Federal agencies have been consistently rated highly rated as “ideal employers” by Universum’s study of 81,707 computer science students. For instance, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Institutes of Health, Peace Corps, Department of State, and NSA have been ranked highly in the study. The enormous talent gap in information security is driving the need for government entities to up the ante as they compete against the private sector for top student talent. Thankfully, this competition has resulted in a few little known benefits to cyber security students:
- Scholarship for Service – The CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) is Federally Funded program that was established to entice talented “cyber warriors” into this field. Students receiving this funding must complete an internship (and later entry level career) at a Federal, State, City, Tribal Government facility. This is a InfoSec industry specific niche – there are about 100 academic programs across the nation and about 1,000 participating individuals at any given time.
- DHS Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative – This highly competitive program offers cyber security students at both the undergraduate and graduate level to gain hands-on experience in areas like cyber threat analysis, digital forensics, network diagnostics and incident response. There are more than 50 student assignments across more than 30 states in the U.S.
- Pathways – A program for students and recent graduates interested in federal careers. Hosted on the USAjobs.gov site are over 150 cyber security internship opportunities.
- Government contractors – Companies like MITRE, L-3, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon (to name a few) support the U.S. government in a variety of mission areas and consistently hire cyber security interns year round.
With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find the right internship fit for you!