Table of Contents
- Why Get an Internship?
- Types of Internships
- What Does a Cyber Security Intern Do?
- Where to Look for a Cyber Security Internship?
- Cyber security Internship: Tips & Suggestions
Nowadays, only having a degree does not qualify you for many career options and job positions. What can help you is gaining some experience in the field you want to work in. Whether you are an undergraduate or a graduate student, someone trying to win scholarships for cyber security, or are simply interested in this field, know that there are many available cyber security internships you can apply for. These internships can help open doors for you to a successful and lucrative career.
To know more about internships in general and how to get one in cyber security in particular, keep reading. We will explain why you should get an internship, the various types of it, what you are expected to do, and provide some tips and suggestions for you.
Why Get an Internship?
You might be hesitant to get an internship, but we assure you that you can only gain from this opportunity. They are great options for anyone who wants to get a feel of the field or industry before fully diving into it.
Generally, after just graduating, you lack the experience required to land a full-time permanent job. A great and guaranteed way for you to acquire the needed work experience is through internships. They help improve your skills and knowledge of the chosen field through various tasks. You will better understand the responsibilities that come with certain positions and prepare yourself for bigger roles.
An internship helps students pave the way for a full-time job opportunity. According to the latest statistics, around 70% of companies offer their interns a full-time job. As a result of that, about 56% of people who do internships end up with a job opportunity by the end of it. In fact, by completing an internship, you will increase the chances of job offers by 16%.
Internships can also be a big help if you are stuck between two career paths and are unsure of which might be the better choice for you or only want to explore more options. Let’s say you take an internship and work for a few months in the IT sector. You might have to spend some time helping the technical support department, and after that, you work with the IT management team and the security unit. This way, you get to know more about different career options you can pursue. Taking note of the differences in the responsibilities and required skill set for each position might help you make a choice.
Internships often require you to work within a team. This opportunity will help you build professional relationships and create helpful networking links. The people you meet as an intern can assist you in finding full-time jobs later, become mentors to you, and help guide you in your career journey. If you work hard and do a good job, your supervisors might even become a valuable reference while you pursue a full-time job.
Types of Internships
Although internships are internships, and they can all be a big help on your resume, finding the type that best suits your needs will be even more helpful. Below we will go through the four main types of internships you might benefit from.
Internships for credits
An internship for credits refers to a position working in a company or organization that equips you with the necessary skills and training in a specific field. What sets this type apart is the fact that it also provides you with academic credit. The exact amount of credits you earn for every completed internship depends on the school, but typically, you can earn 1-6 college credits per internship.
An externship indicates a program that you can embark on to supplement work experience by observing and learning what it is like to work at a company. Generally, such programs are quite short. For that reason, students rarely have to complete any heavy work and are not paid.
Paid internship programs offer interns the opportunity to gain relevant knowledge and improve their skills in a certain area while earning money. Such internships are an excellent way for companies and organizations to evaluate interns as potential future full-time employees.
Sometimes what looks like a job will not pay like one. Unpaid internships are very common. Although you might be discouraged to pursue one, they are every bit as beneficial regarding skill improvement and knowledge as the previously mentioned types.
What Does a Cyber Security Intern Do?
The duties of a cyber security intern depend on the company or organization they are interning for. However, some general tasks that most interns, regardless of the sector they’re part of, have to deal with include:
- Reading and replying to emails.
- Attending meetings.
- Updating documents for policies and guidelines.
Then, some responsibilities that are more specific for cyber security interns are:
- Researching and evaluating new security strategies.
- Keeping track of cyber security incidents.
- Assist with forensics analysis.
- Helping upkeep the information security department’s website content.
- Observing inbound security data.
- Reacting to minor security events.
- Assessing network security for vulnerabilities.
- Helping debug malicious software.
- Researching potential cyber threats.
- Other assigned tasks.
Where to Look for a Cyber Security Internship?
If by now you are convinced that an internship is a beneficial opportunity for you, then you must be wondering how you will find one. First, if you are a student and have access to a career services office, seek their help. But even if you are unable to do so, there are government and non-government sources of internships that will aid your searching process.
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Non-government cyber security internships
In the age of technology, searching for anything is easier than ever. You can find many available internship positions by frequenting and searching sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, or even just Google. You can search for a specific company you are interested in, a certain location, or look for any position available for you.
Government cyber security internships
Governments have great cyber security programs, and that is why they can be excellent sources for internship opportunities in this field. Some great government-sponsored internship program options are provided by:
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
- The National Security Agency (NSA)
Cyber security Internship: Tips & Suggestions
Lastly, before you begin your internship journey, here are some tips and strategies you should have in mind before, during, and after your internship.
It is never too early to begin preparing for your future. Internships not only help prepare you for your job but for college as well. There are various cyber security scholarships for high school seniors that you can be eligible for if you show your dedication to the field by completing internships on top of the other requirements.
Apply to multiple internships
Internships are more competitive than ever, and that is why it is always better to have more than one option. Do not waste time by applying for one internship at a time. Give yourself more options.
Meeting and creating networking connections with the right people while interning will help you in the long run. Knowing the industry and its people will make the process of finding and landing jobs a lot easier.
Learn, learn, learn
This tip might seem obvious, but it is worth mentioning. The primary focus of internships is to provide you with an environment where you can learn, develop skills, and gain knowledge in a specific field. Use every project, task, and responsibility you have to better yourself.
Include everything on your resume
Once you are done with the internship program, do not forget to mention the program, any important project you worked on while interning, and the relevant cyber security skills you developed.
Combining a cyber security degree with internships in the same field will help pave your way towards success. Just like in your personal life, you will learn some of the most important things through experience and reflection.