Veterans truly understand the value our society places on security. We rely on their dedication and sacrifice to safeguard our civilian lives. Yet, for the approximately 200,000 veterans who leave the U.S. military every year, transitioning to civilian life can be challenging. What jobs are available for veterans? How will their skills translate? How can they continue to safeguard society? One path leads to the world of digital security.
Cybersecurity represents the world’s fastest-growing field of defense. The United States was the most-targeted country for cybercrime in 2021, with attacks happening daily. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said the U.S. government didn’t learn of a 2020 attack until a cybersecurity firm alerted it months later — after being hacked itself. Meanwhile, the FBI reports that cybercrime complaints nearly tripled (PDF, 1310 KB) in the last five years, totaling $6.9 billion in losses in 2021 alone.
To manage these threats, the world needs an infusion of cybersecurity professionals. (ISC)², a professional information security association, projects that the global cybersecurity workforce must increase by 65 percent (PDF, 676 KB) to fight internet attacks. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the need for information security professionals to grow by 33 percent from 2020 to 2030. The Department of Homeland Security has even partnered with the Girl Scouts to develop the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.
These are integral, high-paying jobs (often with salaries above $100,000 per year, according to the BLS) for which veterans can be exceptionally qualified. So, where to start? This guide will explore the many cybersecurity resources available to veterans regarding skills and education, interview preparation, and job searches in the public and private sectors.