Everyone I meet under 30 years of age, I encourage to get into the cyber career field — without exception. My stepsons have heard it, the interns at my church have heard it, friends returning from overseas military duty have heard it, my empty-nester friends have heard it, and pretty much anyone I meet during the course of my day hears it.

“If you want a rewarding career, get into cybersecurity.” Why? Because it’s a sure thing, a winning bet, a low-risk/high-reward proposition.

Never do I recall in almost 3 decades of my adult life a time when a career field was in such high demand. What’s more, the ratio of skilled candidates as compared with the number of job openings represents a sizeable gap. So, as my dad used to say, now is the time to “get while the gettin’s good!”

You’re not a true techy, you say? Not a deal breaker. Most industry studies about the cyber workforce rank “soft skills” at the top of what is needed to be an effective cyber professional.

The good news is that while cybersecurity itself is highly technical in nature, its surrounding ecosystem depends heavily on a diverse set of roles to support and sustain it’s exponential growth. I am referring to the basic roles of administration, human resources, finance, communications, etc.

Don’t believe me? Check out this week’s article in Nextgov.com. Nextgov reports:

“In late January, the Defense Department awarded a $7 million sole-source contract to Eagle Harbor Solutions LLC, an Alaska Native-owned 8(a) small disadvantaged business, to support the Pentagon’s enterprise cloud initiative.”

What makes this contract award remarkable? Two things:

First, the company that was awarded with this lucrative business opportunity has only one employee and a reported revenue of only $91K. That is a sizeable opportunity for a one-man shop.

Second, the contract supposedly is for “…program office support services only, and does not include serving as an IT systems integrator.” That means $7M of revenue will be earned by providing office support (non-technical) for a technical initiative that helps to build the government’s cyber ecosystem.

AND, if you happen to be a minority (woman, veteran, Native American, etc.), even more opportunities could be available to you. Now is the time to place your bets, people! Get while the gettin’s good and think “cyber” the next time you consider a career move.

 

UPDATE: Since publishing this blog post, Nextgov.com has reported that the contract awarded to Eagle Harbor is under protest for the DoD “failing to conduct a reasonable responsibility determination of Eagle Harbor Solutions LLC’s capabilities and resources.”

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