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FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2013, file photo illustration, hands type on a computer keyboard in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

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A Denver-based cybersecurity training program is expanding to Colorado Springs with a 36-week class that begins Jan. 30 and is targeted at local veterans and other technology professionals who want to move into the fast-growing industry.

The SecureSet Academy training program, called the CORE Technical Bootcamp, is designed to prepare workers to get jobs that pay annual salaries between $60,000 and $85,000 in an industry that is expected to have up to 1.5 million unfilled jobs within two years, said Bret Fund, founder, president and CEO of SecureSet Academy.

"The traditional evolution of a cybersecurity career path - getting certifications on the job and/or committing to four-year degrees - isn't fast enough to meet the demand, Fund said. "We can take someone from the gates of a military base to their first job in cybersecurity in six months. We believe in giving people the opportunity to move into the cybersecurity industry and the military are an optimal fit for that industry, so Colorado Springs is a natural location for us to expand."

Colorado Springs is home to more than 100 cybersecurity companies, nonprofit organizations, military contractors and units specializing in cybersecurity, including the National Cybersecurity Center, which began operating in November. The industry had more than 450 unfilled cybersecurity openings in November, according to Tatiana Bailey, director of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Economic Forum.

SecureSet Academy will launch its expansion into the Springs with a Bootcamp Prep course at 9 a.m. Saturday at Epicentral Coworking, 415 N. Tejon St., where potential students get initial instruction that is a foundation for the 36-week program. The Bootcamp Prep course costs $1,500, which guarantees students admission to the CORE Technical Bootcamp program and can be applied to its $19,950 tuition. Scholarships, grants and veterans benefits are available to pay the tuition, he said.

The CORE Technical Bootcamp program, which is limited to 25 students, includes twice-a-week evening classes and Saturday laboratory work that will be offered at New Horizons Computer Learning Center, 4775 Centennial Blvd., Suite 103. SecureSet is offering its courses at New Horizons until it finds and builds out a permanent campus, for which Fund said the company is considering several locations. SecureSet Academy also plans to offer a 20-week program in July for full-time students, he said.

SecureSet Academy opened in Denver last year and has graduated two classes of students, 88 percent of whom found jobs in the industry with annual salaries averaging $84,000, Fund said. Graduates also qualify for one year of college credit with Colorado State University's Global Campus or Norwich University. SecureSet Academy is part of SecureSet Group, which was started in 2014 to offer cybersecurity training and operated SecureSet Accelerator, a Denver incubator for cybersecurity startups that will house its first tenants in February and eventually plans to open a Colorado Springs location, he said.

Fund previously was faculty director for the Deming Center Venture Fund at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he also was an assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship.


Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234

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Business Writer

Business Writer