5 Reasons Why a Cybersecurity Internship Can Improve Your Employability
As competition for jobs intensifies, students are scrambling to find ways to stand out from other candidates. A 2021 study by education startup StuDocu revealed that 64% of U.S. students fear career and employment setbacks in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In today’s fast-changing and competitive market, a degree from a well-reputed university doesn’t guarantee a job in itself. From a recruiter’s perspective, it’s also important for new hires to have relevant work history.
Listening to lectures, reading textbooks, or completing coursework, while valuable, are no substitute for real-world experience. Most employers hiring for cybersecurity roles want candidates with proven practical skills, even for entry-level positions.
Why Should You Seek Out Cybersecurity Internship Opportunities?
Though many institutions provide cyber ranges that help students learn necessary skills, practicing in a lab environment is not enough. Training can only get you so far; to succeed as a cybersecurity professional, you need to be able to apply your knowledge in real-world threat scenarios.
This is where internships play a crucial role. For cybersecurity students, internship opportunities are a highly effective way to demonstrate technical proficiency and practical skills to prospective employers. Internships prepare students to enter the world of IT and cybersecurity by providing industry exposure and opportunities to gain new skills and in-depth knowledge.
Private organizations and government agencies provide various cybersecurity internship opportunities. Students can seek out internships through networking events at their university, matching initiatives integrated into their degree program, or job sites like Glassdoor, which lists over 1,300 IT and cybersecurity internship opportunities as of June 2022 in the United States alone.
How Can Internships Benefit Your Cybersecurity Career?
In addition to enhancing your learning experience, internships can often give your career a much-needed boost when you’re just starting out in cybersecurity. Let’s dive into some of the advantages of a cybersecurity internship program.
1. Gain Hands-On Experience
Ever heard the saying “Experience is the best teacher”? It’s especially true in the rapidly evolving world of cybersecurity, where there’s only so much you can glean from textbooks.
If you jump straight into the professional realm from a degree program, you risk being underprepared to deal with highly advanced threat actors. An internship can help you build technical expertise and offers an outstanding opportunity to cultivate crucial soft skills like communication, problem solving, and teamwork.
2. Develop a Professional Network
Internship opportunities provide an extremely valuable chance for students to develop a professional network. Building connections with colleagues and mentors in the IT and security field can be a stepping stone to future jobs and professional development opportunities.
In a cybersecurity internship, you’ll have the chance to work with seasoned professionals who can advise you on how to develop your skills and handle difficult situations. Your supervisor, in particular, can serve as a mentor and guide in your career journey.
3. Strengthen Your Resume
Recruiters are often hesitant to hire candidates who may not be ready to work in a real-world environment. Given the demanding and fast-paced nature of cybersecurity jobs, companies prefer to hire professionals with extensive industry knowledge and practical experience.
Gaining work experience through internship opportunities can give you a competitive advantage over your peers. Cybersecurity internships help hone your skills and demonstrate that you are a committed and goal-oriented professional.
4. Confirm Whether Cybersecurity Is the Right Path for You
An industry internship can help you determine if a career in cybersecurity suits your interests and goals. Cybersecurity work is rewarding but challenging, and an internship allows you to explore the profession before committing your time and energy to a full-time career in the field.
No matter what, you’ll come out of your internship with a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. Internship opportunities are a great way to figure out what type of work appeals to you most, helping you narrow down options when seeking full-time employment.
5. Transition to a Permanent Job
An internship opportunity can sometimes lead to a full-time position with the same employer. While interning, you’ll face numerous obstacles, build skills and experience, and prove yourself as a capable professional, increasing your chances of securing a full-time position.
Hiring an intern is often a win-win for employers and job seekers. Companies get to avoid the expensive and time-consuming process of recruiting and onboarding a team member, and you get to continue your work at an organization where you’ve already demonstrated your abilities and that you already know is a good fit for you.
Cybersecurity Internship Opportunities at EC-Council University
The curricula of all EC-Council University (ECCU) programs, including the Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security (BSCS) and Master of Science in Cyber Security (MSCS), dive deep into industry-relevant topics and prepare students to take on leadership roles. ECCU’s BSCS and MSCS programs both offer a capstone course, in which students can choose from an internship, capstone project, or comprehensive exam.
The internship opportunities at ECCU allow students to gain in-depth knowledge about different industries, develop real-world skills, improve their chances of landing a full-time position, and become job ready. Through an industry internship, ECCU students can apply their academic knowledge in real-world settings.
ECCU guides students in finding the right internship opportunity for their course of study, learning experience, academic specialization, and skills. ECCU supports students in all aspects of the internship experience, including matching students with internships and providing faculty advising during students’ work terms.
Students participating in a for-credit internship must be enrolled in a related course and complete graded assignments connected with their work. All for-credit internships adhere to ECCU’s standards, including ECCU’s international internship policies, and meet the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Students enrolled in a for-credit internship course are expected to complete a minimum of 12 internship hours per week during the 10-week term. Students may also opt for full-time internships, where they will be expected to work at least 20–35 hours per week.
For more information, visit https://www.eccu.edu/student-services/internships/
Glassdoor. (2022a). Cybersecurity intern jobs in United States. https://www.glassdoor.com/Job/us-cybersecurity-intern-jobs-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,23.htm?locKeyword=United%2520States&srs=RECENT_SEARCHES
Glassdoor. (2022b). IT intern jobs in United States. https://www.glassdoor.com/Job/us-it-intern-jobs-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,12.htm?context=Jobs&clickSource=searchBox
StuDocu. (2021). Changes in student behaviour during COVID-19: A report by StuDocu. https://www.studocu.com/en-us/document/studocu-research/industry-reports/changes-in-student-behaviour-during-covid-19-follow-up-research-2021/12756060