IT and Cybersecurity Learning Path

In this post, I suggest a path of free resources that newcomers to IT and cybersecurity can follow to build a solid set of foundational skills to secure their careers
IT and Cybersecurity Learning Path
In: Certifications, Windows, Linux, Computer Networking, Web, Code, Attack, Defend
Globe of language

🌍 If English is not your native language...

  • Videos:
    • You may wish to slow down the video speed and enable subtitles (if available), as some of the speakers may talk a bit quickly.
  • Text:
    • While not perfect, you may wish to use a translation service to clarify any points that you may be stuck on
In the interest of keeping things tidy, I've moved the learning path here to its own dedicated page. All of the links herein are available free of charge and contain highly valuable information.

A Word of Encouragement

✅ NOBODY is born with knowledge of any of this material. The amount of skill is a reflection of hours + effort. Everyone starts at zero.

✅ If you encounter someone very skilled, they've been practicing a long time. They didn't acquire their skills overnight, I can promise you.

✅ Everyone learns differently, and at different speeds. Find the resources that will help you succeed, whether that's on this page or somewhere else.

📢 You DO NOT need to be an expert in every single knowledge domain listed below! The idea is to build confidence across a broad spectrum of knowledge.

❗ There are no shortcuts! If you try to take shortcuts, you will eventually find yourself later trying to fill knowledge gaps. Take the time now to build a solid foundation.

💡 Learning new things is a slow process, but is well worth the time. It's completely normal to feel overwhelmed at first. Take it in small chunks and things will start making more sense as you progress.

💡 I would encourage you to seek out a mentor or a community of your peers. It is an immense help to have others to learn from and learn with. It's not a zero-sum game, we all give and take to and from each other.

Four Core Knowledge Domains

To be a well-rounded IT and cybersecurity professional, it is a matter of my opinion that the fundamental knowledge is broken into four domains:

  1. Operating Systems
  2. Computer Networking
  3. Web
  4. Programming

I put them in this order, because they build on each other. You should have a grasp of operating systems before moving onto networking. Then, have a grasp of networking before moving onto web. And so forth.

Where's Cybersecurity on the list?

I believe that cybersecurity is a natural progression after competency in these four domains. The better you know the technology stacks, the better equipped you'll be to defend them.

Systems Administration

1. Foundational Knowledge

Highly Recommended Viewing

This is a series of brief videos that will introduce you to the technical metamorphosis of computers and their various parts. Very good stuff!

Operating Systems: Crash Course Computer Science #18
Get 10% off a custom domain and email address by going to So as you may have noticed from last episode, computers keep get...

Operating Systems (13:35)

Memory & Storage: Crash Course Computer Science #19
Pre-order our limited edition Crash Course: Computer Science Floppy Disk Coasters here! we’ve ta...

Memory & Storage (12:16)

Files & File Systems: Crash Course Computer Science #20
Today we’re going to look at how our computers read and interpret computer files. We’ll talk about how some popular file formats like txt, wave, and bitmap a...

Files & File Systems (12:02)

Keyboards & Command Line Interfaces: Crash Course Computer Science #22
Today, we are going to start our discussion on user experience. We’ve talked a lot in this series about how computers move data around within the computer, b...

Command Line Interfaces (11:23)

Graphical User Interfaces: Crash Course Computer Science #26
Today, we’re going to discuss the critical role graphical user interfaces, or GUIs played in the adoption of computers. Before the mid 1980’s the most common...

Graphical User Interfaces (12:58)

2. Interactive Introduction to Computer Systems

Go through a gamified and engaging series of lessons that will introduce you to the hardware and software aspects of computer systems.

Introduction to IT | Codecademy
Take your first steps into the world of IT, or Information Technology! Introduction to IT will teach you about core IT subjects.

3. Systems Administration Crash Course by Google

The Operating System: Files & Directories | Google IT Support Certificate
Become an OS navigation pro. Learn to list, change, remove, and make directories and files in the Windows GUI, Windows CLI, and Linux shell. Gain a solid und...

Learn to Manage Linux and Windows via the command Line (Playlist)

Infrastructure Services: The Backbone of an Organization | Google IT Support Certificate
IT Infrastructure services allow an organization to function. Learn about the common IT infrastructure services you may provide at a future job, along with w...

Learn to Manage Common Services on Linux and Windows Servers (Playlist)

4. Introduction to Virtual Machines and VirtualBox

Virtualbox Tutorial: How to Build Virtual Machines
Ever wanted to learn how to build and setup a virtual machine? Watch this tutorial to do it for FREE with Virtualbox!Using virtual machines give you access t...


5. If You Want to Go Further...

These are optional additions to the learning path

Professor Messer's A+ Videos

Please Note!

This is not a recommendation to get the certification unless needed for a job! You can just watch the videos. I linked the Professor Messer A+ content, because it will introduce you to:

  • Hardware concepts
  • Operating systems concepts
  • Troubleshooting methodology (which is useful to build analytical skills)

Professor Messer's A+ Training Course Part 1
Professor Messer's A+ Training Course Part 2

Computer Networking

1. Foundational Knowledge

Here you will be introduced to the history and metamorphosis of the technology that makes up computer networks and the larger Internet.

Computer Networks: Crash Course Computer Science #28
Today we start a three episode arc on the rise of a global telecommunications network that changed the world forever. We’re going to begin with computer netw...

Computer Networking Crash Course (12:19)

The Internet: Crash Course Computer Science #29
Today, we’re going to talk about how the Internet works. Specifically, how that stream of characters you punch into your browser’s address bar, like “youtube...

The Internet — A network of networks (11:57)

2. Complete Networking Course by Google

How Computers Communicate in a Network | Google IT Support Certificate
While there are multiple computer networking illustrations, this video will focus on the TCP/IP 5 Layer Model. By the end of this video, you will understand ...

Complete Networking Course Covering All the Fundamentals (Playlist)

3. Hands-On Networking Labs with GNS3

Labs | Pacific Cybersecurity

I'd recommend doing the lab in this order as some of the concepts may be difficult for complete beginners:

  • Steps 1, 2, 3
  • Then, steps 6, 7, 8, 9

If you're feeling ambitious, you could do the entire lab, but there are some concepts that may be best saved for later.

4. If You Want to Go Further...

These are optional additions to the learning path
Computer Networking Fu... | 0xBEN | Notes

Professor Messer's Network+ Videos

Please Note!

This is not a recommendation to get the certification unless needed for a job! The networking course by Google linked above should cover almost everything you need to know.

Professor Messer's Network+ Training Videos


1. Foundational Knowledge

Here, you will be introduced to the history and metamorphosis of the technology that makes up the World Wide Web.

The World Wide Web: Crash Course Computer Science #30
Today we’re going to discuss the World Wide Web - not to be confused with the Internet, which is the underlying plumbing for the web as well as other network...


2. How DNS Works

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a core component to the functionality of the web and web servers.

How a DNS Server (Domain Name System) works.
This is an animated DNS tutorial showing what a DNS server is and how it works. It explains the different levels of DNS, such as the resolver, root server, ...


3. HTTP and HTML 101

HTTP is the protocol used between web browser and web servers to transfer data back and forth. HTML is the markup language that instructs browsers on how that data should be displayed on the page.

HTTP and HTML | Internet 101 | Computer Science | Khan Academy
Tumblr founder David Karp and Xbox program manager Jasmine Lawrence give a detailed description of how files and webpages are sent and received using HTTP an...

HTTP and HTML — Internet 101 (7:06)

4. Learn About the Web Interactively

While TryHackMe is a cybersecurity training platform, this free module is an informational module that will help you learn about the web technologies in a gamified manner.

TryHackMe | Web Fundamentals
Learn how the web works!


1. Foundational Knowledge

Here you will have the opportunity to learn about the fundamental concepts in programming in a gamified manner. This entire module is interactive, so take it in small chunks at a time and have fun with it.

Learn How to Code | Codecademy
New to coding? Start here and learn programming fundamentals that can be helpful for any language you learn.

2. Learn PowerShell Interactively

This is a mini-series on my blog that will introduce you to programming fundamentals with PowerShell. PowerShell makes a great introductory language if you have a Windows computer, cause you can get started without having to install any additional software packages.

PowerShell as Your First Programming Language
In this post, I discuss why PowerShell makes a great first programming language

3. Learn Python Interactively

This is a very high-quality, free course on Udacity which will take you through the fundamentals of programming with Python. If you pick up here after my PowerShell course, you'll see a lot of the same concepts, just different ways of doing them with Python.

Free Intro to Python Course | Udacity
Learn online and advance your career with courses in programming, data science, artificial intelligence, digital marketing, and more. Gain in-demand technical skills. Join today!

4. A Deeper Look into Programming

While this course is not interactive in nature, it is free and VERY informative. You'll gain a better understanding of computer numbering systems and the ways programs can control hardware, networking, and more.

Programming 101 — Udemy

More Free Resources

Free IT and Cybersecurity Resources
I will try to keep this list continuously updated with training and informational resources for different areas that could benefit students and professionals of cybersecurity and IT
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