Many government agencies rely on cybersecurity professionals to keep sensitive information protected. Earning a Master of Science in Cybersecurity degree will arm you with the knowledge and skills that these government agencies desire in applicants.
Government Cybersecurity Jobs
Whether it is the Department of Defense (DOD), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or another agency, there is a strong demand for technical skills, especially cyber security experts that preserve the integrity of critical information.
Each of these agencies is constantly seeking cybersecurity specialists to add to their staff. With a degree in cybersecurity, you just might find yourself employed for a government agency on the local, state or federal level.
Department of Defense
The Department of Defense is one of the top employers for cyber security professionals. They intend to build a team of 6,200 cyber professionals by the end of 2015. The agency relies on high-tech security specialists, including many recent college graduates, to keep its internal information network (DoDIN) safe, lend support to combatant commanders performing missions across the globe, and bolster the country's ability to survive cyber attacks. Different agencies, such as the NSA, fall under Department of Defense. For this reason, the locations of employment may vary due to the role and responsibilities of the desired position.
These are the main goals of what is known as U.S. Cyber Command “USCYBERCOM”, a sub-unified command with the support of U.S. Strategic Command. USCYBERCOM designs the entire cyber security strategy, as well as the training standards and requirements for each of the armed forces.
Central Intelligence Agency
The CIA has vowed to increase their cybersecurity force in order to combat threats in the cyber-arena from various countries and terrorist organizations. The agency heads the government's intelligence gathering operations. Its Information Operations Center (IOC) is especially focused on activity that occurs on the internet. The RAND report states the CIA is most interested in applicants who have a master's degree in a cyber-oriented field.
The CIA looks for qualified applicants at college job fairs, hacker conventions and from within its current ranks. They have increased efforts to maintain security through cyber professionals and plan to increase cyber security employment for years to come as new threats continue to evolve. While the exact requirements and locations of these cybersecurity positions is often classified, applicants should expect to relocate to Washington D.C. and surrounding areas to be considered for the position.
Department of Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has grown extensively in response to the tragedy of 9/11. The agency employs more than 240,000 Americans, some of which function in a cyber security capacity. If you snag a position with the DHS, you will help secure our nation from threats including terrorist attacks, natural disasters and accidents.
You might be surprised at just how many agencies fall under the umbrella of the DHS. They include the Secret Service, U.S. Coast Guard, TSA and more. The typical DHS cyber security specialist is charged with tremendous responsibility. These individuals work to protect infrastructures controlled by networks. Whether it is the electric grid, our water system or any other system relied upon by the masses, the DHS is usually responsible for its protection.
DHS cyber security professionals also investigate network breaches and various cyber crimes. If you are particularly interested or skilled in digital forensics, cyber incident response, strategic analysis or networks and systems engineering, you will fit right in at the DHS.
U.S. Government Accountability Office
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is headquartered in Washington D.C. and has 11 offices throughout the United States. The cyber careers segment of its website is constantly advertising new positions. The GAO reports to congress yet it is a completely independent and non-partisan agency. Its role is to investigate federal expenditures, unacceptable activities and other issues related to government ethics.
The agency has made a large effort to hire not only security auditors, but cyber security professionals in an attempt to secure the nation against cyberterrorists and hacker groups. If you are skilled or interested in analyzing networks to generate information pertaining to security weaknesses, the GAO might be a great career opportunity for you.
National Security Agency
The National Security Agency (NSA) employs between 30,000 and 40,000 people. The NSA is always on the hunt for new cyber security talent, as digital communications and activity are central to its role. The agency monitors an incredible amount of information, much of which is transmitted in a digital manner. The goal is to prevent this sensitive or classified information from being used in nefarious ways.
The NSA’s cyber security professionals implement electronic defense tactics to protect government systems against attacks and even uses offensive tactics such as subversive software. The NSA is the United States' leading employer of cybersecurity personnel. Offices are typically located around Fort Meade in Maryland. For those interested in securing a position as a cyber professional for the NSA, relocating to the areas of Baltimore, Washington D.C., or nearby Fort Meade is often required.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
While the FBI only employs about 35,000 people, their cybersecurity personnel is constantly growing. In addition to positions in the main FBI headquarters, the bureau has employed “cybersquads” in their 56 offices nationwide. These teams travel internationally with the 93 cybercrime task forces that are trained to work alongside the federal, state, and local agencies. Work for the FBI and you will help investigate federal crimes, guard the country from threats and assist the U.S. counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism agencies. The agency also has a Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch (CCRSB) to handle cyber crimes and other illicit activities.
FBI recruiters are primarily looking for cybersecurity experts who have at least a bachelor's degree. In fact, during a 2014 cyber conference, the FBI's Supervisory Special Agent Charles Gilgen stated that the agency's cyber division intended to hire 6,000 analysts and “cyberwarriors” by 2016.
Why Cyber Security Government Jobs are Booming
Many of the national security conflicts of the future will be digital in nature. Cyber terrorists, as well as hackers of all sorts, are turning to the internet to wreak havoc. As a result, government branches like the NSA and CIA are always on the lookout for elite cyber security professionals who can help prevent them from breaking into databases to steal secrets, identities, or other sensitive information.
Learn about the rewarding careers in cybersecurity
- Discover the latest technology used by professionals in this field.
- Learn how to incorporate your skills to improve security measures
- Find out how to leverage your degree to advance your career