Getting on the same page in cyber talent hunt

Getting on the same page in cyber talent hunt

Finding qualified workers  is a constant challenge for government IT managers. Virginia Governor and National Governors Association Chair Terry McAuliffe recently listed workforce development as a top priority for states that want to improve their cyber infrastructure.

To help address the cyber workforce shortage, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has released a tool that aims to help employers more effectively identify, recruit, develop and maintain cybersecurity talent by providing a common language that the community can use to categorize and describe cybersecurity work. The draft NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework is described as a “cybersecurity workforce dictionary” that includes definitions for 50 work roles including “cyber legal advisor” and “vulnerability analyst.”

“When identifying their cybersecurity staff, many organizations overlook cybersecurity tasks being performed by lawyers, auditors and procurement officers,” Bill Newhouse, NICE deputy director and lead author of the framework, said. “The NCWF can help an organization identify cybersecurity tasks within a work role that are vital to its mission and then examine if its current staff can perform those tasks and, if not, hire staff who can.”

Terminology from the NCWF has already been incorporated into two new online resources for the cybersecurity field, according to NIST. The CyberSeek map illustrates cybersecurity job demand and availability for each state. The Career Pathway shows key jobs in cybersecurity, the common transition opportunities between them and detailed information about the salaries, credentials and skillsets required for each role.

Comments on the draft NICE framework should be sent by Jan. 6, 2017.

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a reporter/producer at GCN.

Before joining GCN, Leonard worked as a local reporter for The Smithfield Times in southeastern Virginia. In his time there he wrote about town council meetings, local crime and what to do if a beaver dam floods your back yard. Over the last few years, he has spent time at The Commonwealth Times, The Denver Post and WTVR-CBS 6. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received the faculty award for print and online journalism.

Leonard can be contacted at or follow him on Twitter @Matt_Lnrd.

Click here for previous articles by Leonard.

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Reader Comments

Tue, Nov 22, 2016 Dr Kennedy

Even though the "boomers" have retired they posses info/cyber security skills that can most assuredly be sought after today by employers. These "boomers" would love to use their skills, but employers need to become creative in work schedules and salary plans to entice them back into the workforce.

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