But do you really want that cybersecurity job?
Baltimore hacker, occasional contributor to BaltTech, and all-around smart/good guy Mike Subelsky (left) penned a thoughtful essay on why Maryland tech geeks should think carefully about diving into the cybersecurity field. Sure, it's a hot area -- I recently wrote about how basically the big wheels of government and Corporate Maryland are turning hard in that direction.
But Subelsky, a former government IT guy himself, cautions that people who aren't in the field should be prepared not just for the potential rewards (nice paycheck, work on important national security projects), but downsides, too (limited creativity and flexibility/freedom within your work role.)
From Subelsky's blog post:
Maryland's business press, government officials, and various tech organizations have lately been enthusiastically banging the gong for cybersecurity. I can appreciate why - there's a lot of money at stake, and a lot of it comes from Maryland's foremost benefactor, the federal government. This is a recession-proof, guaranteed-to-grow industry, and Maryland is already home to many successful cybersecurity companies like Sourcefire. The government and private companies employ many thousands of people and contribute many millions of dollars to our tax base.
So it makes sense for our government to be pursuing these opportunities, but does it make sense for you, Maryland hacker?
Subelsky makes some good points. In a recent interview with a CEO working in the mobile space, this CEO told me that there is plenty of technical talent available in this area. But what's lacking in the pool of workers in the Baltimore/Washington area are people with bona fide experience in product development, in the enterprise and consumer space.
Satisfying a government customer is very different than satisfying a couple hundred big and different companies who are clients of your enterprise software.
To Mike's points, the only thing I would add, as a side note, is that if there's a silver lining, it is that Mike himself is an example of how federal government work can eventually "spin off" motivated creatives to do their own thing, with a ton of experience under their belts.
It isn't just about Maryland making it easier for residents to get jobs in cybersecurity, but also helping entrepreneurs build their own companies in the private sector, too.
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