Young Professional Spotlight: Alyssa Snow

Alyssa Snow, a CSU San Marcos and Link to San Diego alumna, is a cybersecurity professional currently working for Teradata. She has participated in two of EDC’s Advancing San Diego industry engagement events in 2021—most recently for a Women in STEM career panel. For Alyssa, participating in these events is meaningful because she remembers how it felt to sit on the opposite end of the room only a few years back, and finding her career path through EDC’s Link to San Diego event.

Read more about Alyssa’s experience below.

How did Link to San Diego launch your career?

In my third year of college at CSU San Marcos in 2018, I attended EDC’s “Link to San Diego: Cybersecurity” career panel and industry engagement event. This event propelled my career in cybersecurity. During the event, one panelist shared what it was like to work as a security engineer, which inspired me to learn more.

I approached the panelist, a representative from Teradata, and asked him how relevant specific projects of mine may be to practical security experience. After the event, I continued to keep in touch with the professional via LinkedIn and email. He sent me various links to resources that introduced security topics that I was interested in learning more about. Eventually, this individual introduced me to a few other employees from Teradata.

I will never forget this day. It meant so much to me that six security professionals took the time to have lunch with me a few weeks after the event and answer some questions regarding what it is like to work in the industry. By the end of the lunch, the Application Security team director asked me for my resume. He informed me that there were no internship opportunities for the security organization at that time, however, he would like to reach out if one were to become available.

Just a month after this lunch, a recruiter reached out to me and asked me if I would like to interview for an open internship position on that very team. I became one of the first-ever interns in the security organization at Teradata. I interned with the Application Security team for a year and a quarter, and was responsible for delivering automated solutions to scale product security across the organization. It was a remarkable experience that gave me direction in my career path.

Where are you now?

I now work at Teradata’s San Diego office as a full-time offensive security engineer. My team and I use adversary perspectives to help Teradata evaluate risks and identify process gaps to help improve the organization’s security posture. I love working in this industry because I am constantly facing new challenges that require creative solutions. I would not have had this experience if I had not attended “Link to San Diego: Cybersecurity” in 2018.


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Why Ireland is looking to San Diego for cybersecurity talent solutions

People sitting around a table in a board room

According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the global cybersecurity workforce shortage is projected to reach 1.8 million unfilled positions by 2022. As a hub for cybersecurity companies and research, San Diego has been piloting programs to address talent shortages that are plaguing this ubiquitous industry.

San Diego’s collaborative efforts, combined with its unique concentration of academic, private sector, government, and non-profit industry, have attracted the attention of global technology markets.

In late February,  WTC San Diego – EDC’s international economic development arm –  and the Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE) hosted 15 delegates from Ireland-based government and academic intuitions. The delegation was touring San Diego to learn about the region’s cybersecurity industry and efforts to support its ongoing growth.

The global ‘cyber’ talent crisis

San Diego companies that attended the roundtable discussed technologies they were developing and strategies for addressing talent shortfalls.

San Diego’s cybersecurity industry, anchored by the presence of NAVWAR, has become a hub for cybersecurity companies. Based on research conducted by San Diego Regional EDC and the CCOE, San Diego’s cyber industry generated $2.2 billion in economic impact in 2018, with more than 8,450 employees working directly for cybersecurity firms.

San Diego companies in attendance also had a lot to learn. Following Brexit, Ireland is the only English speaking country left in the EU. The Ireland delegation used this point, among others, to make their case for why San Diego companies should consider expanding in Ireland.

Understanding WTC’s role

World Trade Center San Diego (WTC) works with partner organizations and global stakeholders to identify strategic global markets and help connect them to San Diego businesses and institutions to increase exports and drive foreign direct investment.

By facilitating strategic meetings, WTC seeks to help elevate San Diego’s profile with key global markets to increase opportunities for inward investment and support local companies as they evaluate expanding into global markets.

Are you interested in getting connected to high profile delegations? We’re here to help.

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Related EDC articles and research:

Cybersecurity in the San Diego region

Summary

San Diego has emerged as a leader for the development of cybersecurity technology and the delivery of cyber-related services. The region’s healthy ecosystem, including its strong military presence, world-class academic institutions, incubators and strong partnerships between industry associations and governments, has positioned San Diego as a hub for cyber operations. Today, there are more than 150 firms in the San Diego region focused exclusively on cyber. With incidences of cyber attacks on the rise worldwide, the industry’s innovative companies are equipped to meet the global market’s increasing demands for new products and technologies. This study was produced in collaboration with the Cyber Center of Excellence.

Read the full report

EDC Study: Cybersecurity employment on the rise in San Diego

In a world where Internet-enabled devices have become embedded in everyday objects, the need for cybersecurity has never been more vital. San Diego’s roots in wireless technology, combined with its top tier engineering talent and military presence, make it a fertile ground for cybersecurity talent. And that’s exactly what EDC’s most recent economic impact study found.

cybersecurity economic impact numbers in SD

Commissioned by San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence, a San Diego-based nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the region’s cyber economy, the study found that San Diego had more than 150 core cyber firms that employ 4,920 people in the region. The Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) provides an additional3,530 jobs to San Diego’s cybersecurity industry. In total, there are 8,450 direct jobs – up 11 percent from 2016 (faster than the regional employment growth of 3 percent).

“Too often San Diego worries about falling behind Silicon Valley or the East Coast, but this study conveys we have the talent and workforce to punch above our weight,” said Rear Admiral (Ret), Ken Slaght, CCOE chair and president of Cyber Center of Excellence. “San Diego’s premier educational institutions, existing industry base and robust federal assets, seed not only the cyber workforce but the innovation needed to protect our nation.”

The study was launched at Qualcomm on March 13, and featured a keynote from Dr. John Zangardi, CIO at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as well as an in-depth look at the interactive research tool, presented by EDC’s Research Director Kirby Brady.

View the interactive tool here.