Getting Started: Cybersecurity


NYUx has retired the microbachelors program from Edx, and the courses are no longer available. The CyberSecurity Master Program by RITx is still active. Links will still be here for archival purposes.

There are other universities and companies with similar curriculum on Edx.

General Recommendations

Don’t know where to get started? Follow this professional level course taught by New York University and the Rochester Institute of Technology. All courses are free to audit, and will teach you the fundamentals of cybersecurity theory, forensics, and networking.

After you understand the core concepts of cybersecurity, you can continue on your journey of offensive security and pentesting and explore what interests you most.

Be Patient
There is a lot of content in these programs. The programs and courses are designed to be done weekly. Set a schedule on what days to “attend class”. They also give a recommended number of hours per week you should work on them. While you can take multiple courses at once, if you cannot dedicated 20 hours a week for classes and homework consider only taking one at a time.

Be Involved
Take part in the discussion boards. Find or create a study group to learn together. Ask questions on the course boards or our help desk. The more involved you are with the “college lifestyle”, the more you will learn.


TLDR I Just Wanna Learn How to Hack Stuff

Here’s a list of practical, hands-on websites to practice and learn cybersecurity.

IT Fundementals Bachelor Program

If you are an absolute beginner, I recommend taking these courses for foundational knowledge before the cybersecurity courses. These courses are meant for beginners. If you are already proficient in one of the following courses, skip it.

Programming and Computing Basics

Introduction to Networking

Computer Hardware and Operating Systems

Cybersecurity Bachelors Program

5 week courses (8-10 hours per week) to teach the basics of information security, network security, and penetration testing.

Information Security - Introduction

Information Security - Security, Authentication, and Access Control

Information Security - Advanced Topics

Network Security - Introduction

Network Security - Security Protocols

Network Security - Advanced Topics

Penetration Testing - Discovering Vulnerabilities

Penetration Testing - Exploitation

Penetration Testing - Post Exploitation

Cybersecurity Masters Program

8 week courses (8-10 hours per week) that expands upon what you’ve learned in the Micro Bachelors program.

Cybersecurity - Fundamentals

Computer Forensics

Cybersecurity - Risk Management

Network Security

Cybersecurity - Capstone


Q: Do I have to pay for the courses?

Short answer: NO
Long answer: The programs and micro-degrees have a dollar amount on the page. You do not have to pay this amount to take the courses. If you want official certification, university credits, and unlimited time to access these courses, then you can pay.

To access the courses for free, click on the individual course links below, or on the program page:

On the individual course page, click the “Enroll” button on a session:

Auditing a course is completely free. You have a limited time to access the course before it expires so do not sign up for more than one at a time. If access expires, you need to wait for a new session or create a new account to audit the course again.