For a few minutes every Nov. 11, I ponder the First World War. The senseless carnage and loss of life is sobering. Last Friday was the 98th anniversary of the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the slaughter of the “War to end all wars” came to an end.
Sadly, since then, we haven’t even come close to seeing an end to war. Fortunately for our nation, we’ve had millions of brave men and women willing to risk their lives to protect us. It’s humbling to think of all the sacrifices our military makes so that we can live safely. While we can never fully repay our debt to them, we can at least do our best to help them acclimate back into peace-time employment.
Virginia is one state making a serious effort to train veterans in IT security with their Cyber Veterans Initiative (Cyber Vets). Launched on Nov. 11, the purpose of the initiative is to provide military veterans living in Virginia “access to cybersecurity training and skill development.”
Speaking at Virginia’s Veterans Day Ceremony, Governor Terry McAuliffe said, “We currently have 17,000 open cyber jobs in Virginia, and our veteran community is extremely well-suited to help close the workforce gap in this growing industry. We will continue to work with our partners and the private sector to build innovative pathways for job training and career development for veterans in Virginia.”
Cyber Vets is a collaboration between the state and several private sector IT companies, including CISCO, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and (ISC)2. The initiative provides veterans living in Virginia with a one-stop location for resources and information related to cybersecurity jobs in the state, including cyber education at community colleges and four year institutions, financial support information, and career tools to help vets establish careers in cybersecurity.
Veterans are a great fit for security because they tend to have the critical traits of integrity, trustworthiness, commitment and perseverance, and have been taught to communicate effectively. Cybersecurity is in desperate need of such men and women — over the past 10 years, no other IT domain has grown as fast. This shortage of skilled cyber security professionals has driven salaries up — the average cybersecurity pro currently earns more than $100,000 annually.
The good news for the rest of us is that you don’t have to relocate to Virginia, or even have served in the military, to build a career in cybersecurity. TestOut’s Security Pro is a great first-step. With more than 60 lab simulations, Security Pro offers a comprehensive security course giving you the knowledge and experience needed to gain entry into the field. And there’s more good news — from now until the end of the year you can buy TestOut’s entire library of courses for just $595! That’s a $300 savings!
Regardless of if you’ve worn the uniform, cybersecurity is hot, and there is no better time to start making a new year’s resolution to improve your career prospects.
About the Author — Calvin Harper is an associate editor for GoCertify and a veteran of the publishing industry. He sometimes visits Virginia, because Virginia is for lovers — and Calvin is a lover, not a fighter.