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Is Air Force, Army, or Navy ROTC a better match with a cybersecurity major?

I plan on taking part of an ROTC program in college, and wish to pursue a career in the cyber security field within the military as a commissioned officer. However, I don't know which branch is best for this type of career.

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Denise’s Answer

My husband spent 24 years in the US Air force and my son is currently serving; Yes! The USAF does Cyber Security, and I would suggest taking your ASVAB. I believe the MO is Cyber Surety 3D0x3. When dealing with a recruiter remember, don't take the first job they offer you. If you score high enough on your ASVAB you can get just about any job, so stick with what you want. You might have to wait a class or two.

Here is the URL for this MO. https://www.airforce.com/careers/detail/cyber-surety

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Brian’s Answer

I am sure that the military option is a good one, but I can not provide any guidance, as my experience is purely in the commercial area. If you decide to pursue that route, I would recommend focusing on computer science or electrical engineering. Cyber-security is an area of specialization best suited by individuals with such a background (in general terms).

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Daniel’s Answer

Historically, the AF generally was trying to take (and succeeding at taking!) much of the cyber security work in the defense department. However I've been out of touch with defense for >5 years at this point, so things could have definitely changed. I'm still remembering back from around 2005-2007 when it was all Air Force pushing this. It would not surprise me greatly if other branches managed to fight back against the air force and get their own resources for cyber security. There was actually even a push sometime over the last year to make a completely separate branch of the military for cyber operations (which from an outside perspective makes a lot of sense, but good luck making that happen against the entrenched forces that be, short of us being in an actual war).


Actually looking it up now, it sounds like other branches indeed have their own separate, similarly sized goals for cyber security. Good recruiting bonuses in all branches. (Still looking at making like 30-50% of what you would in the private sector, but them's the brakes). So AF may still be a fine choice, but other branches will also have opportunities there. And hey, if that new branch ever becomes a thing, presumably you can jump ship.


Also as an aside, I'd try to combine that with a normal computer science degree, with an emphasis on security. You'll have a lot of leftover credits to spare, you can dump them all into security courses. (This may be what you were thinking of doing anyways).

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