The cybersecurity field, like many others, is facing a workforce shortage. Nationally, the public and private sectors combined have nearly 600,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions, a deficit over half as big as the existing workforce. This deficit exists mostly in early- and mid-career positions. To compound the issue, nearly a third of the cybersecurity workforce is approaching retirement age. The nature of cybersecurity means that this shortage is both an economic issue and a national security risk.
In addition to a severe workforce deficit, cybersecurity faces an issue of limited diversity. Research shows that diversity within teams produces diversity of thought. As a unique and ever-evolving field, cybersecurity requires a diverse workforce to develop diverse solutions.
While the supermajority of the vacancies are in the private sector, the federal government can help address the gap. Federal cybersecurity jobs often serve as a critical training ground for early- and mid-career cyber professionals, empowering the next generation of cybersecurity leaders. The government can expand its educational support programs, such as the CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service program, which provides students with financial support in exchange for a few years of government service once they graduate. Expanding this program would provide critical support toward closing the growing shortage while promoting diversity.
Georgia Trend: Creating Cyber Warriors (April 30, 2020)
Infographic: Paving the Road for More Women in Cyber Security Jobs (August 10, 2020)
CISO Conversations: In each interview, CISOs on the NTSC Board of Directors offer their thoughts about cybersecurity workforce development.
CISOs on the Hill: Highlights from the NTSC’s Third Annual Legislative Day: CISOs talk to Congress about cybersecurity workforce development.