CyberCorps SFS Program Highlights Pathway to Cybersecurity Careers for Students | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Austin Cook

From left to right: Gideon Sutterfield, Henry Schmidt and Grant Wilkins.

The CyberCorps Scholarship for Service student group met recently to discuss the cyberattack that targeted the SolarWinds software in 2020. The meeting served as a platform to analyze the root causes of the breach and assess why SolarWinds emerged as a prime target.

Scholarship for Service stands as a distinctive initiative to bolster the ranks of federal information assurance professionals safeguarding the critical information infrastructure of the government.

Henry Schmidt, a student enrolled in the Scholarship for Service program, said, “The program itself is a scholarship for up to six semesters for U.S. citizen students in undergrad or graduate programs interested in pursuing a cybersecurity career. When they receive their degree, students will go work for the U.S. government for the same number of years that they received a scholarship. Hence, this is a scholarship for service.”

This SFS program aims to cultivate a cybersecurity workforce. Supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the program provides comprehensive scholarships covering expenses such as a generous allowance/stipend, tuition and other costs. Undergraduate students receive an annual stipend of up to $27,000, while graduate students are awarded $37,000 annually. Additionally, a professional allowance of $6,000 per academic year caters to various needs, such as attending the SFS Job Fair and acquiring professional certifications.

Grant Wilkins, a SFS program student, said, “The thing that I didn’t expect, but thoroughly enjoy, is the community aspect. It’s something at the core of the SFS program. The program provides a career in the public sector as well as a group of people to experience it with. This is immensely enjoyable.”

Fellow student in the SFS program Gideon Sutterfield said, “This summer, I’m going to California to work at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. This is my first time doing an internship as part of the SFS program. A lot of my focus will be on cybersecurity and critical infrastructure. My internship will involve cybersecurity, as I will look at things such as power grids, water treatment plants and transportation systems. These are big infrastructural things that we can’t afford to have taken down.”

Schmidt also completed his internship at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, and Wilkins completed his internship at Oak Ridge National Lab. Internships like these give students real-world experience that would not be available otherwise.

Schmidt said, “The SFS program put me in a position to succeed financially, career-wise and socially too, with all the people in the program here at the university as well as across the nation. I’d be remiss not to mention the January conference that we attend every year in Washington, D.C. It is a great experience and a great add-on. I get to meet former coworkers that I’ve worked with during my internship and lots of potential employers.”

For aspiring cybersecurity professionals, the Scholarship for Service program emerges not only as a pathway to academic and financial support but also as a gateway to a fulfilling career in safeguarding critical infrastructure and national security. Any student interested in cybersecurity professionally should consider joining the SFS program.

Find more information about the SFS program.


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National Cyber Security