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CHIPS Articles: Federal Cybersecurity Reskilling Academy Launched

Federal Cybersecurity Reskilling Academy Launched
By CHIPS Magazine - December 3, 2018
The Federal Cybersecurity Reskilling Academy offers federal employees the opportunity for hands-on training in cybersecurity, one of the fastest growing fields in the country. This reskilling effort is part of the Administration’s commitment to developing a Federal workforce of the 21st century, as outlined in the President’s Management Agenda and the recent Government Reform Plan, according to CIO.gov.

Cybersecurity professionals are among the most sought-after workers in the United States – across government agencies, industry, and the big tech firms – the competition for qualified candidates is fierce. However, there is a critical nationwide shortage of trained applicants needed to maintain America’s technical superiority, prosperity and national security.

If you have been thinking of a career change, the Federal Cybersecurity Reskilling Academy will offer up to 25 federal employees with non-technical backgrounds a chance to train as cyber defense analysts.

The inaugural class will be made up of current federal employees who do not currently work in information technology fields, and will provide the requisite training to work as cyber defense analysts within the government.

Once accepted, Academy students will complete a three-month curriculum consisting of three training courses.

The curriculum begins with a cyber-essentials course that begins with an onsite workshop, followed by four weeks of follow-on learning, exercises and exams. Students then attend a “bootcamp” course live for six full days, followed by two weeks of study and a certification exam. The final course is another “bootcamp,” followed by additional study and a final certification exam, according to program guidance.

Students who successfully pass the certification exam move on to the final course, which follows a similar timeline.

Additionally, Academy participants may complete extracurricular activities and exercises to enhance their learning and skills development, such as online games, cyber competitions, and more. Participants will receive career mentorship and soft skills guidance to help them prepare for re-deploying into the cybersecurity workforce.

Cohort 1 (November 2018 through June 2019) is open to federal employees who do not currently work in IT. Federal employees in the following series are not eligible to apply: GS-0854 - Computer Engineers, GS-1550 - Computer Scientists, GS-0855 - Electronics Engineers and GS-2210 - IT Cybersecurity Specialists.

Cohort 2 will be open to all federal employees with more details to be announced in early 2019.

The application process will runs from Nov. 30 through Jan. 11 for the first cohort. Applications will not be accepted after the Jan. 11 deadline.

For more information and to apply, please go to https://www.cio.gov/reskilling/

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