Veterans Initiative

In 2017, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced an expansion of his Cyber Vets Virginia initiative to include training offered by the SANS Institute. The new offerings provide veterans another pathway into the cybersecurity workforce via the SANS VetSuccess Immersion Academy.

The SANS Institute’s VetSuccess Academy is a 100% scholarship-based program that provides veterans and active duty military spouses with advanced technical training, industry-recognized GIAC certifications, and connections to leading employers in cybersecurity.  For employers, the program is a faster, more reliable, and a less expensive way to find, train, certify and employ qualified cybersecurity talent.

“Cybersecurity is a key pillar in the new Virginia economy and filling the cyber workforce pipeline is critical to sustaining long-term industry growth in the sector,” said Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson. “The inclusion of another program in the Cyber Vets Virginia initiative underscores our commitment to cyber security and our desire for our veterans to be an integral part of the New Virginia cyber workforce.”

“Transitioning veterans and military spouses are an excellent community to fill the gap in the supply and demand for qualified cybersecurity professionals. Our VetSuccess Academy provides valuable skills and a solid career path,” said Max Shuftan, Director of SANS CyberTalent Solutions. “To date, the SANS VetSuccess Academy has been very successful and we are pleased to offer a pathway for those who have served our nation to continue their service and mission in the cybersecurity arena.”

The VetSuccess Academy includes up to three world-class SANS Institute training courses and upon completion of each course; participants will take the associated GIAC Certification exam before starting the next course. Courses offered in the Academy include SANS Security Essentials Bootcamp Style, Hacker Tools, Techniques, Exploits and Incident Handling, Windows Forensic Analysis, Advanced Security Essentials – Enterprise Defender, Intrusion Detection In-Depth, Web App Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking, and Network Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking (GPEN).

Joseph Robbins, 2015 SANS VetSuccess Academy graduate and current Cybersecurity Analyst for ISHPI Technologies, added “Without the Academy I’d have finished my degree and would still be looking for a job. Instead, everything worked out and I’m right where I want to be. ‘SANS gave me the practical real world experience and certifications that employers demand.  I even received a sizable pay raise as a direct result of putting the skills I learned through the SANS courses to use. I can’t say enough about the VetSuccess program – definitely worth it!’”

To learn more about the SANS VetSuccess Academy offerings in Virginia, please visit: