This May Be the Best Field for Veterans Right Now

cybersecurity workers at computers

This article originally appeared in the Monster Jobs blog.

For those transitioning out of the military, finding a job in the civilian workforce can be a challenge. Picking the right industry can go a long way toward making the transition a quick one, however.

U.S. Marine Maj. Nick Swaggert, who assists veterans shifting into the public and private workforce via New York-based staffing firm Genesis10's Veterans Program, says your best bet right now is the cybersecurity field.

Also known as information security analysts, cybersecurity professionals -- who devise security measures to defend an organization's computer networks against hacks, viruses and other risks -- are in serious demand.

Just consider these facts from Energy company BP reports 50,000 cyber-intrusion attempts daily. The Pentagon says it sees 10 million daily attempts. And the National Nuclear Security Administration records 10 million hacks per day. No wonder, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of new cybersecurity jobs to grow 37% through 2022.

"The cybersecurity talent shortage is great," Swaggert said.

These jobs pay pretty well, too, with an annual salary of $71,000, according to PayScale.

Best of all, Swaggert notes that veterans inherently have an edge when it comes to these jobs.

From Defense to Cyber Defense

Swaggert says that veterans' understanding of "defense in depth, redundant systems and active defense" make them particularly well-suited to these jobs.

"Think of protecting a house as an analogy for defense of depth," he said. "Most people would say, 'Just build a fence.' But defense in depth would mean having a wooden fence, a dog, locks on the door and maybe a motion light.

"Redundant systems are power backups, like exterior lights with a battery pack. Think if the power went out on the block; if this house had exterior battery-powered lights, would it likely be robbed?"

Active defense is defined as using limited action to defend against an attack, according to But how does this relate to civilian life?

The active defense would be to walk around your neighborhood looking for anything suspicious. "The worst houses -- or military defense or cyber defenses -- try to hole up," Swaggert said.

Besides having these three characteristics, says Swaggert, most vets are used to a culture where strict cyber policies are the norm.

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