Thank you to SAFE Credit Union. Over the years Safe Credit Union has kept the focus on what really matters, putting members first, a formula that has seen SAFE grow into a leading financial institution in Northern California with $4 billion in assets and about 247,000 members. SAFE crafts every cutting-edge product and sterling service with members’ needs foremost in mind. In addition to banking services conveniently available through online, chat, mobile, or phone options, SAFE offers in-person service for members and small businesses at service centers across the Greater Sacramento region. SAFE is a not-for-profit, state-chartered credit union with membership open to businesses and individuals living or working in Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Sutter, Butte, Nevada, Solano, San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Yuba, Amador, and Alameda counties. Insured by NCUA.
This program made possible by a CARES Act grant provided by the City of Sacramento.
Imagine the moment your device loses its connection or your account has been hacked, who do you call? Usually, a live skilled professional is ready to help when you call. That professional could be you! These professionals have experience designing network systems and maintaining data centers that make storing and retrieval of your information seamless. They are cybersecurity professionals that ensure your data, profile, and private information stay secure. With the right training and education, you could become a skilled cyber professional with a great career and limitless advancement potential.
What inspires you? Some people love math, while others love writing. Some like working alone and others like working with a team. When we think of cyber, we might envision someone working alone on a device communicating on the internet. Today’s society relies upon a much more vast and sophisticated cyber system to foster collaboration and new innovations. Keep in mind that almost all entry-level jobs do require some digital skills, and many of those might fit you today. However, your professional growth to enter the cyber workforce should begin with some career exploration to expand your understanding of the current landscape. You may also look at what education and on the job training will lead to your career…your destiny. It does not always materialize as a single destination or point in time. Rather, Cyber Proud is here to help you assess your interests and capabilities and to counsel you on what options would be the best fit for you. From this, we hope you discover your “inspired destiny.”
Earning your degree or industry certification will demonstrate your commitment and secure your place at the forefront of cyber innovation. It will also position you as a valuable asset in growing industries that support education, healthcare, and the public sector. There are several programs with stackable credentials that you can enroll in to solidify your stance in the cyber sector. These may include gaining your foundational skills through Cisco Network Associate, CompTIA’s IT Fundamentals, or Google G Suite Certification.
To enhance your progression to a mid or advanced level you may want to pursue a Certified Information Systems Security Professional, Certified Information Systems Auditor, or Security Essentials Certification. Cyber offers a myriad of different trajectories into the industry and there is no limit to the opportunities today and expected into the future.
Many students crave a working relationship with an employer to validate their career choice. This concept of earning and learning in many ways is driven solely by how robust a student’s connection is to that industry. However, through real-world learning, followed by access to meaningful career paths, students will make better-informed decisions about their future. Employers recognize the necessity of their partnership in cultivating this next generation of cyber talent. On-the-job experiences are a must!
Students are encouraged to research and seek out opportunities aligned with occupations of interest. Experiences can be coordinated via a web-based platform to solicit the participation and commitment of employers to provide everything from a job shadow to an internship. It may be best to first take a test run.
When students have a career vision, they’re more likely to complete their program of study on time… and succeed in their careers. Using real-time labor market data will give each student vision of what success will look like. It makes the hard work tangible and realistic. Students will be able to find careers that match their strengths by not just assessing current openings based upon job title, but by finding those that are closely aligned to individual interests and capabilities, past experience, industry certifications, as well as education. What are your strengths and weaknesses? But don’t focus on those just yet. Ask yourself, “What excites me? What keeps me up at night? What can’t I wait to finish now, instead of putting it off until tomorrow?” That is your answer. That is your “Inspired Destiny.” Question is, how do you find it? Simply be confident enough to ask for it, and articulate it with confidence. That is why all the preceding steps are important. They are foundational for you to build the future you want.
What is a Mentor? Someone who finds a connection and offers to be a friend or sounding board or perhaps an advisor. Mentors are important for students fighting disconnection in relationships due to a lack of confidence, or when they are seeking out employment and guidance through life or career. In partnership with All Leaders Must Serve, students will be partnered with a professional mentor. The primary focus will be preparing youth who are disconnected and disadvantaged in the areas of career readiness skills, character development, work ethic, public speaking, and self-awareness.
How does this approach differ from other mentor programs? The Cyber Proud Mentor network will not only be there to provide life skills but also the practical encouragement so that the protégé grows emotionally. Mentors will be coaches who prepare and instruct their protégé to win at life, as well as an industry liaison to be a source of information that can provide professional insights when students are charting their path and deciding on education. A mentor lends perspective and practical advice and can open doors rather than close them He/she can show greater possibilities where none were visible.
As important as it is to find a job, or what you view as the right job or career, it is equally as important to find the right fit. At this point, you have a good idea of what you like and don’t like. Through this process, you have learned a lot about yourself.
Do research on the company you’d like to work for. If it’s not specifically in cyber, maybe it’s working in healthcare or finance. Remember, there are many opportunities in many sectors. Consult with your mentor, find several people who do what you want to do, use LinkedIn and other online resources to connect with employees or other related businesses.
Write your own personal value proposition. What do you bring to an organization that is unique or fills a gap? See If you can understand what their needs are and start delivering. Timing is key. Remember, this is your own professional growth and progression toward your goals and career. Don’t focus on a single destination.
You have to be willing to learn, be curious, ask questions, and most importantly, work really hard. This hard work doesn’t begin when you land that position, it begins in your search for the right career. There will be moments of anxiety and frustration that come with new uncharted paths, not knowing or hearing back when you first start, especially when you know you’d be an awesome fit for the role. Fortunately, there are strategies for getting you noticed and upping your chances of landing that career. It takes equal parts grit and effort, but if you really want it, then it’s probably worth it. Show the organization that you can do the work that would be required of you if you got the position in a tangible way. Use social media to share past work experience, examples of your work, and utilize those references. Be bold.