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UWF CyberSkills2Work Program

Program Overview

The UWF CyberSkills2Work Program, offered by the University of West Florida’s Center for Cybersecurity, is an intensive cybersecurity training program designed to help individuals launch or advance cybersecurity careers. The program provides FREE cybersecurity training and career development for eligible transitioning military, first responders, and veterans to prepare and transition them into rewarding cybersecurity jobs in our nation’s Critical Infrastructure Sectors, including defense industrial base, energy, and financial services.

Delivery Format: Online (100% Asynchronous)

The UWF CyberSkills2Work Program is part of the National Cybersecurity Workforce Development Program led by UWF. Visit the site to learn more.

2023 Program Information

Two training pathways will be offered to prepare participants for System Administrator, Cyber Defense Infrastructure Support Specialist, and related cyber work roles. The program will provide asynchronous online training courses, industry certification preparation and vouchers, digital badges and credentials, professional development, and job placement support.

Each pathway will be offered for a cohort of 30 eligible participants. All costs for eligible and accepted participants will be covered by the NSA grant.


System Administrator Pathway

January 17 - August 31, 2023

This seven-month, five-course training pathway prepares participants for entry-level System Administrator work roles as described in the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework. This program is a great opportunity for those with no/minimal prior IT/cybersecurity experience who want to launch a career in cybersecurity.

Training courses include:

  • CompTIA A+ Exam Prep
  • Risk Management 
  • CompTIA Network+ Exam Prep
  • Essential Cyber Defenses
  • CompTIA Security+ Exam Prep

The program includes industry certification prep courses and vouchers for CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, and CompTIA Security+.


Cyber Defense Infrastructure Support Specialist Pathway

January 30 - April 30, 2023

This three-month, four-course training pathway prepares participants for Cyber Defense Infrastructure Support Specialist work roles as described in the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework. This program is a great opportunity for those with some IT or cybersecurity experience to expand their knowledge and skills, and advance their career in cybersecurity.

Training courses include:

  • Network Defense Fundamentals
  • Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Security
  • Security Compliance and Auditing
  • Threat Intelligence for Industrial Control Systems

 Program Benefits

  • Offers two short-term, intensive cybersecurity training pathways and career development support at no cost to eligible participants.
  • Instructor-led courses are taught by UWF faculty and prepare students for cybersecurity careers with foundational knowledge and hands-on skills and exercises via the Florida Cyber Range.
  • Includes industry certification prep courses and vouchers, including CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+.
  • Career development support and access to connect with employers and job opportunities via the National Employers Cybersecurity Network.
  • Provides industry certifications, digital badges, and credentials to document skills and competencies.
  • Program and courses are 100% asynchronous online, making learning accessible and convenient. Some course and program activities may include optional synchronous online, e.g., Q&A sessions, which will be recorded for asynchronous viewing.

 Program Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for program consideration, applicants must meet the following requirements:

U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident 

    • Be a transitioning military member, transitioning first responder or veteran
    • High school diploma or equivalent
    • Strong interest in cybersecurity and working in the field upon completion of the program
    • Availability to fully participate in program during the entire duration and complete all course and program requirements
    • Some IT or cybersecurity experience 
    • Once selected, participants will also need to meet any other program requirements. Some job opportunities may require the ability to obtain a security clearance.

Preferred Requirements

  • Associates's or Bachelor’s degree in IT or STEM-related area
  • At least two years of IT or cybersecurity experience
  • Security clearance (active or past)

 Program Participation Requirements

These are intensive training programs. Participants must dedicate ample time to participating in and completing all program and course requirements. To succeed in the program, participants should plan to spend approximately 10-20 hours per week on program and course requirements. 

All selected applicants must agree and comply with the following:

  • Commit to participate in the program during the entire duration (courses will not run for the entire duration but participants should be available during that time frame).
  • Must have your own working computer with camera and mic and reliable high-speed Internet connection.
  • Participate in all program and course activities and meetings, including scheduled courses, industry certification exam preparation, career development, and information sessions.
  • Dedicate time towards self-study and complete all program and course requirements, including assigned readings, labs, assessments, and surveys each week.
  • Register for industry certification exams during those courses and take the exams within two weeks of each certification course completion. Report the exam date and results to the course instructor.
  • Actively participate in job searches and employment placement efforts during and upon completion of the program.

Application Deadline and Process

System Administrator pathway: APPLICATION WINDOW HAS CLOSED

Cyber Defense Infrastructure Support Specialist pathway: APPLICATION WINDOW HAS CLOSED


Prospective applicants should apply via the site. Visit and select “Apply” in the top right corner to create a learner account and apply. Select the appropriate University of West Florida training pathway(s) you would like to apply for when prompted.

Interested in cybersecurity training but not a transitioning military member, transitioning first responder, or a veteran? We offer other training programs that you may be eligible for! Please complete the interest form and email Francine Wetzel <> for more information. 

 Application Requirements

We encourage prospective applicants to begin to collect all required documents in the interest of time.

Required Documents:

  • A brief up-to-date resume
  • A copy of unofficial transcripts for your most advanced degree completed (high school, associate's, or bachelor's degree)
  • A 2-page letter of intent that identifies which pathway you are applying for, demonstrates your interest and commitment to the program and a cybersecurity career and includes the following components:

(a) Commitment to successfully completing the program and pursuing a career in cybersecurity

(b) Experiences and accomplishments that helped prepare you for this program and a cybersecurity career, including military or first responder experience, IT or cybersecurity education or training, industry certifications, or awards

(c) How this program will help you accomplish your personal and/or professional career aspirations in the field of cybersecurity.

(d) What specific cybersecurity work role(s) and critical infrastructure sectors or organizations you are interested in working for upon program completion, and why. For more information on the CI sectors, please visit

(e) Your short-term (1-4 years) and long-term (5+ years) career goals upon successful program completion.

  • At least two professional recommendation letters

If initially selected for the program, you will be required to submit additional documentation to verify your citizenship or permanent residency, military and/or first responder service. You will receive an email requesting this documentation if you are selected. You may want to start gathering this information in the interest of time.

  • For Transitioning First Responders: Submit (a) a signed verification letter of first responder’s service on the organization’s letterhead from the first responder’s job supervisor or Human Resources representative, and includes the dates of your service, the position you held while in service, the duties you performed, and the phone number where we can reach the verifying personnel, or (b) the completed First Responder Service Verification Form that we will send you.

**At least one verification of service must be completed from the first responder job supervisor or Human Resources representative and who can be available by phone.

  •  For Transitioning Military Personnel: Submit a copy of your Electronic Military Service Record, for example.
    • ERB (Army – Enlisted Record Brief) reflecting full/current active duty service history
    • CDB (Air Force – Career Data Brief)
    • BIR (Marine Corps – Basic Individual Record), reflecting full/current active duty service history
    • ESR (Navy – Electronic Service Record) or NSIPS (Navy Standard Integrated Personnel Systems), reflecting full/current active duty service history
    • El-PDR or USCG Military Record  or DD-214 (National Coast Guard - Electronic Personnel Data Record )

**Please redact any sensitive information from any documents, including social security number, etc, before submitting them.

  • For Veterans: Submit a copy of your DD-214/DD 215 or Record of Separation. The Department of Veterans Affairs makes validating military service easy. Just log in to eBenefits and follow these steps:

**Please redact any sensitive information from any documents, including social security number, etc, before submitting them.

More Information or Questions? Please Contact:

Mrs. Francine Wetzel, Program Coordinator


UWF CyberSkills2Work Program Team

Dr. Eman El-Sheikh, Associate Vice President, Center for Cybersecurity

Dr. Guillermo Francia, III, Director, Research and Innovation, Center for Cybersecurity

Dr. Hossain Shahriar, Associate Director and Professor, UWF Center for Cybersecurity

Guy Garrett, Associate Director, Technology and Training, Center for Cybersecurity

Dr. Elizabeth Rasnick, Assistant Professor, Center for Cybersecurity



This program is funded by the National Security Agency National Centers of Academic Excellence Program.

N-CAE and Center for Cybersecurity Logos