The Biden-Harris administration has unveiled its long-awaited National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy (NCWES), including securing commitments from 37 stakeholders to increase the number of Americans in “good-paying, middle-class” cyber jobs.
Unleashing America’s Cyber Talent is a first-of-its-kind comprehensive approach aimed at addressing both immediate and long-term cyber workforce needs, the White House said.
The Deputy National Cyber Director for Technology and Ecosystem Security, Camille Stewart Gloster, said that the NCWES is the first step to “securing and unleashing the next generation of American innovation.”
“We must support the development of a strong cyber workforce,” Gloster said. “That cyber workforce has to meet the demand that we have all heard about in filling hundreds of thousands of cyber jobs vacancies – that’s a national security imperative, an economic imperative, a human security imperative. But it also is an opportunity for good paying jobs.”
The strategy has three guiding imperatives: Leveraging adaptable ecosystems to effect change at scale; enabling the lifelong development of cyber skills; and growing and enhancing the cyber workforce through improving its diversity and inclusion.
The strategy is made up of four pillars:
- Equip every American with foundational cyber skills: Make foundational cyber skills learning opportunities available to all; promote the pursuit of foundational cyber skills and cyber careers; and foster global progress in foundational cyber skills.
- Transform cyber education: Education systems across the nation will build and leverage ecosystems to improve cyber education; expand competency-based cyber education; invest in educators and improving cyber education systems; and make cyber education and training more affordable and accessible.
- Expand and enhance the national cyber workforce: Grow the cyber workforce by proliferating and strengthening ecosystems; promote skills-based hiring and workforce development; leverage the diversity of America to strengthen the cyber workforce; and enhance international engagements.
- Strengthen the Federal cyber workforce: Drive sustained progress through greater Federal collaboration; attract and hire a qualified and diverse Federal cyber workforce; improve career pathways in the Federal cyber workforce; and invest in human resources capabilities and personnel.
The 60-page strategy was developed in collaboration with 34 Federal entities, including feedback from over 200 responses to a request for information, and more than 200 table reads with external stakeholders.
“The Office of the National Cyber Director [ONCD] will collaborate with the private and public sectors to realize the Biden-Harris administration’s vision to ensure cyberspace reflects our values: national security; economic security and prosperity; respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; trust in our democracy and democratic institutions; and an equitable and inclusive society,” Acting National Cyber Director Kemba Walden wrote in the document. “Strengthening our cyber workforce and equipping every American to realize the benefits of cyberspace is a whole-of-nation endeavor.”