Fast-track your journey to a career in cybersecurity

Cyber FastTrack is training thousands of college students to become cybersecurity experts. Have you got what it takes to join us?

Sign up for Cyber FastTrack and you could be eligible to win a scholarship in advanced cybersecurity training - with $2.5 million up for grabs!

What is Cyber FastTrack?

Cyber FastTrack is a free online cybersecurity program for college students and graduates.

Designed by world-leaders in cybersecurity and backed by Governors, Cyber FastTrack is a program like no other.

The nation desperately needs more highly-skilled cyber professionals, and we have evidence that CyberStart improves the quality and preparation of people entering the cybersecurity industry.

Alan Paller, SANS Director of Research

What you will learn

Through online challenges, quizzes, exams, and tutorials, you will learn disciplines such as: Forensics, Intrusion detection, Security operations, System and network penetration testing, and Application penetration testing.

No other program or educational route will prepare you for this fascinating industry quicker than Cyber FastTrack!

How long the program takes

The program starts on April 5 and can be completed by September 16. Learn online and study alongside your college classes.

This program taught me more than an entire semester in college.

Ryan, University of Hawaii, previous CyberStart Graduate

No experience required

Students from all disciplines are encouraged to enroll and give it their best shot. No previous experience is required.

Already studying in the STEM field? Put your theoretical knowledge to the test with real-world cybersecurity challenges and boost your resume.

Take your first steps towards an exciting career

Backed by Fannie Mae, CISCO, Vanguard, and Idaho National Laboratory, Cyber FastTrack will help your resume stand out from the crowd.

We're constantly searching for great talent to work on hard challenges and this is a fun way to build intellectual curiosity and demonstrate the creativity the nation requires in our cyber defenses.

Wayne Austad, Technical Director for Idaho National Laboratory's Cybercore Integration Center

Earn scholarships - Boost your resume - Meet employers

CyberStart student

Top performing students could earn*:

  • A Cyber Honors Academy Scholarship for further study with leading cybersecurity company, SANS
  • Introductions to top employers - including Vanguard, Fannie Mae, CISCO, and Idaho National Laboratory
  • Real-life cybersecurity experience to put on your resume
  • Mock-interviews with leading companies to prepare you for the workforce
  • Internship opportunities.

Cyber Honors Academy Scholarship

High-performing students will be awarded a Cyber Honors Academy Scholarship*.

These students will gain free, valuable experience training at SANS Institute, focusing on courses such as Security Essentials and Hacker Exploits, plus electives including Digital Forensics, Intrusion Detection and Cyber Defence in Depth.

A further 200 well-performing students will receive $500 in scholarships towards college tuition, through a prize draw.

* To be eligible to earn either scholarship at the end of the program, you must have completed (or will complete by the end of the current semester) a minimum of 48 college credits.

Win an all-expenses paid trip to the '2020 Women in Cybersecurity conference'!

To qualify for entry students must:

Complete a minimum of 1 challenge in Level 10 of the Headquarters Base in CyberStart Game


Complete a minimum of 1 challenge in Level 7 of the Forensics Base in CyberStart Game.

Once CyberStart Game has closed, the six winning Cyber FastTrack students will be drawn at random.

How does the program work?

Start by registering and then work your way through three stages.

CyberStart Assess

You can play Assess from April 5 to May 10, 2019

This initial tryout level is a set of increasingly difficult challenges representing realistic threat scenarios that will measure your existing knowledge, problem-solving skills, and potential for a career in cybersecurity.

You will learn:

  • If you have the aptitude for cybersecurity.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • How to think like a cybersecurity professional.
  • How to recognize and crack codes.

The most successful students participating in Assess are invited to move on to CyberStart Game.

CyberStart Game

Game is open from May 20 to June 28, 2019

Focusing on self-learning, CyberStart Game features over 200 challenges that build on the skills and knowledge learned during Assess.

You will learn:

  • Research techniques.
  • Security disciplines, such as: Linux, Cryptography, Programming.
  • How to identify security flaws.
  • In-depth code cracking.
  • How to dissect a cyber criminal's digital trail.

As you reach the highest levels of Game you will also complete an Aptitude Assessment.

The highest-scoring students in CyberStart Game and the Aptitude Assessment are invited to join CyberStart Essentials.

CyberStart Essentials

Essentials is open from July 10 to September 16, 2019

The 50+ modules of CyberStart Essentials provide a foundation of essential knowledge to rapidly accelerate your move into cybersecurity. Building on the skills learned during Game, you will master advanced security topics while working through hands on exercises, quizzes, interactive labs, and exams.

You will learn:

  • Theoretical concepts to expand your knowledge.
  • The core technologies of applied computer science.
  • Networking.
  • Programming.
  • Computer architecture.
  • Operating systems.
  • How technology can be exploited.
  • Advanced security topics and concepts, including exploitation and penetration testing tools.

Want to try something right now?

Head over to CyberStart Go, a tool we built to give you a quick sample of what CyberStart Assess and Game are like. It's free to use and features over a dozen challenges.

Eligibility criteria

To take part in Cyber FastTrack you must:

  • Have access to a computer and the Internet.
  • Be 18 or older on April 5, 2019.
  • Be a permanent resident of the United States.
  • Have been registered as a student at a regionally accredited community college, 4-year college, or graduate school in the past 24 months in one of the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming.
  • Students registered at colleges in other states may also participate but will not be eligible for scholarships or for state recognition.

Got more questions? Check out our FAQ section below.

CFT stages

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I enroll?

It's really easy to enroll to Cyber FastTrack! Simply check the criteria above, and if you're eligible, enroll today. You can begin playing Assess on April 5 where you'll start by solving puzzles, working through challenges and learning new skills.

CyberStart students

What equipment will I need?

For the first stage of the program, CyberStart Assess, you will need:

  • A computer or Chromebook.
  • A reliable Internet connection.
  • Chrome or Firefox browser (including access to the developer tools within the browser - example: View Source or Inspect Element or scripting abilities).

For the second stage, CyberStart Game, you will need:

  • A computer with VMware or Virtual Box, in order to run the CyberStart Virtual Machine for Game. Early levels of Game do not require the virtual machine but you will need this to play beyond Level 5 and try the Forensics challenges.
  • Unrestricted access to browser developer tools/settings - example: View Source or Inspect Element or scripting abilities.

Note also: Chromebooks won't work beyond level 6 in Game.