In July 2016, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) jointly issued the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy to address the need to employ a Federal civilian cybersecurity workforce with the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to enhance the security of the Federal digital infrastructure and improve the ability to detect and response to cyber incidents when they do occur. The Strategy presents new approaches and government wide actions to identify, expand, recruit, develop, retain, and sustain a capable and competent workforce to address complex and ever-evolving cyber threats.
Here are some things you might want to know:
- CyberCorps®: Scholarship For Service (SFS) is a unique program designed to increase and strengthen the cadre of federal information assurance professionals that protect the government’s critical information infrastructure. This program provides scholarships that may fully fund the typical costs incurred by full-time students while attending a participating institution, including tuition and education and related fees. Additionally, participants receive stipends of $22,500 for undergraduate students and $34,000 for graduate students. The scholarships are funded through grants awarded by the National Science Foundation. See https://www.sfs.opm.gov/ for more information.
- Special pay rates are available for entry- and developmental-level computer engineers, computer science specialists, and Information Technology (IT) Management Specialists. These are rates which are higher than the published GS salary tables.
- Other incentives, including recruitment and relocation incentives, student loan repayment, and advanced leave accrual, may be available for hard-to-fill positions in cybersecurity.
- Critical Pay may be available for highly technical and/or scientific positions; see: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/pay-administration/fact-sheets/critical-position-pay/
- There is government-wide direct hire authority for Information Technology Management (Information Security / Cybersecurity for GS-2210-9 through GS-2210-15; there are also agency-specific excepted service hiring authorities for the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), General Services Administration (GSA), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Veterans Administration (VA) for IT security and related positions.
- There is a temporary authority to use excepted service hiring for digital services staff to support the President’s Management Agenda’s Smarter Information Technology (IT) Delivery Initiative. These appointments are not to exceed September 30, 2017.
None of the above is a guarantee, of course. But, if you are a committed Cybersecurity expert, knowing the federal hiring options can help you navigate the federal hiring process and network your way to success. And be sure to look at: www.cybercareers.gov, your updated source for everything cyber..