Women are the diamonds of cybersecurity. They are rare, scarce, and above all else, bring a unique value that’s difficult to imitate in cybersecurity. Having prior military experience, a veteran’s status, makes a woman in cybersecurity even more rare, they are the emeralds of cybersecurity.
They possessed a unique competitive advantage in the cybersecurity labor market. However, in order to leverage that you must understand the unique you possess. Here are five reasons why women with a veteran status should consider a career in cybersecurity:
1. The career preparation and educational options for veterans seeking a career in cybersecurity is plentiful, but for some women-specific programs, they are exclusive. For example:
- WiCyS’s Veteran’s Assistance Program, offering women veterans resources, opportunities, and mentors within the WiCyS network. One such opportunity is the Veteran Fellowship Award. It’s an annual honor given to select female veterans interested or employees in cybersecurity.
- WiCyS’s Female Veteran Apprenticeship Program -a program to help members bridge the gap from military career experience to cybersecurity careers.
2. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics (2020), cybersecurity [information security analyst] jobs are expected to grow by 33%. The demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to increase.
3. In San Diego, they were 6,812 cybersecurity-related online job postings from April 2020 through March 2021 (Cyberseek, 2021). The availability of cybersecurity roles is abundant; now is your time!
4. The International Information System Security Certification Consortium (2020) released a study , Women in Cybersecurity, and reported that although the women has made significant progress, they are still underrepresented and only make up 24% of the cyber-workforce. This percentage gets much smaller when you factor in one’s veteran status. The point is a career in cybersecurity will help bring balance and much needed diversity to the cybersecurity industry.
5. Veterans are highly desirable within cybersecurity roles because they possess (or can easier possess) security clearances that are needed in specific cyber roles. Now imagine how unique you could become, due to the rarity of women-veterans in these type of cyber-roles requiring security clearances. That uniques, would be the starting point of communicating your value.
Life is like Tetris, when you fit in, you disappear.
Those are the words I’ve closely lived my life by. It’s more than just a catchy aphorism for the value of thing that make us different from others. It’s the idea that we are all unique in our own special way, but in order to take advantage of our uniqueness, we must find a way to leverage it and stand out above the rest.
To women-veterans please consider a career in cybersecurity. There is a rare opportunity to become emeralds in the industry.
Happy Veteran’s Day!