Cyber Analytics Careers in Government
Laura Dugan ’03
Social security numbers, birth dates, Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers, tax records – a short list of some of the seemingly endless amount of personal information maintained by the federal government. With security breaches of companies becoming more and more frequent, it is vital that an entity as large as the government be able to keep data secure.
For those with an interest in cyber analytics, there are literally millions of job opportunities, many of those within the federal government. According to an article by CNBC, “estimates by Cybersecurity Ventures indicate that there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021.”
On top of that, the article states, “PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that by 2020, there will be 2.2 million data and analytics–related jobs posted in the United States.”
There are needs for cyber analytics professionals within all branches of the government:
- Nearly 61 million Americans utilize Medicare and almost 76 million are on Medicaid. All of that data is processed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and must be kept secure.
- Branches of the military have specific teams dedicated to cyber analytics, such as the U.S. Army Cyber Command.
- The Department of Homeland Security is focused on safeguarding America from threats, including those that are digital and technological in nature.
Cybersecurity careers in government are not only needed at the federal level – state and local governments are often at risk for cyber attacks as more services are offered via the internet.
In the article Why local governments are a hot target for cyberattacks, Chris Kennedy, former government cybersecurity veteran, states, “If you think long-range, state and local governments offer a wealth of information about citizen activity. You can imagine how cyber criminals would want to take advantage of that collection of information for identity theft and things like that.”
There is such a need for cyber analytics and cyber security talent within the government that eleven federal agencies have partnered with several private business to launch the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative in April of this year.
As shared in the Initiative’s press release, “the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative helps to jumpstart careers and provide the training and experience needed to lead the nation’s cyber defense across the public and private sectors. Participants selected for the program will be guaranteed a two-year placement at a federal agency with cybersecurity opportunities.”
Individuals who participate in the program will then be eligible for full-time positions with private sector partners Microsoft, Mastercard, or Workday. Once hired, participants will receive up to $75,000 in student loan assistance. More information on the program is available at cybertalentinitiative.org.
“It is critical for our government to attract and hire highly skilled workers capable of securing federal computer networks and building defenses against the thousands of cyberattacks that occur every year,” said Max Stier in the press release, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, the organization operating the new initiative. “The federal government has fallen more and more behind in the race for cyber talent, and this program will help get it back on track.”