Weasle Forsythe is an information assurance apprentice with SuprTEK – a government contracting firm in O’Fallon, Illinois, outside of St. Louis. In the quiet office of cubicles with two screens and near-silent coders, her cubicle is decked out.
“I have all my toys here and my huge fidget cube, and my Spider Gwen and my X-Force Deadpool,” she said.
Amid the color and chaos of superhero posters and figurines – Forsythe pulled out a big black binder. “I mean, this isn’t really sexy, but I think it’s awesome. It’s the NIST compliance,” she said.
It’s hundreds of pages of technical language and guidelines – laying out a framework for protecting companies and government entities from hackers.
She learned about the guide while getting her associate’s degree in cybersecurity from St. Louis Community College. But when she first started looking for work, postings for entry-level jobs would ask for experience or certifications she didn’t have yet.
“There’s no path. There’s no way to get there from here and that’s what’s frustrating,” she said. CONTINUE READING