National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week (November 9-14, 2020) gives us an opportunity to educate and inspire people to explore career paths in information security.
Over the past two decades while helping to build an amazing community of higher ed information security professionals, I have become passionate about my role as a cybersecurity career advocate. Not only do I want to see more students choose careers in cybersecurity, but I want to help people already in this field connect with peers or mentors, develop their leadership skills, and progress into management or executive-level roles.
I’ve learned that cybersecurity can be a career path for anyone because it is multidisciplinary. I’ve also learned that while technology is an important component of a cybersecurity program, having a technical background is not a requirement and those skills can be learned through training and mentorship. Whether you’re a computer scientist, technologist, forensics expert, lawyer, auditor, or student of the humanities and social sciences, these unique and diverse perspectives help create a balanced infosec team.
So, are you an aspiring cybersecurity professional who is interested in learning more about career opportunities and roles, but not sure where to start? Or perhaps you’re trying to navigate the possibility of a different career path in cybersecurity? You might also be a mentor looking for resources to guide students, peers, or team members. Here are some helpful websites and resources for anyone interested in contributing to the cybersecurity community.
- CyberSeek.org: This website offers an interactive “heat map” showing the current supply and demand in the cybersecurity market. You can also explore career pathways with an interactive tool highlighting common cybersecurity roles, opportunities to advance, as well as more information about salaries, credentials, and skillsets related to each role.
- Cyber Career Pathways Tool: The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (NICCS) offers an interactive website to explore work roles and core attributes (e.g., tasks, knowledge, skills, and abilities) associated with each role.
- International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals: ICMCP is a non-profit association that supports the education and career advancement of underrepresented women and minority cybersecurity professionals. Resources include scholarships, mentoring programs, outreach, volunteer opportunities, and regional chapters.
- CyberCareers.gov: Looking for a job in the federal government? This website lists current job openings and provides tools and resources for 4 distinct audiences: job seekers, current federal employees, federal hiring managers, and students & universities.
- CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service: This program provides scholarships for undergrad and graduate students pursuing a cybersecurity education (up to 3 years). Those who receive scholarships must agree to work for the federal government in a cybersecurity-related role after graduation.
- Cybersecurity Talent Initiative: Recent graduates in cybersecurity-related fields (e.g., computer science, engineering, information science, mathematics) can find opportunities to apply for work experience with private sector companies or federal agencies and receive student loan assistance.
- CISO Tuesdays: So you think you might want to be a Chief Information Security Officer one day? Learn more about a day in the life of a higher education CISO by reading this weekly blog series. You’ll also discover the wide variety of paths that led each CISO to where they are now.
- #InfoSecJobs: Follow this hashtag on Twitter for new information security and cybersecurity-related job opportunities.
The resources mentioned above are a great starting point, but I believe the best way to really explore cybersecurity career paths is by speaking to people in this field and discovering what they’re passionate about. One of my true joys is helping make valuable connections, and I’m always happy to chat with anyone new to cybersecurity or the higher education community. Please reach out to me directly Twitter or email if you’d like to discuss cybersecurity career options or if I can help connect you with members in this community. I think you’ll find that everyone in the higher ed infosec community is willing to share and help people grow and succeed.
Stay tuned for the next blog where I’ll share ideas for engaging with the community as a cybersecurity career advocate!
|The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) promotes National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week every November. Use the NICE Toolkit to help promote this annual week-long campaign with your network.|
This post was authored by Strategic Consultant Valerie Vogel, who advises clients on information security program education and awareness initiatives. Connect with Valerie to discuss information security solutions.