Disillusioned with cyber industry/private sector – where to next?


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Hey y'all! I've never posted here before, but I've been focused in cyber since I was in the middle of my bachelor. I always thought it would be interesting to bring together technical and geopolitical knowledge to "fight the bad guys" as people in this industry love to say. I have been working in threat intelligence for about 2 years now after working in a more dedicated cyber engineering role.

As I've been in the industry longer, I've started to feel like so much of the work of cybersecurity is so directly focused on protecting large organizations and states, and very little relates in any material way to people. Obviously the area relating more to individuals is data privacy, which is incidentally but not necessarily directly related to cyber, but this has been somewhat disappointing to me because I started the career hoping for a sort of civically engaged career - but have found my career opportunities to feel more connected to military and financial organizations. As an American, government jobs are also something a bit questionable as most of these are directly cooperative with the NSA and FBI, agencies I'm not interested in for historical and political reasons.

I'm thinking about returning to study again, pursuing a broader masters in cyber, digital policy or something like this. Have any of y'all had similar feelings as you've entered the field? any misalignments with expectations versus reality? would love to hear how you've coped with these and if you made any career changes.

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