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Networking is simply exchanging career-related information, contacts, or experience with someone else. Recent surveys of employers indicate that over half of all open positions are filled through networking, so take time to develop this valuable skill.
For this discussion, select one option below:
Option 1: Building and Expanding Your LinkedIn Network
Have you started a LinkedIn profile? We realize that some may not be able to do so because your employer has asked you not to use that site. If you already have a profile on the site, and you do not mind others in the class adding you as a connection, make note of it here. You also may want to add your instructor, keeping in mind that some of our faculty members are in the same position as students who cannot have a profile.
While graduating with a CNAS degree from a nationally respected university and having some certifications are imperative to getting a good job, it also helps to have a large network of people. Keep in mind that recruiters will often friend you or contact you on LinkedIn, so it is a great opportunity to learn about new job opportunities.
Post the URL for your profile or a screenshot of LinkedIn.
Option 2: Professional Conferences
Have you attended Black Hat, DEF CON, a cyber “capture the flag” competition, or a local IT-related conference or event? Talk about employers and/or people you met, and networking opportunities you developed. What are some of the benefits for some of your colleagues to attend these types of events to build their networks?
Option 3: Join a Professional Group
Have you considered joining a local Linux user group or your local ISSA chapter? How about a hacker space local to your area (Unallocated Space is local to central Maryland); the UMGC Cyber Padawans, the university’s competition team; or a similar group? These are excellent opportunities to network and meet with people, many who know of job opportunities at their places of employment.
State the group you have joined and describe your experiences with the group (what resources did you gain access to, job leads, etc.). What is your plan for making the most of it in the future?
Option 4: Other Networking Events and Opportunities
Networking is simply sharing information about careers and jobs with others, so you can network with other students, family friends, professors, supervisors, and professionals you meet at career fairs or other events.
UMGC’s office of career services offers ongoing job fairs and events, both in-person and online. Have you had a chance to attend one at UMGC or another job fair? Describe your experience and talk about your interaction with employers and other prospective employees.
Tell us if the career fair was worthwhile. If you have not been to a job fair, you may belong to a church or community organization and been able to find other people who work in the field of IT and have been able to help you.
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Developing your job-seeking skills with a career plan and strategies for achieving that plan will help you in the workplace. When you are taking the capstone course in your chosen field at UMGC, that usually means that you are approaching graduation. We realize that many of our students are in the military, are employed full time, or are currently working in the IT field.
Regardless whether you are currently in the field or not, have you thought about your career goals? As a CNAS major, you have had an opportunity to be exposed to a variety of topics within cyber, including networking, hacking, forensics, Cisco, operating systems, and computer hardware. Many of you have career goals. What would you ultimately like to do within the field of cyber?
Some suggested careers are listed below.
- penetration testing
- incident response
- computer forensic examiner
- network administrator
- security engineer
- chief information officer
- CEO of technology
- Cisco specialist
- Linux admin
- Windows admin
- reverse engineer
- other IT-related jobs
Describe your goal job in the cyber field. What appeals to you about this job? What steps are you taking to help you get there?