Author: Roxanne Palmer
Working in Cybersecurity
Have you considered a job in cybersecurity? Not sure what that means? The cool part is that it can mean a lot of different options, based in part on training and in part on preference. And it really is a field that offers something for everyone!
If you’re the kind of person who likes routine, then many businesses have IT staff that work Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. These individuals are responsible for running routine maintenance checks, managing firewalls and phishing emails, and consulting on new tech, running updates, and maybe even helping a fellow co-worker realize their number lock is on.
Maybe you’re the kind of person who prefers a more high-paced position. If that is the case, then working with one of the country’s three-letter agencies (CIA, FBI, DOD, etc.) would be a better fit. In these roles, you will have to be up-to-date on the cutting edge of technological advances. And while it may involve long hours at times, the pay can make up for it. This may also be a good fit for those who are fluent in a second language.
Or, are you someone who wants to work for yourself and set your own hours and challenges? If so, consulting may be a good fit. It can provide the best of either routine or it might be unpredictable, as your contracts could focus on paths like vetting existing systems, assessing threats, and recommending upgrades, or on tackling more involved systems where you may be learning as you go by using your own skills to assess and identify the problem and its solution.
Not sure which of those options would be the best fit for you? No problem. As a Brighton College student, you’ll take a behavioral assessment and work with the EmployAbility team to understand your inherent traits and tendencies. This will help you better assess the right options and allow our team to provide you with those that would be the most satisfying for you.
While the work setting that is best can be different for each individual, there are some key traits that make for a good cybersecurity professional, as identified in various interviews with SC Magazine. Hopefully, you find yourself possessing many of them:
- The mindset of a perpetual student, willing to read and study to stay abreast of changes and innovations.
- Persistence to see it through, because with constantly evolving technology you may not have the same problem twice.
- Curiosity, so you’re always looking for progress and change, like new approaches and tactics to stay ahead of trends and threats.
- A perceptive mind, so you can see the tech and the task from both sides, protecting the client while thinking like the bad guy.
- Strong critical thinking skills, for the ability to reason through a problem.
- Instincts to think on your feet and trust your innate beliefs.
- Working well under pressure, so when a threat presents itself you step up and are focused, fast, thorough, and accurate.
Now that you’ve seen that you have a variety of working options and know some of the traits necessary to be successful, is this a good time to enter this field or even make a career change? The Tech Republic says YES! These positions have become a requirement for businesses, and filling them has become a priority.
- Cybercrime has exploded in the past couple of years, with major ransomware attacks putting enterprises’ data at risk. To protect their information and that of their clients, companies across all industries are seeking cyber professionals to secure their networks.
- Top companies, including Apple, Lockheed Martin, General Motors, Capital One, and Cisco, have all been hiring in recent years. Industries such as healthcare, education, and government are most likely to suffer a cyberattack, which will probably lead to an increase in the number of IT security jobs in these sectors.
- The average salary for a cybersecurity professional depends on the position. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts earn a median salary of $98,350 per year. Meanwhile, according to Salary.com, CISOs (chief information security officers) earn a median salary of $221,991. Salaries are significantly higher in certain cities, such as San Francisco and New York.
So, as we enter a new decade, don’t hesitate in finding out if a career in cybersecurity is right for you. Let Brighton College know how we can get you started on that path to ensure you discover what job setting and career path will be the best fit for you.
Sources, retrieved on December 2, 2019:
Certified for life!
I work in higher education. I have an undergraduate degree in Mass Communications and a master’s degree in leadership for higher education. So, it is safe to say that I know there is value in a college degree. However, I didn’t start there.
I was always a capable student, but didn’t apply myself properly in high school, struggling to graduate and feeling like the only option was the local community college, or as I called it “13th grade.” I was miserable! I felt stuck. I had no idea there were other options, until I started to look into vocational training programs.
It was then that I found an 8-month program where I could study massage therapy and qualify to sit for the state board examination. I was so excited about this prospect I even lobbied the school to let me start classes 6 months before I turned 21, their age requirement for admission. I was successful.
This short-term, focused, affordable, and relevant training allowed me to start out on my own at 21 with a piece of paper that opened a lot of doors. Over the course of almost 7 years, I worked for chiropractors, acupuncturists, a couple of spas, and even for myself as a mobile massage business.
I learned so much! I learned about myself, my motivations, what gives my work value and the struggles of both working for others and working for yourself. I learned about the marketplace. I saw how niche areas can be more consistently profitable, how some items are quickly categorized as unnecessary when money is tight, and I learned about the burden of expenses, taxes, and overhead when trying to run a small business.
After learning all of this, I made an informed decision to return to college in my late 20s with a new attitude and commitment. As I understand the value of my college experience, I never forget how much I learned while working in a skilled trade. I’m thrilled that this conversation is starting to occur more and that school systems are reintroducing the importance of certificate and trade training programs.
Current studies show that “students who earn certification have an increased graduation rate, higher G.P.A., increased post-secondary enrollment, and improved confidence. The Florida Career and Professional Education department…shows an average G.P.A. of 3.09 for students with certification compared to 2.72 for students without certification. An impressive 97.2% of students with certification graduate compared to 83.9% of students without.” (Pearson, 2019).
This is also a great path, or first step, for those who can’t afford college or find that a good-paying job is more immediately important than the recommended “college-experience.” For high school students or adults, earning a certificate can mean a “full-time employment rate [that] is 7 percentage points higher than for those without a certificate or certification” and they can see “a median annual income of $45,000, versus $30,000 for those without a credential.” (Strada, 2019).
Maybe it is a lifetime career, or like my experience, a chance to make a positive first step in your journey toward what you really want to do in life. Whatever it is, certification is a beneficial and productive option that is needed and valuable to our communities and economy.
Whether you’re an individual seeking a path in life or just a short-term option, or an agency providing workforce training to members of your community, vocational certification training programs are a great way to discover potential, secure financial security, and build confidence!
I know first-hand how blessed I was to find a certificate program that gave me a chance to earn a living while figuring out more about myself and what I wanted to do in life. I hope everyone can find an option that gives them this chance. Whether this training is for a lifetime career or just as a way to earn a living in the short-term, no education is wasted.
How can we help? Brighton College offers training to individuals, while also providing agencies with industry certification programs through affordable delivery models and furnishing dual-enrollment certification programs to high schools that include examination vouchers. We just want to see everyone have access to options where they can realize their potential and become self-sufficient and productive members of our communities!
CertiPort Pearson. Retrieved on November 7, 2019 from: https://certiport.pearsonvue.com/About/The-value-of-certification.aspx
Strada Education Network. Retrieved on November 7, 2019 from: https://www.stradaeducation.org/report/certified-value/
Written by Roxanne Palmer, M.S.Ed., Brighton College VP of National Accounts
From the Shelter to Self-Sufficiency!
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Are you aware?
“Half of all homeless women and children in the U.S. are fleeing from domestic violence” (ACLU, 2014 March).
As a victim of abuse, leaving your home and relationship is hard enough. Compounded with the uncertainty of where to go and how to afford getting or staying there, it can be overwhelming. Brighton College is proud of the women that have taken this first step, in spite of their fear and overwhelming odds.
Many of today’s shelters are facing overcrowding. Add to that the costs and time involved in providing support and respite services, and many shelters struggle to locate and afford the resources needed to provide self-sufficiency in a limited amount of time. Brighton College is proud to partner with four domestic abuse shelters in Arizona to provide them our service of education.
Our Service of Education
None of us can tackle every domestic abuse issue, but we can all do something. Brighton College is doing what it can by providing our education in a way that helps shelters decrease the cost of training and the amount of time needed to complete a program that leads to certification in an in-demand career field. We want the women who have had the courage to take a stand and risk it all to find confidence, financial security, and to do it in a way where they can take the least amount of time getting from the starting point to employment.
We offer some training programs that can be completed in as little as three to six months. Others can take ten to fifteen months, but all of them are intended to help the shelters fit career readiness within their limited residence availability. Brighton College wants to help residents get trained, certified, and employed as quickly as possible, so they can comfortably transition from the shelter into their own independence.
Our virtual vocational training supports the computer skills of its students while providing flexibility in their studies. It allows them a chance to work at their own pace, eliminates the need to commute to a campus or attend class at set times, and allows them to study when it is convenient, like at night after the kids are asleep.
Support Services for Student Success
In order to keep training costs low, our services are optional and intended to be provided when needed and not to duplicate existing services. They include:
- Behavioral Assessment – This is to identify the individual’s motivators and to help them better understand their inherent skills and tendencies. Demonstrable proof of their strengths and abilities!
- Student Success Coach – A point of contact to support the student in their studies and to help them stay engaged and be successful. A cheerleader for their future!
- EmployAbility team – Prepares students with crafting resumes and cover letters, designing a social media presence, practicing for interviews, and upon graduation, finding opportunities to secure employment. An advocate for their self-sufficiency!
- Industry Certification Vouchers – To cover the preparation and cost of the industry examination and related study materials, when appropriate. Certified proof!
Other services include tutoring, technical support, and e-books, just to name a few, and all services can be included or excluded based on support and budgetary considerations.
So What’s the Holdup?
Almost always, it comes down to how to fund education. This is why Brighton College has done it’s best to provide training that can cost less than $800 per year per student, and some programs are even half of that. If you have a good donor base, we can provide you with a flat rate for a set number of students that will provide a positive return on the donor’s sponsorship and on your resident’s outcomes.
We can also work with you on applying grant funding to maximize the number of residents that can access training, and then we can use that data to ensure you have real results to use for future grant applications. If you have access to state education funds, we’re happy to work with your state agency and do our best to ensure that the amount provided by the state for specific funding would fully cover training programs for your residents.
Our Service and Your Shelter
Do you manage or know of a domestic abuse shelter that is facing any of these struggles or could benefit from our education service? Let us know how we can help and we’ll be happy to craft a customized plan that meets your needs and maximizes access for your residents as they work toward self-sufficiency and a better future!
American Civil Liberties Union. “Domestic Violence and Homelessness.” Women’s Rights Project. Accessed March 1, 2014, https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/FilesPDFs/housing%20paper.4.pdf
Do Something.org. (UNK). Retrieved from: https://www.doorwaysva.org/our-work/education-advocacy/the-facts-about-domestic-violence/
Partnering for Innovation!
In the spring of 2019, Brighton College began a partnership with CVS Health, a self-proclaimed leader in the “changing health care landscape…to drive innovations needed to shape the future of health.” (CVS, 2014).
Well, CVS came to the right place. Brighton College is on a mission to find ways to further our education as a service. We want to use our strengths in education design and delivery to add value to communities across the country.
With 10,000 openings for pharmacy technicians in CVS locations across the country, the industry leader wants to make sure future hires are fully trained for their new career and prepared for this responsibility. This means developing a more comprehensive curriculum for their potential pharmacy technicians as they work through this role-based certificate training.
Currently, CVS has 120 hours of content focused on certification examinations, professionalism, and standard operating procedures. They’ve asked Brighton to provide another 120 hours of its best content from its current 135-hour program to benefit their training. We’ve identified content to cover the law, policy, and procedures involved in pharmacology, but we didn’t stop there.
Like Brighton, CVS is committed to the professionalism of its employees, so we worked with our EmployAbility team to identify content on resume building, interview preparation, and key skills that help students develop as professionals.
The final 240-hour training program will be offered by Brighton College to potential CVS Health pharmacy technicians. The launch is anticipated for the end of 2019, and will initially only be offered in select California locations, but the dream is to take it nationwide.
Brighton College’s dream is to keep trendsetting.
Do you have a vision for workforce training?
Maybe one for a way you can directly impact the career readiness of your community members?
Do you have positions that you need filled with individuals trained to your specifications?
If so, and you need a partner to help you achieve these goals, let us know.
CVS Health. (2014, September 3). Retrieved from https://cvshealth.com/newsroom/press-releases/cvs-caremark-announces-corporate-name-change-cvs-health-reflect-broader
Job Security in CyberSecurity
Looking for an in-demand career with long-term growth potential?
Do you enjoy keeping up with evolving technology trends?
Want a way to help others while still making good money?
Prefer a professional education that doesn’t take four years to make you employable?
Around $50,000 a year starting pay sound good?
Then you might want to consider an industry certification as a cybersecurity technician.
Cybersecurity is becoming one of the most critical and in-demand careers of our time. Ginni Rommetty, IBM Chairman, President and CEO said, “cyber crime…is the greatest threat to every profession, every industry, every company in the world.” (Said Birch, 2015).
In this technology-centric world, cybersecurity isn’t new, but 2019 is shedding light on its importance. For years, companies that didn’t house banking information or social security numbers felt safe from cyber attacks, but we’re seeing that no one is exempt. Wired magazine tells us that in 2019, a border surveillance company was breached, resulting in stolen photos and license plate numbers. Ransomware attacks on businesses continue and have expanded into healthcare organizations and industrial and manufacturing firms, all while international hackers persist in escalating their efforts around the world. It would, no doubt, be foolish to think that cyber security isn’t going to be of vital importance to our individual futures and that of national security (Newman, 2019).
If that’s not enough, here are just some of the facts (Milkovich, 2019):
· There is a hacker attack every 39 seconds.
· 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses.
· The average cost of a data breach in 2020 will exceed $150 million.
· Over 75% of the healthcare industry has been infected with malware over last year.
· Approximately $6 trillion is expected to be spent globally on cybersecurity by 2021.
· More than 77% of organizations do not have a Cyber Security Incident Response plan.
· Unfilled cybersecurity jobs worldwide will reach 3.5 million by 2021.
With more than 300,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. unfilled, and postings up 74% over the past five years, maybe it is time for you to make a change and start your training to become a certified cybersecurity technician — and Brighton College can get you there!
Brighton College offers a variety of cybersecurity programs that lead to industry certification and provide employment as systems analysts, network support specialists, network and computer system administrators, and software developers. Cybersecurity training programs include:
- CompTIA Certificates
- CISCO Certificate
- CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
As a Brighton College student, you’ll receive a national certification testing voucher for each credential earned. You’ll also get lifetime access to courses for ongoing certification renewals, be given support from a success coach to help you navigate the programs and stay engaged toward success, and finally, receive the training and experience of the EmployAbility team to help you realize your career goals by preparing for an interview as you work toward securing the right position.
Don’t delay! When you’re ready to begin your journey toward securing cyberspace, let us know.
Milkovich, D. (2019, September 23). 15 Alarming Cyber Security Facts and Stats. Retrieved from https://www.cybintsolutions.com/cyber-security-facts-stats/
Newman, L. H. (2019, July 5). The Biggest Cybersecurity Crises of 2019 So Far. Wired. https://www.wired.com/story/biggest-cybersecurity-crises-2019-so-far/
Said Birch, S. (2015, November 26). IBM’s CEO on hackers: “Cyber crime is the greatest threat to every company in the world”. Retrieved from https://www.ibm.com/blogs/nordic-msp/ibms-ceo-on-hackers-cyber-crime-is-the-greatest-threat-to-every-company-in-the-world/