While there is an abundance of resources out on the internet, nothing can beat being in the room with others who share your passion for IT in general, and cybersecurity in particular. Here is a (by no means exhaustive) list of associations and organizations that have presence in Southeastern Wisconsin and are available to students, industry professionals, or both.
- Wisconsin Technology Association (WTA) – This organization meets monthly in Milwaukee, and has both student and professional memberships. It is dedicated to networking and the sharing of ideas, with presentations examining future trends and technologies.
- DC414 – The local chapter of the defcon hacking conference meets monthly in Oak Creek. The meetings are informal, with no membership or fees required. As one of the 10 largest Defcon groups in the nation, the chapter is very active. Hobbyists, professionals, students–all are welcome.
- National Cybersecurity Student Association (NCSA) – This student organization hosts events and webinars for students, and encourages student development in the field of cybersecurity. The new Executive Director of NCSA lives in the Milwaukee area, and the local chapter of this student association is growing quickly.
- Information System Security Association (ISSA) – This international organization has a local chapter that meets monthly in the greater Milwaukee region. Though it’s offerings are aimed at professionals, it can be a valuable resource for students who want to network and keep up to date on trends in the industry.
- Association of IT Professionals (AITP) – CompTIA acquired AITP in November 2016, and the dust has not yet settled around the merger (aitp.org and newaitp.org coexist with different information and resources as of today). CompTIA says the merger will not affect currently scheduled collegiate competitions and other upcoming events, but to watch for changes on the horizon.