Mike Subelsky had a great list of reasons you might not want to take a government cybersecurity job, I followed up with a few additions. It got me thinking that it wasn’t all bad, there are actually reasons that someone might enjoy a career working with the government. So, here are a few reasons that you might enjoy a cybersecurity job with Uncle Sam.
This isn’t a list about a particular agency. In the past I’ve worked in the Intel Community, but I’ve also supported government contracts in various agencies, in and around DC. I’ve seen the kinds of work they are doing and the environments where they work. My comments are a generalization, but I’ve found them to be true in multiple instances.
This might be the most obvious reason. For me, patriotism was a large factor in joining the government as a civilian. I couldn’t pass up the chance to use my skills to keep America safe and protect her from all enemies.
I’ve always said, the only way to get fired from a government job is to murder someone at work and get caught eating their body or commit time card fraud. Everything else gets you suspended or demoted. Even people who commit treason seem to quit before they are fired, because the government just transfers them into a job they don’t want to do.
Opportunity to travel
While this isn’t true for all cybersecurity jobs, there are agencies that have multiple locations in the continental US, as well as, locations around the world. Some agencies, such as the State Department, have locations in various countries around the world. You could have opportunities to live abroad if you so choose.
Opportunity to instigate change
If you’re thick-skinned and persistent, you can certainly find opportunities to make improvements. If that’s the kind of challenge you’re looking for, then you might be thrilled. Sometimes change has to happen from within, there are certainly opportunities for dedicated folks to do just that.
If you don’t currently hold a clearance, getting one is difficult. Contractors looking to fill openings will pick someone with a clearance over someone without. The government, on the other hand, will put prospective employees through the process. Once you have a clearance, maintaining it and reactivating it is much easier. If you have a clearance, you will always have a job.
Hopefully, this list demonstrates a few examples of why a government job as a cyberwarrior might not be too bad. If that isn’t enough, most big agencies have cafeterias on campus and it’s taco salad day!