DHS Seeks Cybersecurity Interns

New Job Opportunities for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

By Upasana Gupta, March 25, 2011.
DHS Seeks Cybersecurity Interns

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See Also: Advances in Application Security: Run-time Application Self Protection

or cybersecurity students who are attending or have just completed college and graduate school, the Department of Homeland Security has launched its first cybersecurity internship programs, aimed at hiring qualified IT security professionals.

"We are looking to build a cybersecurity workforce from the ground up, rather than hire those already trained," says Nicole Dean, Deputy Director of the National Cyber Security Division at DHS. "We are looking to hire the best and the brightest and provide them the opportunity to grow professionally."

DHS internship programs are defined across three levels:

  • Cybersecurity Internship Program - is designed for current undergraduate students during the summer between their junior and senior years in college. The 10-week summer internship will provide students with the opportunity to work with experts in cybersecurity, focusing on mission areas such as identification and analysis of malicious code, forensics analysis, incident response, intrusion detection and prevention, and software assurance. At the end of the internship, based on their performance, students will have the opportunity to qualify for the Secretary's Honors Program for Cybersecurity Professionals. Salary: Approximately $5,800 for the 10-week, full-time, internship
  • Secretary's Honors Program for Cybersecurity Professionals - is a two-year program for recent college graduates designed to develop technically skilled cyber professionals across the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. These students will be trained in hands-on cybersecurity related issues and incidents in a fast-paced, growing environment. Through rotational assignments, the participants will gain exposure on the interconnectivity and coordination efforts of DHS with other stakeholders both within the private and public sector. Salary: First year, $51,630.; second year: $62,467, depending on satisfactory performance.
  • Emerging Leaders in Cybersecurity Fellowship - is a two-year program for recent graduates with a master's degree and is designed to develop the next generation of cyber leaders within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. These students will receive leadership training and work with experts in cybersecurity focusing on mission areas such as identification and analysis of malicious code, forensics analysis, incident handling, intrusion detection and prevention, and software assurance. These students will have the opportunity, through rotational assignments, to see how each component collaborates on cyber-related issues and work first-hand on critical issues and incidents. Salary: First year: $62,467; second year: $74,872, depending on satisfactory performance.

Opportunities, Requirements

Key take-aways for students include the opportunity to grow professionally and get hands-on training during the internship programs, as well as to understand how broad and rapidly growing the cybersecurity field is.

"It is an opportunity to plan for the future, learn the cutting-edge technologies used in government and develop a career in combating cyber terrorism," says Keri Nusbaum, Director of Recruitment and Development at DHS.

In addition, students through rotational assignments will get deeper insight into the functioning and coordination efforts that DHS has, with Department of Defense and the intelligence community, as well as the private sector. "They will get first-hand exposure on how cyber issues are connected and managed at such a large scale," Nusbaum says.

The students will be hired from all top U.S. schools that are recognized as accredited universities. They do not have to attend a center of academic excellence designated by the National Security Agency and DHS.

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