Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Victor M. Hernandez, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Janet Richards, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Johanna Lasonen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Randy Borum, Ph.D.


Descriptive Exploratory Study, Cybersecurity Internship, Graduate Student Veteran


My purpose in this qualitative inquiry was to explore how student veterans experience cybersecurity internships and job acquisitions. I chose Schlossberg’s individual transition theory viewed through a constructivist lens to support the inquiry. Five participants, who completed graduate cybersecurity internships and acquired cybersecurity positions, provided responses. I employed semi-structured interviews to collect data from the participants. I engaged reflexive thematic analysis to guide my data analysis. Based on my analysis, I generated the following discoveries applicable to the inquiry: (a) opportunities for developing practical experience are regarded as essential for successful participation in an internship; (b) a flexible internship program is viewed as vital to the participants’ schedules and needs for a productive experience; (c) internships prepare students for successful transition into a cybersecurity position; (d) additional support from the university, internship location, family, and others is always appreciated, but not required for transition into a cybersecurity position; (e) a cybersecurity seminar enhances the internship and job acquisition experiences; and (f) networking is significant in acquiring a cybersecurity position. Discoveries from this research indicate cybersecurity internships might be effective in facilitating cybersecurity job acquisition for veterans. Keywords: career and workforce education, career readiness, cybersecurity internship, cybersecurity job acquisition, graduate cybersecurity degree program, student veteran, veteran career transition, veteran education