October 20, 2021 - It was inspiring to listen into the CYBER.ORG panel discussion during Cyber Career Week, which engaged K-12 educators from across the country to discuss how students can make the leap from K-12 cyber education to the cyber workforce! By now, it’s no surprise that we are approaching a real crisis with our nation’s cybersecurity posture. The frequency of malicious breaches and volume of sensitive personal and financial information being stolen keeps growing at an unprecedented pace. The risks to the nation’s critical infrastructure, including its finance, utility and transportation systems, are pervasive and getting worse. To combat this, we must collectively do more to grow the cybersecurity workforce of the future and address the shortfall of qualified talent to fill the 465,000 open cybersecurity positions nationwide (according to Cyberseek). Project Cyber Co-Founder Rachel Bierner was one of the panelists during the CYBER.ORG discussion and shared her thoughts on why students should consider a job in this evolving field and tips on how to make the leap to a cybersecurity career. Rachel shared that a career in cybersecurity can provide a high-demand and well-paying career path. There are diverse tracks that individuals can pursue, technical or non-technical, in cybersecurity. And, the work is important to protect the livelihood of communities from the impact of cyber attacks. Rachel also shared the importance of soft skills in a cybersecurity career and how “when you start your career, you won’t be working in isolation. You’ll be working in team settings.” Learning to work with others, the ability to prioritize your work, and leadership are all important skills to have as you start out your career.
Finally, she reinforced that internships are great opportunities to build your skills and network. “You never know where an opportunity will come from. Whatever it might be, treat everyone with respect and always present your best self. Opportunities come from where you least expect it.”, said Rachel.
To learn more about cybersecurity careers, please visit CYBER.ORG's website on career exploration.