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Thread: Education Advice / Cyber Corps

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    Education Advice / Cyber Corps

    Does anyone know anything about the Cyber Corp training that is sponsored by the NSF and DoD? I know basically what it is, but I'm wondering if anyone out there has gone through this or knows anyone who has and what the value of it was.

    I'm extremely interested in computer and network security, but I'm having trouble finding a job that would lead me into that at a faster pace than I'm doing right now (i.e. being self taught). I understand that it's a difficult program to get into, but assuming I could, would it be worth it? I'd graduate in 2 years with an MS in CS and some government security certifications as well as a guaranteed job in the government sector (actual, 2 years of government service is required). Any thoughts on the pros and cons?

    This link provides an overview/summary/fluff about the program for anyone not familiar with it:

    Once again, thanks for any comments.


  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Hackquest this post could not have better( or maybe worse ) timing...

    I'm currently a student at Iowa State University, which is one of 6 or 7 universities in the nation that offer the cybercorp scholarship.

    Basically your on a full ride, plus an 8k tax free stipend in the bank each year so you can focus on your studies.

    You have direct interaction with some of the best and brightest at the university, do the math, you'd graduate at the top of your game having been challenged by these professors.

    I did not get accepted this year hackquest, but I am going to be applying, and reapplying, and going to graduate school if I have to to obtain this goal I have had since senior year in high school.

    Just to give you an idea of the competition for this program, here are my credentials

    3.7 cummulative GPA(app requires min 3.2)
    4 letters of reccomendation(not hard to find, my app only asked for 2)
    an "extremely strong interview" - although it seems it was not strong enough =\


    A personal essay I had critiqued by 3-4 university professors and employees

    The students that graduate typically work for the NSA for the 2 years, and then do whatever they want.

    Full ride and job security, what else could you ask for in a degree?

    I hope this info helped!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    I can't speak too much about the Cyber Corps program, but I can speak from a private sector point of view. Just recently companies are starting to understand the importance of Security in their organizations. The problem with this is now that they understand, how do they hire someone? By that I mean, what qualifications do they have. Typically Universities don't teach in depth security techniques, altough that is starting to change. I have found that recently, within the past few months actually, recruiters are starting to go by certifications. I am an ISSAP, CISSP, and an NSA-IAM just to name a few. Now, a few months ago while applying for jobs noone even knew what those were. Now at least the CISSP is starting to become a household word so to speak.

    What I have been observing is they will usually look for someone with a bachelors, vendor neutral certification, and one vendor certification. Plus, let's not forget the most important part Experience. Obviously it goes without saying that anyone looking for a job in security should have a very firm grasp of networking also.

    Another problem is the HR people, if recruiters are not involved, All they know is what they have on a little requirements sheet. If the IT manager says that the job requires a bachelors degree, then there is a good chance that your resume won't make it past the pre-screening process. Another of my most irritating ones is the MCSE required. I have a bachelors, job experience, and 11 other IT certifications, but since I don't have an MCSE, I might not make it past the screeners.

    I know the reason why they do that is because, they act as filters to reduce the amount of applicants, but they may miss out on a good cantidate because of it.

    Anyway, I am done now. I think it will come around in the near future. It is just going to take some time. If I were you I would get all of the education I could. It can never hurt.
    Sysmin Sys73m47ic
    -The Hacker Pimps
    -Development Team {FuxorWRT}

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Thanks for your advice, both of you. Good luck on getting in, ziploc.

    sysmin770, I agree with what you said about certs. I have CCNA and am close to Security+ and then will be pursuing MCSA (I've taken training, just have to refresh and pass the tests). I am real good at reading books and then passing tests, but I recognize that those still leave me lacking in real world experience. Still, I guess if that gets me in the door then it is time well spent. It seems like right now most of the opportunities I'm seeing are look for MCSE and 5+ years experience for anything above HelpDesk I. I feel like I need real admin experience to get to where I'd like to be. Yes, at some point I'd like to go for the CISSP at some point, but I am still a long way from that.

    I don't have any problem starting out as a lower level type administrator and working my way up by proving my abilities, I just haven't been able to find even that kind of position. That's why I was thinking the Cyber Corps might be the right thing for me. Like ziploc said, I'd have a full ride (at a prestigious school) and job security (plus a security job ).

    Sounds like it'd be worth it to go for it. There are so many educational opportunities (e.g. Certified Ethical Hacker) out there and I've heard negative comments about so many of them that I'm growing more skeptical. So far I haven't heard anything negative about Cyber Corps, but I haven't heard all that much either way, which is why I asked.

    Thanks again,

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Here are a few links they have had only 50 people go through the program
    Their offical web site http://www.cis.utulsa.edu/CyberCorps/
    Or about one year ago http://infosecuritymag.techtarget.co...bercorps.shtml
    Uh Oh an election year http://www.newsmax.com/archives/arti...2/114738.shtml
    Look some money to pay for it http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2002...r-08-14-02.asp

    These results are a simple google search one minute to check links and tab browsing in Firefox. The answer lays not with M$ me thinks. Make of this what you wish

    I believe that one of the characteristics of the human race - possibly the one that is primarily responsible for its course of evolution - is that it has grown by creatively responding to failure.- Glen Seaborg

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