U.S. Federal Cybersecurity Shortage Reaches 285,000 Open Positions

According to Tyson Meadors, the Director of Cybersecurity Policy at the National Security Council, the federal government has 285,000 open positions relating to cybsersecurity, a labor shortage that represents a national security threat amid increasing efforts by foreign actors to penetrate both government systems and privately-controlled networks critical to national infrastructure.

Meadors spoke at the Association for Federal Information Resources Management’s Cybersecurity Summit, saying that a variety of approaches would be necessary to begin filling the gaps, including increased focus on retraining employees currently serving in other roles.

“One thing we know we need to do is create some kind of aptitude test that is targeted not toward the accession cyber, but from the retraining side,” Meadors said. “So who is your accountant that could actually be a keyboard ninja. That is going to be where we are going to find our own sort of magical unicorns — inside our own organizations.”

Ultimately, the idea was only one in a series of creative approaches that would be necessary in order to meet the federal need, according to Meadors.

“That 285,000 number of open jobs in the United States is not going to be filled by computer science undergraduates,” he said. “It’s going to have to be filed by a combination of things: apprenticeships, community college graduates, people who can be hired simply because they have some kind of individual aptitude/talent so that we can identify through nontraditional sources.”

 

 

 

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