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Workforce Development Opportunities in Cyber – It’s About (Way) More than Ones and Zeroes

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Blog topics:  Archive

By Chetrice Mosley Romero

Today is National Intern Day and Indiana Intern Day; a day for the companies and organizations (and really all of us) to celebrate, empower, encourage and recognize the contributions and hard work of the people, who are spending their summer or part of their school year using their unique talents to gain the experience that’s needed for finding a job and getting started in a career.

It’s been my experience that the quality of the work and the contributions that are made by someone, working as an intern, are not only meaningful, but it’s also an important factor in some of the success we achieve as an organization. In other words, no one’s spending their time making coffee or running errands.

In the world of cybersecurity, the outlook for employment and workforce development is wide open. According to, there are currently 465,000 cybersecurity jobs available in the U.S., including more than 4,000 in Indiana.

And while the majority of the positions are IT jobs and requires a certain level of technical knowledge, there’s an abundance of cyber jobs and careers that aren’t as complex and, instead, involves a background related to using strategic communications skills, including work in public relations, graphic design, and marketing, among others. Add to that, fully 30 percent of the professionals working in cybersecurity come from a non-technical background.

As the Cybersecurity Program Director for the State of Indiana, our team of interns, this summer, includes three college-age students. Together, Angelica, Hailey and Zach have contributed to the content featured in this blog; and they are also responsible for creating many of the images and illustrations and the information we share on our website, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.

Among the observations they’ve made is the recognition that the work they’ve done in cybersecurity “…goes way beyond ones and zeroes,” adding that “…without human beings we wouldn’t need cybersecurity in the first place. People created issues like identity theft, third-party cookies, ransomware and so much more. But on the other hand, without human beings we wouldn’t be able to unite as an online community to help ourselves and others understand and resolve these issues through the use of cybersecurity”.

There was also the shared experience of being somewhat intimidated, at first, by the word “cybersecurity” and the depth of knowledge someone would have to possess to do the job. Instead, it was their experiences that it is a topic from which you can learn about – based on your own personal experiences. But, because it is so vital to protecting ourselves, all it requires is having an open mind and understanding how it can be applied as a part of our daily life.

In addition to the skills and experiences they gained from their internship, it’s important, too, to acknowledge some of knowledge, as a staff, we learned from them about cyber and how it can be applied; simply by viewing it from the perspective whose life, from a much earlier age, was influenced by technology.

Or, how an illustration, a podcast or a well-organized review of a strategic plan can be conveyed to others as part of our cybersecurity program for the benefit of all Hoosiers.