10 Best Places to Learn Cyber Security in 2024 (Free & Paid)

Top 10 Best Places to Learn Cyber Security

There are hundreds of resources you can use to learn about cyber security. To invest your time wisely, we want to present you with our list of the best places to learn cyber security to help you break into the field of cyber security. 

Each resource detailed covers different areas of interest and offers its own unique way of teaching students the skills they want to learn. 

While reading our list of the best places to learn cyber security, think about your goals, what you want to learn, and how each resource can best help you achieve your goals. 

1. StationX

StationX

StationX specializes in cyber security training for novices and cyber security professionals alike. It offers an extensive library of 1,000+ courses on everything from cyber security certification preparation to in-depth courses on the most en-vogue cyber security skills companies want to see from applicants. 

StationX offers free in-depth articles readers use to sharpen desired skills and guide them through their cyber security journey. They also offer a one-of-a-kind Fast Track program which combines active learning, personalized education, mentorship, and mastermind groups to boost not only your skills but your career.

Some of StationX’s most popular courses include covering:

  • Penetration Testing
  • Python
  • CompTIA Certification Training
  • General IT
  • AI
  • Social Engineering
  • Cyber Security Forensics

Services 

StationX offers users access to over 1,000 classes, virtual labs, practice tests, and exam simulations. While StationX places an emphasis on teaching cyber security, a wealth of IT courses are available for beginners and experts alike. 

Students can also turbocharge their learning experience by signing up for the Accelerator Program. Whether a novice or a an expert, this program gives you the chance to further your IT career by customizing your cyber security journey and offering you the support and guidance you need to achieve your professional goals. 

Purchase Options 

StationX offers two purchase options: The Accelerator Program and individual course bundles.

The Accelerator Program costs $197/year.

Course bundles include a number of classes on a given subject and generally range between $26-$65. 

Standout Feature

StationX recently launched its Fast-Track Program available to all Accelerator subscribers. 

To break into cyber security or advance your career, you need more than just courses.

Recognizing this, StationX’s Fast-Track Program provides you with the guidance and motivation you need in the form of your personal mentor, a community of like-minded cyber security professionals, and a mastermind group. 

  • Unlimited Career Mentorship - Personalized career advice and guidance from a dedicated mentor who knows what it takes to succeed in cyber security
  • StationX Community - Stay motivated and expedite your learning by interacting with fellow students and teaching assistants
  • Mastermind Program - Weekly accountability meetings with 3-5 StationX members with similar goals 

The guidance provided by industry professionals and community found at StationX makes it one of best places to learn cyber security for novices and professionals alike. 

2. TryHackMe

TryHackMe

TryHackMe is a hands-on cyber security learning platform. It blends written content with real-world scenarios that allow you to employ what you have learned in a realistic simulation. 

Various learning pathways are created so that aspiring professionals and professionals alike can explore the various aspects of cyber security. Students have the ability to learn everything from pentesting, SOC analyst tools, programming languages, active directory, Linux, IT foundations, and much more. 

Along with learning pathways, TryHackMe also offers users the ability to compete with each other as they demonstrate their hacking skills. 

Services 

TryHackMe’s claim to fame is hands-on learning courses (called rooms) that are created by TryHackMe and students alike. 

If you prefer a more hands-on experience to lectures and theory, TryHackMe is your answer to a stimulating cyber security learning platform. 

Purchase Options

TryHackMe offers three membership options.

The free option offers users access to a limited number of rooms.

Premium costs $10.50 a month if you sign up for the year and $14 if you sign up month-to-month. 

Standout Feature

TryHackMe stands out in its hands-on learning style. Users are made to feel as though they are learning valuable on-the-job skills in a simulated environment. 

3. Udemy 

Udemy

Udemy is home to perhaps the largest catalog of online classes on the Internet. It is by no means a cyber security-specific platform. 

Popular areas of interest include:

  • Programming
  • Business
  • IT and Software
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Personal Development
  • Design
  • Marketing
  • Music 
  • Lifestyle and Fitness
  • Photography and Video

Services

All Udemy courses are self-paced. Most courses encourage students to follow along but offer no lab environments. Teachers may provide course resources that students can download. 

Purchase Options

Udemy users can purchase courses individually or pay a monthly fee for a range of courses. 

The price of an individual course will vary. What’s important to note is that Udemy courses are constantly going on sale. Multiple times a week, you will see a banner at the top of the website promoting the sale. If you have patience you can easily find a course for $11.99 that, without the sale, costs over $100. 

A personal plan starts at $16.58 a month and gives you access to over 10,500 courses. 

Standout Feature 

Udemy offers a wide selection of courses that can be purchased a la carte for basement bargain prices, though quality may vary from course to course. 

4. Hack The Box

Hack The Box

Similar to TryHackMe, Hack The Box is a hands-on cyber security training platform geared towards pentesting. 

There are three ways to interact with Hack The Box:

  • Academy
  • Boxes 
  • Challenges

Via HTB Academy, users have the option of pursuing certifications and choosing learning pathways that put them on course to learn the latest skills for desired cyber security positions via a gamified yet realistic learning environment. 

HTB Boxes are hackable vulnerable machines. Users can choose machines that have various hacking difficulties to test out their pentesting skills. Each vulnerable machine has two flags that you must capture. 

HTB Challenges drill down on hacking techniques. This feature is designed for aspiring pentesters still getting their feet wet and wanting to perfect certain pentesting techniques. 

Services

Users have the option of enrolling in individual modules, learning pathways, or certification pathways. Each option applies the same hands-on learning methodology but differs in difficulty and depth of knowledge. 

Alternately, users can attack individual vulnerable “boxes” as a capture-the-flag challenge. 

Purchase Options

Hack The Box has various purchase options to satisfy your needs. 

Within the Academy, modules are purchased using “cubes.” Cubes are basically credits that can be used to purchase modules that make up learning pathways. Cubes can be purchased à la carte.

You can also purchase subscriptions that offer a specific number of cubes every month. Cubes do not expire. 

MembershipMonthly FeeCubes
Free$0Limited modules
Silver$18200+ cubes
Gold$38500+ cubes
Platinum$681,000+ cubes

HTB Academy also offers an annual membership for $490, discounted exam vouchers, and the option to purchase a specified number of cubes. 

For the standard Hack The Box range, VIP membership runs $14/month or $20/month for VIP+. This gives access to live and “retired” targets, isolated servers and more.

Standout Feature

HTB offers three certifications:

Each certification requires first completing the job-role pathway prior to taking the exam. Once obtained, the certification can be used to signal your prowess in the specialization. 

5. Cybrary

Cybrary

Cybrary is a cyber security specific training platform. It offers over 2,000 self-paced courses that are instructor-led and designed to provide you with real-world skills on a variety of cyber security topics. 

Cybrary covers everything from IT fundamentals to advanced pentesting skills. You’ll be able to launch career paths and receive certification prep when you sign up for Cybrary. 

Services

Cybrary offers various services to suit the needs of individuals and cyber security teams alike. 

The services targeted towards individuals include career paths, certification prep, podcasts, and study guides. 

The services geared to businesses include information on how to retool IT professionals, podcasts, and live webinars.

Purchase Options

Cybrary has three payment options:

  • Basic Access (Free) - Limited access to fundamental cyber security courses
  • Insider Pro ($59/month) - Full access, virtual labs, skills proficiency reports
  • Cybrary For Teams ($59/month per user) - Full access, advanced red team content, team management, advanced reporting and analysis

Standout Feature

Cybrary offers various robust courses that are designed to provide you with the skills you need to perform specific positions. Some of the positions these courses help prepare you for include:

  • Soc 1, 2, or 3 Analyst
  • Azure Cloud Engineer
  • Incident Handler
  • Network Engineer
  • Penetration Tester
  • System Administrator
  • CISO

6. ITPRO

ITPRO

ITPRO is an IT learning platform with a diverse offering of courses. 

They offer a spectrum of courses targeting both IT beginners and experts. The course material offered will vary. However, most of their courses are designed as test preparation courses. 

The three teaching methods ITPRO users will be exposed to include:

  • Self-paced video-based courses
  • Virtual labs
  • Practice tests

ITPRO adds content to their courses on a daily basis so users are always up to date with the latest trends, knowledge, and skills. 

Here are just a few of the courses you will find in the ITPRO catalog:

  • Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
  • Certified Ethical Hacker
  • Endpoint Administrator
  • CompTIA Security+ Test Preparation
  • CompTIA Linux+ Test Preparation
  • NIST Cyber Security and Risk Management Frameworks
  • Cisco CCNA Test Preparation

Services

Users can enroll in certification preparation, learning pathways, and learn via virtual labs and practice tests.

Purchase Options

The memberships are broken up into two individual plans.  

Individual options include:

  • Standard ($39/month) - 7,250 hours of IT training
  • Premium ($59/month) - Practice tests, virtual labs, and 7,250 hours of IT training

Standout Feature

ITPRO lectures have the appearance of a talk-show style show, often involving a back-and-forth between multiple teachers. This style has the ability to turn even tedious topics into dynamic and engaging lectures. 

7. Coursera

Coursera

Coursera is a learning platform that offers classes covering a wealth of different topics. Courses are not limited to the IT and cyber security field but also cover topics like language learning, social sciences, the arts, and much more. 

All courses are lecture-based and self-paced. 

Services

Coursera offers an array of self-paced courses provided by major companies, independent instructors, and academic institutions. 

Purchase Options

Coursera offers a number of free courses to users. While many classes can be taken in full, you’ll need to purchase Coursera to be awarded a certificate of completion. 

However, if you want to access more than 7,000 courses, you must pay $59/month or $399/annually to join Coursera Plus. 

Standout Feature

Coursera teams up with a number of renowned universities. Their partnership means you can complete courses on the platform and transfer credits to partnering universities. 

8. Altered Security

Altered Security

Altered Security is a cyber security training platform specializing in ethical hacking. 

They offer hands-on training, online lab platforms, and even pentesting services to be carried out for clients. 

The two learning pathways users are offered include online labs and boot camps. 

Services

Altered Security offers a mix of self-paced classes and online boot camps, both include practice labs. 

It specializes in creating online labs to teach students crucial pentesting skills and prepare them for in-house certifications. 

Labs focus on attacking and defending Azure and Active Directory. 

Purchase Options

Your purchase options depend on how you want to interact with Altered Security. 

Each course includes a pdf, lifetime access to videos, lab access, and a certification attempt. The length of lab access and the particular courses vary in price.

Their beginner “Attacking and Defending Active Directory Lab (CRTP)” starts at $249 for 30 days lab access or $499 for 90 days. More advanced certification courses and boot camps increase in price from there.

Standout Feature

What makes Altered Security one of the best places to learn cyber security is its live boot camps. The boot camps provide users with an experience to quickly learn valuable skills while interacting with the instructor through chat. 

9. OffSec

OffSec

OffSec is an infosec and cyber security training platform that specializes in offering courses on information security, pentesting, and digital forensics. 

However, what OffSec is known for most is its in-depth penetrating training and in-house certifications. 

Services

OffSec is a rigorous training platform that uses a mix of written content, videos, hands-on exercises, and labs to train novices and cyber security professionals alike. 

Users have the opportunity to learn about various aspects of cyber security, including:

  • Cyber Security Fundamentals
  • Penetration Testing
  • Exploit Development
  • Web App Assessment & Exploits
  • Security Operations

Purchase Options

OffSec offers three membership tiers:

  • Course & Cert Bundle ($1,599/year) - Earn a cert in 90 days, one exam attempt included
  • Learn One ($1,999/year) - One year of lab access to one OffSec course and two exam attempts
  • Learn Unlimited ($5,499) - Unlimited OffSec courses plus unlimited exam attempts for a year

Standout Feature

OffSec certifications are widely considered the gold standard of ethical hacking certifications. 

While OffSec offers a variety of penetrating testing certifications, the ones that stand out the most are OSCP and OSEP

10. Professor Messer

Professor Messer

Professor Messer is an instructor who offers in-depth test prep video courses for CompTIA certifications. 

Messer offers A+, Network+, and Security+ test prep. He’s an invaluable resource for those studying for the aforementioned tests. 

Services

Along with self-paced lectures, Professor Messer also offers live group tutoring, course notes, and exam vouchers. 

There is one live test preparation session that takes place every month for each of the aforementioned certifications. During this live study group, students can ask questions, a test is administered, and crucial information about each test is reviewed in-depth. 

Members also have access to the Professor Messer Discord channel. 

Purchase Options

The in-depth instructional videos covering CompTIA material are all free. 

This solo instructor also offers a variety of materials that you can purchase, including:

  • Course Notes - $30
  • Practice Exams - $30
  • Notes + Exams - $50
  • Audio Course - $70
  • Success Bundle - $119

Standout Feature

The in-depth, free, self-paced lectures for CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ cover all exam objectives. 

Conclusion

The amount of cyber security resources out there can be overwhelming. 

That’s why we compiled the top 10 best places to learn cyber security. Each resource we detailed has unique features that set it apart from the rest. 

StationX’s Accelerator Program is designed to help aspiring cyber security professionals who don't know which area of cyber security they want to specialize in or the best way to obtain their dream job. 

Our program offers personalized study roadmaps, career mentorship, a career and certification matchmaker, and over 1,000 courses and labs to prepare you for your new career. 

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  • Spencer Abel

    Spencer is part cyber security professional and part content writer. He specializes in helping those attempting to pivot into the vast and always-changing world of cyber security by making complex topics fun and palatable. Connect with him over at LinkedIn to stay up-to-date with his latest content.

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