Cyber Security Focus – Part 1

Many students have big goals, hopefully you are one of them, of becoming top industry performing cyber security phenoms…but are you sure you are taking the necessary steps to get there?

Recently, a cyber security fair hosted several leading cyber security technology companies and firms, which deal day to day with clients who need protection.  These firms are tasked with keeping sensitive information secure and providing their clients with the latest tools to prevent hackers or other malicious entities from gaining entry to their organizations.  After visiting with several companies, these are the top tips received to help students gain employment after graduation.  Be aware, several of these recommendations should be taking place BEFORE graduation, and should be taken seriously.

  1. EVERYONE mentioned Security + and Network + clearance
  2. A few mentioned Secret and Top Secret (TS) clearance, and sensitive compartmented information clearance (SCI)
  3. The best way to start is with a company that does non-clearance and clearance contracts, and have that company begin your clearance paperwork/path. Once they submit paperwork, you are good to go. It can take up to 2 years to gain clearance though.
  4. Recommended for anyone job hunting is  Good start as well to find more detail on what is expected within the industry for experience, skill-sets etc.
  5. Prior military service is an excellent background to have and might make it easier to gain clearance and entry into a cyber security position.
  6. Almost everyone requires some experience, 2-4 years or more preferred, however some companies are willing to train you. Don’t be discouraged if several turn you away, there are others out there who can teach you.
  7. EVERY STUDENT needs to be developing their language, software, hardware and other skills along the way. Examples include: Python, Splunk, NetWitness, and recommended certifications are VMware, Red Hat, Windows 10, IFX etc.
  8. Considering a government job? Find out what special projects are on their radar. For Air Force specific areas, students should learn more about joint cyber (JCC2) and unified platform initiatives.  A quick Google search shows:  “As Executive Agent for both Unified Platform (UP) and Joint Cyber Command and Control (JCC2), the Air Force is leading the growth of cyberspace capabilities for the DoD. UP and JCC2 are partnerships across all Services and with USCYBERCOM. UP integrates disparate cyber platforms to conduct full-spectrum (OCO & DCO) cyberspace operations, whereas JCC2 integrates joint, coalition and inter-agency command and control to enhance multi-domain operations. Rapidly delivering initial capability in FY18 through Developmental Operations (DevOps), these programs directly enable the CMFs support to Combatant Commander requirements resulting in a shorter kill chain.”

If you have more questions, schedule an appointment with your Career Counselor at the University Career Center.  Office hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and appointments can be made through

By Lisa Vázquez Vigil
Lisa Vázquez Vigil Senior Career Consultant