Military veterans continue to be touted as a rich source of talent to groom for information security and cybersecurity careers, so much that one foundation is expanding a scholarship program that enables veterans to obtain specialized certifications in the field.
The (ISC)2 Foundation and Booz Allen Hamilton earlier this month launched the first of three application periods for the 2014-2015 U.S. Cyber Warrior Scholarship program, which in its 2013 inaugural year offered scholarships to six veterans transitioning back into the civilian workforce.
The scholarships cover all of the expenses associated with a cybersecurity certification, including training, textbooks, mobile study materials, certification testing and the first year of certification maintenance fees.
Due to the overwhelming number of applications submitted in 2013, the (ISC)2 Foundation and Booz Allen have expanded the number of opportunities veterans have to apply, from one application period to three through Aug. 1, 2015. This will increase applicants’ chances for selection, said Julie Peeler, director of the (ISC)2 Foundation.
“Military veterans and information security professionals share an inherent desire to protect people,” Peeler said. “Through this program … we aim to merge these shared traits into an opportunity to enhance national cybersecurity by providing returning military veterans the means to protect their country within a profession desperate to fill open positions.”
The scholarship committee will award up to twelve scholarships over the three award periods to qualifying veterans, with the first round of recipients announced on Oct. 1, the kickoff of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
The scholarship program was created in response to findings in (ISC)2’s most recent Global Information Security Workforce Study, which found a significant workforce shortage in the cybersecurity field – one that is negatively impacting organizations and leading to more frequent and costly data breaches.
Many job ratings in the military require security certification, and many veterans perform tasks in the military that could prepare them for work in the cybersecurity field if they received additional training.
The first application period for the scholarships is open through Friday, Aug. 1. To qualify, veterans must have an information technology or security background and have been an active duty member and honorably discharged from one of the five branches of the U.S. military with end service date between May 1, 2009 and May 1, 2014.
For more information on the scholarships, click here.