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Education in Cybersecurity – a Bright Future

College students working at at computer.

Interested in going back to school but don't know what field to pursue? Cybersecurity could be a bright spot on your education and employment radar! According to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), "America's daily life, economic vitality, and national security depend on a secure cyberspace. A vast array of interdependent IT networks, systems, services, and resources are critical to communication, travel, powering homes, running the economy, and obtaining government services."

The topic is so important to DHS that the Homeland Security Advisory Council produced a CyberSkills Task Force Report Fall of 2012 where they developed 11 recommendations to assist in building a world-class cybersecurity program: View Report.

Curtis Coy, Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity Veterans Benefits Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs stated, "DHS recognizes that veterans represent a unique pool of candidates due to their proven talent and commitment to public service. They are committed to building the nation's cyber workforce capacity and supporting our veterans at the same time by enhancing opportunities for veterans to be trained, educated, and hired into this dynamic and fast growing career field.

So where do you get started? Check out the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies at http://niccs.us-cert.gov/home/veterans. They identified common education disciplines that can lead to cybersecurity careers, such as:

  • Certified Information Systems Security Program
  • Computer Science
  • Cybersecurity
  • Information Assurance
  • Information Systems Management
  • Information Technology
  • Management Information Systems
  • Management Information Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Network Management
  • Operations Research
  • Program Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Systems and Network Auditor
  • Technology Management

Of course, one does not necessarily need a degree in cybersecurity to work in the field. There are numerous certifications available as well, such as GIAC Information Security Fundamentals, CompTIA Security + certification.comptia.org/getCertified/certifications/security.aspx or (ISC) Certified Information Systems Security Professional to name a few.

DHS will be looking for skilled Veteran talent to assist with accomplishing their mission of protecting the vast federal ".gov" and private ".com" domains. Through the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, they conduct 24/7 cyber monitoring of said domains. The need for the knowledge, skills and talents of Veterans is great and definitely worth a look. Cybersecurity – could it be your next calling?

LTC Eurydice S. Stanley serves as the DANTES Reserve Component Advisor. With over 23 years of military service, she serves as the voluntary education program spokesperson and assists DoD Reserve personnel and family members achieve their personal and professional education goals.

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Contributor

DANTES' mission is to support the off-duty, voluntary education programs of the Department of Defense and to conduct special projects and development activities in support of education-related functions of the Department.
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill