Malachi went from the infantry into Cyber Security without any background in Cyber Security. We talk about federal jobs in general, and why Veterans should consider a career in Cyber Security. Malachi also managed to get a tremendous amount of education debt-free, and talks about all the Veteran resources he used to do this. We talk about all the fields inherent in Cyber Security and the 2 Million job openings anticipated in this growing field.
About C. “Malachi” D. Scott:
Mr. C. “Malachi” D. Scott serves as Program Analyst with the Cybersecurity Education and Awareness Branch in the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C), U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS). Before his current assignment with DHS, he was an IT Pathways Intern within SECIR. Prior to working for DHS, Mr. Scott served as an Analyst in the Executive Office of the President at the White House. Previously, Mr. Scott served as the Operations Maintenance Chief at Tobyhanna Army Depot. Mr. Scott also has served in the U.S. Army, and is currently serving in the Pennsylvania National Guard as an Infantryman.
Mr. Scott graduated from University of Western Florida with a Graduate Teaching Certificate. He also holds a Bachelor of Science and two Associate of Applied Science degrees from Thomas Edison State University. Mr. Scott also holds Associate of Applied Science degrees from Hagerstown Community College. He also holds an Associate of Science Technology degree from Penn Foster College. Mr. Scott also holds a diploma in Nursing.
This episode is sponsored by Lockheed Martin. At Lockheed Martin, veterans are at the center of everything they do — in fact, one in five of their employees has served in uniform. Lockheed Martin is proud to help men and women like you successfully transition into civilian careers. Join Lockheed Martin and you will find opportunities to take on the same kind of long-term challenging assignments you tackled while in the military. Whether you’re on active duty, transitioning or already embarking on your civilian career, Lockheed Martin’s Military Connect is your online community for professional support. You can find out more at https://lockheedmartin.bravenew.com
StoryBox- People trust each other more than advertising. StoryBox provides the tools and supports businesses need to take the best things customers say about them, and use them to drive more sales and referrals. StoryBox offers a 10% discount to companies employing veterans of the US Armed Forces.
The Federal Virtual Training Environment (FedVTE) is a free online, on-demand cybersecurity training system that is available to U.S. federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government personnel and to U.S. Military Personnel and Veterans. FedVTE, contains over 800 hours of training on topics such as risk management, malware analysis, ethical hacking, and popular cybersecurity certification prep course. With courses ranging from beginner to advanced levels, the system is available at no cost to users and accessible from any Internet-enabled computer.
- FedVTE link: https://fedvte.usalearning.gov/
National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers & Studies (NICCS) website connects the public with information on cybersecurity awareness, degree programs, training, careers, and talent management. The NICCS Education and Training Catalog connects the public to more than 3,000 cybersecurity courses offered by organizations across the nation, and more courses are being added every day. for information about CyberCorps®: Scholarships for Service (SFS) and National Centers of Academic Excellence, visit the Formal Education page. NICCS also houses many materials related to cybersecurity workforce development.
- NICCS link: https://niccs.us-cert.gov/
Veterans Cybersecurity Training and Education Guide helps Veterans decide if a cybersecurity career is right for them, and then explains how they can prepare for and launch a career in cybersecurity.
Malachi’s office will be hosting a FedVTE webinar for Veterans, that is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, October 24, 2018. During the webinar we will walk through all the resources we have available to Veterans and give a demo on how to register and take course on FedVTE. If you are interested in registering for the FedVTE webinar, or have any other questions about FedVTE, please email us at fedvte@HQ.DHS.GOV.
Transcript & Time Stamps:
Joining me today from Washington, DC is Malachi Scott. Mr. C. “Malachi” D. Scott serves as Program Analyst with the Cybersecurity Education and Awareness Branch in the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C), U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS). Before his current assignment with DHS, he was an IT Pathways Intern within SECIR. Prior to working for DHS, Mr. Scott served as an Analyst in the Executive Office of the President at the White House. Previously, Mr. Scott served as the Operations Maintenance Chief at Tobyhanna Army Depot. Mr. Scott also has served in the U.S. Army, and is currently serving in the Pennsylvania National Guard as an Infantryman.
Mr. Scott graduated from University of Western Florida with a Graduate Teaching Certificate. He also holds a Bachelor of Science and two Associate of Applied Science degrees from Thomas Edison State University. Mr. Scott also holds Associate of Applied Science degrees from Hagerstown Community College. He also holds an Associate of Science Technology degree from Penn Foster College. Mr. Scott also holds a Diploma in Nursing.
How would you explain what you do?
I was picked up by the Department of Homeland Security initially as an intern. In my current role, I do outreach to veterans and active duty personnel to get them into cyber security.
Why are veterans a good fit for this space?
My story is somewhat unique. I was medically retired for 4-5 years. During this time I went through free cyber security training. I started with the base courses. I was told that I could make $150,000 in the cyber security field so for me it made financial sense. So I just started taking the initial courses and learned through that process.
For military members that are getting out, I recommend courses through FedVTE. You can take courses at your own speed from anywhere. For me, it was really convenient. There’s a huge variety of courses so you can pick and choose which ones are most interesting to you. These courses are also completely free.
I love that you didn’t have prior cyber security experience in the military but you made this career field work for you.
Right, and that’s my biggest push. I graduated from college during my medical retirement but I wasn’t an educated sense when it comes to schooling. I was more mechanical and good with my hands. That’s why the cybersecurity field appealed to me. I could kind of think through problems in a similar way. It was hands-on work with the computer.
Did you use and veteran resources to obtain all the education that you did?
Yes. I have zero debt for all the education that I’ve accomplished. I’ve used vocational rehab funding, tuition assistance, and my Montgomery GI Bill. I had my tuition, books, and housing paid for.
Even if you don’t want to go to college, the VA will help you pay for certifications. So it can be time consuming but it’s worth it.
My sister went to Penn State and left school with $50,000 so I’m very proud to have gotten an education and am still debt free.
If you have a school balance and a disability above 30%, the VA will pay that balance.
What is a typical day like for you?
I went into cyber security because I was dealing with things and I wanted to be alone. I thought I would sit behind a computer and be left alone. But when I got picked up, I was put in an outreach position. We have an awareness branch and a FedVTE awareness team.
My specific task is to reach veterans. I go out to hiring events and get veterans to think about a different route. I’ve been to events with military members that are getting out and they just don’t know what they want to do. So my job is to reach this group and give them information about this field. With some background courses, you are almost guaranteed to find a high quality position in this field.
Are taking some of the FedVTE courses a good way for military members to see if this industry is a good fit for them?
That’s a tough question. When I was initially taking classes, I felt like I was back in school again. And until I actually got more hands on, that’s when I really started to enjoy it. So it’s really up to the person and what they like. If you can grasp it, that’s what will give you the idea of whether or not this is something you want to pursue.
The FedVTE courses have the online instruction as well as an accompanying PDF that you can print out and follow along with. These courses give you an opportunity to taste this work and see if you it’s something you like.
What are some indications that this is the right career path for someone?
You can do so many things in this industry. You can work in schools, government, or the private sector. You can be a certified ethical hacker, a teacher, or work in outreach just to give a few examples. You can find a path in cyber. There are so many opportunities out there. There are two million openings in this space right now that we are not able to fill.
If you don’t know what you want to do, there are FedVTE that will give you access to courses that will train you to teach IT. Start out with FedVTE and just get a taste for the industry as see if this might be for you.
Cyber security is everywhere from small to large companies. If a system goes down for even an hour, a company can lose huge amounts of money. So to prevent this, they hire people to make sure this doesn’t happen.
Recently, Facebook went down for just a little bit and there were 10,000 people working on that to get it back up and running.
What resources do you recommend?
FedVTE is a great place to start. We update information and courses available there on a daily basis. There’s a ton of information on there regardless of what aspect of cybersecurity you’re interested in.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with listeners?
The one thing I want to highlight is USAJobs. Especially in the military community, people get so frustrated with USAJobs. I encourage people to be patient and tailor your resume. There are jobs available all over the country.
A lot of my friends that were applying for maintenance positions were unsuccessful in getting jobs through USAJobs. But they really weren’t using the site correctly and tailoring their resume. You really need to go in depth with your resume and tailor it to the job you are applying for. Read the job announcement and then make sure that your resume reflects what they are looking for.
You can save several resumes on your profile. I would encourage you to save several versions of your resume on your profile. There’s a lot of veteran preferences available through USAJobs as well so you need to be familiar with those as well.
I love that you’ve pointed out the tenacity that it often takes to find a job that you enjoy.
Yes absolutely. It’s very difficult with combat arms positions to describe those in civilian terms so that can be challenging. So I encourage people to reach out to services on base that will help them write resumes.
The sky's the limit in this career field. And veterans are a great fit as well so I really encourage folk to take some initial training courses to see if this could be something that suits them.