David Shipley, co-founder and CEO of Fredericton, N.B.-based Beauceron Security, today described a new strategy announced this week by the Biden administration as something that is “bold, smart and shows the depth of the U.S. thinking and commitment on cyber.”
On Monday, the White House launched the National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy (NCWES), which it described as a “first-of-its-kind comprehensive approach aimed at addressing both immediate and long-term cyber workforce needs,” in the U.S..
According to a release, “filling the hundreds of thousands of cyber job vacancies across our nation is a national security imperative and the administration is making generational investments to prepare our country to lead in the digital economy.
“The NCWES is positioned to empower every American seeking to participate in our digital ecosystem and underscores the critical need to fill a vast number of vacant cyber jobs.
“Many communities currently underrepresented in the cyber workforce do not envision themselves in cyber jobs or are not aware of the tremendous opportunity to join this important and growing workforce. The NCWES focuses on empowering Americans to pursue these career paths in cyber. Many of these jobs are attainable with a certificate or community college degree.”
The release went on to say that “no one actor can alone affect the needed change at scale. This means all stakeholders – including educators, industry, government, and more – must all execute on the objectives set forth in this strategy.”
Among the dozens of U.S. federal agencies and private organizations that will be involved in the initiative is the Department of Veteran Affairs. It announced a Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program for Veterans: a two-year developmental program within the “VA Cybersecurity Operations Centre (CSOC) to provide a unique, hands-on learning and development experience for cybersecurity apprentices, and to encourage a career in the federal cybersecurity workforce.
“Program apprentices will develop cyber knowledge and experience through mentoring, on-the-job training, and leading-edge training courses. The program is a registered apprenticeship with the Department of Labor and will begin recruiting and onboarding its first cybersecurity apprenticeship cohort in the first quarter of next year.”
Shipley said he “loves the practical example of U.S. Veterans Affairs CSOC creating hands-on opportunities for veterans.
“From sponsoring U.S. teams in high school and university cyber competitions, to working with groups to promote diversity in cyber to thinking about cyber education in K-12, this is what a national strategy should look like.”