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According to the Department of Labor, each year, nearly 200,000 veterans leave active duty for civilian life. While there are many career-focused resources available to assist in the transition, many veterans seem to overlook how well their service time translates to the field of cybersecurity. The battlefield is changing, but the qualities that make an excellent soldier have not – tenacity, problem-solving, risk/threat analysis, and a desire to serve a high purpose are all traits that help you excel in the cybersecurity profession. Add to that the understanding of how to work in ‘controlled’ environments or possessing some type of security clearance, veterans are unusually well-suited to join ranks of us focused on protecting our enterprises, as well as our governments, from attack.
In 2021, there were 16.6 million veterans in the US, with 5.3 million of them between the ages of 18-54. Just looking at the raw numbers, if only a small percentage of those veterans moved into the cybersecurity field, we could put a significant dent in the workforce gap the industry is facing.
The Security Industry Continues to Struggle
As much as I’ve written about diversity and the benefits a diverse culture brings to an organization, I also believe that helping the veterans who have served our great country transition from active duty to the private sector is also incredibly beneficial to an enterprise.
As you can see from the most recent statistics below, 62% of the over 2,000 companies interviewed said their security teams were understaffed. While these facts are not a surprise to no one who reads this blog, I felt it was time to put together some resources for those moving on from active duty and looking to get into cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity Resources for Veterans
With all of this in mind, I’ve decided to gather up the resources I’ve come across and begin publishing a new Veterans Resources page. Here you will find a number of different cybersecurity resources available to those transitioning out of the services and into a private (or public) sector career.
I’ve categorized the list into the following areas to hopefully allow you to focus on what you’re looking for:
- Career Assistance: Resources and organizations that are focused on assisting veterans who want to move into the technology industry, and more specifically, into the cybersecurity field. These links will provide resources for resume writing, job interview training, and career seminars.
- Corporate Programs: Many companies offer specialized training and hiring programs for Veterans. The links on this page will take you directly to their Veteran program, and when I can find it, specifically to their cybersecurity/STEM information.
- Veteran Scholarships: There is an ever-increasing number of organizations offering scholarships and fellowships to veterans interested in the cybersecurity and STEM fields.
- Continuing Education Resources: Veterans looking to advance their education and participate in cybersecurity and STEM training programs will find all kinds of collegiate, certification, and distance learning options.
- Miscellaneous Resources: The following links will contain miscellaneous resources on the transition process, helpful reports, conferences, or other tools to assist Veterans in entering into a cybersecurity career.
Addressing the Gap
Companies facing hiring challenges should consider partnering with programs such as Hiring Our Heroes to find those eager and qualified candidates who are transitioning out of military service.
Hopefully, these resources can not only help Veterans make the jump into the cybersecurity field but also help us address our long laminated skills shortage as well.
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