Our Programs > For Veterans, Transitioning Service Members, and Their Families

Cyber Defender

adapted from our award-winning* Cyber Academy

Wanted: Curious, Persistent People Who Don't Give Up

Want a new career? Cybersecurity could be it!

Socratic Arts (SA), a leader in online learning, is offering military spouses, veterans, transitioning service members, and their families award-winning training as cybersecurity professionals.

Developed under a contract with the US Department of Defense, it is entirely different from traditionally delivered IT/cyber programs..

Our Cyber Defender program is designed to deliver a strong foundation of defensive cybersecurity skills in an intensive online environment that is 100% project based and fosters learn-by-doing. Students assume the role of employees in a fictional government agency, who must solve authentic workplace challenges. There are NO lectures. Students receive support from a wide range of online multimedia resources and mentors, who are cyber-security experts themselves. Students must master each task within a course before continuing with the next.

Job-Ready Grads

The Cyber Academy prepares students for entry-level careers as Security Operations Center (SOC) Analysts, Digital Forensic Analysts, and Incident Responders. Students don't need an IT background but do need strong basic computer skills and the ability to devote 25 hours a week to the program.

"For those who might be considering the program, it's important to know that your success has almost nothing to do with the knowledge you have coming in. If you don't have a background in IT, it is really not an issue. The most important factor in your success is your commitment, your disposition, and whether you are willing to dig in, teach yourself, and grab onto a problem like a terrier. If you have those qualities and the desire, you will absolutely be great at this. "

- Army Spouse

The program comprises three courses: Immediate Immersion, Defense 1, and Defense 2.

Immediate Immersion is an introductory course (6 weeks) to allow students to determine if they like the work and are good at it.

Defense 1 (7 weeks): Covers the skills of network traffic analysis, log analysis, and basic malware analysis.

Defense 2 (7 weeks): Covers the skills of digital forensics, incident response, and reporting on an investigation.

The most successful graduates in cybersecurity have come from a wide range of educational backgrounds-- from High School dropouts to Ph.D. degree holders. Basic computer skills are required, but personality traits like determination, persistence, and attention to detail are more important. Having a Security Clearance or being able to get one is an added value to potential employers.

Veterans, transitioning service members, and family members are eligible for preferred tuition rates.

Scholarships from Partners are available:

The Mount Carmel Veterans Service Center

The Mount Carmel Veterans Service Center will provide scholarships sponsored by USAA to cover the cost of the Cyber Defender Courses. For more information about the scholarship opportunities contact: FrontDesk@MtCarmelCenter.org or call 719-772-7000. To learn more about the Cyber Defender program, register for a free webinar.

The National Military Family Association (NMFA)

The National Military Family Association (NMFA) offers these preferred tuition rates for military spouses applying for the Cyber Academy through NMFA. Interested military spouses can apply to NMFA here.

What/ When/ Where/

Students interested in learning more about the Cyber Academy are invited to a FREE one-hour webinar to hear about the Socratic Arts' 'Story-Centered' instructional approach and to ask any questions they have.

Dates and Times:

What students will learn

Given the constantly changing nature of cyber security, an implicit curriculum runs through the program, via which students learn essential cognitive skills that are arguably of equal or greater importance than the lessons related to any given task.


Students will learn key defensive skills including:

  • Thinking like an attacker
  • Network traffic analysis
  • Network and system log analysis
  • Static and dynamic analysis of malicious binaries to identify indicators of compromise
  • Memory forensics
  • Disk forensics
  • Compiling and reporting a comprehensive timeline of a cyber attack
  • Responding to cybersecurity incidents


In addition to technical skills, students will learn and practice the cognitive skills essential for success in all areas of information security, including:

  • Understanding complex, novel problems
  • Effectively researching solutions
  • Designing and testing solutions
  • Self-directed learning

Immediate Immersion

6 weeks @ 25 hours/week

Immediate Immersion is designed to impart basic cybersecurity skills to help students determine if careers in cybersecurity are right for them. The course is designed to teach the skills of thinking like an attacker and basic network traffic analysis.

CyberDefender: Immediate Immersion includes the following tasks:

  • Think Like an Attacker: Exploit a website and fix its vulnerabilities
  • Investigate a potential insider threat
  • Analyze malicious web traffic

At a glance

Who should enroll?

Students who wish to explore a career in cyber security to determine if it is right for them.


The ideal student is intensely curious, unwilling to give up on a problem no matter how difficult it is, and predisposed towards self-directed learning. Only basic computer skills are required, but basic knowledge of computer networks, protocols, and the fundamentals of operating systems is strongly recommended. (We will supply self-study tutorial materials to registered students before the program begins.)

What's next?

Students must successfully complete Immediate Immersion to be permitted to enroll in the next course in this program, Cyber Defense 1. Success will be assessed by a student's mentors whose decision is final.


Cyber Defense 1

7 weeks @ 25 hours/week

Cyber Defense 1 builds on the basic defensive skills and experience students gained in Immediate Immersion. The course is designed to impart a strong foundation of network traffic analysis, log analysis, and malware analysis skills - the fundamental skills required of a security operations center analyst.

Cyber Defense 1 includes the following tasks:

  • Analyze a remote intrusion attempt
  • Investigate an incident using a security information and event management system
  • Begin to understand malware

At a glance

Who should enroll?

Students who have successfully completed Immediate Immersion, as determined by their mentor, and who aspire to professional careers in defensive cyber security.


Successful completion of Immediate Immersion.

What's next?

Students must successfully complete Cyber Defense 1 to enroll in Cyber Defense 2


Cyber Defense 2

7 weeks @ 25 hours/week

Cyber Defense 2 focuses on the skills of memory and disk forensics, reporting, and responding to cybersecurity incidents. Acquiring these skills expands a graduate's career possibilities to include digital forensic analyst and incident responder.

Students work through online, real-life tasks.

  • Examine a compromised host's memory
  • Conduct a forensic disk examination
  • Close your investigation
  • Respond to cyber incidents

At a glance

Who should enroll?

Students who have successfully completed the Cyber Defense 1, as determined by their mentor, and who want to learn more about digital forensics and incident response.


Successful completion of Cyber Defense 1.

What's next?

Students who successfully complete all three courses are qualified to seek employment as a security operations center analyst, digital forensic analyst, or incident responder.

*Socratic Arts' Cyber Academy, which trains novices for cybersecurity jobs using our unique Story-Centered, learn-by-doing pedagogy, won a 2019 Brandon Hall gold award for "Best Advance in Unique Learning Technology".

Learn more in our press release.

Brandon Hall Group, Excellence in Technology Awards, Gold 2019