Cybersecurity in Arlington, VA. PHOTO: Cybercrime Magazine.

The Cybersecurity Scene And Jobs In Arlington, Virginia

A look at opportunities near the nation’s capital

– Kayla Matthews

Pittsburgh, Pa. — Jul. 14, 2019

Located only about 15 minutes from Washington, D.C., Arlington, Virginia, is a popular place for people who want to live close to the nation’s capital. Due to the high number of government offices in the area, there is a higher-than-average need for cybersecurity professionals there.

Here are some things you should know, whether you’re planning to move there to pursue cybersecurity work or already live there and want to get acquainted with the scene.

1. There Are Numerous Ways to Get Educated in Cybersecurity

Perhaps one of your primary reasons to be in Arlington is to start or further your cybersecurity education. You can do that in several ways.

As a start, Marymount University offers a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. It’s a 36-credit-hour program offered online, although there are face-to-face courses available if you prefer that method of learning. After completing the core courses, you can take a specialization track that helps you dive deeper into cybersecurity matters related to data science or digital health.

Moreover, there is an ONLC Training Center branch in Arlington where you can get various cybersecurity certifications. Those are for people already working in the field. You could also enroll at the Lunarline School of Cybersecurity, which serves hundreds of thousands of students but has its headquarters in Arlington. The facility offers in-person and online courses.

If you want something more intensive, try the SANS Crystal City 2019 event. It happens from Aug. 5-10, 2019, and offers the chance to take your choice of six different cybersecurity courses and learn about things such as penetration testing and ethical hacking.

2. Arlington’s City Officials Position the Destination as Notable for Cybersecurity

It’s also worth realizing that officials in Arlington recognize the city is already an active cybersecurity market and has room to grow. According to the Arlington Economic Development website, one in 10 cybersecurity professionals in the U.S. works in Virginia. Cybersecurity is a key industry in Arlington, along with the aerospace sector.

Looking at the state at large, the cybersecurity-related job opportunities in Virginia may surprise you. For example, the Virginia Lottery takes cybersecurity seriously and also requires officials to go through a checklist before using the electronic machines used for televised prize drawings.

Since city representatives in Arlington specifically highlight the destination’s contributions to cybersecurity, that’s a good sign suggesting the future and ongoing strength of the sector.

3. Arlington’s Public School System Offers Cybersecurity Options

You learned about cybersecurity education options for adults, but Arlington does even more. The city has opportunities inside the public school system for high schoolers to learn about the topic and get them equipped for future careers.

There is a year-long computer hardware, networking and cybersecurity course for students in grades 9-12, which gives those learners two credits. Additionally, for young people who are already fairly certain they want to pursue cybersecurity, there’s the FBI-Cyber STEM Pathway Certificate. It awards five credits and offers an assortment of classes, plus the chance to participate in two FBI engagement activities.

The website does not specify the scope of those activities, but they sound promising for people who want to get immersed in real-world education as well as classroom learning.

4. You Can Work at an Assortment of Local Cybersecurity Companies

Maybe you’re eager to work at a cybersecurity enterprise based in Arlington or one that has a branch in the city. In that case, you might choose from businesses such as:

  • End Game — An endpoint protection specialist
  • Buchanan & Edwards — Offers information technology consultancy, including cybersecurity measures, with a focus on government clients
  • ThreatConnect — Provides a range of cybersecurity assistance, from threat intelligence to incident response
  • SecureStrux — A women-owned small business with headquarters in Arlington and a presence in several other states that provides computer network defense, as well as additional cybersecurity help
  • Envescent — Performs cybersecurity audits and suggests solutions for identified problems
  • MeasuredRisk — Assists with executive-level risk assessment to aid decision-making

This is just a sampling of some of the companies that may have jobs that meet your needs. The brief list above shows how easy it should be to start your job search almost as soon as you get settled in Arlington.

5. Arlington Has a Hacking Meetup Group

There are several Meetup groups for cybersecurity enthusiasts in Arlington in the surrounding area — attending some of them requires traveling to Washington, D.C. However, one based in Arlington is The HackerGround.

Since this group helps members learn the tools adversaries may use in attacks, going to the meetings could help you beef up your defense and feel well-equipped for work you undertake.

Start Exploring the Scene

Thanks to the information here, you can dive into Arlington’s cybersecurity scene and feel confident about exploring it. Doing so could grow your career, as well as your social network.

Kayla Matthews Archives

– Kayla Matthews is a technology journalist and cybersecurity writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. To read more from Kayla, visit her website.