May 4, 2021

Career Help/Questions

I am a Senior in college that is going to graduate in December, and I am extremely stressed out about applying and getting a job within the cybersecurity field. I don’t know if that’s because I am over thinking everything or that I should be worried, but I have a few questions.

About me:
I am graduating a semester early with a B.S. in Computer Science and minors in Cybersecurity and Psychology. I have been apart of the University’s cybersecurity club, where I am the webmaster (Dec 2019-Pres) and the competitions and events manager (Oct 2020-Pres, an officer position). I helped organize the University’s cybersecurity CTF competition that took place remotely in late 2020 and have been apart of the competition’s team (Dec 2019 – Pres) that participated in CCDC and other CTF competitions. My University also has a Cybersecurity Operations Center that I have worked in as a Security Analyst since May of 2020 and have been asked to continue working there until I graduate in December. That is my only cybersecurity internship, my other working experience are camp counselor and building decks with my father, while I was taking summer courses. For career goals, I don’t have any place in particular that I would like to live so location isn’t a problem (currently on the East Coast) and hope to find myself working at one of the three letter agencies (DHS, FBI, etc.) in the future. I guess I am extremely stressed because of the internship opportunities I tried applying to for the summer. I applied to 20+ internships on the East Coast. I was already asked if I would work for the University over the summer, even though it wasn’t required to retain the position in the fall. I wanted to try something different, but that didn’t work out and I will be working there this summer. There were a bunch that didn’t respond to my application and others that rejected me. I had gotten interviews for couple positions and tested for one. The company I tested for, which I thought I had done well once I saw my score, never responded after the test was completed. Two rejected me after the interviews, I thought I did well. The last I would have gotten the position if I had told them both my uncle and cousin worked for them, but I wanted and thought I could get it on my own to which I have learned my lesson. No one in my family is in the field of computer science or cybersecurity so my contacts are previous classmates, coworkers, and friends. However, they haven’t been out of college for very long and don’t know if they could help me find a job.

So, my questions:
1. Was this summer an anomaly for internships because of the pandemic or is it hard to find and get security internships in general?

2. When should I start applying for positions (end of the summer, beginning of my last semester, or earlier)? I plan on going to the career fair at my college but in the past I haven’t seen any looking for cybersecurity candidates.

3. I like what I am doing now as a Security Analyst for my University’s Cybersecurity Operations Center, so what job titles should I be looking for and what positions should I be looking for in general?

4. I always hear that there are tons of jobs in cybersecurity and that I shouldn’t have a problem finding one, is this true or a folk tale presenters tell?

5. I am just suffering from imposter syndrome or should I be worried about my qualifications?

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