Cyber Security Focus – Part 2

The focus of a Cyber Security conference recently held in San Antonio, was to serve as a showcase for new products, software and other technology to enhance an organization’s options to protect and/or counter cyber attacks.  Many of the vendors in attendance were sales based, with backgrounds in public speaking, marketing, business, communications fields while in school and some knowledge of the IT inner workings of their products.  A few focused on their skill sets right out of college to help get into their fields, but others were cyber security, information systems and computer science.

We’re sharing today some of the information learned through this event, and hope you can capitalize on it for career planning/development and future job prospects.

  1. Advice from a gentleman with 31 years in the business says don’t get scared! Some of the toughest parts of the job happen in the first 3-6 months.  Give it 3 months, at least, to learn your teammates names, some terminology and how the work proceeds.  It’s important to grasp the language cyber and info systems tends to speak in, so pay attention to acronyms for your unit, and how they may change within other departments.
  2. Be patient.  What was shared several times over is nothing happens immediately when it comes to promotions or moving up the ladder.  Technical skill is definitely achievable, but you also have to have networks within an organization, building trust and relationships with constituents across the board is helpful and takes time.  Make the most of the time you spend within your office, and try to get to know others from various areas within your company.
  3. While you are being patient on the job, understand there is a huge shortage of IT professionals.  Recruiters may contact you while you are in another position and recognize your talent, which is flattering and can be a great opportunity to move around, but always ask questions.  The old adage of look before you leap is important.
  4. A hiring manager said you have to LISTEN to everyone and everything.  This is how you pick up tips and tricks of the trade, how you learn exactly what your organization needs, what your clients/customers/users need, and how you listen helps you pick up and act on the little things that make a big difference.
  5. Think about why you want to be in this industry – this field has many niche areas you can capitalize and specialize in – to help you distinguish areas of interest for your career development.  Endpoint security, Security management, Info security, Mobile security…the list is endless.  By focusing on your interests, you can better research where you want to work, what type of company you want to hire you, where you would like to do an internship and gain experience and more.
  6. Different jobs require different skill sets, however, you can get a jump on exactly what you need to for your career field.  Check out this awesome tool to get you started before you graduate –> CompTIA Certification Roadmap

The best information shared throughout the event was how you need to get involved as soon as possible.  Start building a network through events, workshops, seminars, conferences and a great place to start is with local networking and professional associations.  Students who join Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) actually get their first year of dues free, with all of the benefits included, and pay a minimal fee every year after that until they graduate.  Check out the local San Antonio chapter!

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