How is Xccelerate different from the other institutes?
Xccelerate was founded to address the main concerns that our students found lacking in traditional offline and even online learning environments. What you will find with us that does not come standard with a majority of other options is: - Our dedication to practical hands-on training environments that keep you accountable to your own success but also provide access to a modern curriculum with the aid of expert instructors. - For our immersive programs, we provide an in-house career support team as opposed to many other institutes where you are left to fend for yourself. Your job search progress will be closely followed up by our career consultants throughout the duration of the immersive program and even after graduation. - Our career team organizes various career events, e.g. networking evenings, guest sharing, workshops, etc. With such a commitment, we have achieved 91% successful hiring rate in the previous cohorts. Your success is our success! - Access to an always growing tech community. All Xccelerate students are invited to join our exclusive learning community, which is a platform of sharing and receiving news related to tech, such as the latest tech inventions, tech-talent roles openings, etc, allowing alumni and all stakeholders to discuss.
I do not have any tech background, are these courses suitable for me?
Our bootcamp programs are completely immersive. We teach from zero and expect you to have job-ready skills after the course. While it is not fully required to have pre-existing hard tech skills before the course, we highly recommend completing pre-course prep work that will be assigned before the course begins to best set you up to succeed. The immersive courses are engineered to produce the best possible outcomes within 16 weeks, therefore students should fully understand the commitment and work ethic required to complete the program.
I am not sure which full-time and/or part-time courses I should take, is there a way to erase my concern?
You can schedule a free course consultation with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org where we will address your current career situation as well as your desired outcomes to help point you in the right direction.
Are there any trial classes for me to have a basic understanding of the courses?
We do not offer trial classes at the moment as it turns out to be quite distracting for current students and instructors, but we recommend you to schedule a campus tour with our Admissions Manager at +852 68838583. You can observe the class and talk to our instructors if necessary to learn more about the course.
How many students in each section of the courses? Would it be possible that the instructors might not be able to take care of all the students?
There are usually 15-20 students within each full time immersive course. In terms of in-house support offered by Xccelerate, our instructors are constantly available through dedicated channels that we have so that students can be walked through the course on a step by step level.
What do I need to bring to the class? Are there any textbooks needed in the course?
You will be required to bring your own laptop and your aspiration to succeed. There are no textbooks needed as we will provide the resources in our online system. If you have any concern whether or not your laptop will be appropriate for the course content, we are happy to go over the advised technical standards with you.
What if I have to miss some classes?
Class recordings and online streaming services are available pending the approval of the instructor. While these options are suitable for catching up if you absolutely must miss a class, we do not recommend replacing the original intended experience with these emergency options. Video aside, most students opt to receive any class outlines from the instructor and meet with them briefly for any questions or concerns regarding course content.
Are there any exams on the course?
Our fluid outcomes-based education system means that you will not come across exams in our course. Most of our courses are project-based, with continuous reviews to make sure your dedication is rewarding.
How can I get a pass in the course?
Your final project along with the participation and effort you put into classes and presentations are all taken into consideration when issuing you with your final certification. As an institution, we take pride in the value of an Xccelerate certificate and therefore reserve the right to withhold under extreme circumstances where a student has shown little effort to succeed.
What certificate will I get after the course?
You will receive a digital certificate of graduation issued by us if you have attained 80% attendance rate and dedicated to excel in every project you did in the course. Your success is our success. The certificate can be printed or even featured on your LinkedIn page to showcase your proficiency in the skills you've learned.
What is the assessment I will need to take to earn my badge and complete the course?
The examination consists of two parts - a 24-hour penetration testing examination assessing the knowledge and skills obtained throughout the course, followed by a documentation report due 24 hours after the practical element.
Can you really guarantee me a job after I complete this course?
Yes, PwC Dark Lab will be offering a full-time permanent job as a Junior Penetration Tester to all students that complete the course and successfully pass an examination that comprises hands-on practical exercises in the virtual cyber range. This is subject to undergoing the standard PwC standard onboarding process (e.g., application, background checks, and streamlined interviews).
Do I need to be a Hong Kong resident to be applicable for the course or the job guarantee?
At this point in time, yes. This is subject to further review and change in the future.
What if I choose not to accept the job offer?
Students will also be eligible to join Dark Lab’s bug bounty program via the Cyberbay platform. This will grant students access to a range of real, live systems by various large corporations and Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to continually “learn and hack” after the course, and subsequently be able to “hack and earn” for cash and credits.
Is the course lecture based or self paced?
The course will provide students with on-demand learning content, ranging from documentation to videos and a cyber range to hone practical skills. Every week, our instructors will host two one-hour open sessions to receive questions and provide more specific guidance on the condition that students have attempted the course and homework. Discord channel will be open for students to raise questions, share information, and encourage each other.
Do I need any prerequisites to qualify for the course or the offer guarantee?
All students require is the willingness to learn, good attitude, and the ability to “try harder”. We advocate passion as that will always allow you to get to where you want in life.
Is this only for HONG KONG permanent resident? Will I get guaranteed jobs if I am not?
All citizens residing in Hong Kong will be eligible for enrolment in Dark Lab Academy’s cybersecurity course. Students that successfully completed the course training, quizzes and lab exercises, and passed the examination designed by PwC Hong Kong will obtain the Dark Lab Academy digital badge to demonstrate their skills learnt during the course. Please note at the moment the guaranteed job offered by PwC Dark Lab (i.e. full-time permanent job as a Junior Penetration Tester) are only applicable for those with Hong Kong Permanent Resident status.
For the Cybersecurity course, it said it is 10 weeks. Do we have a detail schedule of how exactly which dates/time for the course?
Upon successful enrollment of the Dark Lab Academy cybersecurity course, students will be shared the course schedule detailing on open sessions arrangement, course breakdown and module breakdown.
If I missed out the previous week lessons, I can still make it up later on? Because it said twice weekly?
The Dark Lab Academy cybersecurity course will adopt the self-learning approach, whereby students will be able to access the documentation, videos, and cyber range through the on-demand platform to learn at their own pace. The course materials will be released on a weekly basis to ensure students are able to focus on the latest content. To support students learning during the 10-week course, two one-hour open sessions in English and Cantonese will be hosted every week by Instructors to address selected questions raised on the Discord channel. The open sessions will be held according to the agreed timeslot between the instructor and the cohort, while the video recording of the sessions will be available for students unable to attend. The Discord channel will be available 24x7 for students to raise questions for Instructors, exchange information with each other, and encourage collaboration throughout the course.
When will the exam take place? Will it be an online test at the end of the course? How is the exam format? writing report is required?
Upon successful completion of the 10-week Dark Lab Academy cybersecurity course, students will have two further weeks to hone their skills in the cyber range. They will also be entitled to make an appointment for one attempt of the examination from the start of the course until the end of this 2-week period, totaling 12-weeks. Please note there is no fixed date or expiration period for the examination attempt, and there is no penalty for changing the examination date up to two times during the 12-week period. The examination is attempted online (i.e., remotely) without any assistance or collaboration from peers. The examination consists of two parts: (1) 24-hour penetration testing examination to assess the student’s knowledge and skills obtained throughout the course by hacking up to three vulnerable machines, and (2) submission of documentation report 24 hours after the practical element detailing the steps performed and tools leveraged during the hands-on practical examination to fully compromise the vulnerable machines. A sample report template will be made available to students upon the start of the course as part of the course materials. Students may familiarize themselves with the reporting structure and would need to adhere to a professional documented approach to pass the examination.
If I don't have any technical background, would I still be able to join the course?
There are no pre-requisites to enrolling for the Dark Lab Academy course. Our objective is to lower the barriers of entry to the cybersecurity profession, provide accessibility to all groups of people regardless of their technical background, and democratize cybersecurity as it is viewed by PwC Dark Lab as a basic human right.
Are there any installments options?
Yes, we do offer installment options. Please contact our Admissions Manager at 68838583 for more details.
Do I need to pay for the software used in the class?
In most cases, the software used within the duration of a course is included in tuition. If there are exceptions to this, you will be notified of your options prior to the course start date.
What career support is offered by Xccelerate during immersive bootcamps?
Our specialized team, Xccelerate Talent Solutions, will follow through your 4-month learning journey to give the strongest career support possible. We host CV-building workshops, Portfolio-building, Networking events, and Mock interviews, to give the students the best chance of getting their dream job! We will also put you in touch with our networks and allow you to present your ideas to them. At the end of the program, students would be forming groups to participate in a capstone project, which is like a final year project at your university. You would be presenting it on our talent night in front of our hiring partners.
Do part-time courses offer career support as well?
At present, only our full-time immersive bootcamps are able to offer dedicated career support, however the exclusive digital Xccelerate community is a great tool to connect with them and have quick chats as well as seek potential opportunities they may have within their network.
Is a job guaranteed upon completion of the full-time immersive programs?
At the present we do not guarantee a job upon completion of the program as there are many variables involved. As one might imagine, students who put full focus and effort into the immersive program DO have a very high likelihood of acquiring a job post (or often even before) graduation. Historically speaking, the students who tend to struggle on their job search were those who took the bootcamp program very casually. This is something we aggressively address from day one, especially if we notice a struggling or a lack of motivation in a student early on. What we can say with great confidence is that we have an extensive network of hiring partners that we keep in touch with and invite to hiring events. After the course, you are expected to be employment-ready, CV-ready, and portfolio-ready. It means that you would acquire a certain level of skills that allow you to deal with the real industrial problems, we will provide support on your CV creation as well as interview skills and you will have created your own portfolio to prove your work to your future employers. Therefore, we would say, although we do not guarantee placement, we have a very high success rate in job placement amongst students who take full advantage of the program.
Why is PwC guaranteeing jobs for this industry?
The era of cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), automation and online collaboration tools has accelerated digital and human connectivity. These new hybrid human-digital ecosystems are often fragile, with the cyber threat landscape becoming increasingly sophisticated as malicious attackers take advantage for profitability, sabotage, and espionage. As organisations look to improve their cyber-resilience, they are faced with another problem - a talent shortage. This hurdle has jeopardised the ability of organisations to act swiftly and decisively to safeguard against dynamic cyber threats. We aim to solve the cyber talent shortage issue through upskilling and reskilling our workforce. In doing so, we will have a deeper resource pool to call upon to protect our society from the ever-changing cyber threat landscape.
How will I be able to use the badge I earn from the course?
As above - though we may want to elaborate this more when we decide what to do with the badge, including having token/gamification to generate demand
I had Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certificate from refers the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) before, would this course still help me to get a job?
The CISA certificate is the global standard for professionals who have a career in information systems particularly in auditing, control, and security. This may be helpful for students to grasp concepts more easily in our course. However, they are not necessarily assessing and/or demonstrating the same skillsets as the Dark Lab Academy course. Given our course focuses on ensuring students are able to perform a hands-on practical assessment to evaluate if web applications are vulnerable to the most critical security risks. As a result, the CISA certificate will neither be a pre-requisite to apply for the course, nor part of the requirement to get the job in PwC’s Dark Lab.
What if I want to work Part-time or Freelance after the course since I have other engagement?
Upon obtaining the Dark Lab Academy digital badge, students are eligible to join Dark Lab’s bug bounty platform, which offers monetary awards for finding and reporting certain types of vulnerabilities and bugs. This can be done in a part-time or freelance capacity, with no time commitment. Details of the program will be made available upon request.
Can we issue the Darklab badge as an NFT?
Can our current badge system have unique IDs?
If we have an NFT badge and PWC wants to revoke it, is that possible?
Yes, it’s possible. We can add a function in the smart contract that allows the owner to transfer the NFT back to the minter (PwC).
Can we make it so the NFT cannot be sold?
Yes. We can modify the smart contract so that it’s not transferable. For example, we can make it so that the NFT is only allowed to be transferred once (during minting, from PwC to the student).
What measures can we put in place to ensure the NFT is unique only for the owner / in the event their cert ID is revoked or no longer valid?
We can revoke the actual NFT from the student. To implement, we add a function in the smart contract that allows the owner to transfer the NFT back to the minter (PwC).
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