Pros and Cons of Working Federal Cybersecurity

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The Cons

Restrictive Environment

If you’re used to agile decision-making and spirited innovation, you may not have the patience to work for the federal government. Also, due to the nature of security work, there are limited opportunities to participate in telework. Bottom line: you have to be willing to assimilate into the culture—and likely live in the D.C. area—for your federal tenure.

It’s Not Sexy

Working for the government isn’t as prestigious as working for Google or Amazon, and it’s not as sexy as, say, developing data security for driverless cars. Your own mileage may vary (so to speak).

Slow Hiring Process

It can take anywhere from several months to a year to complete the hiring process and acquire a security clearance, so you’ll probably need to keep working while you wait. And since you’ll also need to meet all of the educational and certification requirements, a federal cybersecurity job requires a decent amount of advance career planning.