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Consultant - Cybersecurity Track SME

Merit America

Merit America

Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2023

The Organization: Merit America

The American economy is broken. Today 53 million working adults–nearly half of the U.S. workforce–do not earn a living wage. And these talented workers have few options to advance: college is too long and expensive, full-time bootcamp programs don’t offer enough flexibility, and online courses don’t have the structure or support to translate learning into a new career. The result? Talented workers, disproportionately people of color and women, get stuck in low-wage roles with no way to build a better life for themselves and their families.

Merit America is a national nonprofit that creates pathways to family-sustaining careers for Americans stuck in low-wage work. Our fast, flexible solutions are built for working adults: we start by analyzing tens of millions of job postings to identify in-demand, high-paying tech careers and then work with industry-recognized partners to train for these roles with part-time programs that combine flexible online learning with best-in-class coaching. Finally, we work with a broad constellation of local and national employers like JPMorgan Chase and Infosys to place learners into higher-earning, family-sustaining jobs, driving an average wage gain of $24k three months or more after completing the program. Merit America is on a mission to build a scalable pathway for workers to join the middle class through merit, not money. We’re on track to generate $1B in wage gains by 2025.


We are in search of an experienced cybersecurity professional to play a pivotal role in crafting our cybersecurity career track. The ideal candidate will exhibit the following blend of experiences, skills, and qualities:

Required Experience

  • Cybersecurity Expertise: The ideal candidate boasts a robust foundation in cybersecurity, demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of a wide spectrum of cybersecurity knowledge including threats, vulnerabilities, and industry best practices. They should have hands-on proficiency in key cybersecurity domains, such as Linux security management, database fortification, and utilizing programming languages like SQL and Python to execute cybersecurity measures.
  • Industry Experience: A diverse background in various cybersecurity roles is essential. The candidate must possess an intricate knowledge of the cybersecurity landscape, particularly from the perspective of an entry-level cybersecurity professional. Their insights into job titles and career progression for individuals with nontraditional backgrounds are invaluable.
  • Project Management Experience: A history of efficiently managing short-term projects with a consistent record of meeting deadlines is a key competency we seek in our ideal candidate.
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) Mindset: Ensuring that our curriculum embraces inclusivity is paramount. The ideal candidate will have prior experience in tailoring educational and training resources to cater to diverse audiences.

Preferred Experience

  • Hiring Experience: Our preferred candidate will have a track record of hiring entry-level cybersecurity professionals. They should possess an insider's perspective on the essential traits, training needs, and qualities of prospective applicants in the cybersecurity field.
  • Training Experience: Our preferred candidate will bring a wealth of experience in training entry-level cybersecurity professionals. This includes a proven ability to design effective learning materials and practical applications that successfully bolster the skill sets of novice cybersecurity practitioners.

In addition to these experiences, our ideal candidate will possess the following qualities:

  • Creative Problem Solver: They should have a knack for innovative problem-solving, particularly in the context of curriculum development.
  • Technical-to-Non-Technical Translation: Proficiency in translating complex technical concepts into understandable language for diverse audiences, including learners and colleagues.
  • Strong Communication Skills: Excellent verbal and written communication skills are a must.
  • Exceptional Time Management: The ability to manage time effectively and efficiently is a critical trait.
  • Independence and Collaboration: The ideal candidate should be adept at working both independently and collaboratively, particularly in coordination with the Program Manager.

Term of Contract

The term of the contract is 80 hours, with a potential opportunity to extend for future consultation.

The consultant must be able to start immediately, contributing at least 30 hours between contract start date and October 18th.

The remaining 50 hours will run from Oct 19 - Jan 31, with key milestone deadlines on the deliverables below.

Consulting Services

  • Evaluate existing curriculum: identify opportunites for skill advancement, including: practical application opportunities, augmentations, and learning support
  • Scope projects: establish a list of key deliverables based on opportunities uncovered in certificate evaluation process, in partnership with the Program Design Manager
  • Snapshot industry overview: provide content and expertise to support Growth team’s recruitment efforts, answering key questions that can orient prospective and actual learners to the subject matter in a way that sets them up for success and supplies them with a clear picture of the road ahead
  • Develop marketing and comms package: produce essential source copy/documents to activate new learners and promote the cybersecurity program for public communications purposes, inclusive of prospective employers.
  • Develop collateral templates: develop and refine templates learners can use and easily adapt to authentically showcase their qualifications.
  • Create and/or identify relevant certificate supplements: build, source, and refine curricular materials to create practice opportunities– drills, study materials, and exercises– as well as projects that will build learner confidence, concretize learning acquisition, and demonstrate skills to prospective employers (e.g. portfolio project work)
  • Strategize career pathways: assist Program Manager in creating curricular content that positions learners for roles they are best suited for, prepares them to be employer and job-ready applicants, and allows them to understand their path forward in cybersecurity
  • Communicate on an ongoing basis: align on objectives, attend regular meetings, attend to asynchronous communications, and address stakeholder feedback
  • Other/Miscellaneous: address needs and pivot where appropriate– but not to exceed 80hrs total contract work

Consulting Fees

As full compensation for services rendered pursuant to this agreement, the company shall pay the Consultant for services rendered at $100/hr, not to exceed $8000 for the entire scope of work.

Such compensation shall be payable within 15 days of the consultants invoice for services rendered via and approved by People Ops leadership. Invoices shall be submitted at least once per month.

Please note that our “perks & benefits” do not apply to contractors.

We take care of our employees by providing the following perks and benefits:

  • 4-day work week (Fridays are an operating day if there is a holiday closure during the week)
  • Medical, Dental and Vision insurance (100% Paid Employee Only Coverage)
  • Flexible Spending Account and Health Savings Account
  • Dependent care Flexible Spending Account
  • Health Reimbursement Account fully funded by Merit
  • Education reimbursement & personal development stipend
  • Short and long-term disability
  • Unlimited vacation (after a 90-day introductory period)
  • Paid Parental Leave and Adoption benefits (after 1 year of employment)
  • 11 federally recognized holidays
  • 1 week office closure in July (week of July 4th)
  • 2 week holiday office closure in December/January
  • 401(k) retirement plan with automatic Merit contribution
  • Employee Assistance Program | Talkspace | Sanvello
  • Discount perks at work program
  • Phone/technology stipend
  • Home office setup stipend

Remote Work & Sponsorship

Candidates must reside within the 50 states or District of Columbia and have full authorization to work in the 50 U.S. states & the District of Columbia (international work abroad, including the U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, and other islands are excluded). In addition, Merit America doesn't offer employment visa sponsorship.

Equal Opportunity Statement

Building an inclusive, high-performing team that is diverse across lines of personal identity is integral to our success and we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

This means we do not discriminate against any job applicant or employee because of their race, ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This applies to all terms and conditions of employment.

We actively strive and evolve to develop and maintain workspaces that are fully inclusive. We encourage candidates from underrepresented groups to apply.

Still excited about our work? You can learn more about our work in this video we made with our founding partner, Google.

E-Verify Statement

This employer participates in E-Verify and will provide the federal government with your Form I-9 information to confirm that you are authorized to work in the U.S. If E-Verify cannot confirm that you are authorized to work, this employer is required to give you written instructions and an opportunity to contact Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or Social Security Administration (SSA) so you can begin to resolve the issue before the employer can take any action against you, including terminating your employment. Employers can only use E-Verify once you have accepted a job offer and completed the I-9 Form.