American citizens who have a passion for cybersecurity should know that the U.S. government may have an interest in them, for all the right reasons. Both U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and President Barack Obama, have stressed the importance of increasing the nation's cybersecurity workforce.
With all the opportunities available to individuals at the government level in the field of cybersecurity, now may be the ideal time to consider enrolling in graduate programs in the subject.
In the war against cyberattacks, having skilled and knowledgeable cybersecurity professionals on the government's payroll is no longer optional. Threats are coming from within and outside of the U.S., and Obama has referred to cybersecurity as "one of the most serious economic and national security challenges" the nation faces, according to the White House Web site.
For this reason, the U.S. government is committed to building its arsenal of professionals who know how to prevent and counter cybercrime. In the case of the Pentagon, this means tripling its cybersecurity workers by 2016, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.
"Today more than 40 trillion emails are sent each year," said Hagel in a March 28, 2014 speech. "There are 60 trillion Web pages. The Internet accounts for one-fifth of GDP growth among developed countries, and it continues to connect, improve, and transform the lives of billions of people all over the world. But our nation's reliance on cyberspace outpaces our cybersecurity."
In addition, the news source reported that FBI Supervisory Special Agent Charles Gilgen recently announced that his agency's cyber division is looking to hire 2,000 new workers. Half of these professionals will be agents, while the other half will be analysts.
Ultimately, the message is clear: When it comes to cybersecurity positions, the government is taking applications.
The path to employment
For individuals who are passionate about keeping the nation's computer networks safe, one of the best courses of action is to enroll in academic programs focused on cybersecurity. Many schools offer master's degrees in this subject, both online and on-campus.
If students need help covering their graduate school costs, they may want to apply for the CyberCorps: Scholarship For Service program. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's Web site, master's degree students and doctoral students can receive $25,000 and $30,000 per year in stipends, respectively. With this financial assistance, individuals can focus their energy on training to keep government's information infrastructure secure.
By Monique Smith
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