For job security try cybersecurity

tpatt100tpatt100 Member Posts: 2,991 ■■■■■■■■■□
I think posting these articles can be motivational but at times I think they can be exploited by the education industry. I still like reading them though for motivational/career guidance since I work in the industry currently and in the past.

For Job Security, Try Cybersecurity, Experts Say
Alec Ross, senior advisor for innovation at the State Department, has a piece of advice for students tasked with the nerve-rattling dilemma of choosing a college major.“If any college student asked me what career would most assure thirty years of steady, well-paying employment,” said Ross, “I would respond, ‘cybersecurity.’”
That’s because cybersecurity is a field where the rules of the recession seem flipped: There’s plenty of jobs, but relatively few qualified applicants.
The government needs to hire at least 10,000 experts in the near future and the private sector needs four times that number, according to Tom Kellermann, vice president at Trend Micro and former member of President Obama’s cybersecurity commission. Booz Allen Hamilton, a private security firm in Mclean, has hired nearly 3,000 cybersecurity experts in the past two years, and that trend is expected to continue.
Cyberattacks generally come in two varieties: state-sponsored intellectual capital theft and strikes against critical digital infrastructure, such as power grids or banking systems.
Both kinds are being carried out thousands of times a day. No one knows the precise cost; some experts put the dollar figure in the billions and others say it could reach hundreds of billions or more. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that the threat of cyberattacks against infrastructure targets keeps him up at night, and former National Security Agency director Mike McConnell recently warned that the U.S. government isn’t equipped to detect and deflect a catastrophic attack.
“We’re going to have a catastrophic event [in cybersecurity]. Some of these tools already being built are going to leak or be sold or be given to a group that wants to change the world order and we’re incredibly vulnerable at the infrastructure level,” said Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
How can the government become better prepared? It needs more “white hats” – the good guys of the Internet, experts say. But not enough digital experts are entering the cybersecurity field to meet the ever-growing demand.
“It’s tough going out there,” said Edwin Kanerva, vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton. “Every company in [the area] is looking for the same thing. There’s just not enough of them. The gene pool is small.”
Recruiters for the company visit colleges across the country, but that may not be enough: According to a 2009 study from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, college graduates earning degrees in computers and mathematics represented just shy of six percent of all graduates. Of those, only 36,500 of them, or two percent, earned a degree directly related to cybersecurity.
Why is that percentage so low? Kanerva said that many college students who train in Computer Science are attracted to fields other than security, such as software development or computer engineering, which are considered more hip and can sometimes offer six-figure starting salaries. The median salary for a graduate earning a degree in security was $55,000 in 2009 compared to $75,000 for computer engineering. Besides, who can resist the ultra-cool appeal and money-making potential of Silicon Valley?
“All of the big corporations – the Googles, the Microsofts, the Oracles – all have offices on campus and they’re in competition one another and with us. It’s difficult to compete with that as a defense contractor or security firm and convince Johnny or Mary to come to central Maryland and work in government.”
The key to training more cybersecurity experts, Kanerva believes, is exposing kids to STEM education – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – as well as add some cybersecurity training in high school.


  • YuckTheFankeesYuckTheFankees Member Posts: 1,281 ■■■■■□□□□□
    thank you for the linkicon_thumright.gif
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Honestly, you have to take these articles with a grain of salt. Does anyone truly believe that it is the salaries of Silicon Valley that are stopping people from wanting government jobs in security? They make the assumption that every computer science graduate is coming out to 100 job offers all for 100k or more. I've known dozen of computer science majors who came out doing exactly what I do now. Location obviously matters, but the Googles, Microsofts, and Facebooks of the world don't just say "hey, you have a CS degree? Here's 100k come work for us!" Also note that they say they need 10000 security "experts". Going to school for "cybersecurity" (who in their right mind would say go to school for that?) degree would not make you an expert by any stretch of the imagination.

    If the government wanted to hire 10000 information assurance professionals they could do it, but they do not. Look at any job description related to information assurance and the grade level it is posted at. You'd be hard pressed to find a job at anything lower then a GS-9 and without a lot of years of experience or a few years combined with a Masters degree you are not in the running for that job. On top of that, many of the entry level type programs leave you in the nexus not knowing why you weren't selected. I've applied to a number of agencies where all I ultimately got was the "Qualified - Not Selected". That being said I've also gotten offers from agencies based off my education, but that was after applying to at least a dozen or so.

    Sorry that this was a bit of a rant, but I take issue with articles that only give one side of the story. Also, I'd hate to see someone spend a lot of money to get that "cybersecurity" degree and then find out they can't get a job due to lack of experience. Full disclosure, go to a college that grants a degree in computer science, information systems, or information technology and has a minor in information assurance. You'll find your mileage will be a lot better in that respect. I have been told by interviewers that due to my degree I would be bored with the position. Even after explaining that I was looking for further IT experience, they took it with a grain of salt. Really just another article to scare the public and keep contracting dollars nice and high. Government says "no one wants to work for us" and grants a contract to Booz Allen who somehow is offering the same pay as the government, but was able to find someone to fill that spot. Weird isn't it?
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