In this article, we will highlight everything you need to know about cyber security graduate internships and answer pertinent questions that may be troubling you about an internship program.
What do I Need to Know About Cyber Security Graduate Internships?
If you’re currently looking for an internship, perhaps you may be wondering what to expect. Cyber security has three pillars that influence what cyber security professionals do on a daily basis. These are:
A company’s employees often pose the biggest security risk to their data. For example, if an employee leaves the office with a memory stick with highly confidential information on it and loses it on their way home, they expose the company to danger. Cyber security professionals train staff within an organization on how to minimize their chances of causing an information security breach.
The way a company runs its operations could make it susceptible to cyber attacks. Cyber security staff put in place processes that will reduce these threats, and occasionally review them as the threats change.
A security analyst carries out risk assessments, identifies potential threats, and utilizes the best technology to curb these threats. The technology is then deployed to reduce or prevent cyber crime.
What Are the Resources Available to Find Cyber Security Graduate Internships?
There are many resources available out there that can help you find cyber security internships. It is important to note that while some internship positions are paid, others are not. To find an ideal cyber security internship, try out various channels.
Here are some recommendations:
Job boards and career websites
The most popular resources to get cyber security graduate internships are job boards and career websites. They include; Indeed.com, Monster.com, Glassdoor.com, Internships.com, Internmatch.com, Idealist.org, among others.
LinkedIn is a great resource to connect with companies and recruiters hiring for graduate school cyber security internship roles. To search for internship listings, click the jobs tab at the top of the page and type“cyber security graduate internships” or “graduate school cyber security” in the search box.
Networking can be done both offline and online. Consider joining cyber security professional associations. Also, attend graduate school cyber security events and conferences. This way, you can easily connect with professionals who work in your field, and they can refer you to possible cyber security internship openings.
Create a list of dream companies you would like to work for, visit their websites, and enquire for cyber security internship opportunities. Be sure to plan a quick introduction about your skills and explain how you can be of value to their company. Always be prepared.
College career services or internship programs office
Visit the careers services department at your university. Recruiters often ask for referrals from them. What’s more, they can direct you to other internship opportunities targeted specifically towards graduates from your university.
What Are the Qualifications Required To Get a Cyber Security Internship?
Qualifications for each cyber security graduate program varies. However, any graduate looking to venture into the cyber security field should have a robust understanding of the fundamentals and a meticulous technical understanding of networks.
According to CREST, working in information security is suitable for graduates with a degree in cyber security or computer science. Graduates with related STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) qualifications are also likely to thrive in this space. However, graduates from other backgrounds can still venture into this space if they have the right attributes.
Notably, you should have the necessary technical skills related to the cyber security role you are applying for. General skills recommended include:
Security and networking essentials,
Logging and monitoring procedures,
Network defense strategies,
Cryptography and access management practices,
Web application security techniques, and
Reverse-engineering skills (especially for those interested in a serious career in fighting malware).
What’s more, you must be a quick thinker and strong communicator. Cyber security roles require an inquisitive and analytical mind. You must have an acute ability to think outside the box since your duties would often involve problem-solving and out-thinking perpetrators of cyber attacks.
What Should I do to Prepare for a Cyber Security Graduate Internship?
As a cyber security graduate, you will likely work on a number of different tasks. However, in some cases, you may be required to work on one large project for the entire duration of your internship.
According to CyberInternAcademy, projects you may be involved in include; engineering better systems, network maintenance, policy development, security awareness training, systems audit, and penetration testing. This will largely depend on the business sector you get into as well as the needs of the company you undertake an internship with or work for.
It's vital you find a cyber security internship you're passionate about since this is likely to affect the overall direction and trajectory of your career. The most important thing you should do before you to start your cyber security graduate internship is to ask yourself: What do I need to become a successful intern?
Here are simple ways to prepare for your internship program:
Think about what you hope to learn and gain from your internship. Considering your learning objectives in advance will help you make the most of the opportunity.
Assess your strengths and weaknesses, and connect your strengths to your internship position. Examine how your natural areas of talent can help develop your professional competencies to be career-ready.
Read relevant literature about the field. For instance, you can read press releases about the company, emerging cyber security trends, and how the company is positioned to make headway with these new trends. Are there ways that you can help them become more established?
Get yourself a good mentor. Not only will a mentor help you learn the tricks of trade faster, but also help you understand what goes on behind the scenes. Having this knowledge beforehand goes a long way in enabling you to operate successfully in the company.
What is the Value of a Cyber Security Graduate Internship?
According to the K4D help desk 2018 report, cyber security graduate programs are full of learning experiences that enable master's degree students to explore real-life problems in their field of study and come up with potential solutions. While this is the key advantage, you want to make sure the cyber security internships you choose will benefit you in several ways.
Specific benefits of graduate school cyber security internships allow you to:
Gain hands-on experience
Students apply acquired knowledge to the real-work environment, witnessing firsthand the daily job duties they anticipate to encounter in their chosen cyber security fields. This is also a terrific opportunity to assess whether a particular cyber security career is the right one for you.
Master professional soft skills
Many employers complain that there are few cyber security professionals with exceptional soft skills. In addition to specialized skills, soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and time management are also obtained through an internship, thoroughly preparing graduates to enter the workforce upon graduation.
Get mentored by the experts of the industry
Mentorship can be a real confidence builder. Internships allow for feedback from supervisors and other cyber security industry professionals, offering a unique learning opportunity for students to develop and refine their skills.
Strengthen your resume
It is tough creating an outstanding resume without any experience, both for undergraduate and graduate students. Recruiters are impressed by resumes with hand-on experiences as compared to a list of qualifications.
Build your network
A cyber security graduate program gives you a platform to start building your professional network. A rich network is resourceful to any cyber security graduate when making informed decisions about their career and can open the door to better career opportunities.
Transition into a job
Many companies rely on internships as one of the reliable ways to test and develop potential employees. Even when a job opportunity is not immediately available, a cyber security intern who makes an exceptional impression could receive an offer a few months down the line.
What Are the Best Companies to Join for Cyber Security Graduate Internships?
Cyber security threats are everywhere. Because of this, cyber security support is a necessary department in all sectors of the economy, from banks to audit firms, retail stores, and telecommunication giants.
Regardless of what sector you want to get into, visit company websites to look for opportunities and apply as early as possible.
While this is not an exhaustive list, some of the top companies that offer cyber security internships include:
- Sony Pictures
- StrozF Friedberg
- JP Morgan
- National Grid
Cyber Security Intern's Future
An internship is one of the most crucial building blocks of any cyber security career. Internships are an excellent opportunity for graduate students to apply acquired knowledge to the real-work environment and experience different aspects of what cyber security career fields have to offer. Such invaluable exposure and experience will give you a competitive edge in the job market.
We hope this guide helps you make the most out of your cyber security internship and prepares you for an amazing career.