Kevin Oshinskie, Association for Career and Technical Education
This January, the Office of Personal Management (OPM) introduced CyberCareers.gov, a website that contains information for students, professionals and employers interested in learning more about cybersecurity careers in the federal government.
This website was created as part of the larger Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy that was developed through cooperation between OPM, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the chief human capital officers from each federal government department to address a phenomenon that employers in many sectors of the American workforce have noticed, the shortage of cybersecurity professionals.
Employees with cybersecurity skills are among the most in-demand in our current workforce. A shortage of 1.8 million cybersecurity professionals is expected to exist globally by 2022, and thus far few young workers have begun filling that gap, with only 12 percent of cybersecurity employees under the age of 35. Many companies and organizations are having difficulties filling positions in the short term. Because of this, some high schools, colleges and universities now offer strong cybersecurity programs, and employees in fields such as information technology have frequently been asked to boost their security skills. Another government office, the National Security Agency, has begun a National Day of Cyber program to increase knowledge of the field.
However, much of the contemporary information about cybersecurity careers focuses on the options that exist within the private sector or the military, while disregarding the many available opportunities within the civilian federal government. These jobs play the enormously important role of protecting the data and information integral to the government’s work within America’s energy, health care, financial, and transportation systems.
CyberCareers.gov is intended to spread the word about these civilian federal cybersecurity careers. The site provides information for:
- Job seekers: Existing job openings, profiles of current government cybersecurity professionals, and advantages of working for the federal government.
- Hiring Managers: Specific hiring, pay, and leave flexibilities that federal hiring managers can offer when recruiting cybersecurity employees, tools that managers can use to create the most accurate cybersecurity job postings, and best practices for recruiting students and veterans.
Currently, most sectors of the federal government are subject to a hiring freeze. However, the need for cybersecurity employees is a long-term issue as much as a short-term one, and students who may be considering cybersecurity careers can learn valuable information from this site about the skills that they may be required to learn and the courses that they may take in the future.
This site will continually be updated based on feedback from visitors. Contact OPM to let them know the types of information about cybersecurity careers that you would like to see!