U.S. Government Lays Out Massive Cyber Workforce Plan

Multiple security organizations within the federal government have announced plans to increase the population of their “cybersecurity” staff by 2016, according to a recent article published by Business Week. Both the Pentagon and the cyber division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation will be searching for approximately 6,000 skilled cybersecurity professionals within the “next two years” which is “a very tall order“, according to Business Week.

The article indicates that the government’s plans may include some very serious hurdles in the journey finding individuals to fill these positions. The government program called CyberCorps, or Scholarship for Service, designed to attract talented technical individuals while they are in pursuit of technology degrees, offers some great benefits to those interested, according to the report, but also contains some major limitations. The report states that “participants must be U.S. citizens” which leaves out “more than 70 percent of those receiving master’s degrees in computer engineering at U.S. schools.”

Secondly, working as a federal employee in this capacity “can’t offer as much pay as the private sector” and is “not competitive” as the report clearly shows. The report notes that “a cyber-analyst job at the Federal Bureau of Investigation in early 2013 advertised a salary of $33,979 to $54,028” and an “information security specialist in the U.S. Marine Corps’s cybersecurity division gave a range of $89,924 to $116,901 a year.” Golden Richard, a professor with the University of New Orleans Information Assurance Program was quoted in the article to say, “If you couldn’t break $100,000 as a starting salary, I think you’d have trouble attracting those guys.”

Read more about the government’s desire to build up their security workforce in the full article and see what obstacles may sit in their way over the next two years.

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