DoIT recently sponsored an event for Cybersecurity Month in cooperation with the Brazos Valley Project Manager’s Institute and the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) – a panel of local experts who talked about how got into a career in cybersecurity. Scott Smith from BTU actually started off playing baseball, while Jose Quintana got into cybersecurity at large companies but has since worked with many startups.  Willis Marti started in Information Technology as an army officer and networking instructor when he got out. Jane Prusakova currently works as a software developer for Emerging Enterprises at Research Park and entered her career from the field of software development.

One of the key points that the panel discussed was the importance of networking. Jose hosts a once-per-month software developer’s cartel which is a gathering of local developers. The ISSA is another local group that people interested in cybersecurity can engage at networking.

The speakers divided the cybersecurity field into technical and policy areas. “The technical area is still sort of the ‘wild, wild, west,” said Mr. Quintana, emphasizing the developing character of the profession. Willis Marti remarked that people who work on the Service Desk make good cybersecurity professionals because they know how to deal with people. He also looks for people who are good problem-solvers. Scott Smith looks internally at his company to find people who have transferable skills. “We always have job openings in cybersecurity and have difficulty filling them.”