The Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) hosted a workforce development event in Fayetteville, N.C., as part of the National Cyber Workforce & Education Strategy Roadshow. Held on March 20, 2024, National Cyber Director Harry Coker, Jr. delivered remarks to more than 200 veterans and military-connected families, as well as students, cyber professionals and leaders in the cybersecurity community. 

ISC2 was invited to the event, which discussed how “our nation’s veterans provide an untapped pool of talent that is not only helpful to fill federal job vacancies but employers nationwide should recruit veterans into the cyber workforce.”

ISC2 CEO Clar Rosso, CC, spoke at the event’s private roundtable on how we must strengthen the cybersecurity workforce by finding, hiring, developing, empowering and inspiring more individuals to fill the 18,000 cyber jobs in North Carolina and the half of million gap in the U.S.

ISC2’s Commitment to Strengthening the Cyber Workforce 

ISC2 supports the White House’s work in connecting veterans and military families to the cybersecurity industry and is dedicated to ensuring cybersecurity jobs are an integral opportunity for veterans and military-connected families.

As part of its One Million Certified in Cybersecurity pledge, ISC2 will provide a minimum of 25,000 individuals in the military community with its foundational Certified in Cybersecurity certification exam and training for free to help address the sector’s critical cybersecurity skills gap.

ISC2 partners with leading training providers and universities worldwide, such as N2KCyber Range Solutions and Haystack Solutions, to enable those in the military community to create new pathways into the cybersecurity industry. Haystack Solutions has also pledged its support by offering its cyber aptitude and talent assessment, CyberGEN.IQ, to help uncover a job seeker’s aptitude and cognitive abilities without prior knowledge of the individual’s background. This assessment plays a crucial role in discovering untapped future cyber practitioners, predicting job performance, aligning talent with suitable job roles, and guiding individuals toward the highest-ROI training pathways.

Expanding Pathways and Removing Barriers to Entry

Director Coker mentioned that “the only way we can defend the foundation for our modern way of life is to ensure that everyone has a pathway into a cyber-based career…we must ensure that more of you [veterans] have the training, encouragement and pathway to these jobs.” 

When looking at pathways into the field, a certification is a great starting point. Skills-based hiring is on the rise, and leveraging certifications is proven to provide practical knowledge tailored to align with the needs of the sector.

For those looking for additional guidance to get started, we recommend reviewing the following articles:

A lot of work remains to be done to address the growing cybersecurity workforce and skills gaps. We must work together to create new pathways into the sector and provide opportunities for current practitioners to further their professional development. 

ISC2 looks forward to continuing this work with ONCD – we cannot do this alone!