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How do I get civilian cyber security experience?


Mark Richards Morrisville, PA

During my last deployment in 2019-2020, I was the communications chief (S6) for a combat engineer battalion. While working closely with the S2 shop, I witnessed first-hand the continuous efforts of our enemies to infiltrate and compromise our networks and systems. As soon as I saw the scope of the problem, I vowed to become an expert in cybersecurity.

Fast forward to today, and I am not an expert yet. However, I am just two classes away from a Master's in Cybersecurity, and I am studying for the CISSP exam. I have a long history of IT and networking, but nearly all of it has been in the military - In the Army as 25U/Signal, and now in the Air Force as 1D7XX Cyber Defense. I really do want to be an expert in the cyber security field, but I need real-world experience.

I currently have a great civilian job as an electrical engineer, but I want to make the transition to cyber security. That is my passion, and where I feel I can make the most difference. The ideal situation would be a remote part-time internship, so I don't have to quit my day job until I have the knowledge and skills I need to make the jump. Does anyone have suggestions? I would even do unpaid work, just to get the experience.

15 September 2023 4 replies Networking



Laura Newill Scottsdale, AZ

Honestly, since you have a master's degree in cyber security already and served in the military, you could try looking at Northrop Grumman. If you have an active security clearance, that will increase your marketability as well for almost any defense contracting company. Just throw your resume out there and see what bites! LinkedIn might be a good place to go to see what kind of interest your resume generates. I hope this helps!


Ramesh Nyathani Schaumburg, IL

I see you are on right path, I have few friends working in this domain and here are my recommendations to facilitate this transition:
Self Assessment: Research, find the skills and job duties from various job sites for positions in this area, how can you fill each of those areas with your experience and skills that you gained from military services
Training & Education: You are on right track with the in progress Master's in Cybersecurity
Practical Experience: I think you are at this stage, Internship is one of the best way.
Some companies have programs tailored for veterans transitioning into tech roles, including cybersecurity. And LinkedIn is the best source to find such opportunities.

Please remember, networking is key and try to attend conferences over online or local ones in your area. These events often have networking sessions, workshops and talks from industry experts.
I strongly believe that the discipline, integrity, and commitment you demonstrated in your military service are invaluable assets in the cybersecurity realm.

Good luck!

Best Regards,
Ramesh Nyathani
ACP Mentor Profile:
LinkedIn Profile:


Amit Chaudhary San Jose, CA

Suggestion, find people currently in the field and ask what is their day to day, what tools and so on. Then replicate it on a cheap AWS account and so on.
From my experience with new Tech cos, it is lot of log analysis(who logged in, from where), know services for blocking IP address, other network config such as cloudflare and so on.

the more you can do, the one likely some company will take a chance

Also reach out to small startups in your area and help them secure their systems, but also find out which cloud provider their systems are on, some of these will become the Uber, Shopify of tomorrow.



Richard Byrne Hillsborough, NJ

One possibility might be to volunteer to work with your current employer's Information Security Team.

When searching for your dream career, it is usually a good idea to check on
the National employment & wage data:

I've added links to Information & videos under these sections of my EE webpage that you might find useful:

also - get 1 year FREE LinkedIn Premium

Job Search:

Job Search with Intern

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