Veterans and cyber security
Men’s first cyber opportunity was at Wood PLC. Men’s manager, Malcolm Norman, Chief Information Security Officer at Wood PLC, sees the value in hiring veterans: “Veterans such as Men have a huge variety of experience. They have an ability to be part of a team and to lead by example. They are resilient and flexible. And most of all, they get stuck in and focus on delivering a solution.” Malcolm advocates for educating recruiters and hiring managers about the capability and talent within the veterans’ community and firmly believes SaluteMyJob helps veterans realise the value of their skills and to sell those skills, overcoming their common problem of underselling themselves. He added: “Diversity in the cybersecurity profession needs to improve. We need greater diversity in backgrounds, greater diversity in skills, greater diversity in education. The rather small pool of talent that traditionally fed the cybersecurity world is just not enough to feed the demand, nor is it diverse enough in the level of skills, experience, knowledge and capability, for the multi skilled cybersecurity teams that are needed today.”
SaluteMyJob continues to open up the pipeline of recruits. In early October, the organisation joined IBM in running the UK pilot for the IBM SkillsBuild Cybersecurity Bootcamp. Participants gained a security analyst certification. Aine Brown sees the potential for such activities to multiply: “We have a strong community of individuals for whom the SkillsBuild courses have been successful and they are spreading the word. We are now even hearing from interested civilians who have heard about the opportunities through military connections.”
Julian Meyrick, Vice President, WW Security Strategy Risk & Compliance practice, has influenced the SkillsBuild cybersecurity offerings based on how he sees the industry evolving. He said: “We need to increase diversity in thought to address the challenge of a very diverse set of threat actors in cybersecurity. That’s why we’re broadening the ecosystem to develop and deploy talent. By partnering with organisations rooted in diverse communities, providing high-quality qualifications as an alternative to a four-year degree, and bringing industry on board to offer placements, we can give opportunities to those often left behind while narrowing the critical skills gap.”
Men is one of over 500+ veterans that IBM and SaluteMyJob have trained in the UK, with more than 75% securing employment. Men is now working at IBM in a dream role and he hopes he can inspire other veterans. His words of advice: use your networks; work with an organisation like SaluteMyJob; and above all, if you want a change don’t wait too long – go for it!
Bob Smith, Head of IBM UKSOC, said: “I'm delighted to welcome Men to the IBM Security Business Unit. His determination and tenacity to find new employment opportunities within Cyber Security was strongly visible during his recent Interview. His drive for learning and keen approach has already clearly been demonstrated and I am confident he will fit in quickly to become a key member of our UKSOC team.”
To explore what is possible through SkillsBuild click here.