Why is the Defense Industry Having Troubles Finding Cybersecurity Pros?

We’re constantly pointing out that cybersecurity is
a very, very VERY hot-button career track. The latest evidence
was outlined in InformationWeek, which
reported the Department
of Homeland Security and the Air Force need 1,700 cybersecurity pros right
now
, and that’s just for starters. So why is hiring them so hard?

At a recent
cybersecurity workforce conference at the National Institute for Standards and
Technology’s offices in Gaithersburg, Md., chief information security officers
and other government IT managers identified a range of related issues: a
confusing morass of certifications; HR processes that identify candidates based
on buzzwords, not bona fide experience; drawn-out hiring and security-clearance
processes; federal mandates that push unqualified people to the front of the
hiring line; and competition with the private sector for job candidates.

According to some officials, the problem also lies in simply
classifying the jobs.

The feds have long had difficulty describing the
job of cybersecurity specialists, so the Office of Personnel Management (OPM),
the government’s HR department, is working to provide new guidance around
cybersecurity job classifications, hiring, and performance management.

Bureaucracy can certainly be frustrating. No wonder security
pros look to the private sector first.

— Don Willmott

Comments

8 Responses to “Why is the Defense Industry Having Troubles Finding Cybersecurity Pros?”

September 23, 2010 at 11:04 am, Derrick Frost said:

These jobs appear to be only had in movies. I’ve applied to several Cybersecurity positions with top government sector security agencies and only received an e-mail rating of qualified. However, no call back for the next step in the process. It has been elusive at best to figure out the what, where, when, why and how in the hiring process. I’ve been sitting on a Masters Degree in Information Security for two plus years now with the hopes of still breaking into the industry. I would Love to serve my country through government and securing the integrity of the information that we possess. The private sector can’t compete with the security of a government opportunity. It’s just really hard to get noticed. Hopefully, things will change soon. God Bless!

Reply

September 23, 2010 at 11:04 am, Derrick Frost said:

These jobs appear to be only had in movies. I’ve applied to several Cybersecurity positions with top government sector security agencies and only received an e-mail rating of qualified. However, no call back for the next step in the process. It has been elusive at best to figure out the what, where, when, why and how in the hiring process. I’ve been sitting on a Masters Degree in Information Security for two plus years now with the hopes of still breaking into the industry. I would Love to serve my country through government and securing the integrity of the information that we possess. The private sector can’t compete with the security of a government opportunity. It’s just really hard to get noticed. Hopefully, things will change soon. God Bless!

Reply

September 25, 2010 at 5:39 am, Eric Enders said:

What experience is needed in order to be looked at for a cyber security position? Will a B.S. in specialized IT from Kaplan University provide me with some of the skills needed?

Sincerly
Eric Enders

Reply

September 25, 2010 at 5:39 am, Eric Enders said:

What experience is needed in order to be looked at for a cyber security position? Will a B.S. in specialized IT from Kaplan University provide me with some of the skills needed?

Sincerly
Eric Enders

Reply

September 25, 2010 at 11:22 am, Peter Bachman said:

The cybersecurity govt experts I have run into are not directly working for agencies, but for well known non profits or consultants. They are as a group very talented but with high barriers to entry.

Reply

September 25, 2010 at 11:22 am, Peter Bachman said:

The cybersecurity govt experts I have run into are not directly working for agencies, but for well known non profits or consultants. They are as a group very talented but with high barriers to entry.

Reply

September 27, 2010 at 6:54 am, Billy said:

The jobs exist, you usually need to know someone, though. Try submitting to some of the large defense contractors. They are the ones filling most of the positions. The positions are not really advertised.

@Eric Enders: The DoD follows DoDD 8570 rules now, which means you need a Security +, CISSP, or CEH certification to qualify. Even if you hold a Master’s degree in Digital Forensics…

Reply

September 27, 2010 at 6:54 am, Billy said:

The jobs exist, you usually need to know someone, though. Try submitting to some of the large defense contractors. They are the ones filling most of the positions. The positions are not really advertised.

@Eric Enders: The DoD follows DoDD 8570 rules now, which means you need a Security +, CISSP, or CEH certification to qualify. Even if you hold a Master’s degree in Digital Forensics…

Reply

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