If you've served in the military or worked in law enforcement, starting a career in cybersecurity is probably a great move for you. Qualified cybersecurity professionals are in extremely high demand across all industries.
Discover what cybersecurity professionals do, and how former military or law enforcement professionals can easily get started on this career path.
What is Cybersecurity?
Cyber analyst jobs are all about protecting and serving an organization and its computer systems from data breaches or digital attacks. From securing an organization’s products to ensuring emails and other communication methods are safe, the job functions of cybersecurity professionals are extensive.
How a Military Background Helps with Cybersecurity
The cybersecurity field offers the same collaborative, collegial environment as the military and law enforcement. If you have a military background, you're uniquely qualified for starting a career in cybersecurity since you are already used to dealing with uncertainty, changing terrain, defense, and evolving threats. The situational awareness, precision, and problem-solving abilities that cybersecurity positions require are traits that those with military backgrounds already have.
Cybersecurity is a dynamic and mentally stimulating field. As Randall Frietzsche, chief information security officer for Denver Health and a WGU graduate, says, "You're constantly seeing new things and having to stay on your toes, and it really takes a certain caliber of person to do that."
When you join the cybersecurity fight, you're not just protecting the employer and organization you work for. Today's threats often target thousands of businesses at the same time. The work you do on a daily basis can therefore impact countless organizations and individuals who may be vulnerable to attack.
This mission-first orientation makes the information security field unique, and former military and law enforcement professionals will likely find this environment comfortable and familiar.
Cyber Solutions are Always Evolving
Because the nature of cybersecurity threats is constantly evolving, professionals in this field must be willing to continuously learn and acquire new skills. Those with military and law enforcement backgrounds typically respond well to these demands, because they are accustomed to the nature of fast-pasted, demanding work that is constantly posing new challenges.
This means they will also have many opportunities to grow within organizations as the need for qualified, experienced cybersecurity and information security professionals grows across virtually every type of organization. Those who commit to the cybersecurity profession know that they will be on a solid path for the rest of their careers.
High Demand, High Salary
Cybersecurity is a booming field, with some U.S. cities boasting three or more job openings per applicant. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that security analysts' responsibilities "are continually expanding as the number of cyberattacks increases," which means the job prospects will only continue to improve. Jobs in the field also tend to pay well, with a median salary of $92,500, according to a 2017 LinkedIn analysis of cybersecurity jobs.
Cybersecurity Degrees and Certifications
Pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree either in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance or Network Operations and Security is a great first step toward a career in cybersecurity. If you already have a cybersecurity degree, you might be able to apply directly for a master's degree program in Cybersecurity or Information Assurance or look into cybersecurity certifications. Either way, you should look for an institution that recognizes that you bring a lot more to the table than the average student. Cybersecurity degrees and certifications can help you get a higher salary in a secure career field. A degree and the right certifications can help you qualify for a post-military cybersecurity job.
Get Started with Your Civilian Career in Cybersecurity
Your training and your dedication to serving others already makes you a great fit for the cybersecurity field. To learn more about the job market, what the life of a cybersecurity professional is like, and the skills and qualifications that will help you get ahead, download the Cybersecurity Jobs Guide.