Veterans of all military branches and occupational specialties have advanced training in both hard skills and soft skills.
So why are veterans 37% more likely to be underemployed than non-veterans? The unfortunate answer is that the civilian workforce is built on certifications and career training. No matter how much more real-life experience and personal character a veteran might bring to the table, without the right credentials, they may not get a job that puts their extensive training to use.
However, this is also good news for the majority of veterans on a personal level. 55% of people transitioning to civilian life want to do something totally different than they did while active duty, according to LinkedIn’s recent Veteran Opportunity Report.
The same report found that the three industries hiring veterans the most are defense and space, utilities, and government administration. This is interesting because these are also three of the sectors most in need of cybersecurity expertise today. Banking and finance, healthcare, and retail are other industries that are having to make rapid changes to meet the now-constant threat of cyberattack. Due to this rising crisis, it’s anticipated 3.5 million jobs in the field will be unfilled as of 2021.
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Cyber security bootcamp is a great way to use a portion of GI bill benefits to make a big career shift into cybersecurity jobs and translate that effort into a high salary. Plus, there are five key ways your military background will be seen as a benefit by potential employers across industries.
1. You’re used to military-style intensity
Cyber security is a high-stakes field with a critical mission—protecting civilians and businesses from harm through cybercrime. Whether it’s a data breach, ransomware, or another form of systems attack, cyber security professionals are on the front lines to protect and minimize threats. Some of the most harmful types of cyberattack have also become the most common:
- Phishing Attack: a hacker poses as a trusted organization to steal information
- Malware or Ransomware: a malicious program infiltrates a device to achieve criminal goals
- Online Credential Breach: leaked passwords put users at risk of compromise
Obviously, fighting threats like these means every moment counts and could make the difference between success or failure. That’s why some teams are moving toward militarization tactics for active, thoughtful, and rapid response. Veterans of any specialization are a natural fit for this intense environment.
2. You’re trained to combat an adversary
Fighting an adversary means being able to think like they do. In combat, this means anticipating the strategy and next steps of an enemy organization. In cybersecurity jobs, it means doing the same against tens of thousands such hostile organizations. Symantec reported that in 2019, its sensors blocked 142 million threats per day—and that’s just one cybersecurity company.
In this environment, the knowledge of strategy and mindset of perseverance that come with being a veteran put you ahead of the curve. Cybersecurity training helps you achieve the practical skills to support the mental best practices you have already developed.
3. You’re accustomed to teamwork
The science of teams in the military has been studied, published on, and even inspired a lot of the best-practices that civilian organizations use today. Unlike professionals from a different type of background, you know the success of the mission is more important than any one person’s ego. Though it may not always be easy to work on a team, in an industry like cyber security, it’s essential.
This even applies to the prevention of cybercrime to begin with. When one individual is blamed for the data breach, like the Equifax data breach in 2017, it’s often to cover up that the organization as a whole made mistakes. And, it makes it hard to move forward as a team to do better in the future. Your military mindset and focus on outcomes, not excuses, will help other civilian employees do better as you lead by example.
4. You’re adaptable
Veterans are used to adapting to new orders, circumstances of living, and colleagues on a regular basis. Cybersecurity is also a field that requires an adaptable work style. University of Maryland reports that hackers attack every 39 seconds, and no matter where you end up working, your organization could become the next target. That means the long-term project you planned to work on that day might take a back seat, while you’re also expected to pick up right where you left off once the immediate threat is resolved.
Are cybersecurity jobs fun? It’s certainly exciting, and if you like to adapt to new challenges every day, it just might be the field for you.
5. You’re dedicated to service
At its core, cyber security is a profession of service. This industry is dedicated to protecting those at risk and serving the good of the people—a common value of your military service.
Are you wondering what is the best cybersecurity training? Just like choosing a branch of the military and talking with leadership about your specialization, the answer depends on the way you want to serve. Some might want to help companies achieve cloud security, while others want to focus on email protection, preventing identity theft, or any number of other needs in today’s technical economy.
When it comes to cyber security bootcamp and GI bill considerations, the qualifications provided by a boot camp are one of the credentials that can provide an alternative to VET TEC training providers. In Indiana, where Eleven Fifty academy is located, a VET TEC training program doesn’t even exist as of October 2020. In states like ours, cybersecurity or coding bootcamps provide a valuable alternative for veterans to transition quickly into a well-paying civilian career.
If you’re a Hoosier veteran or even a veteran outside of Indiana considering a career transition to cybersecurity jobs as a civilian, we invite you to sign up for one of our FREE Intro to Cyber Security virtual courses, or contact an admissions specialist to ask questions one-on-one. Thank you for your service, and best of luck in whatever industry you choose to share your talents.