Cyber threats don’t operate in a vacuum. Threats to technology are closely intertwined to physical threats and factors. That’s a reality the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) understands well, as it operates as the lead civilian agency in cyber and also protects U.S. critical infrastructure. The diversity of that mission is why CISA has a high need for scholars and academics, cybersecurity professionals and first responders.
For Vincent Sritipan, section chief, services innovation, cyber quality service management office, CISA, the path to CISA led through the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Sritipan applied his military and academic background to the Intelligence Community Centers for Academic Excellence. That experience then led him to helping defense U.S. cyber networks and a very challenging, very rewarding career with CISA.
“My advice for someone who wants to do cybersecurity or to work in this field is to do your homework,” said Sritipan. “Whatever field you want to go to, look at what’s required. What are the types of degrees you need for education, what are the types of certifications, professional IT certs, what type of work experience or leadership roles do you need to get to where you want to be.”
That advice is particularly important when applying for a government cybersecurity job. Knowing you meet the baseline requirements. It’s worth noting that many government agencies including CISA enable direct hire authorities for in-demand positions. And in contrast to a time when the entry into federal government was often governed by criteria like a bachelor’s degree, a number of cybersecurity positions at places like CISA have embraced skills-based hiring. They’re looking for professionals with the best skills for the job, and the specialized experience required.
Skills-based hiring emphasizes that cybersecurity professionals come from a variety of background. CISA is looking for those who can keep pace with those threats in a competitive environment.
“We’re the leading civilian agency in cyber,” said Sritipan. “It’s a lot of fast-paced work but also very interesting and very rewarding.” He emphasized that the work at CISA is beyond challenging, it’s meaningful. You’re tackling problems straight out of the headlines, and alongside ‘some of the brightest minds.’
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