Tips for a Cybersecurity Career at SCE
With a projected 32% job growth rate in cybersecurity, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are endless opportunities for skilled professionals in the field, including at Southern California Edison, which continues to hire despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
SCE cybersecurity teams help keep the lights on for customers across SCE’s service area by protecting the utility’s electric grid while the company modernizes its grid and infrastructure to support more clean energy, make way for more electric vehicles and protect against the impacts of extreme weather.
“With grid modernization, we are evolving our cyber capabilities to defend the grid of the future,” said Michael Contreras, an SCE manager in Cybersecurity Risk. “We are driving to build secure solutions to deliver power to millions of people today and tomorrow.”
For those interested in starting a career in cybersecurity, some of SCE’s cybersecurity professionals share the following tips.
1. Gain Experience as an SCE Intern
Douglas Marriott, an SCE cybersecurity engineer, develops data loss prevention and insider risk programs. He started his SCE career as a summer intern while majoring in computational physics with a minor in scientific computing at Whittier College. His internship was extended year-round and, upon graduation, he was offered a full-time position.
SCE’s cybersecurity department has a rotation program for interns for various tracks, including incident response, cybersecurity engineering, risk and governance, forensics, insider threat and cybersecurity awareness. The program is currently being conducted virtually during California’s stay-at-home order.
“You can figure out a path from your interests in cybersecurity experience and start building it into a specialized career,” said Marriott. “I was really surprised at the level of trust and opportunity they give you here.”
2. Grow Your Skills in Cybersecurity
Laura Solorio, a Riverside resident and California State University, Fullerton senior majoring in computer science, has been interning at SCE since February 2019.
“I joined an information session at school, which led to reading some blogs on topics of breaches, malware and other security threats. That led to joining a club on campus,” she said. “I discovered that protecting the infrastructure from threat actors was what I wanted to do with my career.”
Working alongside SCE cybersecurity engineers, Solorio assists with the deployment and configurations of cybersecurity tools, protecting the infrastructure from any incoming attacks during her days at work. At night and her days off, she takes her college courses.
She recommends college students grow their skills by joining cyber-related clubs on their campuses, taking advantages of their resources, attending information sessions and applying for internships.
3. Be Curious and Eager to Learn
When hiring for new positions, Adam Tuzzolino, an SCE manager in Cybersecurity Technology, looks for candidates who have a genuine interest in cybersecurity with an enthusiasm to learn.
“We invest in our employees by providing professional training, but you can’t really teach anyone that hunger to really learn and expand on what they know,” he said.
Nancy Dam had applied to a few jobs at SCE at different junctions in her career. She continued to expand on her qualifications and experience, and she’s now an SCE cybersecurity senior specialist, performing cyber-risk assessments.
“The best part about the job is to be part of an evolving field, helping protect the grid and making a difference,” said Dam, who majored in computer information systems at Cal Poly Pomona. “There’s no dead end or end near us. There’s always an opportunity to learn something new and be a game changer.”
For more information about cybersecurity careers at SCE: edisoncareers.com.