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Why a Career in Cybersecurity is a Good Choice for Military Veterans

Why a Career in Cybersecurity is a Good Choice for Military Veterans

If you are wondering what you can do after exiting your military service, a career in cybersecurity could be the best solution for you. Yes, the way to land a job in the IT sphere completely differs from your previous experience, but this article will facilitate the process of getting into cybersecurity.

The demand for cybersecurity professionals is increasing at a breathtaking pace. It’s easy to see why these jobs are so popular nowadays. A lot of companies are subject to cyber-attacks and have some major issues with data breaches that can cause a decent revenue loss. These breaches can adversely affect companies of different types. According to proven data from NICCS (National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies), the demand is growing 12 times faster than for the overall job market. And the average cybersecurity salary can attain 120 thousand dollars which is almost three times the national salary average. Impressive, right? But what makes veterans an excellent match for similar positions? Let’s cover some main cybersecurity job requirements and skills that veterans possess.  

Veterans already possess the majority of all necessary skills and qualities for this job. Vets are disciplined, their great leadership skills along with dedication and ability to work effectively in the team, make them one of the best candidates in this field. Many American veterans are great at analyzing and managing information, and all they need is to acquire some additional cyber-specific skills.

Security analysts and security managers are the most popular positions in the cybersecurity job market. Typically, cybersecurity professionals perform day-to-day duties that include: monitoring networks, encrypting important data, performing tests on vulnerability, preventing eventual information breaches, evaluating information security, implementing security plans, applying information assurance strategies, enhancing workflow, developing software and applications. Cybersecurity analysts may also lead internal security training sessions and research the advanced info on technology security trends and contribute to developing security standards. 

Why Military Veterans

1.   Loyal

Their loyalty is the essential key to a successful career in cybersecurity. Vets are the most reliable people and they can give a guarantee that all information will stay confidential.

2.    Dedicated

When it comes to performing job duties, veterans bring their dedication to each task. A special responsibility falls on them and the main job is to do all their best in order to achieve the desired result.  

3.   Leadership and management skills

Veterans possess strong leadership and managerial skills. Sarah Devis, team leader at Skillroads said: “Excellent leadership skills are an essential key to top-ranked positions, and military veterans are the ones who perfectly fit for it”. These skills will be highly appreciated in some tough situations. Vets are definitely capable of getting everything and everyone on board. Also, it is important to know how to coordinate different types of networks and ensure they work well together.

4.   Team-oriented

Veterans are great team players. This trait will help in organizing teamwork, motivating others. Team-oriented people are always engaged and ready to help other members. It is necessary to know how to work with different types of employees in order to accomplish set goals.

5.   Integrity

Due to their extensive experience, veterans can learn on the fly, they are very adaptable and can integrate into new positions very quickly.

6.   Attentive to detail

Detailed-oriented veterans know how to deal with highly important and confidential tasks. They can set the right priorities and get a great quality result. Sometimes it may be daunting to detect cyber attacks, therefore cybersecurity analysts should pay extra attention to the computer system. They also need to watch some minor changes in the performance.

7.   Problem-solving and analytic skills

Cybersecurity professionals often encounter some threatening situations, and being able to solve them is of paramount importance. Veterans’ problem-solving skills will come in handy and allow them to handle some complex issues with ease.

8.   Quick minded

It is the main asset for cybersecurity professionals. Veterans are quick learners and they do everything possible to complete the task. They are trained to overcome various obstacles. Most importantly, they can work in a high-pressure environment. They will readily tackle some major issues concerning security breaches in a timely manner.  

9.    Persevering

Working in the cybersecurity domain implies doing a lot of monotonous tasks. Veterans are very perseverant and this very quality will help them to stay focused on similar projects.

10.  Disciplined

Being disciplined is crucial in this sphere. Veterans know how to organize teamwork, their time management skills and ability to set the right priorities will help them to ensure high-quality performance.

11.  Adoptive

Modern technologies are constantly evolving and flexibility is one of the biggest assets. Veterans respond well to any kind of change and respectively they can adjust their workflow and organize a team according to new set goals. 

12.  Additional military knowledge

Veterans have some specific military knowledge that will be very useful in the IT field. Here are some military strategies that are possible to transfer to a cybersecurity sphere:

  • redundant systems - the most popular trick hackers use is to shut down a digital network by sneaking some virus into the system. Veterans can anticipate similar attacks using backups.
  • active defenses - in cybersecurity this term means going on the offensive in order to identify eventual network threats and moving first to neutralize the threat before it causes some damage to the digital system.

Once you have resolved to seek a career in cybersecurity, accent your research on global manufacturing companies, international financial firms, or large healthcare institutions. Professionals are particularly needed there. When applying for a job in cybersecurity, it’s highly recommended to pay attention to companies that have a partnership with military organizations. It will make the hiring process much easier for you, and respectively you will have an advantage over other candidates.

Certification needed?

In today’s world, cybersecurity training is key to landing various careers in the IT sphere. Before recruiting veterans, an employer will require some additional education or certifications. In order to boost a career in this field vets will have to undergo some professional training. The nation needs more cybersecurity specialists that’s why DHS (Department of Homeland Security) offers a wide range of opportunities to gain all-important skills and knowledge.

Educational options include:

  • free cybersecurity training for veterans offered by the Federal Virtual Training Environment. Online courses are also available so free certifications for veterans are not a problem.
  • degree programs in cybersecurity. This academic program is provided by the National Centers for Academic Excellence. The great news is that veterans enrolled in some academic cybersecurity programs can apply for a scholarship. 

Moreover, such corporations as PricewaterhouseCoopers, IBM, Proficio, and others play a big part in helping vets to start their careers in Cybersecurity. For example, PWC create a cyber boot camp to help militaries to receive needed knowledge and then employ them; Operation Code and CyberTraining 365, Florida Center for Cybersecurity, the Warrior to Cyber Warrior Program the SANS CyberTalent Immersion Academy – offer free courses for military veterans, and that’s only some of the organization may help you on free basis.

Now you know how to start your career in cybersecurity. At first glance, it may seem daunting, but your extensive military experience along with your willingness to conquer a new field career will lead you to success.

Visit our job board regularly to find companies that have positions available offering veterans jobs and follow our blog and social media profiles to get news of job fairs in your area.     

Alice Berg is a guest blogger from Bath, who received a degree in Social Work and Applied Social Studies. Now she helps people to find their own way in life, gives career advice and guidance, helps young people to prepare for their careers. You can find Alice on Twitter.