Want a Career Change? There's a Cybersecurity Crash Course

SANS Institute offers five-day training session.

With the looming threats of tighter budgets, pay cuts and sequestration, federal employees -- whether working in IT or other fields -- may be looking for a career change. And if you consider yourself a creative problem solver, the in-demand, high-paying field of cybersecurity might be right for you, according to one expert.

Eric Cole, a senior fellow at the SANS Institute, said Monday that SANS is hosting a new training session next month that provides participants with little to no knowledge of cybersecurity with the basic foundational knowledge to get started on a cyber career.

“In five days, we’ll get them to understand the terminology so they can go into the workplace and understand how to communicate with other cybersecurity professionals, ask the right questions and effectively learn the technical skills,” Cole said.

Cole said that not only is the training event drawing interest from professionals in various fields, like lawyers and accountants, it’s also drawing a diverse age group. For example, some parents have enrolled their children in the course in hopes of getting them excited about a cybersecurity career, while other participants are professionals in their 30s looking for a career change or workers nearing retirement who simply want to learn something new so they can be protected at home, Cole said.

“Students will walk into this class with no knowledge of cybersecurity and walk out with knowledge and roles they can use to be effective in the information security space,” he said.

And despite tight budgets and potential cuts to pay and benefits at federal agencies, cybersecurity is one field that’s growing. A quick search for cybersecurity positions on USAJOBS yields more than 4,500 results, 700 of which are in the Washington area, Cole said.

For more information on the training, click here.