Reaching cybersecurity talent for the cleared sector is all about targeting the next generation, hoping to get them interested in STEM careers down the road. One veteran trailblazer in the northern Virginia area is seeking to do just that through two businesses she started after retiring from the United States Air Force.

Innovative, cybersecurity leader and philanthropist, Quiana Gainey, retired from the Air Force out of the Pentagon, and currently works to modernize, transform and secure the digital experience for government entities as the CEO of SecureTech360. She also has her nonprofit, Mysecurekid, which is a global movement created to educate, inspire and promote online safety awareness for parents, educators and children while building a talent pipeline designed to connect youth in underserved communities with meaningful information technology career opportunities. Gainey has seen a 100% success rate through this program.

Through these ventures, she is also working to increase diversity and inclusion in cybersecurity and information technology.

ATTRACTING YOUNGER GENERATIONS to CYBERSECURITY CAREERS

Gainey’s thoughts on reaching the “Instagram” generation mean turning cybersecurity into a lifestyle. In today’s world, just about anything is connected to the internet in some way, and where cybersecurity is compromised, civilians lives are affected. Gainey says that this is how we attract younger generations to cybersecurity careers and get them interested in STEM – by showing them cybersecurity is connected to every facet of our lives.

Tune in to this episode of the Security Clearance Careers Podcast to learn more about Gainey’s military transition, her career trajectory within the security clearance space (plus tips on seeking a clearance job after the military), how she decided to become a vetreprenuer, and what inspired her passion for STEM and what drove her to start a for profit AND nonprofit.

Reaching potential cybersecurity candidates starts at a young age – to get younger generations into the security cleared talent pool, they first need to see the importance of the work. That, along with increasing diversity and inclusion in cybersecurity and information technology to make sure all demographics are included in this outreach, will help us get closer to maintaining our county’s  cybersecurity.

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Katie Keller is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 8+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸