A key risk to our economy and security continues to be the shortage of cybersecurity professionals to safeguard our ever-expanding cyber ecosystem. Raising the next generation of interested and capable cybersecurity professionals is a starting point to building stronger defenses. There are limitless opportunities to educate students of all ages – from high school into higher education and beyond – on the field of cybersecurity as they consider their options. In addition, veterans and individuals who are looking for a new career or re-entering the workforce, should explore the multitude of well-paying and rewarding jobs available.
Guiding Kids to Careers in Cybersecurity
Parents, caregivers, counselors and teachers can play a significant role in paving the way for children to pursue cybersecurity careers. It’s important for these influencers to learn about and have conversations with kids about the breadth of opportunities available. In addition to a focus on STEM – a curriculum based on educating students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics – there are quite a few interesting and fun options to explore. Here are a couple of NCSA’s top recommendations:
- GenCyber offers summer cybersecurity camp experiences for K-12 students and teachers. The goal is to help all students understand safe online behavior, grow diversity and interest in cybersecurity and improve teaching methods for delivering content. Here is a CSIAC Podcast explaining the program: https://www.csiac.org/podcast/the-gencyber-program/
- CyberPatriot focuses on national youth cybersecurity education with three main programs: the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, AFA CyberCamps and the Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative. The Air Force Association developed CyberPatriot to excite students about careers in cybersecurity and other STEM disciplines critical to our nation’s future.
- Visit CyberCompEx to learn about Capture the Flag exercises and other age-appropriate challenges that are great ways to expose kids to cybersecurity.
The State of Cybersecurity Education
Cybersecurity education ranging from grade schools to colleges and universities is evolving to meet the overwhelming demand for cybersecurity professionals and for the increasing necessity for acting safely in a modern digital world. However, this evolution, driven by a number of factors, produces a variety of educational paths all labeled with a variety of cyber buzzwords. In this podcast, Michael Weir, director of CSIAC, and James Rice, CSIAC analyst and MVCC cybersecurity faculty, discuss the origins of this educational evolution, the forces driving positive and negative progress, and offer advice on how the cybersecurity community could achieve effective educational paths at both a personal and professional level.
Webinar – Why should your community college become a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber?
To fill the growing demand of cybersecurity professionals, we need top cybersecurity-related degree programs. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA) jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) program. The CAE designation is awarded to 2 and 4-year schools based on their degree programs and alignment to specific cyber-related knowledge units (KUs). Join this webinar to hear from two CAE designated community colleges and one CAE designated four-year college on the importance of this designation and how to start the process for your school.
- Jake Mihevc, Associate Dean, Business/Cyber/Computer Science, Mohawk Valley Community College
- Stephen Miller, tenured Professor at Eastern New Mexico University-Ruidoso Branch Community College, Director of Information Systems, Cyber Security Center of Excellence
- Ethan Sprissler, Faculty Program Director for Information Technology and Cybersecurity, Excelsior College
- Lifang Shih, Dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies, Excelsior College
Date: October 24, 2018
Time: 3:00pm to 4:00pm EST
To register for this webinar: https://r.csiac.org/cae
Cultivating Cybersecurity Talent Internally
As the number of unprecedented cyberthreats continues to rise, correspondingly the demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to surge in both public and private sectors. Unfortunately, the supply of cybersecurity professionals is NOT in equilibrium with the demand of cybersecurity professionals. If you were to view any ‘top 10’ jobs, most likely ‘cybersecurity’ will rank high on the list of jobs. It may even rank in the top 5 on the list. But why is cybersecurity so hot? What makes any job hot? High salary? Great benefits? How about incredible opportunities for career growth and world-wide job stability requirement? In a growing industry with a rapidly increasing job market, the cybersecurity field offers a diverse range of job prospects with considerably above normal salaries. However, despite these intrinsic career benefits and ever-expanding scope of cybersecurity, headlines repeatedly report a shortage of qualified job candidates, which ultimately results in a lack of resources to face an evolving cyber threat landscape. In response, more and more universities and colleges are doing their part, providing a variety of new cybersecurity degrees from coast to coast – both traditional and online programs. But it’s not enough. The candidate shortage continues, leaving resourceful organizations to consider recruiting and training potential ‘untapped’ talent pools within their own organizations. This CSIAC Report discusses how an organization can cultivate cybersecurity talent internally.
Career Opportunities for All
Cybersecurity positions can require a varying degree of technical proficiency. Those that wish to pursue technical work such as programming or networking can excel in the security industry. However, those that desire a less technical profession can apply their cybersecurity knowledge to other areas such as policy, awareness, or management.
CSIAC can help with your career in cybersecurity:
CSIAC has many resources available to help you with your career in cybersecurity or related fields. CSIAC’s cybersecurity community of practice is a great place to start. The CSIAC’s cybersecurity forum is especially important because it is where community members discuss the techniques, processes, and industry trends of cybersecurity.
If you are looking to become more cyber aware CSIAC’s Cyber Awareness Videos covers fundamental topics, such as phishing, malware, ransomware, and social engineering. Strengthen your cybersecurity posture by watching the all the short videos in the series. Also, CSIAC releases a new Cyber Awareness Video on a monthly basis. Subscribe to receive an email notification when new videos are released.
The Cybersecurity (CS) Digest is another great way to stay informed on the ever-increasing world of cybersecurity. The CS Digest is a curated bi-weekly news summary for cybersecurity professionals. It is transmitted in an HTML-formatted email and provides links to articles and news summaries across a spectrum of cybersecurity topics.