Cybersecurity training adding to ex-military aptitude towards infosecurity roles

 Carl Rowley

Carl Rowley

Carl Rowley, a former Royal Navy air traffic controller, has struggled to find a fulfilling career since leaving the Navy. The former Petty Officer has found it a challenge to translate his transferable military skills and find the right job that complements his valuable skill-set. But with a strong interest in IT and ambitions to work as a SOC Analyst, Carl, with hopes of turning his fortune around, has self-taught himself a number of cybersecurity skills and is our 100th veteran to pass through the doors of the Corsham Institute (Ci), completing both the IBM QRadar Course and IBM's i2 Analyst Training Course. 

Carl’s military background

Carl had an exemplary 18 year career, leaving the Royal Navy in 2010. He said some of the highlights of his military career included qualifying as an air traffic controller and becoming a training officer. Carl said: “I joined as a young seaman radar operator and becoming an air traffic controller was one of the main highlights of my career. Another achievement, later on in my career, was becoming a training officer, where I was responsible for putting together task books for new trainees and creating an online monitoring system for instructors and trainees to monitor their progress.”

The difficulties with transitioning into civilian life

Carl was medically discharged in 2010 and said he struggled to identify the key skills and experience that he acquired during his Service that he believed were of value to civilian companies. “I only had ten weeks resettlement so I wasn’t as prepared for it as others who get 24-months. Ten weeks to change your life - from something I had done since I was 17 was incredibly daunting - the military was all I knew, so I personally struggled to bring across the soft skills. But most certainly leadership is a big key skill and being a team player, as well as loyalty.”  Carl said he would advise other Service Leavers to prepare as much as they can and look towards trying to get work placements during their resettlement period to help with the transition.   

Cross training and upskilling to achieve job goals

The former Petty Officer did not know what he wanted to do when he left the Navy but has since been in various roles, including an accident investigator and landscape gardener, but said he was always interested in pursuing a job in IT and a chance meeting with a university student led to him learning about IBM's i2 Analyst Training Course. Carl explained: “I was part of a study by a student at Sheffield Hallam University, who had a brother in the military and she recognised that Service Leavers could be well-suited to jobs in cybersecurity, so she came up with a Tech for Troops initiative.” Through the project, Carl was introduced to SaluteMyJob and he went on to complete the i2 Analyst Training course. 

I am hoping that completing this most recent course will open opportunities up for me as there is a demand for SOC analysts, which would be my idea role. It would be a great foot in the door role to start my new career in cybersecurity.
— Carl Rowley

Carl is currently working towards Cyber Scheme Team Member (CSTM) and CHECK Accreditation qualifications and is self-taught in a number of cybersecurity skills and is capable of carrying out Nessus lead vulnerability tests and reports using Kali Linux platforms. As well as his cybersecurity qualifications and experience, he believes the skills he acquired during his distinguished Naval career will help him become successful in a SOC analyst role. He explained: “The big problem at the moment is getting professionals into cybersecurity – and where they are struggling is loyalty. Our instructor here gave us a fine example of a company taking students from a university course on a placement – and then as soon as that placement is finished they are gone. Whereas an ex-military person will get their foot in the door and keep improving their personal development and will give that company much more loyalty.”

Free cyber security training through SaluteMyJob

On September 8th, Carl became the 100th veteran to qualify through SaluteMyJob, IBM and the Corsham Institute’s free cybersecurity training courses. Carl said he would recommend both courses to Service Leavers looking to get into the cybersecurity industry. He added: “I am hoping that completing this most recent course will open opportunities up for me as there is a demand for SOC analysts, which would be my idea role. It would be a great foot in the door role to start my new career in cybersecurity.”  

Visit SaluteMyJob’s website to find out more about both courses and if you are an employer and would like to find out more about our students, contact