Biden Administration Unveils Plan to Expand Cyber Workforce Amid Rising National Security Threats

Emel Akan
By Emel Akan
August 2, 2023Executive Branch
Biden Administration Unveils Plan to Expand Cyber Workforce Amid Rising National Security Threats
Kemba Walden, Acting National Cyber Director, Office of the National Cyber Director, speaks during the "National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy: Unleashing America’s Cyber Talent" event at the Atlantic Council in Washington on July 31, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

The Biden administration revealed on Monday a comprehensive plan aimed at enhancing the cyber workforce both in the short and long term. The strategy centers around increasing the affordability and accessibility of cyber training for all Americans.

There are hundreds of thousands of open cyber security positions across the country, and the White House says filling them is a “national security imperative.” Therefore, the government has published a 60-page plan (pdf) called the “National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy” to help all Americans find rewarding careers in the field of cyber security.

“Many of these jobs are attainable with a certificate or community college degree, and available now in your local community and across the country,” according to a White House factsheet.

Speaking at an Atlantic Council event on July 31, Acting National Cyber Director Kemba Walden stated that the new strategy reverses the prior belief that well-paying jobs are primarily limited to people with advanced degrees in computer science and related engineering fields.

This outdated notion is now being challenged, according to Ms. Walden.

“This strategy focuses on enabling all Americans to pursue career opportunities in cyber,” she said.

According to Ms. Walden, the new strategy focuses on three goals: a shift toward a skills-based hiring approach, encouraging the lifelong development of cyber skills, and expanding cyber workforce possibilities to all Americans.

Veterans transitioning from active duty, parents reentering the workforce, retired first responders, and others from diverse backgrounds can easily obtain the skills required to fill these essential cyber jobs, she added.

Autocratic regimes like those in China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea are employing cyber capabilities aggressively, threatening U.S. national security and economic prosperity, according to a recent Atlantic Council report.

“The People’s Republic of China (PRC) now presents the broadest, most active, and most persistent threat to both government and private sector networks,” the report stated, adding that China’s cyber activities have expanded far beyond intellectual property theft.

Speaking at the Atlantic Council event, Rob Shriver, deputy director of the Office of Personal Management, said the agency encourages federal recruiting to move towards a skills-based system.

That’s why the government is exploring ways to eliminate the need for work experience or a degree in many IT, cyber, and AI jobs by switching to a skills-based hiring model, he explained.

Mr. Shriver also noted that, despite layoffs in the tech industry, the federal government is actively hiring tech workers for various positions, including cybersecurity.

“The message that I want to deliver is that the federal government is hiring. We’re looking for tech workers,” he said.

“Any job that you want to have in tech or cybersecurity exists in the federal government. So we’ve got to make sure that our agencies are able to compete for those workers.”

From The Epoch Times

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