The Cybersecurity Challenge explores ways of creating more opportunities for veterans to obtain cyber security jobs. During the initial phase of this project the Lab’s Challenge Lead, Quintan Wiktorowicz, explored veteran experiences, employer needs and educational programs. Challenge Lead Rebecca Horton conducted additional design research and lead the development of key insights and early prototypes. Insights and prototypes from this work have created a greater understanding of current and potential pathways into cyber security jobs and where the Lab can work with stakeholders to increase the number of veterans who seek and successfully enter cyber security jobs.
For this challenge, we started with the fact that more veterans are returning to the workforce, yet they have persistently higher unemployment rates than non-veterans of the same age groups. In addition, veterans face hurdles that most civilians don’t. Some 28% of Iraq War veterans have a service-related disability; 9% are at least 60% disabled. They also have less office-style work experience, which can be hard to correlate with military occupational specialties. But they possess significant skills, including highly technical training, that should translate to the cyber careers that hold so much promise. How can the educational system help prepare veterans efficiently for these coveted roles?
Hiring enough “workforce ready” talent to manage this risk in government and private industry today is a challenge. Listings for cybersecurity positions with average annual salaries over $100,000 rose 3.5 times faster than postings for computer jobs as a whole, according to Burning Glass, a labor market analytics firm.
The Education Design Lab starts with an educational problem and designs a scalable solution in collaboration with learning institutions, industry and entrepreneurs. In a metro region that is home to 1.3 million vets, the largest per capita concentration in the country, this 8 month Design Challenge brings together:
These learning institutions serve 100,000 students. So far, the Design Challenge has: