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Veterans: Turn Your Defense Expertise into a Cybersecurity Career


Veterans have proven great candidates for cybersecurity careers

Many positions in the military today are a fertile training ground for a potentially lucrative cybersecurity career. A veteran may walk into a cybersecurity job groomed for the role, trained to not just follow follow protocol but also understand why it’s essential. And just as military minds perpetually analyze the security of their position and act accordingly, the best cybersecurity techs get out ahead of security issues before breaches take place. But how do you demonstrate all these qualifications to employers, who are increasingly patrolling for cybersecurity talent? With a cybersecurity certificate!

The New Battleground

The internet is quickly becoming the battleground on which 21st-century warfare is fought. Consider that the Pentagon itself is cyberattacked 10 million times a day and that reports of international cyberwarfare hit the news regularly. Meanwhile, on the civilian front, cybercrime in finance, retail, and even entertainment is running rampant. So it stands to reason that employers would look at veterans, with their loyalty, dedication, willingness to learn, and problem-solving abilities, and say, “We want you.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says cybersecurity jobs will grow 37 percent by 2022, and big companies are hiring. This boom is likely to produce a skills gap that many state and local governments are looking at veterans to close. What’s more, veterans are extremely attractive to recruiters hiring for private companies.

Learn about valuable career training that can be obtained with your Post-9/11  GI Bill benefits. >>

Continuing to Serve

Hear from Christopher Rader, a disabled veteran who acquired a CompTIA Security+ certification, among others, through New Horizons Career Development Solutions, on how cybersecurity certifications boosted his career in a field he feels makes a real, positive impact. “I’m excited to get all my certifications and then go out there and put everything I know to work,” Rader said. “With security, you always have a threat coming at you, but you work the security aspect and you are doing the company and yourself a lot of good.” In cybersecurity, you may even end up continuing to serve your country; common military cybersecurity jobs include trainers, network and computer systems administrators, computer programmers, information security analysts, and beyond.

Define Your Line of Battle with a Cybersecurity Certificate

Ready to enlist? Start by taking aim at a cybersecurity certificate. Take stock of the skills you acquired in the military and then let’s find the cybersecurity certificate that’s right for you!

  • CompTIA Security+: If you’re looking to establish your foundational skills in cybersecurity, this certification is a great place to start—you’ll validate baseline skills to perform core security functions. By the way, these CompTIA certifications are also approved by DOD.
  • GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC): If you’re looking to put your boots on the ground as an entry-level cybersecurity tech, this is a great place to start.
  • Implementing Cisco Network Security (IINS): This certification shows you excel at guarding the perimeter, maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of devices and networks.
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP): Formally approved by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), this shows you’re ready to go to battle in cyberwarfare operations.
  • Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP): This certification shows you know hardware, the same hardware you used on the field in the military.
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM): Perhaps something like the drill sergeant of IT, someone with a CISM manages an organization’s cybersecurity and makes sure everyone involved gets in line.
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH): A military veteran knows to get ahead of a threat. This certification says you can find potential exploitations and address them before they become an issue.
  • Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI): An enhanced certification, CHFI shows you can not only detect potential cyberattacks but also properly extract evidence to report the crime and make sure it never happens again.
  • CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+): This certification shows you’re on the leading edge of cybersecurity—the vanguard in battle. You don’t just determine better levels of cybersecurity; you make them happen.
  • CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+): When you were in the military, did you feel like you knew how the enemy thought? Then this certification is for you; it shows you can apply behavioral analytics to combat cybersecurity threats.

The need for cybersecurity is never going away, so it can offer a veteran real job security and an ideal way to translate their experience in the military into a civilian job. Click here to download a free guide on using the GI Bill® to boost your career—including the pursuit of a career in cybersecurity—and contact New Horizons Career Development Solutions to learn more.

Explore ways to use you Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits >>

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 https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

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