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State of Cyber Workforce Development

White Paper
This paper summarizes the current posture of the cyber workforce and several initiatives designed to strengthen, grow, and retain cybersecurity professionals.

Software Engineering Institute


Currently, the United States is arguably in a dire situation in terms of cyber preparedness. Cyber attacks and their sophistication are growing exponentially, while the cyber workforce is struggling to develop and sustain the talent needed to protect, detect, defend, and respond to these attacks. Since the nation has become deeply dependent on cyberspace, the realization of an attack is a risk with detrimental consequences to critical services and every sector.

In response to this crisis and the potential threat to U.S. security, several cyber workforce training and retention programs have been established to grow and retain a pool of highly skilled cyber professionals. These programs are described in this white paper, along with a survey of projects that support them and examples of initiatives designed to accelerate the growth of a talented cyber workforce. While these projects and initiatives offer training and development mechanisms designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of the cybersecurity workforce, there are gap areas that need to be addressed to achieve measurable success.

The Next Steps section summarizes these gap areas and presents strategies for training frameworks moving forward.