The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced the launch of the 2014 Secretary's Honors Program (SHP) Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative for college students. Through the program, more than 100 unpaid student volunteer assignments will be available to support DHS' cyber mission at local DHS field offices in over 60 locations across the country.
"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 Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Rand Beers. "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."
This program, created in April 2013 by former Secretary Janet Napolitano, provided assignments at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations computer forensics labs and state and major urban area fusion centers. Now the program has been expanded 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 major urban area fusion centers and ICE labs.
Through the initiative, student volunteers will gain invaluable 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. Participants will perform a broad range of duties in support of DHS' cybersecurity mission, in areas ranging 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.
The SHP Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative is a highly competitive program created to attract top talent to DHS, and is part of the Department's efforts to address recommendations from the Homeland Security Advisory Council's Task Force on CyberSkills. DHS also partners with other government agencies and the private sector on a variety of initiatives to support cyber education.