We’re living in a world of technology—and a world of technological threats. Many things are stored online: credit cards, personal information, identities. With so much daily added into the cyber space, it’s no wonder security is growing as well—cybersecurity is growing 3 times as fast as other information jobs. This is a field that desperately needs people—but few people are trained enough to work in it.
A perfect opportunity for you to step in.
Cyber security is a growing, productive, well-paying field, looking for people to hire. If you have the skills, then your career will be launched. But how can you learn the skills for a still-young field? YouTube videos have no assurance of quality, and high-quality courses cost hundreds of dollars. What good is a growing field if you can’t pay the fee to get through the door?
Fortunately, sites like Cybrary are here to help with that. But are Cybrary’s courses actually legitimate? Are they any good? And will they actually help you advance your career? Let’s dive into this review of Cybrary and see!
What Is Cybrary?
Cybrary was founded in 2015, winning awards every year after that. It offers online cyber security courses, wanting to “launch your career with the cybersecurity and IT development platform.” Though it has a very niche topic, that doesn’t make the site small—it has over 3 million users, and 500 million minutes of videos.
Through courses, virtual labs, and hands-on-experiences, they want to teach you the basics and take your learning all the way to expert in the cybersecurity world.
How Cybrary Works
To create an account, simply log in using your email, Facebook, or Google information—no credit card or payment info needed! Confirm you’re not a robot (since robots probably don’t need to learn about cybersecurity), click through your verification email, and you’re ready to start.
Cybrary recommends a few courses for beginners—courses such as CompTIA Network, or other introductory courses to help you get your feet wet. These courses are a great way to help decide if you want to get involved with the field, and which direction to go.
You can jump right into a course, or navigate to your homepage to get your bearings first. Here in the Dashboard, you’ll be able to see your classes, assignments, career paths, and recommendations and bookmarks you’ve saved for later. There is an inbox for any notifications you might have, as well as a progress bar for your courses. While the majority of Cybrary’s courses are free, they do promote their paid subscription often, so there’s regular large banner ads encouraging you to upgrade.
If you choose to simply browse through courses, they’re filtered by the organization that they are connected with—so there’s a topic for CompTIA, Azure, Oracle, vmware, and AWS, among many others. The courses are also placed into bins according to their level, instructor, or career path.
With so many options organized in this way, it can be difficult to find a class. The simplest way is either to choose a career path, or jump into Cybrary’s personalized recommendations for you.
When you click on a course, there’s several informational stats you’ll see before you decide to enroll. You’ll find the time—how many hours of instruction the course offers—along with the level—beginner, intermediate, or advanced—and a brief summary of the course. The instructors have links to their bios, where you can see their other courses and ratings, and you can also see the ratings for the entire course, so you can know how many students have taken it—and what they thought!
Scrolling through the syllabus, you can see what’s taught in each lesson, and download any study guides or project files included in the course. Some courses include Virtual labs, which are in-browser with no downloads needed—but these courses are Pro-subscription-only. Some courses also offer certificates of completion, and the course page will indicate how many CEU’s it’s worth.
Each course is made up of videos, ranging from 4-10 minutes. You can turn on captions for these videos, skip forward or backwards, and jump ahead to different lessons that you’re interested in. There’s no way to download these videos though, so be sure you have good connection to the internet.
While Cybrary does offer many courses for free, they do encourage users to upgrade to their Pro subscription service. This costs $39/month, or $299/year, and gives access to all of their courses, assessments, labs, and careers paths. Pro also includes a community on Slack, allowing you to connect with other professionals and with mentors to further your learning.
Other Uses For Cybrary
Cybrary also offers certificate prep for students included in their Pro subscription, helping them study to earn the CompTIA certification and others. They also offer over 200 skill assessment tests, helping you to see exactly where you need to improve, and giving you clarity in your learning journey.
Career paths are built into the Pro subscription, allowing you to clearly see your learning route from start to finish. Cybrary “works with industry experts and learning professionals to ensure each path provides you with the skills you need to start your career, earn a promotion, and earn critical industry certificates.” These paths are made up of several course, and ensure you are ready and competent to stand out in your work.
Cybrary also boasts of its unlimited labs for paid members, browser-based scenarios for hands-on-learning, that doesn’t require you to download anything special. They also offer live classes for you to interact with instructors, and personal mentors. These mentors are assigned when you start the program, and help you to determine which career to jump into, and give career advice by reviewing your resume and expanding your interview skills.
Is Cybrary Legitimate?
Cybrary is a reputable site, used by many larger corporations. They boast of having students from PLEXSYS and Fannie Mae, and have been regularly awarded and praised for their work in cybersecurity.
They also regularly update and expand their courses, so you’re sure to have the top and most recent information in the courses—essential for this ever-shifting field. Their tools for business are extensive, and show that they’ve put thought and care into their program.
Is Cybrary Free?
Most online courses are expensive, and the cybersecurity courses are often the most expensive—but not at Cybrary.
Cybrary offers many of its courses completely free. These courses are high quality as well, and include many hours of instruction.
Is Cybrary Pro worth the price? Cybrary Pro costs $39/month, or $25/month if you choose to be billed annually, which runs a little higher than the industry average of $20-$25. However, they do offer a large community with this subscription, and networking is a large part of getting a job. Their labs also allow you to learn hands-on, and earn certificates proving your worth—which could also lead to a promotion or a new career. While it is a little pricier, they offer more than enough tools and benefits to make up for it.
Is Cybrary Accredited?
While Cybrary is not officially accredited, this is not unusual in the online-courses world. They do offer certification prep, and by passing those official exams you can earn your accreditation.
Yet while these courses aren’t officially accredited, that doesn’t mean they’re worthless. These courses give you a proficiency in the material that you can prove through your work—and demonstrate that you are driven and can learn on your own, qualities that many industries are looking for.
Cybrary Vs PluralSight
PluralSight is also tech-related course site, founded in 2004. They offer a broader range of topics, including Programming and Cloud Computing, but they do have an entire category for Cybersecurity. They offer several tools for users, such as Skills and Roles IQ, to help them track their progress, as well as short quizzes with each lesson and module, and the ability to take notes while watching the lesson. Several of their courses includes projects to complete as well—real world scenarios where you can create something to then display on your resume or LinkedIn profile.
However, PluralSight does have as many free options as Cybrary. You can only have a 7-day free trial before paying $29/month for a basic subscription, which gives you access to all the tools, but no certificates. A premium certificate-earning subscription will cost you $499 a year—far more than Cybrary’s $299. Cybrary also offers CEU’s for some of its courses, and has a large, very active community on Slack, rather than a very quiet one on a site-based platform (that some PluralSight users complain often crashes).
Cybrary VS LinkedIn Learning
LinkedIn is a giant in the business field, so it’s not surprising that their learning platform would be too. Once again, they have a larger range of topics than Cybrary—simply searching pulls up 685 results for Cybersecurity, though most of them are more general, basic overview courses. They include exercise files to go over in many courses, and when you complete, your certificate is displayed on your LinkedIn profile. You’re also able to download courses on almost any device, and continue your learning on the go. They’re a bit cheaper than Cybrary as well–$29.99/month, or $19.99/month for a yearly subscription—and many libraries have options to allow you to access it for free.
However, they also offer less inherently free options than Cybrary. You can have a free month’s trial—but after that you have to pay to access courses. Many of their courses are shorter as well—often only 2-3 hours long. Cybrary offers more thorough courses, with several hours of learning in each course.
Cybrary does one thing, and does it well. Their niche interest in cybersecurity gives deep, thorough courses that prepares you for this booming field. Their free courses are high-quality, and though their premium subscription costs a little more than other sites, the community, mentorship, online labs, and assessment tools make it well worth the price. Cybrary is a much-needed tool to train anyone who wants to take on the modern threats of cybersecurity.