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CCI Cybersecurity Traineeship Program

Applications due March 17, 2023

The Commonwealth Cyber Initiative’s Northern Virginia Node is seeking applicants for a paid, full-time 7-week traineeship program in cybersecurity. No previous experience with cybersecurity, coding, or data analytics is required.

Woman listens to instructor on computer screen for online course
The Commonwealth Cyber Initiative seeks candidates for a 7-week online training course to help Virginia residents develop cybersecurity expertise and join the commonwealth's workforce.

Candidates who complete the program, which will be conducted online, will receive a stipend of $7,200.  About 20 applicants will be accepted.

Applications must be submitted by March 17, 2023. 

Trainees will receive career placement support from George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College (NoVa) to facilitate connections with cybersecurity companies. 

This traineeship is part of a program to develop data analytics and cybersecurity expertise in the Virginia workforce. 

Applicants must:

  • Be U.S. citizens who live in Virginia.
  • Be able to participate in the program from June 12 to August 4, 2023, Monday through Friday for 7 hours per day (the week of July 31 to August 4 is included in case makeup days are needed).
  • Attend in-person orientation on Friday,  June 9, 2023, at Mason Square, George Mason University's Arlington Campus.  

NoVa instructors will lead a set of modules: 

  • Professional development skills. 
  • Résumé review and development.  
  • Review of cybersecurity career paths and positions. 
  •  Security clearance readiness. 
  • Python programming language.
  • Data analytics.
  • Database design.  
  • Data visualization. 
  • SPLUNK (data set analysis).
  • Networking and security.
  • Cybersecurity fundamentals .
  • AWS  (Amazon Web Services).

How to Apply

Applicants must submit a: 

  • Cover letter (limited to 400 words), detailing why you’re interested in obtaining this training, confirmation of your ability to participate in full-time study for the dates of the program, and your employment goals. 
  • Résumé. 
  • Transcript from your most recent educational institution. An unofficial transcript is acceptable for the initial application, but an official transcript will be required from those accepted into the program. 

You must include your last name and first name in the titles of each attached document file name (separate each word with a dash): 

  • Lastname-Firstname-Cover-Letter.pdf   
    • For example: Johnson-Mary-Cover-Letter.pdf 
  • Lastname-Firstname-Résumé.pdf  
    • For example: Johnson-Mary-Résumé.pdf 
  • Lastname-Firstname-Transcript   
    • For example:  Johnson-Mary-Transcript.pdf 

Send your materials to CCIApps@gmu.edu with the subject line: Application to CCI Traineeship – last name – first name

Applications are due March 17, 2023. You’ll be notified of acceptance on or around April 28, 2023.

You are encouraged to review the CCI Traineeship FAQs before submitting your application. 

Frequently Asked Questions

This program is part of a larger effort supported by the Northern Virginia Node of the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative, to develop data analytics and cybersecurity expertise in the Virginia workforce.

Participants  will receive instruction over the course of a 7-week, online training program. 

Trainees will also receive career placement support from George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College to facilitate connections with cybersecurity companies.  This includes the potential to participate in paid on-the-job training with a regional employer for an additional 12 weeks.  

The program’s goal is to train participants without previous cybersecurity experience, preparing them for an entry-level role in a cybersecurity position in Virginia. 

While a job is not guaranteed, the program could boost your chances of employment in the cybersecurity field.

No previous cybersecurity experience is required. Participants must have completed high school or its equivalent, such as passing the GED test

The program is suitable for anyone interested in entering a career in the cybersecurity field, including: 

  • High school graduates.
  • Those with associate's and bachelor’s degrees in non-technical fields (the humanities, business, the arts).
  • Transitioning military personnel.
  • Those seeking to change careers. 

Candidates with some technical experience might more easily adjust to the program curriculum, but it's not a requirement.

No. Only U.S. citizens can participate in the program, as it is anticipated that successful trainees will seek employment with U.S. companies that require job candidates to undergo the security clearance process. 

No. Only residents of Virginia can participate, as this program is an investment into the expansion of a cybersecurity-capable commonwealth workforce.

The training will include instruction and hands-on training in: 

  • Professional development skills 
  • Résumé review and development  
  • Review of cybersecurity career paths and positions  
  • Security clearance readiness 
  • Python programming language
  • Data analytics
  • Database design
  • Data visualization
  •  SPLUNK (data set analysis)
  • Networking and security 
  • Cybersecurity fundamentals 
  • AWS  (Amazon Web Services)

Schedule of the topics covered during specific weeks (might be subject to change):

Week One: Data Analytics, Database Design, and SQL (structured query language)
  • Introduction to Data 
  • Introduction to Data Analytics (Descriptive Analytics, Diagnostic Analytics, Predictive Analytics, Prescriptive Analytics) 
  • The Importance of Exploratory Data Analytics and Storytelling 
  • Data Analytics Components  
  • Introduction to Database
  • Database Design 
  • MySQL Workbench (Introduction and Installation) 
  • Create a Connection (Local and Remote)   
  • Data Definition Language (Create, Insert, Alter & Truncate) 
  • Select Queries 
  • Sorting and Order by Wildcard Characters 
  • Aggregate Functions 
  • Not NULL and NULL Keyword and Value 
  • Sub Query, Union and Distinct 
  • Introduction to PL/SQL 
  • Function 
  • Trigger
Week Two
  • Database Design  
  • Case Study – Database  
  • Presentation of Case Study  
  • Python Fundamentals 
  • Python – Functions, Loops, Recursions Lists, Dictionaries, and Tuples  
  • Files, Classes, Functions, and Methods  
  • What Is Data Visualization? 
  • Trends in Data Visualization—Storytelling 
  • Trends in Data Visualization—Interactive Graphics  
  • Exploring Data Visually (Histogram, Box Plot, Scatter Plot, Moving Average, Clusters, etc.) 
  • Devise the Problem, Challenge and/or Questions 
  • Visualization using Python
Week Three
  • The Regression Paradigm – Concepts  
  • Use Cases and Implementation in Python 
  • Classification Paradigm – Concepts 
  • Optimization Paradigm – Concepts 
  • Recommendation Paradigm – Concepts 
  • Case Study – Data Analytics
Week Four
  • Data Analytics of Log Files 
  • Introduction of SPLUNK and Setting of Labs 
  • Getting Started with SPLUNK  
  • Basic Searching 
  • Using Fields in Searches 
  • Search Fundamentals 
  • Transforming Commands 
  • Creating Reports and Dashboards 
  • Creating and Using Lookups 
  • Various Data Onboarding Techniques 
  • Learn Reporting & Transforming Commands  
  • Field Extraction  
  • Event Types 
  • Transaction  
  • Workflow Action  
  • Create Alerts Triggered on Certain Conditions  
  • Different SPLUNK Visualizations 
  • Create Reports with Search Results 
  • Create Dashboards with Different Charts and Other Visualizations 
  • Set Permissions for Reports and Dashboard
  • Create and Schedule Reports Using Cron Schedule 
  • SPLUNK Case Study
Week Five
  • Basic OSI (open systems interconnection) overview 
  • Wireshark Introduction 
  • Wireshark Installation 
  • Wireshark Filters 
  • History of Malware 
  • How Malware Works 
  • Types of Malware 
  • Case Studies 
  • Intro to OSINT (open-source intelligence)
  • How to: Google Dorking
Week Six
  • Reconnaissance 
  • Knowledge Bases 
  • The Sites of OSINT 
  • Network Review 
  • Network Ports 
  • Protocol and Services 
  • Identifying Malware and Malware symptoms 
  • Malware Scanning Applications 
  • Intro to Vulnerability Scanning 
  • Intro to PenTesting (penetration testing)
  • Tools for Ethical Hacking 
  • Intro to Kali Linux
Week Seven: AWS Basics
  • AWS (Amazon Web Services) Cloud Concepts
  • Security and Compliance within the AWS Cloud 
  • Deploying and Operating in the AWS Cloud 
  • AWS Global Infrastructure 
  • Core AWS Services 
  • Billing, Account Management, and Pricing Models

Yes, you'll be paid to participate full time in this program for 7 weeks.  A $7200 stipend will be paid in two installments by the conclusion of the 7-week program. 

This full-time program will be held June 12 to August 4, 2023, from Monday through Friday for 7 hours per day.  (It is a seven-week program; the week of July 31 to August 4 will be used for make-up days, if needed.)

You must also attend in-person orientation Friday, June 9, 2023, at Mason Square, George Mason's Arlington Campus.

Participants can’t miss orientation or any days of class and must ensure they're available to fully participate to receive their stipend. 

June 19 (Juneteenth) and July 4 (Independence Day) will be observed holidays. 

Some students will also be offered an opportunity to participate in 12 weeks of full-time, paid work with a cybersecurity company following their 7 weeks of class time. This additional on-the-job training will be arranged with the employer; it will take place at some point from August 7  to October 27, 2023.

If you fail to meet attendance requirements, you will be disenrolled from the program, and stipend payments will be terminated. 

Yes. Participants will be required to complete daily homework assignments both individually and in teams, and some quizzes will be required to demonstrate mastery of the material.

Plan to devote time toward studying and completing homework  outside the virtual classroom, as with any academic course.

No. The Commonwealth Cyber Initiative Cyber Traineeship is a full-time experience. You won’t have time for other employment. 

In addition to the 7 hours of daily classes, you’ll be expected to devote time to studying and homework, as with any academic course.

Some students will be offered an opportunity to participate in an additional 12 weeks of full-time, on-the-job training with a cybersecurity company, pending availability of positions. 

All students participating in the 7-week training program will receive assistance with résumé development and interview preparation, and will be connected with the vast network of cybersecurity companies in the region who are partners in the Northern Virginia Node of the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative.

However, employment at the conclusion of the program is not guaranteed. 

While the classroom portion of the program is entirely online, there is an in-person orientation session on June 9 at Mason Square, George Mason's Arlington Campus.

Yes, you will need access to a working computer to take and complete this program. Reliable internet access and a Zoom-capable device are required.

See Zoom Class Requirements for more details (PDF).

Good candidates want to enter the workforce in a full-time capacity after completing the program. 

While this program targets people who do not have formal exposure to cybersecurity, those who have some technical experience with computers might best be able to maximize the benefit of this program. 

Participants who intend to enroll as students at the conclusion of the program would not be ideal candidates.

Applicants must submit a: 

  • Cover letter (limited to 400 words), detailing why you’re interested in obtaining this training, confirmation of your ability to participate in full-time study for the dates of the program, and your employment goals.  
  • Résumé.  
  • Transcript from your most recent educational institution. An unofficial transcript is acceptable for the initial application, but an official transcript will be required from those accepted into the program. 

You must include your last name and first name in the titles of each attached document file name (separate each word with a dash): 

  • Lastname-Firstname-Cover-Letter.pdf   For example: Johnson-Mary-Cover-Letter.pdf
  •  Lastname-Firstname-Résumé.pdf  For example: Johnson-Mary-Résumé.pdf
  •  Lastname-Firstname-Transcript   For example:  Johnson-Mary-Transcript.pdf 

Send your materials to CCIApps@gmu.edu with the subject line:

Application to CCI Traineeship – Last Name – First Name

Applications are due March 17, 2023. You’ll be notified of acceptance on or around April 28, 2023. 

Send your questions to CCIApps@gmu.edu.