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