When men and women leave the armed services, their next career steps may not be immediately obvious to them. Despite the skills they gain in their time serving the nation, military veterans are 37% more likely to be underemployed than nonveterans, according to The New York Times [i]. Whether this is due to potential employers lacking the imagination to see how military experience translates into the civilian workplace or to candidates not immediately knowing where their training would be applicable, the fact remains—veterans represent an underutilized pool of talent. At the same time, cybersecurity threats to both private businesses and public organizations are growing. Increasing numbers of attacks have been carried out by cybercriminals, state-sponsored hackers, and activist groups, causing more damage than ever before. It is predicted that the cost of that damage will reach $6 trillion worldwide in 2021. The chaos that could be caused by malicious actors successfully hacking banks, hospitals, power grids, or government sites can’t be overestimated. The need for skilled cybersecurity professionals is greater than ever.
Why Cybersecurity Is Right For Veterans
For veterans looking to make a career pivot, the field of cybersecurity offers opportunities that align with their experience and training. Among the factors that make the field a good fit are: Growth: Cybersecurity is a growing field in need of talented individuals. For example, the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook forecasts that information security analyst jobs will grow by 33% through 2030, faster than computer occupations in general and far faster than all occupations [ii]. Familiarity with technology: The U.S. military uses some of the most sophisticated technologies in the world, and servicemen and -women are required to use high-tech equipment and systems on a regular basis. Many also help test experimental technologies for usability. That experience working with state-of-the-art technology can give veterans a comfort level with computer systems that others might lack. Purpose-driven work: Many veterans chose military life out of a desire to have a purpose in their work—serving the nation and protecting their fellow citizens. Cybersecurity is also a mission-driven profession with clear objectives for success. By securing confidential data and preventing unauthorized access by malicious actors, cybersecurity professionals protect both organizations and individuals from immediate harm and long-term financial and reputational damage. Potential for career advancement: Although there is some variation in cybersecurity roles, the field has defined career tracks that allow motivated individuals to seek promotion to positions of greater responsibility and higher compensation. From a start as an entry-level cybersecurity specialist, you might go on to become an analyst, consultant, or penetration and vulnerability tester, among other possible specialties. Strong foundational qualities: Cybersecurity companies need employees with particular qualities that make them well-suited to the work, including a strong work ethic, integrity, discipline, attention to detail, and an understanding of threat analysis. These are all skills that military service cultivates, making veterans ideal for these types of jobs once they have the right education and certifications.
Stepping Into A New Career
For veterans and other professionals looking to make a career switch into cybersecurity, finding the right education that gives you the practical knowledge and hands-on experience to do effective work from the moment you start a new job is critical. Careful Security’s curriculum is designed to teach you what you need to know to do real-world work in a fraction of the time it would take to obtain a bachelor’s degree. All our classes are taught by a single instructor for a consistent learning experience, following a logical progression of topics that includes plenty of hands-on training to help you build a comprehensive base of knowledge. Careful Security courses also give you the tools you need to find a cybersecurity job once you’ve completed your training, with resume preparation, technical interview training, and class projects that demonstrate your skills for prospective employers. The need for effective cybersecurity is greater than ever, and you can be part of the solution. To find out more about how Careful Security can provide the education you need to move into a cybersecurity career, contact us here.