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Our program combines an adaptive learning curriculum, hands-on apprenticeships and on-the-job training so that you can master cyber roles as you advance through your career.

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Program Highlights

Immersive & Hands-on

Learn real-world industry tasks that will prepare you for your future role.

  • Build enterprise level networks
  • Operate the latest cybersecurity tools
  • Prepare for and respond to cyber attacks
  • Design highly secure systems

Team Exercises

Work as a valued member of a high-paced elite cyber team.

  • Team and enterprise-wide exercises
  • Understand fundamental best practices
  • Gamify your team collaboration
  • Enhance your communication skills

Instructor-Led

Hone your cybersecurity skills with expert guidance from leading instructors.

  • Learn with cybersecurity professionals
  • Work through on-the-job scenarios
  • Leverage years of experience from instructors
  • Master skills with in class feedback

Live Fire Training

Train daily to understand and fight real cyber threats from advanced attackers.

  • Experience live cyber attacks as they play out
  • Master your readiness to respond
  • Protect mission-critical systems
  • Learn to use automation to get ahead of attacks

Full-time Curriculum

Duration: 6 - 9 months (optional apprenticeship with training)

  • 1st quarter - Fundamentals

    Fundamentals that every cybersecurity professional needs

    Week

    1 - 4

    Networking, operating systems, and the latest threats.

    Work within your team to build your own computer networks and defend them from live-fire attacks by instructors. Identify and prioritize critical vulnerabilities in networks and systems and then petition the board to negotiate more cybersecurity budget. Brief real company CEOs on the latest threats targeting their company using the same tools you will use on the job.


    Week

    5 - 8

    Identity and access management, monitoring networks and systems for attacks, and penetration testing (ethical hacking).

    Track advanced threat actors through your company’s network and build defenses to stop them. Then, put on your hacker hat to break into companies and hack websites. Hack and defend networks with your team during live-fire events.

    Week

    9 - 12

    Digital forensics, malware analysis and reverse engineering, and incident response.

    Investigate an attack on a vaccine research facility with your team and collect and analyze evidence to present in a mock court of law. Analyze and reverse engineer malware attacking Fortune 500 companies and work in your incident response team to build detection engineering to stop today’s accelerated cyber-attacks.

  • 2nd quarter - Specialized training

    Select your career path

    Career path

    SOC (Security Operations Center) engineer career path trains you from a tier 1 SOC analyst level through an incident responder. You will be part of a team that is responsible for monitoring company networks and systems around the clock to defend against threats and will work to identify and respond to incidents.

    Week

    1 - 4

    Continue building on your skills in network traffic analysis to hunt threats and use the same tools you will use on the job. Analyze traffic in your cloud infrastructure and work in a team to defend your infrastructure. Perform Dark Web monitoring and triage SIEM tool alerts with ticketing systems you will use on the job.

    Week

    5 - 8

    Work in your team to identify Indicators of compromise (IOCs) and write Yara detection rules to detect IOCs of threat actors targeting your company. Write scripts to automate detection and analysis, remove malware from company systems, and continue building your threat hunting skills.

    Week

    9 - 12

    Work in your incident response team to investigate alerts escalated by the SOC tier 2 team and respond to live-fire incidents. Build IR playbooks and hunt advanced threats. Identify attack pathways to your company’s critical assets and build defenses against live-fire attacks from instructors. Analyze and reverse engineer advanced malware samples and perform forensic investigations.

  • 3rd quarter - training & apprenticeship

    Apply your skills in your favorite industry

    Week

    1 - 12

    The third quarter of our Academy training offers apprenticeship opportunities at our corporate partners.

    Work in the career path you had chosen from the second quarter with our industry partners and work in your team through real company projects in the financial, aerospace, and healthcare industries. You will function as a member of the team and focus on protocols, monitoring, and security controls specific to the industry, while working to attack and defend systems.


Full-time Schedule

Days
Monday to Friday
Time
8 AM - 5 PM Central Time

Class Schedule

8:00 • 1h
Day Prep

Review and prepare for your days objectives.


9:00 • 1h
Projects & Tasks

Participate in an instructor-led team session to understand what you’re doing and why it matters as you protect your business network from hackers, perform a forensic investigation or hunt for threats.


10:00 • 1h30m
Self-Directed Work

Learn how to problem solve in self-driven learning and project setup, based on projects allocated by your instructor.


11:30 • 1h
Lunch

Rest and refuel for an hour.


12:30 • 1h30m
Guided Skills Time

Immerse yourself in a live cyber range as you hone your hands-on skills while hacking into a company to steal data, evading a defense team in real-time or defending your company’s network from a state-sponsored attack.


14:00 • 2h
Project Completion

Refine and put the finishing touches on any projects you’re working on that showcase your skills to potential employers.


16:00 • 1h
Project Team Meeting

Collaborate with and support your peers as you work with your team and instructor on task completion and integration.


8:00 • 1h
System Prep & Team Objectives

Sync up with your team to prepare for your days activities and objectives.


9:00 • 1h30m
Team Challenge - Defend Against Criminal Hackers

Participate in realistic, team-based on-the-job challenge such as defending against red team (hacking) compromise.


10:30 • 30m
Team Milestone Report

Meet with your team to discuss your first challenge - sharing what you learned and the challenges you faced as you prepare to progress to the next stage of the challenge.


11:00 • 1h
Lunch

Rest and refuel for an hour.


12:00 • 2h
Team Challenge - Contain Attacks On Critical Systems

Continue with your team challenge by responding to the attackers as they propogate to a financial data center and virtual reality servers.


14:00 • 2h
Team Challenge - Recover from Ransomware Attack

Advance to the next stage of your team challenge by working through recovery options from a ransomware attack and reporting your results to the board.


16:00• 1h
Team Milestone Report with Feedback & Learnings

Recap the challenge your team faced today, sharing what went well and what could be improved through each stage.



Career Placement

Early Matching

We begin the process of identifying potential career matches early in the program to help ensure our students and employers alike receive the best mutual fit. From Day 1, you'll begin building your professional portfolio as you work through a company-approved curriculum that aligns to open corporate positions.

Apprenticeship Program

In the second quarter, we will help match you to a company for a hands-on apprenticeship in coordination with your academy program. This will allow you to operate within a real-world company environment early in the process as you experience different cyber roles and identify which is the best fit.

System Flight Time

In the final quarter, you'll receive micro-certifications aligned to cyber roles. The micro-certifications are what we call "Flight Time" and provide training on the systems required to hit the ground running once you begin your career. These include training with malware, controls and systems directly relevant to your future career.


Tuition Options

RapidAscent Tuition

$18,000 (USD)
At RapidAscent, we are striving to create an education that is affordable and attainable for everyone. You can select to pay tuition up-front, through installments or defer to after graduation once you’re hired.

Return on investment

Position CyberSecurity Career Programming Career
Average US Entry-level Salary
* Source:Glassdoor
$70,000 $56,000

Upfront Tuition

You can select to pay your full tuition upfront before beginning your cohort.

How It Works

Deadline for upfront tuition payment is by your enrollment date. Tuition must be paid in order to begin your cohort.

See FAQs

Tuition Installments

An alternate option to paying tuition upfront or deferring until after graduation is to pay your tuition in installments over time.

How It Works

Your tuition payment schedule will be based on your cohort timing and selected payment period. One-third of the tuition payment will be due by the beginning of each quarter, so you can pay as you go.

See FAQs

Deferred Tuition

You can also select to defer your tuition payment until after you’ve graduated and begun your career. This is done through an Income Share Agreement (ISA).
* Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to qualify.

How It Works

By signing the ISA, you agree to pay the tuition once you’re hired and making more than $50,000 per year. Payments will be made over time using 16% of your salary for 24 months and will not exceed a total of $25,000 regardless of how high your salary becomes. If you do not get a job, you do not pay.

See FAQs

Tuition FAQs

An Income Share Agreement (ISA) is a form of financial instrument, which provides students with educational funding in exchange for a small percentage of the student’s future earnings, over a set period of time following graduation.

An ISA is not a loan, and does not create any debt.  Instead, it offers a much more flexible and safer method to finance your education related expenses as compared to private educational lenders.

Because the amount paid back with an ISA is based on your future income, payments adjust to your ability to pay, and should always be manageable.  Since payments are measured against your actual earnings, with an ISA, it is ok if the amount you ultimately pay back is less than the amount you receive.

With traditional private loans, student-borrowers must pay back the principal amount and accrued interest, irrespective of their future income or employment circumstances.  Under a loan, failure to pay back accrued interest can lead to ‘negative amortization’, which means your principal loan balance increases over time despite making minimum payments.

With an Income Share Agreement, there is absolutely no risk of negative amortization. An ISA carries no interest, and has no principal balance that must be repaid.  Accordingly, there is absolutely no risk of negative amortization. Instead, the student agrees to pay-back a small, fixed, percentage of his/her future income in exchange for financing to be applied towards the student’s education or education related expenses.  With an ISA, the amount ultimately repaid may be more or less than the amount received.

No! Our investment is in you and only you need to sign.
With the ISA program, you'd pay 16% of your pre-tax earnings each month for a period of 24 months. If the total payment amount goes above the cap, no more payments are due beyond that point.

Completing our online application utilizes what is called a "soft-pull", which will not impact your credit score.

While your credit score is not a priority, certain merit indicators may overlap with items also included in your credit score, such as: recent garnishments, lien attachments, judgments or tax liens, bankruptcy, or unsatisfied suits or judgments.

Following program completion (and your applicable grace period), your monthly payments will be indexed to a specified percentage (16%) of your pre-tax earnings for the prescribed contract term.  After making ordinary payments over the designated contract term, no additional payments are required even if the amount ultimately repaid is less than the amount credited to you.

Since your monthly payments are calculated as a fixed percentage of your earned income, if you become unemployed, face unexpected salary shocks or other work-related financial hardships, your payments will be commensurately lowered, or waived entirely.  We call this Automatic Deferment, but you can call it peace of mind.

Typical private lenders use a grace period because their loans must be repaid irrespective of your circumstances.  With an ISA, however, you will only pay it back if and when you are gainfully employed and earning above an income 'floor' based on your degree or career.

With an Income Share Agreement, your repayments will start only once you are gainfully employed, and earning more than a base amount.   So, if it takes you longer than expected to find a job, there is no interest accumulation, and you have no risk of negative amortization.

Yes, many cybersecurity professionals work remotely especially post-pandemic. With an ISA, you have the flexibility to keep the contract for the full term and benefit from the built-in protections against unemployment, or you may pre-pay early.  The choice is entirely yours.

Moreover, all regular monthly payments made prior to electing Early pay-off are counted towards your early pre-payments.

We are exploring additional financing options for international students. In the meantime, international students have the option of paying tuition upfront or in quarterly installments.

No!  With an ISA, there is no penalty should you choose to pay-off your ISA early.

To end your ISA contract, all you have to do is pay the "payment cap" that is set forth in your agreement.  In fact, many of the programs offering ISAs through Meratas provide incremental payment caps which reward you by making it less costly when you terminate your ISA early (compared to keeping it for the full term)

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Admission Process

1

Begin Application

Our online application takes only 30 minutes to complete. We’ll gather basic information so you can set up an account and get started.

2

More About You

As part of the application, we’ll ask what interests you about cyber and take you through a brief assessment to help match you to industry roles.

3

Online Interview

As part of your application process, you will be scheduling an online interview with one of our admissions officers so we can get to know you better.

4

Admission Decision

Following your online interview, we’ll contact you within 2-4 weeks with our admission decision.

5

Orientation & Enrollment

Upon acceptance and receiving your cohort, we’ll finalize your enrollment and set up orientation to get started!

Begin Your Career in Cybersecurity

Our online application takes only thirty minutes to complete. Get enrolled and join our community of cyber professional.

Apply Now