilitation and counseling — you can find out more about that here: http://explore.va.gov/employment-services/vocational-rehabilitation

      • Robert S. Broun August 25, 2016 at 2:11 pm

        Thanks Megan ….. about face HARCH! …. sigh , it never changes does it, they sent me here. I appreciate your time and help Megan.
        Best Regards

  2. Terry Darr August 25, 2016 at 7:25 am

    The question of age requirement of 50 and younger has not been clarified in the above posts, is this correct?

  3. Lisa Cooper August 25, 2016 at 12:05 am

    My husband is deceased (100% total and permanent). I was his spouse at the time of his death and receive full military benefits.

    Would I be eligible for the cyber security training exercises?

  4. Anthony Thomas August 23, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    @Raymond Powell: Mr. Powell it would benefit you greatly if you did some research before stating”Let’s not kid ourselves. If a veteran only has a high school education and yet successfully completes this course, I doubt any hiring entity would even consider such an applicant.” WPAFB has hundreds of employees that have only a high school education and are in cyber security, Information awareness, and Industrial security. The Comptia Security + is a hard test, but those who study hard will pass it and be on to other areas of cyber security. FYI check out professor messer on you tube for free classes.

  5. Charles R. Serrano August 22, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Where and how can I inquire about the cyber-security training offered to veterans?. What are the requirements of eligibility for the training?

  6. Raymond Powell August 22, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Let’s not kid ourselves. If a veteran only has a high school education and yet successfully completes this course, I doubt any hiring entity would even consider such an applicant.

  7. Uzziah Augustus Hammonds, Jr. August 22, 2016 at 8:19 am

    I want to start the training for cybersecurity. Please tell how to get started.

  8. Kenneth E. Clarke Jr August 21, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    What is the age limit for this program?

  9. William Anthony Matz August 21, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    I am a disabled Vet, and a civil servant, are my wife, and children eligible for these programs?

  10. Torey Romero August 21, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    The link to training is broken. Or doesn’t work on Android.

  11. Suellyn Vanderslice August 21, 2016 at 7:35 am

    On the Intrrest Inventories, like the Strong -Campbell, available free on-line, what Type of individual would do best in these positions?

  12. Joel Mooney August 20, 2016 at 11:06 am

    My fellow Vets. It is true that the Cyber Security field is in high demand. However, as a cyber security practitioner you will not find a job by taking on line classes. If you have the time, and patience I highly recommend you obtain a degree in Computer Science and become skilled in a coding language. If you already have a background in coding, managing a large scale network, network architecture, information assurance, mobile device development, developer, etc. You will have a strong foundation to pick up the Cyber Security skill set. If not you will need to pursue a degree and or very specific training. Stay away from schools that are in it only for the money. You can pursue a degree in Cyber Security and that will be a great foundation to enter the workforce. You need to go on line and search for Cyber Security positions and look at the requirements. This will give you an idea of what skill sets are required and what you will need to be successful. You have to constantly hone your skills, keep up with new technologies, and embrace your inner nerd. Having an on line certificate will more than likely result in your resume not making it through the system for a hiring manager to review. What the VA and DHS is offering is a good start; however they also need to temper the information with a dose of reality. There are plenty of public accredited colleges offering Cyber Security degrees, I encourage you to do research and refrain from taking short cuts as the rewards are well worth it. If you want further guidance you can contact me at Joel.mooney@gmail.com.

  13. Frank Lopez August 19, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    Is there an age cap that might prevent me from taking these online courses?

  14. Rosie August 19, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Hello Megan, I just recently graduated with an Associate in Business and Information Technology. Would you know if this training counts toward credit hours for my Bachelor Degree, I am interested in going into Cybersecurity.

  15. Cardell White August 19, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Megan, great work!

  16. Thomas W. Rivet August 19, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    I love the free training part but cannot figure out where to sign up, how much the tests we have to pay for will cost, nor where we will take the tests.

    There appears to be a lot of information missing; all there is, is hype.

    Any Help?

  17. JACK GILBERT August 19, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    i’m over 50, in very good health, have a lot of computer training,

  18. Bill Dailey August 19, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Maybe I am too old but did do 46 weeks electronics in air force…..then 3 years active service after….VFW too….

  19. Jean-Francois Goldsticker USN veteran August 19, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Where did you find out you had to be under 50 years old? From the very beginning they did not give an age limit. Is there an age limit?

  20. Fellix Miller August 19, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    I want to the website

  21. Fellix Miller August 19, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    How do I register for Cyber Security Training

  22. Denise Flood August 19, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Thanks @BobCothroll! Your comments should have been included in the beginning of the article it would have saved me some time I had to read all the other stuff then get disappointed at the end of it.
    You are the real MVP!

  23. Fernando August 19, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Is this available for Veterans that are felons?

    • Megan Moloney August 19, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      Fernando, you’ll need to go to the website for Hire Our Heros or email DHS to find that answer. Thanks!

  24. Bob Cothroll August 19, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    You must have been active in the military after 1984. In other words, under 50.

  25. Terri Stone-Hill August 19, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Is there another way to validate a user? I am not comfortable w/ the TroopID link.

    • Megan Moloney August 19, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      Terri, you may want to email the address at the end of the story and ask the DHS folks who run the program. They should be able to answer that for you.

  26. Angus A. Stevens August 19, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Please tell me what moderation means in this case?
    Thank you,

    • Megan Moloney August 19, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      Angus, All comments are reviewed before being posted so we don’t get auto-generated spam comments on the stories.

  27. Angus A. Stevens August 19, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    Is there any way I may try the program and see if it is doable for myself. Thank you very for your time and attention in this matter?

    Sincerely yours,

    Angus A. Stevens

    • Megan Moloney August 19, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      You may want to send an email to the DHS address listed at the end of the story — they should be able to answer that for you.

  28. John Carroll Schifano August 19, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    I have a wife that would like to try this program, is she eligible? I am a disabled retired army.

    • Megan Moloney August 19, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      John, you may want to email the address at the end of the story and ask the DHS folks who run the program. They should be able to answer that for you.

  29. David Hunt August 19, 2016 at 11:47 am

    And they keep calling and tring acting like I don’t know who calling me? I even called dell to find out the truth.

    • Roxanne L August 19, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      David, do not pay them one cent. It is a scam and you need to report them to the FTC. To explain further please read this site http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/windows-tech-support-scam/ Hopefully this will help you understand more and what to do next.
      Take care!

  30. Adolph Scheiwe August 19, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Are these courses/training regionally accredited?

  31. Sherry August 19, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Are Vetran’s family eligible?

    • Megan Moloney August 19, 2016 at 11:21 am

      Sherry, email the folks at DHS via the email address at the end of the article. They should be able to answer that for you.

  32. James R. Connolly August 19, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Good work. Improving efforts for Vets by the V.A. are appreciated.

  33. John W Seybert August 19, 2016 at 10:56 am

    I need more information.
    John Seybert

    • Megan Moloney August 19, 2016 at 10:58 am

      Check our the Hire Our Heroes website at https://hireourheroes.org/veterans-training/ and follow instructions through “ID me” to verify veteran status and register for a FedVTE account.

  34. John h hopson August 19, 2016 at 10:55 am

    How can I get started with this new initiative.

    • Megan Moloney August 19, 2016 at 10:59 am

      You can find more info on the Hire Our Heroes website at https://hireourheroes.org/veterans-training/ and follow instructions through “ID me” to verify Veteran status and register for a FedVTE account.

    • David Hunt August 19, 2016 at 11:41 am

      I went an bought an avg security for my computer? The next thing I started getting phone calls from dell and ITT saying my computer was putting out vires and trogan. So I called the number they gave me and then I started talking to this guy and he could fix my problem but he had to access to the inside of my computer and then he could fix it. After he was close to beening done then he gave me the price for 349.0

      • Megan Moloney August 19, 2016 at 12:01 pm

        In most cases, sir, the computer companies will not call you regarding these kinds of issues. If they do, it’s not usually the company, but someone pretending to be them. Take a look at this website from the FTC for more information: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0346-tech-support-scams

      • Gene Bammes August 19, 2016 at 2:20 pm

        David,,, Some of what he probably did was to load a program on your computer to exploit you and others you connect with. I would suggest taking your computer back to at least a time prior to your session with them, or maybe even taking it back to the original factory configuration, then reload what you need back on it. Just my 2 cents

  35. Michelle Bonds August 19, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Please send me information concerning this opportunity.

    • Megan Moloney August 19, 2016 at 10:33 am

      Michelle, you can click on the links in the article above, or email the address at the end, for additional information.

  36. James Lee August 19, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Are Veterans direct family members qualified for this program?

    • Megan Moloney August 19, 2016 at 10:34 am

      James, send an email to the address at the end of the article — they should be able to answer your question.

    • CPO Sam August 19, 2016 at 10:47 am

      The VA will reimburse you for the Certification exam fee and you can take the exams as many times as you need to.

      • keith mcallister August 20, 2016 at 2:20 am

        How does the the VA reimburse you for the exam Fee? they never paid for the last certification fee.

  37. Jerome Otto August 19, 2016 at 10:27 am

    This is a training site only, the certificates you receive are your own responsibility and you will need to purchase an exam, take the exam, and pass the exam (hopefully!). This isn’t a work from home deal, these are skills necessary for keeping a company’s, or government entity’s, network and infrastructure secure. I currently have the A+, Network+, Security+ and am currently working on the CISSP (to be followed up by the CEH) and let me tell you that even the entry level skills are challenging! Though if you have an interest in pursuing IT/Cybersecurity, it is fun and rewarding!

  38. Al (cpl usmc) August 18, 2016 at 8:02 am

    I was wonderingDo you get a certification after completing the program

  39. Terry L Horton August 18, 2016 at 12:10 am

    Is this only for veterans I’m retired Law enforcement due to being hit head on by a drunk driver just wanted to know if there was something like this for SSAD people.
    Thank you
    Terry L Horton

  40. Salesh Mishra August 17, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    SWEET! So its like CBT nuggets? I will take a look at the stuff they offer online shortly. Love that the VA and DHS teamed up for this!

  41. Nick M August 16, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    This is a training website that provides videos to watch to assist in understanding what will be on the test for certifications in the cybersecurity field.

  42. louis isaac August 16, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Is this like a work at home opportunity for someone who is retired military?
    how do i apply.

    • Megan Moloney August 16, 2016 at 11:42 am

      Veterans can sign up for an account through the Hire Our Heroes website and follow instructions through “ID me” to verify veteran status and register for a FedVTE account. Start at https://hireourheroes.org/veterans-training/

      The training may lead to a job, but it’s not specifically a hiring program. You can also contact vets@HQ.DHS.GOV with questions.

  43. David R Olson August 16, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Is this like a work at home opportunity for someone who is retired military?

    • Dr. David Hatfield, SGM, US Army (Ret) August 17, 2016 at 3:38 am

      See Megan Moloney’s reply below.

  44. RemiSkiUSMC August 15, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Will the GI Bill work? Or Voc Rehab?

    • Dr. David Hatfield, SGM, US Army (Ret) August 17, 2016 at 3:36 am

      You don’t need either one for the Federal Virtual Training Environment (FedVTE). Any veteran can obtain an account as directed in the above blog post. That training is all done by computer from your home or other location. For the Centers of Academic Excellence, you can use either program (GI Bill or I believe Voc Rehab) to pay for a college program in a cybersecurity or information assurance related skill area. You would need to check with your GI Bill or VocRehab contacts to be sure of your eligibility, and check with the university’s program point of contact to see what programs they had available and determine your eligibility for those programs.

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