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Finding federal jobs online

Visit these Web sites to find federal job openings for IT security positions.

Dear Molly: Two years ago I gave up my federal law enforcement career to pursue the IT security professional track. So far it has been an exhausting job search for either a federal government agency or private company that focuses on IT security. Could you please provide me with assistance on where to look?

Molly says: If you haven’t already checked out the services offered by trade associations that focus on IT security, please do so immediately. They are the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2) and The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). On these Web sites you will find out how to get a certification in IT security–which you may well need to get the kind of job you are looking for.

You will also be able to find out about local chapters and conferences on the subject. If you’ve been looking for two years through the traditional channels such as the local paper or poking around online, it’s time to start networking. Show up at chapter meetings and conferences with the specific goal of finding companies that do the kind of work you want to do. Ask attendees about their jobs and how they got them. Don’t try to sell yourself at this point; just gently gather information. Ask for business cards from the friendlier folks.

When you get home, make a list of the companies mentioned at the meeting. Then visit their Web sites to learn more about them. You may even find job openings posted on the Web site. Many of the chapter Web sites for these organizations have job postings, as well.

To find out about federal job openings, head to Federal Jobs Digest and FedWorld. Many government agencies (I haven’t checked them all) also now post job openings for their bailiwick on their Web site. The Drug Enforcement Agency, for example, lists several jobs you might be interested in finding out more about.

There are several federal organizations that study IT security, including the CERT(r) Coordination Center (CERT/CC), located at the Software Engineering Institute, which is a federally funded research and development center operated by Carnegie Mellon University. There’s also the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a public interest research center in Washington, D.C. It is not directly funded or connected to the federal government, but it, too, studies IT security very closely.

Don’t give up–just change your search tactics and use the Internet as much as you can for your searching.

Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]

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