Why Military Veterans Should Consider a Career in Cybersecurity

There are several thoughts that come to mind when a veteran begins to think about transitioning into civilian life. Where should I live? Should I go back to school? And, perhaps most importantly -- what career path should I choose?

cybersecurity career for military veterans

The skills gained during military service can actually be applied to a variety of jobs. One field that is drumming up interest among veterans is cybersecurity. It’s a sector that allows veterans to transfer their passions for defending their country to a new battlefield – one that has been emerging online.

In November 2009, President Obama issued an executive order to increase the recruitment and employment of military veterans within the Federal Government. Three years later, cyberterrorism was named one of the top five global risks by the World Economic Forum and the White House issued an executive order to improve the nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure. However, the U.S. continues to suffer from a lack of cybersecurity professionals in both the private and public sector. Although the demand for professionals with cybersecurity skills has increased significantly within the past few years, many of these jobs go unfilled because people lack necessary technical skills or simply do not know that these jobs exist.

However, veterans are highly favored and sought after to fill these roles due to their military training and experience. Veterans are often ten steps ahead of their civilian counterparts when it comes to preparing for a career in cybersecurity. Individuals who have worked in intelligence positions during their years of service have often acquired cybersecurity training that is well suited for managing high-level IT security information. Military veterans are also known for their ability to be process and team-oriented. Cybersecurity professionals that can work together in a high-pressure environment give employers the sense that they can be trusted to tackle a major security breach in a timely and orderly fashion.   

Another benefit for military veterans is that they may have already acquired security clearances needed to gain employment for a federal position. Having these clearances help speed up the hiring process, which can become long and daunting for civilians that lack a military background.

Cybersecurity jobs also offer veterans job security and lifetime opportunities for professional growth. Professionals in this field can earn $70,000 to $110,000 a year. Opportunities currently abound in the nation’s capitol – the Defense Department is expected to add 3,000 to 4,000 cybersecurity positions by 2015 across several federal agencies, including the CIA, FBI, and Homeland Security Department.

Not sure if cybersecurity is right for you? Get started by expanding your knowledge base with our newest DSST exam - Fundamentals of Cybersecurity. As with all other DSST exams, the test is FREE for active military (funded by DANTES). Click here to learn more. 

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