DHS expands student volunteer program in cybersecurity

The Department of Homeland Security today announced the launch of the 2014 Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative for college students, opening up new opportunities at five additional DHS components as well as state and local fusion centers around the country.

Created in April 2013 as part of the Secretary’s Honors Program, the Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative offers college students hands-on experience and exposure to the cybersecurity work performed by DHS cybersecurity professionals. The program is specifically designed for current college students pursuing a program of study in a cybersecurity-related field.

In a statement, DHS said more than 100 unpaid positions have been made available in more than 60 DHS field offices across the country. Participants will perform a broad range of duties in support of DHS’ cybersecurity mission, from cyber-threat analysis to digital forensics to network diagnostics and incident response. Student volunteers will begin in spring 2014 and participate throughout the summer.

“DHS is excited to continue the Secretary’s Honors Program Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative and expand it to additional DHS offices and locations while increasing our engagement with students in the important cybersecurity work DHS does every day,” said Rand Beers, DHS acting secretary. “Providing these opportunities across the department is a vital step in our efforts to cultivate the next generation of cybersecurity leaders and to attract the best and brightest cyber talent who are looking to pursue a career in public service.”


The program originally provided assignments at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations computer forensics labs and state and major urban area fusion centers. This year, however, DHS is expanding the program to include new opportunities at the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Administration, the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the DHS Office of the Chief Information Officer, and additional state and more than 60 major urban area fusion centers and ICE labs.

The SHP Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative was created in response to the Homeland Security Advisory Council’s Task Force on CyberSkills, which last year released 11 detailed recommendations on how government can recruit and retain the thousands of cybersecurity professionals needed in the coming years.

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