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FCW : October 2016
48 October 2016 FCW.COM Cyber campers When he finishes college, Fiorille will take his talents to software company Workday, in part because of its appear- ances at USCC and the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. So did Fiorille commit to the private sector without con- sidering a job with the government? “I’m currently on a list somewhere for a three-letter agency that has not called me back,” he said. “I passed my initial screenings, and I passed two tests. I don’t know where I sit in the process or if I failed at some point along the way. Dead quiet.” Fiorille said some agencies told him the hiring process could take a year or longer. “One recruiter literally told me to get a real job for a year,” he said. “All they give you [is] very vague information.... You hear a lot of ‘we could tell you, but we’d have to kill you’ jokes.” He described the salary difference between the private and public sectors as “not insignificant” but said he was willing to make less money and relocate to the East Coast. Those challenges are not what deterred him from joining the government, he said. It was the lack of a job offer. “At what point do you say, ‘Do you not want me? Or did I fail somewhere?’” he asked. Fiorille said many of his friends have had similar experiences. “Everyone says, ‘We need these cybersecurity profes- sionals.’ Everyone cries about it. Everyone,” he said. “But when you sit down and talk to them, [the slow hiring] is always someone else’s fault, whether it’s industry or government.” Stacy Hubert:The need for more qualified professionals Stacy Hubert is a mother of two and a full-time student at Northern Arizona University, where she is majoring in justice studies with an emphasis on intelligence. She already has an associate’s degree in electronic crime scene investigation, and her team won the capture-the-flag competition at the Western Regional Cyber Challenge in July. The camp “was challenging, the classes were hard, and I definitely learned a lot,” she said. “You don’t really get [hands-on training] in college.... I think the camps raise the awareness of the need for more qualified professionals.” She added that the networking and social aspects of USCC are crucial because some of the participants “are coming from a background where they’re only interacting with people online, and they don’t have a resume.” Hubert is interested in a full-time job with the govern- ment and has experience working on the federal side as a contractor. However, moving to the East Coast with her two daughters would not be easy. And although the government cannot outbid the private sector in terms of salaries, she said the government should look for creative ways to compensate employees. “If you want top resources, you’re going to have to entice on some level,” she said, whether that means funding an employee’s education, paying student loans, allowing tele- work or refining the hiring process. Exposing young people to government work could pay dividends in terms of setting would-be hackers on the right path, she added. “You get younger kids in there and you can tell them to stay out of trouble,” Hubert said. “The more people who get involved and get really good at [cybersecurity], the more resources we have to keep up with the bad guys, who some- body’s paying a lot of money to do the stuff they think is super fun anyway.” Nicholas Bruno: ‘I wanted to be part of a growing field’ Nicholas Bruno, a senior at Rowan University in New Jer- sey who is studying computer science with a specializa- tion in cybersecurity, said he was drawn to the field for a simple reason. “Technology’s always changing, and I wanted to be part of a growing field,” Bruno said. “In first grade, we’re using “The more people who get involved and get really good at [cybersecurity], the more resources we have to keep up with the bad guys.” — STACY HUBERT 1016fcw_046-049.indd 48 10/11/16 2:40 PM
September 30, 2016
November and December 2016