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End Your FOMO: Ten Ways to Celebrate National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week With NICE

NICE Framework Work Categories People Image
Credit: Shutterstock

National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week is Nov. 9-14, 2020 — a weeklong campaign to call attention to the innovative contributions cybersecurity practitioners have made to society. The week focuses on building awareness about the wide range of cybersecurity career opportunities, how cybersecurity plays a vital role in the lives of Americans, and how building a national cybersecurity workforce enhances America’s national security and promotes economic prosperity — all priorities of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) program led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In celebration of National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week, we challenge you to engage and inspire others to learn more about opportunities in cybersecurity. Here are 10 ways that you can celebrate National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week with us to help you join in on the festivities and to make sure you don’t miss out on anything.

1. Learn About Careers in Cybersecurity Through the NICE Framework

The Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity (NICE Framework), NIST Special Publication 800-181, is a fundamental reference for describing and sharing information about cybersecurity work in the form of Task statements and Work Roles that perform those tasks. The NICE Framework establishes a taxonomy and common lexicon that describes cybersecurity work in the public and private sectors. The NICE Framework has recently been revised, and NICE intends to continue making updates to supplementary documentation, including Knowledge, Skill and Task statements, and developing other resources and tools to help build awareness around the wide range of cybersecurity career opportunities available.

2. Ask #CyberCareerWeek a Question on Social Media

Head over to Twitter and ask us questions about careers in cybersecurity. All you have to do is type your question using the hashtag #CyberCareerWeek. We will be selecting a few questions to be featured on our new series, fittingly called “Careers in Cybersecurity.” NICE staff and other cybersecurity experts will answer your questions from social media during each episode. You can also join us for a Twitter chat on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, at 2 p.m. ET using the hashtag #CyberCareerChat.

3. Take the 6-Day #MyCyberJob Challenge

Take out your phones and join others in sharing your short videos, pictures or stories on social media about what you love most about #MyCyberJob. Throughout the week, we are challenging cybersecurity workers to reflect on their own working experience. Help spread cybersecurity career awareness by participating in our #MyCyberJob challenge. Share at least one reason you love your job in cybersecurity each day of the week between Nov. 9-14. We can’t wait to see your posts! Make sure to include the hashtag #MyCyberJob.

4. Visit a Local Museum or Take a Virtual Tour

There are many places where you can see state-of-the-art technology — all of which are touched by cybersecurity. Whether it’s a local museum or business security operations center, data center or research lab, all are great options to learn how cybersecurity impacts society.

NICE has compiled a list of museums with cybersecurity-related exhibits. New this year is a list of virtual tour options. Our NIST Museum also includes some interesting digital collections, including the demo panel for "AND" gates and "OR" gates, Fingerprint Scanner Angle Manipulation Device, NBS data encryption algorithm, Cryptograms in Computer Center Open House, and information on the Standards Eastern Automatic Computer (SEAC).

white text on a black background showing how the message "data encryption stems from the ancient art of cryptography" into code
Credit: National Institute of Standards and Technology Digital Archives

5. Expand Your Knowledge and Skills

Cybersecurity evolves quickly, so there’s always a need to learn new information and develop new skills. Explore a broad collection of special events organized in cooperation with NICE to support National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week. There are podcasts and webinars on a wide range of topics, from cyber defense competitions to strategies to recruit more women in cybersecurity to activities for the classroom. Online family career nights, live virtual tours, and a Careers in Cybersecurity Capture the Flag competition are just a few of the other special events available to help you expand your knowledge. The NICE Cybersecurity Careers Speaker Series includes over 30 speakers throughout the week discussing a day in the life of different work roles in cybersecurity. There are even multiple “Storytime” sessions planned for the younger ones to listen and learn about cybersecurity careers.

You can continue to learn more about careers in cybersecurity and upgrade your skillset by exploring free and low-cost online cybersecurity learning content curated by NICE.

6. Enter the 2020 Cybersecurity Career Awareness Poster Contest

NICE, CyberUp and Mastercard are inviting high school students to creatively visualize careers in cybersecurity. The contest is open to all high school students attending public, private and home schools who are residents of the United States, including children of military members stationed overseas. This year’s art contest celebrates the wide range of career opportunities in cybersecurity. The art contest submission period begins Nov. 1 and concludes on Nov. 12, 2020, at 12 a.m. ET. Visit the CyberUp website for more information on the 2020 Cybersecurity Careers Awareness Poster Contest.

7. Explore Cybersecurity Workforce Demand and Career Pathways

Learn more about cybersecurity workforce demand and the career pathways to the work roles identified in the NICE Framework. Use the CyberSeek tool, which includes an interactive jobs heat map and career pathways aligned to the NICE Framework to answer questions such as:

  • What education levels do employers require for specific cybersecurity work roles?
  • What credentials or knowledge and skills are needed to enter a career in cybersecurity?
  • How large is the cybersecurity workforce in a region and how does that compare to other locations?
CyberSeek Plus Career Pathways
Credit: CyberSeek

8. Discover the Resources in Our Toolkit

Everyone can make a difference during National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week and throughout the year. Whether you have a minute, an hour or a day — whether during this week or all year long — there are many ways to promote careers in cybersecurity. An activity can be as simple as hosting a virtual coffee break or conference call for a few colleagues or as complex as organizing a company-wide competition. The main ingredient is bringing people together to celebrate and have fun.

Check out ways you can participate and support awareness about cybersecurity careers at home, at work or school, and in the community. Explore the toolkit to find materials to engage your audience during National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week and beyond.

9. Refresh Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile

After gaining new knowledge and skills during National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week, it’s time to update that LinkedIn profile and resume that may have gathered a few virtual cobwebs. A resume isn’t just a list of job titles and time you’ve worked at each job. It’s a record of your competencies that qualify you for performing cybersecurity work. Often, it’s easy to forget how far you have come and what new skills you have added. By revisiting your accomplishments, you can keep track of your achievements and analyze any gaps you might want to work on. Keeping your resume and LinkedIn profile updated helps pitch yourself to others, whether speaking at a conference, writing an article or hosting a webinar or podcast. You don’t want to sell yourself short — maybe someone wants to nominate you for an award or present a case for a promotion. More importantly, it helps demystify for others the cybersecurity pathway process. NICE provides some resume and interviewing tutorials that provide additional tips.

10. Watch NICE Engagement Videos

Spend some time watching NICE videos and webinars, which we designed to help enhance the cybersecurity education, training and workforce efforts of the nation. You can also listen to interviews of cybersecurity practitioners through the NICE Framework in Focus Series, and download NICE one-pagers and numerous other resources to engage and inspire others to learn more about opportunities in cybersecurity.

However you choose to celebrate National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week, submit your commitments through the online portal.

About the author

Davina Pruitt-Mentle

Davina Pruitt-Mentle serves as the Lead for Academic Engagement of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) at NIST. Prior to joining NICE, she was a senior researcher and policy analyst for Educational Technology Policy, Research and Outreach, served as a principal investigator for the National Cyberwatch Center, and held a faculty position within the College of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has spent more than 20 years conducting research on student and educator cyber awareness and developing programs to help increase the cybersecurity workforce pipeline. She is a life-long equestrian and competes nationally along with her daughter. When not showing horses, she enjoys attending University of Maryland basketball games with her husband so they have an excuse to visit both her kids.

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Good morning, First of all I want to thank you Ms. Pruitt-Mentle for sharing this e-mail with such and original and intelligent ideas and content regarding Cyber Security week. I work myself in Cyber Security and IA at DIA to improve critical infrastructure. Work on the ICD 503 directive and Leverage existing NIST important Publications. Work on RMF that transforms the traditional way of doing C&A cycle process into Risk Management approach. I would like to see and learn the 10 ways celebrating Cyber Security. I don't use Twitt but will see how to communicate. Thank you again. Please be Safe and Healthy

Thank you for the kind words. I am thrilled you enjoyed the article. There are many ways to share your experience, expertise, and passion about Careers in Cybersecurity. You can find additional ideas at or you can email me, and I would be happy to help. What we need most is people like yourself sharing their journey and what they enjoy most about their cybersecurity work role. Thank you for the work you do to keep our nation safe and secure!

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