Help Wanted: U.S. govt. to hire thousands more cybersecurity experts by 2017

(Cyberwar.news) If you are thinking about making a career move and want some stability, you might consider a degree or certificate in cyber security. That’s because the nation’s largest employer, the U.S. government, is in the market for more cyber experts.

As reported by NextGov, Uncle Sam will hire some 3,500 additional cybersecurity workers and hackers to help shore up U.S. cyber defenses of vital government and private sector IT systems.

“The supply of cybersecurity talent to meet the increasing demand of the federal government is simply not sufficient,” officials from the White House and Office of Personnel Management said in a government blog post. “This shortfall affects not only the federal government, but the private sector as well.”

The just-released Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy was described as a first step toward building a sustainable pipeline of government and industry data security expertise that planners hope will last well into the future.

In addition, the initiative “sets forth a vision where private sector cybersecurity leaders would see a tour of duty in federal service as an essential stop in their career arc,” the post said.

One of the initiative’s short-term actions calls for federal agencies to hire thousands more people to fill “critical cybersecurity and IT positions” by January. The Obama administration has said it will uncover ways under existing law and current hiring authority to expedite the recruiting process.

For instance, the administration will consider establishing “a cybersecurity cadre” within the Presidential Management Fellows program. That cadre would be patterned off existing efforts to lure bright tech-minded talent into federal agencies, specifically, the Presidential Innovation Fellows program and “other dynamic approaches for bringing top technologists and innovators into government service,” the blog said.

There will also be an orientation program for new cybersecurity professionals entering the government. The aim there would be to improve information sharing and employees’ knowledge of upcoming developmental and training opportunities, NextGov reported.

The White House says the government added 3,000 new cyber and IT professionals in the first six months of the fiscal year, which started October 2015.

“Every day, federal departments and agencies face sophisticated and persistent cyberthreats that pose strategic, economic and security challenges to our nation,” the officials said. “Addressing these cyberthreats has required a bold reassessment of the way we approach security in the digital age and a significant investment in critical security tools and our cybersecurity workforce.”

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