On July 19, 2022, National Cyber Director Chris Inglis hosted the National Cyber Workforce and Education Summit at the White House. The event focused on building our Nation’s cyber workforce, improving skills-based pathways to cyber jobs, educating Americans so that they have the skills they need to thrive in our increasingly digital society, and improving Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) in the cyber field. Bringing together entities who employ, train, and educate cyber professionals and Americans at large, the event involved senior U.S. Government officials, senior executives from the private sector, and thought leaders from across the cyber community and the education sector.
Participants included Ambassador Susan E. Rice, White House Domestic Policy Advisor; Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo; Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh; Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas; and Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal.Other U.S. Government participants included Jen Easterly, Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency; Laurie Locascio, Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology; Anne Neuberger, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology on the National Security Council; George Barnes, Deputy Director of the National Security Agency; and Principal Deputy National Cyber Director Kemba Walden. The Biden-Harris Administration and the various stakeholders in this area are committed to meeting the challenges and opportunities relating to cyber workforce and education, which will help improve the economy, secure Americans and our Nation’s infrastructure, advance our digital way of life, and enable our society to maximize cyber capabilities to achieve our highest aspirations.
The Summit included three roundtable discussions: the “All” roundtable focused on ways to help ensure that all Americans are equipped with the skills and knowledge to effectively and safely engage in our global digital ecosystem; the “Many” roundtable explored ways to improve practices in cyber-adjacent fields that are not focused solely on cyber but are still impacted by it, are related to it, or benefit from it; and the “Few” roundtable discussed the jobs and career pathways that are specifically focused on cyber.
In connection with the Summit, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the following actions:
- National Cyber Director Chris Inglis committed to developing a National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy in coordination with other elements of the Executive Office of the President (EOP) as well as Federal departments and agencies, with input from key public and private stakeholders. The National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy will aim to address the challenges and opportunities in these critical areas, improve collaboration across government-wide efforts, help align resources to aspirations, and implement Biden-Harris Administration priorities on education and workforce development.
- Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo and Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh announced a 120-day Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint that they are leading with support from other Federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Education, the Office of Personnel Management, and others. This initiative is aimed at providing individuals with the opportunity to receive the training and mentorship they need to begin a career in the cyber workforce by expanding and promoting cyber-related Registered Apprenticeship programs. More information on this program can be found at https://www.apprenticeship.gov/cybersecurity-apprenticeship-sprint.
- Ambassador Susan E. Rice announced efforts to strengthen the K-12 system to more effectively prepare students for job opportunities in cybersecurity.Specifically, 1) the National Security Agency is supporting an initiative by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education that will provide technical assistance to state and local educational agencies to accelerate the development, adoption, and implementation of middle grades CTE programs focused on emerging career pathways, such as space and cybersecurity; and 2) the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education will make its Cybersecurity Workforce Framework—which provides a range of cyber curricula and resources—easier to use for K-12 teachers and leaders by creating a K12 Educator FAQ resource.
In addition, the following organizations have made substantial announcements, commitments, or pledges in connection with the Summit:
- Accenture is committed to creating access to new roles in cybersecurity, cloud, and other technical areas through its apprenticeship and upskilling programs. This is part of Accenture’s broader goal in the U.S. to fill 20% of entry-level roles from its apprenticeship program. Additionally, Accenture is committed to training all 700,000+ of its own people through its award-winning interactive security awareness courses next year.
- The Alperovitch Institute for Cybersecurity Studies, aimed at developing a unique mix of geopolitical focus and technical rigor with cutting edge research at the intersection of cybersecurity and statecraft, has been established to train postgraduate students to become future policymakers and practitioners for leading firms and government agencies in the field of cybersecurity. The Alperovitch Institute will also offer an executive education program to provide critical understanding of cyber issues to industry executives, boards of directors, Congressional staffers, government officials, and military and intelligence officers, with classes to begin this fall.
- Auburn University’s Ginn College of Engineering commits to incorporate the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Cyber-Informed Engineering (CIE) Strategy throughout its engineering and computer science programs. As a land grant institution with roots in outreach and extension to its citizenry, Auburn also announced an initiative to partner with cooperative extension offices across the state to better reach underserved communities.
- Cisco is committing to training an additional 200,000 students in the U.S. over the next three years and will continue to increase the reach and impact of its efforts. For nearly 25 years, Cisco Networking Academy has trained more than two million U.S. students with leading networking and cybersecurity skills, and currently partners with 49% of the nation’s community and technical colleges and 48 of the nation’s 107 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
- CompTIA, in partnership with ConnectWise,will run a nationwide pilot program to fill critical cybersecurity roles for managed services providers.CompTIA, as a National Program Sponsor for Apprenticeship, will use its training and certifications to provide jobseekers the skills needed for a career in IT and help employers realize the benefits of IT apprenticeship.
- The Council on Competitiveness National Commission on Innovation and Competitiveness Frontiers is launching two new working groups this fall: “The Future of Work: Developing, Supporting, and Expanding the Modern Innovation Workforce” and “The Future of Technology: Developing and Deploying Disruptive Technologies at Scale.” Both working groups will address how to advance and optimize cyber infrastructures of the future, including the robust cyber security and resiliency on which these digital platforms depend.
- The Cyber Readiness Institute (CRI) has released a new guide to raise awareness and implementation of multi-factor authentication (MFA) among small and medium-sized businesses (SMB). The new MFA guide provides clear and actionable information SMBs can implement today to enhance their cybersecurity. Developed with input from CRI’s Small Business Advisory Council and subject matter experts at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the guide employs an FAQ format to address concerns SMBs have expressed about using MFA.
- Dakota State University highlighted their $90 million investment for a cyber-research initiative supported by a multi-party, public-private partnership. These funds will be used to double the annual number of graduates of The Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences over the next 5 years, launch a statewide Governor’s Cyber Academy accessible to all high school students, and build and operate an applied research laboratory facility in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
- Fortinet is furthering its commitment to close the cyber skills gap by making its information security awareness and training service available for free for all K-12 school districts across the U.S. The expansion of its free training offerings provides the potential to help more than 8 million staff and faculty members in U.S. schools become more cyber aware and improve their skillsets to avoid breaches at educational institutions. This initiative will also advance Fortinet’s pledge to train 1 million people in cybersecurity by 2026.
- Girls Who Code will develop a coding challenge and activity sets focused on cybersecurity that will be geared toward middle and high school students, and implement workshops for Computer Science Education Week focused on cybersecurity and introductions to cryptography this fall.
- IBM is creating more pathways to cybersecurity careers through its new Cybersecurity Leadership Centers with Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and is partnering with the American Council on Education (ACE) to translate cybersecurity apprenticeships into college credits. This builds on IBM’s commitment last year to train more than 150,000 people in cybersecurity skills over three years through its signature programs – IBM SkillsBuild, IBM Security Academy, and its collaboration with Coursera.
- (ISC)²—the world’s largest nonprofit association of certified cybersecurity professionals—announced the (ISC)2 One Million Certified in CybersecuritySM program, pledging to put one million people through its Certified in Cybersecurity entry-level certification exam and education program for free. (ISC)² also has committed that half of this investment – 500,000 course enrollments and exams – will be directed toward students of HBCUs, minority-serving institutions (MSIs), tribal organizations and women’s organizations across the U.S. and the globe.
- The Linux Foundation (LF) is offering for free the Developing Secure Software training program, which is 15 hours of training across 3 modules (security principles; implementation considerations and software verification; and cloud security). The goal is to teach software developers how to develop more secure software from the beginning because that is much more efficient than finding and remediating vulnerabilities. Since launching it this spring, over 10,000 students have started the course and over 1,000 completed it and received their verifiable certification. Over the next few months, LF will launch new courses and certification exams on topics such as Sigstore, SBOMs and Air Gap Software Delivery.
- NightDragon, along with several industry partners, is creating the Cyber Talent Hub (CTH) because the Nation must leverage technology to better align the economic incentives of stakeholders involved in addressing the cyber talent shortage. The CTH will take the best attributes and practices from other technology driven marketplaces, helping employers find qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds and subsidize their cybersecurity education and training, which is tailored to the specific positions sought by these students.
- NPower will offer skill development opportunities and free IT training and credentials to military-connected individuals as well as young adults from underserved and underrepresented communities. NPower will increase the number of students in its Tech Fundamentals certification training by 50% within three years, thereby increasing its pipeline for advanced credentials in cloud computing and cybersecurity. NPower will also double the number of participants in its cybersecurity and cloud training over the next three years. These goals include expanding its SkillBridge cyber training program so that military service members transitioning to civilian employment are well positioned for careers in cybersecurity.
- Trellix has undertaken numerous initiatives, including hiring 50 interns, 40% of whom are from diverse backgrounds, and committing to hiring 100 more in the next year; partnering with the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE) to launch a comprehensive mentorship and educational program; and partnering with Gotara, a global career growth platform for women in STEM+.
A video recording of the Summit’s keynote session is available here.