Qualified service members, veterans, dependents, guard members and reservists can use the G.I. Bill to obtain cybersecurity training. This should be good news to those already considered a good fit for this career field.
According to one recent article entitled, “Veterans Are Particularly Suited for Jobs in Cybersecurity,” many employers value veterans because they’ve already proven they can work well with others on complicated projects and are usually able to obtain critical security clearances. As Kathleen Siskey of the National Security Administration (NSA) puts it, “Men and women who serve in the military are accustomed to a high level of responsibility, and they know what it’s like to work under high pressure as a member of a team, many times responsible for the lives of others.”
Online Government Publication About Using the G. I. Bill for Education
Fortunately, service members can find plenty of Internet information about various training programs and ways to finance their education. Be sure to review the August 2013 PDF publication entitled: Factors to Consider When Choosing a School: A Guide Before Using the GI Bill (Second Edition).
This publication discusses how you can: (1) discover your strongest talents and career interests, (2) evaluate the best school or training program for your needs and (3) estimate what you may earn once you graduate. Be sure to spend plenty of time locating a training program that has a proven track history of helping G.I. bill students and others successfully complete their training, finance their studies and land jobs upon graduation. This guide includes a number of useful links for both prospective students and current job hunters, including some of the resources listed below.
Online Websites for Pursuing Cybersecurity & Other Careers
- The National Resources Directory (NRD). This government website is for “connecting wounded warriors, service members, veterans, their families and caregivers with those who support them;
- My Next Move.Org. The main page on this website is subtitled, “What Do You Want to Do for A Living?” It allows you to browse careers by industry and key words — and helps you find jobs similar to your past military assignments;
- The Post 9/11 G.I. Benefits Calculator is a resource that’s actually provided on the NRD website noted above;
- Information Regarding the Montgomery G.I. Bill, the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (for eligible members of the National Guard and Reserves), Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational (DEA) Program and many others;
- The Feds for Vets Website’s Military Skills Translator. This useful page helps you equate your past military jobs with new civilian positions. Of course, many service personnel also choose to move into new fields like cybersecurity. (Important Note: The Feds for Vets website is currently undergoing changes. Individual counseling services on that website were discontinued in late September 2013 – at least temporarily);
- The Department of Labor’s New Employment Initiatives for Veterans. This excellent link is actually part of the MyNextMove.org website. It helps eligible veterans connect with local one-stop career centers and many other resources.
Learning More About Cybersecurity Through NICE and Other Programs
The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) is currently busy informing all Americans about the importance of cybersecurity to our culture and way of life. It encourages children and adults to pursue training and careers in this critical job field.
As is noted on the NICE website, “Computer science is the only STEM-science, technology, engineering and mathematics-discipline with more job openings than there are college graduates to fill them.”
The federal government has been pressuring educational programs at all levels to improve their training of all STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses for years. In fact, even back in 2010, President Barack Obama was expanding the “Educate to Innovate” campaign. Numerous partnerships were named at that time “involving major companies, universities, foundations, non-profit organizations and government agencies designed to attract, develop, reward and retain outstanding educators in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).”
As you can see, there will be numerous job openings for cyber professionals in both the government and private sector for many years to come – along with numerous teaching positions for those capable of educating these professionals. In addition, closely related job positions like Computer Systems Analyst often first attract many who later pursue cybersecurity jobs. (At present, the computer systems analyst position is ranked Number Four according to the US News 100 Best Jobs of 2013 — in regards to job satisfaction, low unemployment and good salaries.)
Cybersecurity: A Top Career Field for Veterans and Many Others
Bloomberg News and other major media outlets continue publishing numerous articles about how cybersecurity is an excellent career field for anyone who values job security and daily work challenges. In an article entitled, “Hottest Job on the Market: Cybersecurity Professionals,” we learn that “Listings for cybersecurity positions rose 73 percent in the five years through 2012 – [that’s] 3.5 times faster than postings for computer jobs as a whole, according to Boston-based Burning Glass, a labor market analytics firm that collects data from more than 22,000 online jobs sites.”
Elizabeth Smith, J.D., M.A., is a freelance writer who has successfully written about general health, safety, legal, medical, consumer and business topics for over twenty years. She has also served as the author and co-author of two professional legal texts.