International Security Jobs for Veterans

Feb 21, 2023

Through the hard labor of protecting their country, veterans have amassed plenty of skills that civilian careers require. Veterans can utilize this unique skill set while still protecting their country by choosing a career in international security. This article will briefly present some of the most prominent international security jobs for veterans.

Career Comparison

Job Title Median Salary (2020)* Job Growth (2021-2031)** Applicable Military Skills
Supervisory Immigration Services Officer $107,807-$140,146 7% (for all administrative services managers) Leadership
Intelligence Specialist $102,663-$133,465 6% (for all detectives and criminal investigators) Decision Making
IT Cybersecurity Specialist $91,231-$133,465 8%-10% (for all computer occupations) Technology Control
Security Specialist $59,534-$112,240 4%-7% (for all business operations specialists) Leadership
Security Engineering Officer $50,714-$74,474 4%-7% (for all business operations specialists) Responsibility

Sources: *US Department of State, **US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Civilian Careers in International Security Requiring Military Skills

International security roles require professionals who are not fazed by the immense responsibility of protecting the security of a whole nation. IT cybersecurity specialists and security specialists use information technology, compounded by leadership and critical thinking, in order to protect both the physical and digital infrastructure of a nation. Intelligence specialists collect information of strategic importance about enemy forces while supervisory immigration services officers showcase the signature leadership of the military by directing immigration programs.

Supervisory Immigration Services Officer

The role of a supervisory immigration services officer (SISO) is managerial and requires leadership, which abounds in veterans. SISOs working for the Department of Homeland Security are typically placed in a field office with the main task of supervising and directing immigration programs and activities. This includes processing of immigrant registration, reviewing applications for gaining American citizenship, managing naturalization programs for non-American citizens or even protecting national interests during legal settlements regarding immigration benefits. SISOs have broad administrative tasks, as they are responsible for the management of staff, financials, and property of their field office.

Intelligence Specialist

In order to conduct successful operations on an international level, the military requires intelligence about enemy forces, such as their capabilities and plans. Intelligence specialists working for the Naval Intelligence Command ensure national security by providing this intelligence for the Navy. They collect information by means of surveillance, intelligence networks or geographic information systems, and analyze this information in order to provide useful reports to military officers. These reports can be used either for defensive purposes, such as recognizing pending threats, or offensive purposes such as developing enemy targets. This role requires signature veteran skills such as critical thinking, leadership, and verbal skills.

IT Cybersecurity Specialist

Like privates on a battlefield, IT cybersecurity specialists are on the frontline of a nation's physical and digital infrastructure protection. An IT cybersecurity specialist working for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the Department of Homeland Security evaluates new systems, networks or software designs applied for national security purposes, and assesses vulnerability. Practitioners also have to develop novel methods in order to solve or prevent IT issues within the departments of the federal government. Critical thinking is required as well, since IT cybersecurity specialists advise on the feasibility of security measures proposed by the federal government.

Security Specialist

Veterans possess the ability to instinctively look out for their colleagues' safety, as this was one of the cardinal rules of their military lives. This trait is welcome in the role of a security specialist. Working for the Secret Service of the Department of Homeland Security, a security specialist advises or guides personnel on how to comply with security standards. A good practitioner is expected to possess leadership and critical thinking so as to develop novel security policies or devise plans on how to adapt to new security measures. A security specialist also needs communication skills in order to be able to convince personnel to conform to changes in security practices.

Security Engineering Officers

Foreign service SEOs working for the Department of State take on a number of roles in order to protect the nation's infrastructure and staff all around the world. They are managers, as they administer the security systems applied within the department while also assessing the systems' robustness. They are critical thinkers, as they are required to be one step ahead of enemy forces by recognizing potential vulnerabilities of security protocols, implementing countermeasures for threats, and upgrading existing security protocols. They are both manual laborers, as they may need to install security devices, and intellectual workers, as they are required to compile engineering reports and surveys.

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