July 13, 2021

College Review & Suggestions (Vancouver, Canada)

Hi there, I am looking to enter the field of cybersecurity and have no IT experience. I have taken some courses at a smaller community college (A+, Project+, Network+, Windows Server, Azure [3.9 GPA overall]) but didn’t complete a certificate or diploma. I’ve been told by both below schools that transferring credits is not an option.

Admissions at CDi/Vancouver Career College gave me their pitch today and it all feels a little too good to be true. I am seeking help in determining if this is a good program to get me into the field or a money grab. The program is only 18 months and requires only high school so I am also skeptical of its quality. They also claimed students work part time during the program.

Here is CDi/VaCC’s course listing page:[Cybersecurity Specialist Courses, Program & Diploma | Vancouver Career College BC](https://www.career.college/programs-and-courses/cybersecurity-specialist/)

My best alternative seems to be BCIT’s program (linked below).[Industrial Network Cybersecurity, Diploma, Full-time – BCIT](https://www.bcit.ca/programs/industrial-network-cybersecurity-diploma-full-time-5265dipma/#courses)

Any tips, help, suggestions greatly appreciated!



I have no direct experience with those programs but my rule #1 and #2 of evaluating any academic program is:

* Ask for their placement statistics, and clarify what conditions someone is “placed” with. Does that mean they’re in the security field? Does that mean they’re working *anywhere*? Does that include people that went on to other education? You want to know how many people got into the field directly from their program, or get the best approximate of that. Don’t fall for red herrings like “some students even went on to work at $presitigious_company” – that means a minimum of two did over the history of the program, and you don’t know what you have the same credentials as they did going in.

* Find an alumni that isn’t currently employed by that university/bootcamp/etc. Set up time with them to learn about what the program did and didn’t do for them. What did it do well? What were it’s shortcomings? Etc. This is a biased opinion and should be evaluated as such (people that failed out or didn’t succeed from that program probably aren’t going to spend time evangelizing it to you), but it’s not from someone who has a stake in *marketing* to you.

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