The transition from active military duty to civilian life can be challenging for veterans and their families. Their military life involved a rigorous schedule, specific and structured duties and a set of skills that were developed based on their strengths rather than their interests. Civilian life allows for more freedom, however, this allowance can be difficult for individuals who have led a more structured life. Although the change in lifestyle can be difficult for some, veterans with the proper support system can thrive beyond their military life.
According to the Department of Homeland Security Federal Virtual Training Environment, Veterans are ideal for cybersecurity professions because of their ability to quickly process information, respond to challenges effectively and their ability to learn quickly while on the job. Veterans were exposed to security protocol and procedures while on active military duty. Veterans understand the depth of their security clearance and the great responsibility that comes with holding such ranking.
Cyberseek.org, a project supported by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) which is a program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the U.S. Department of Commerce, states that there is a shortage of cybersecurity workers in the United States. Ultimately, this shortage puts companies and government entities at risk. For example, from April 2017 through March 2018 there were 122,000 openings in the U.S. for Information Security Analysts, but approximately only 105,000 of those positions were filled. In addition to the Information Security Analyst positions, there are 200,000 open cybersecurity-related positions. The demand is ever-growing as more companies and products are supported via the cloud and the internet.
Cyberseek’s parent company, Burning Glass Technologies, is a job market analytics organization that uses artificial intelligence technology to analyze hundreds of millions of job postings and real-life career transitions to provide insight into labor market patterns. According to their report “Recruiting Watchers for the Virtual Walls: The State of Cybersecurity Hiring,” cybersecurity jobs take 20% longer to fill than other IT jobs. While the lapses in job placement are a hindrance for companies, potential employees benefit greatly from a tight hiring market. Often the result is higher salaries.
In a fast-paced cybersecurity environment, there are valuable and unique skills that companies seek in their candidates. These special skills include the ability to perform repetitive tasks and duties, and the technical awareness to understand how to troubleshoot. Veterans often possess these skills necessary for success within the cybersecurity industry, whether starting at the beginning of a cybersecurity career, or delving into a more seasoned role.