The cybersecurity field offers rewarding opportunities for current and former military personnel. Security jobs typically require technical or higher education, which can be expensive.
Higher education costs have risen each year since 1985. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of college was $24,623 in 2018-19. That number goes up for private schools and students pursuing degrees out of state.
Fortunately, the GI Bill® covers education expenses for veterans studying at in-state, public schools. However, students may still have to pay for some costs out of pocket. Thanks to scholarships, veterans and active-duty military members can access the funds they need for cybersecurity training.
Scholarships can help with costs the GI Billdoesn't cover, including private school tuition or additional school or living expenses.
This page explores the benefits of scholarships plus specific resources for military and veterans interested in cybersecurity.
The Rising Call for Cybersecurity Pros
The growth of cybercrime has led to increased demand for cybersecurity professionals. These technical experts protect data for companies, colleges, healthcare centers, or national security organizations.
As of 2021, about 600,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. remained unfilled, according to CyberSeek. As of 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that information security analyst jobs will grow by 33% between 2020 and 2030. These positions pay a median annual wage of $103,590.
The cybersecurity field needs cyber technicians, public policy experts, security leaders, attorneys, and software architects. Professionals who enjoy problem-solving and continuous learning can excel in the following jobs.
Penetration testers think like hackers. These security technologists identify and resolve vulnerabilities to help companies protect their data. This role requires advanced problem-solving and technical skills.
Security architects identify potential cyberthreats and ways to prevent them. These cybersecurity professionals lead teams of technicians and security managers. This role usually requires a bachelor's degree and risk management experience.
CISOs lead the operational, financial, and strategic aspects of data security. These senior-level executives build their companies' security teams, identify weaknesses, introduce new technologies, and prepare financial forecasts.
Benefits of Cybersecurity Scholarships for Veterans and Military
Scholarships can benefit all current and former military service members in a variety of ways. Cybersecurity scholarships for veterans can help students cover the costs of higher education and gaps in GI Bill coverage.
The list below describes five benefits of scholarships for veterans and service members.
- Scholarships can help address the GI Bill's limitations. The GI Bill covers full tuition for an in-state student pursuing a degree at a public institution. However, degree-seekers at private universities or out-of-state schools may owe more than the GI Bill covers. Scholarships can make up the difference.
- Many scholarships for military and veterans offer significant financial aid. Army ROTC scholarships, for instance, can cover 100% of a student's tuition along with a monthly living stipend.
- Some scholarships can help pay for cybersecurity bootcamps or other training programs in place of traditional higher education.
- Receiving a scholarship can confer a sense of recognition, respect, or honor. Students say being awarded their scholarship relieved some pressure and stress of having to work while going to school.
- Cybersecurity scholarships may allow current or former service members to continue in a field that allows them to protect and serve others.
Cybersecurity Scholarships for Military Members and Veterans
Veterans and service members may cover the entire cost of a bootcamp or degree by combining federal aid with private assistance. Colleges, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and military associations all offer private scholarships.
Research into cybersecurity scholarships for military members or veterans can take a lot of time. Still, the search can often lead to promising results, making it worth the time and effort.
Scholarships Offered by Military Branches
Military branches, along with related associations, offer scholarships to veterans, active-duty members, and their families. These scholarships can help supplement the GI Bill's benefits. Students may use this funding to cover additional tuition costs or to pay for books, labs, or technology.
Eligibility Requirements: The Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) offers full scholarships to more than 1,000 participating schools. The ROTC's monthly stipends may also help offset the cost of education.
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants entering the Army may qualify for this program, which helps repay up to 15% of education-related loans, including Stafford loans and Perkins loans. Only soldiers with a qualifying Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) can participate in the program. Applicants should contact their recruiter for a current list of qualifying MOSs.
Eligibility Requirements: Supporting current or former members of the Air and Space Forces, Reserves, or Air National Guard, this scholarship helps pay for flight training, undergraduate, or graduate education.
Eligibility Requirements: The Navy League of the United States offers a variety of scholarship options for active-duty sea service men and women and to active members of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps.
Eligibility Requirements: Active members of the National Guard Association of the United States may compete for this scholarship, which supports full-time students. Graduate, undergraduate, and post-graduate learners may all qualify.
Eligibility Requirements: Enlisted Coast Guard members can apply for this grant, which helps offset the cost of books, technology, and other education-related expenses. Sponsored by the Coast Guard Foundation, this grant may cover technical education costs and academic programs.
Scholarships Offered by Universities and Schools
Military members and veterans pursuing their education at a college, university, or bootcamp may qualify for institutional financial aid. In addition to military discounts and federal aid, many schools offer scholarship funds to help cover educational expenses. The opportunities below are just a few of the resources available.
Eligibility Requirements: Current service members looking to retrain in software development can access this scholarship through Coding Dojo, a cybersecurity and coding bootcamp. Applicants should discuss this opportunity's requirements with their admission representative.
Eligibility Requirements: Colorado Technical University offers a full scholarship to both online and on-campus students. Recipients must be active service members or honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. Applicants need to hold a disability rating at or over 30%.
Amount: Full Tuition
Eligibility Requirements: Arizona State University offers this scholarship to undergraduate students who are active members of the military or reserves. Applicants must study online and hold a GPA of 2.0 or better. Both Arizona residents and nonresidents may qualify.
Eligibility Requirements: Service members and honorably discharged Gulf War veterans at Liberty University may qualify for this scholarship. Applicants need to have been awarded a Purple Heart or a 50-100 percent disability rating by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Recipients must be pursuing their first associate, bachelor's, master's, doctorate, or certificate.
Eligibility Requirements: The Southern New Hampshire University Alumni Association created this scholarship in memory of Edward Nassar, a veteran and student. The selection criteria includes both academic excellence and financial need. Applicants need at least a 2.8 GPA.
Eligibility Requirements: Georgia State University students in good academic standing who are veterans may apply for this scholarship. Applicants must demonstrate both financial need and academic excellence
Eligibility Requirements: Graduate or undergraduate students at the University of South Carolina who are wounded warriors, veterans, or spouses or widow(er)s of qualifying veterans may apply. Applicants must be in good academic standing. Preference goes to Air Force personnel.
Scholarships Offered by Nonprofit Organizations
Nonprofit organizations support veterans and members of the military in a variety of ways, including paying for higher education. Some organizations also seek to serve nontraditional students, which may include veterans. The list below represents a small sample of available scholarships.
Eligibility Requirements: Veteran and active-duty military service members, including members of the National Guard, along with current or surviving spouses may apply. Applicants must complete the FAFSA and provide proof of military service. The foundation supports both graduate and undergraduate students.
Eligibility Requirements: A Congressionally chartered veterans service organization, AMVETS offers a variety of scholarships, including one for current or active members of the military. Applicants must attend a four-year college or university and demonstrate financial need.
Eligibility Requirements: Created to support nontraditional students at 2-4 year colleges, these scholarships can help veterans entering or returning to college. Applicants must be legal residents of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, or Wyoming.
Eligibility Requirements: Veterans who served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces and who demonstrate financial need may apply for this resource. The scholarship accepts applications from students pursuing a degree at an accredited college, university, or trade school.
Eligibility Requirements: Members of the Paralyzed Veterans of America and their spouses may apply for this scholarship. Applicants must also be pursuing a degree either full or part time at an accredited university or college in the U.S.
Scholarships Offered by For-Profit Organizations
Many companies show their support for America's soldiers by offering scholarships. Typically, recipients do not have to work for these institutions to receive funding. The list below provides a glimpse into the options available.
Eligibility Requirements: SportsClips Haircuts raises money throughout the year to provide veterans and service members with support for higher education. Applicants can come from any branch of the service and may study one of several approved fields, including computer science.
Eligibility Requirements: Bonsai Finance offers this scholarship to both veterans and active members of the U.S. military. Recipients must plan to pursue an undergraduate degree or a program at a technical institution. Applicants must not already hold a bachelor's degree.
Eligibility Requirements: Student Veterans of America collaborates with Google to provide this scholarship. Applicants must pursue a degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a closely related technical field. They must also maintain a strong academic performance and be enrolled full time.
More Resources for Active Military and Veterans
Many private organizations offer support to America's veterans. Some provide direct financial support for higher education. Others can help veterans and active military members search for grants and scholarships. A few organizations offer help in transitioning into civilian life.
The list below covers some of the top educational resources. It also includes organizations that can help guide or support military and veterans pursuing cybersecurity jobs.
- Disabled American Veterans
- Hiring Our Heroes
- Jewish War Veterans
- Paralyzed Veterans of America
- Student Veterans of America
- Veterans of Foreign Wars
- Wounded Warrior Project
FAQ About Cybersecurity Scholarship Programs
Where can I find cybersecurity scholarships for military members?
Government resources, like the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers, online databases, and school financial aid offices can provide extensive information about cybersecurity scholarships for military members. Current members of the armed services may talk to their education center staff about scholarship programs.
Do cybersecurity scholarships for veterans extend to dependents?
Many scholarships help dependents of veterans pay for their education. Spouses, surviving spouses, and children of veterans should talk with their school's financial aid counselor about which resources may be available to them.
Which cybersecurity programs offer scholarships to the military?
Many colleges, universities, and bootcamps provide scholarships to veterans and members of the military. Some of these scholarships help bridge the gap between the total cost of tuition and the amount covered by military education benefits.
Does the VA pay for cybersecurity training?
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can help cover the full cost of tuition for tech training. Eligible members can apply for the VET TEC program. The GI Bill can also help pay for college degrees in cybersecurity.
Dr. Michael J. Kirchner
Dr. Michael J. Kirchner is an assistant professor of organizational leadership at Purdue University Fort Wayne, where he teaches courses in leadership and human resource development. Dr. Kirchner also serves as the campus's veteran resource center director.
Previously, Kirchner oversaw the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Military and Veterans Resource Center, where he guided programming for the campus's 1,500+ military-affiliated student population. Under his leadership (2013-2016), the campus built a nationally recognized "military-college-career" framework focusing on supporting student veteran transitions.
Kirchner earned his Ph.D. in human resource development from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His research on career transitions and leadership development has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including Human Resource Development Quarterly, Advances in Developing Human Resources, New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development, and Industrial and Commercial Training.
Kirchner is the founder and president of Time for Development LLC, where he provides consulting to organizations on military-friendly programming, human resource development strategy, and training design. He served for a year in Baghdad, Iraq, from 2004-2005 as part of the U.S. Army National Guard.
Kirchner is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education freelance review network.
Page last reviewed: Feb 10, 2022
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