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STEMJOBS.COM // EARLY SPRING 2018 11 INTELLIGENCE // ANDREA BROWN* GOING CYBER As a high school student , Andrea Brown* was probably a lot like you— sitting in a classroom with no idea what she wanted to do after graduation. She now works as a staff operations specialist for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and is pursuing a master's degree. If you're having trouble seeing how you could possibly get from where you are today to a career that lets you do what you love, listen to Andrea's story. "Unfortunately, my high school did not offer very many cyber courses so I did not know that was the path I wanted to take until college. While I was getting my degree in computer science, I came across the cyber Internship for the FBI. I applied and got the position. After my internship and the experiences I had, I knew I wanted to work for the Bureau full time," explains Andrea. Andrea's computer science degree prepared her for success in the FBI as a staff operations specialist (SOS). She started her career on the FBI's cyber squad, which works to investigate and prevent cybercrime. Andrea is still working as an SOS, but now supports a drug squad within the FBI. "The drug squad is focused on combating the opioid epidemic. My job consists of tactical analysis, which is analysis done for immediate support of an investigation," describes Andrea. She uses problem solving and data analysis in addition to the skills learned while earning her degrees to be successful. If you think a career with the FBI or other intelligence organization might be right for you, equip yourself with the right skillset. As Andrea advises, "I would recommend a cyber degree. Cyber hits every type of investigation and it is important for people to understand those technical aspects." Unsurprisingly, computer science and cybersecurity are some of the most in- demand degrees for hiring companies. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) highlighted three careers that require a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field as some of the fastest growing occupations through 2026. • Operations research analysts earned a median salary of $79,200 in 2016 and the BLS predicts a 27-percent growth in demand for these professionals. • Information security analysts earned a median salary of $92,600 in 2016 and the BLS predicts this field will grow by 28 percent. • Software developers earned a median salary of $100,080 in 2016 and the BLS predicts a 30-percent growth in demand for developers as the world continues to go digital. The need for cybersecurity graduates is also expected to increase as hackers become more skilled. In 2016, nine out of 10 companies reported being hacked at least once, so basically every company is looking for skilled employees to keep their money, trade secrets, and client and customer data safe. With the right set of technical skills, you could choose to work for a huge corporation, a private company, or follow Andrea's footsteps and work at the FBI. Whichever path you decide is right for you, STEM will help you get to your destination. A Computer Science Degree Opened Doors at the FBI BY ELLEN EGLEY *Name changed to protect her identity. ANDREA BROWN * STAFF OPERATIONS SPECIALIST DEGREES: BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AND COMPUTER SCIENCE; EARNING MASTER'S IN INFORMATION SECURITY AND ASSURANCE YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY: 3.5 STEM TYPE: ADVISOR "UNFORTUNATELY, MY HIGH SCHOOL DID NOT OFFER VERY MANY CYBER COURSES SO I DID NOT KNOW THAT WAS THE PATH I WANTED TO TAKE UNTIL COLLEGE."

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