Getting that first job after completing a university degree can be challenging.

This is true even for cybersecurity — an industry with millions of available roles.

Anecdotally, it can take 6 months or up to a year for a graduate to land their first job in cybersecurity. Sometimes, they have to settle for different roles that will eventually help them advance to the one they initially wanted.

There are several reasons why new graduates can’t find a job in cybersecurity.

First, they don’t have someone to guarantee for them yet. Companies would rather hire someone who has a proven track record — and real-life experience.

Entry-level positions are scarce in cybersecurity. After you read the job description, you also realize that most job postings aren’t really for someone who is just getting started in the industry.

Since the last year was marked by a lot of layoffs, those who recently graduated are competing for jobs against highly skilled experts (in specific areas).

At the heart of the problem is this: Most freshly graduated students don’t have real-life experience to back up their theoretical knowledge.

How does the OpenXDR innovator Stellar Cyber open up opportunities for future security professionals with its first and invite-only Stellar Cyber University Program?

Skills Gap Created in University

Graduates struggle to find opportunities because there is a gap between what the university teaches and the skills that are genuinely needed for the job.

Companies often look for someone who has specialized knowledge and practical experience in a particular segment of security operations. This is where the skill gap is most evident in the IT industry.

Therefore, the skills gap starts at university.

While universities might want to provide students with practical experiences, most are limited by their funding and time constraints. 

We’re talking about a quickly evolving industry that would require frequent alterations to the curriculum. It’s not possible for universities to change the curriculum or even to provide training. 

They’d have to cover the training, tools, and people to coach the students.

This is why it’s important for security vendors and universities that are teaching the next generation of security experts to collaborate and complete the theory with practice.

Stellar Cyber’s new program helps the universities do just that for free.

“Stellar Cyber is proud to offer this comprehensive, collaborative education program free of charge for those training our cyber warriors of the future,” said Jim O’Hara, Chief Revenue Officer at Stellar Cyber. “We are honored to do our part to help shrink the worldwide cybersecurity skills gap and provide security services to communities in need. It’s our objective to scale as broadly as possible and to assist universities as they prepare their graduates to enter the cybersecurity workforce.”

Technology, Mentorship, and Training

Stellar Cyber gives the universities access to their OpenXDR (Extended Detection and Response) platform. Students can use this combined solution to hunt for threats, analyze the security findings, and react to possible incidents.

Also, the university gets instruction-led training that helps students optimize Stellar Cyber’s security solution.

For further support, students get access to mentors and coaching — directly by industry experts from Stellar Cyber’s network of vendors and customers.

Non-Profit SOC Services for Underserved Communities

A lot of organizations are well aware of evolving hacking threats but don’t have the means to protect their assets.

Without reliable technology that is designed to catch new threats and people to manage the security posture, many are easy targets for opportunistic hackers.

“Attackers look for targets that cannot easily defend themselves,” Levasseur added. “Our hope is to ensure that these previously underserved communities get the protection they deserve.”

Stellar Cyber combined the need for security for underserved communities and the student’s need to get hands-on experience in the field.

The organizations that would otherwise have access to security solutions get the support they truly need.

Students will seek the cyber threats and possible signs of incidents within their environments and, with it, get the real-life experience that they often lack after completing their degree.

Job and Internship Opportunities

What many new graduates lack when looking for a job is the network of people who are working within the industry. Those who do have an advantage when looking for a job.

Companies that hire want the candidate that another person can guarantee for — both security and people skill-wise. They typically prioritize referrals or want to promote internally.

The students who participate in this program are connected with Stellar Cyber’s internal network of vendors and customers.

Since they already rely on the OpenXDR platform, they’re often in need of new talents who already know how to optimize the technology and help them improve their security.

That is, if a new role opens, students who have already passed the training and used the platform are the first ones to find out about the internship and job openings.

Another issue is that many graduates don’t know where to look for a job in cybersecurity, even though this is an industry that offers a lot of versatile opportunities.

“All too often, students graduate from college without being exposed to the fantastic career opportunities in the cybersecurity industry,” said Paul Levasseur, Vice President of Customer and Partner Enablement at Stellar Cyber. “We want to ensure that students understand the exciting and enriching opportunity that exists in cybersecurity so they can make more informed decisions about their future.”

A Step Forward

Stellar Cyber’s University Partnership Program simplifies training for universities that already offer either certificates or degrees in cybersecurity. 

The vendor provides them with mentorship, technology, and training for free. 

Students who enroll get real-life experience and gain skills that companies are genuinely interested in when hiring cybersecurity teams. 

With this, they open doors to their first job role or internship in cybersecurity.