Nick Hartley, a former RAF Group Captain now working in business development for BT Security, explains why cyber security is a good industry for veterans.
Cyber security is a broad and diverse industry, with different opportunities. Many of the skills and experiences veterans have are highly sought after in the industry.
Working in cyber security for the commercial sector is more independent and less hierarchical, compared to the Armed Forces. There is also more individual responsibility on completing tasks. I talk to people because of their knowledge, skills and experiences, rather than rank, which is refreshing. I have also developed new skills, including learning about profit and loss within a commercial framework.
Service leavers and veterans have many transferrable skills for working in cyber security. Technical qualifications and skills are easily transferrable, being relevant to the role and recognised by the industry. For example, my MBA in Technology Management, from the Open University, has proven invaluable as has being a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Physicist. The industry values excellent leadership, communication and presentation skills, which are all areas where veterans excel.
I chose BT because it is the national, sovereign telecommunications and cyber security provider with a long and established partnership with the MOD. BT is primarily a technology company that works in defence, rather than a defence company that develops technology. This means I can work with people across the full range of BT business units from different industries, and learn from them on how to improve solutions for defence. BT also actively recruits veterans and is the largest employer of military reservists in the UK.
Ask the Expert
You can read Nick’s answer, as well as other industry leaders, in the latest issue of Pathfinder Magazine – the monthly magazine for Service leavers. The OA edits a regular article called ‘Ask the Expert’, where career questions are answered by a panel of experts.