Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced the Department’s largest cybersecurity hiring initiative in its history with the onboarding of nearly 300 cybersecurity professionals and the extension of an additional 500 tentative job offers. This hiring initiative, which exceeded its goal by almost 50%, is part of a 60-day Cybersecurity Workforce Sprint focused on building a more diverse cybersecurity workforce.
“As cybersecurity threats to our communities continue to rise, we must recruit and retain diverse top talent to defend against today’s threats and build a more resilient future,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “DHS is dedicating significant energy toward exceeding our cybersecurity hiring goal by recruiting talented experts, investing in diverse talent pipelines, and ensuring equitable access to professional development opportunities at every level. The Department’s 60-day Cybersecurity Workforce Sprint has enabled DHS to fill 12 percent of our more than 2,000 cybersecurity vacancies during a time when our country is facing extraordinary cyber threats. While I am proud of the progress we have made to date, we still have more work to do.”
In early May, Secretary Mayorkas set a goal to hire 200 new cybersecurity personnel across the Department by July 1. The success of the Cybersecurity Workforce Sprint highlights a strong desire by our country’s top cyber talent to dedicate themselves to public service and help tackle some of the most complex challenges we face today. To this end, the Cybersecurity Workforce Sprint is grounded in diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices and includes targeted outreach to underserved communities and communities of color.
This month, Secretary Mayorkas will also launch an Honors Program beginning with an initiative to recruit recent graduates with degrees in cybersecurity-related fields for a one-year professional development program at DHS. Participants who successfully complete this program will be eligible for permanent, full-time cybersecurity positions at the Department. Further, the Department’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is expanding its K-12 initiative to cultivate the next generation of diverse cybersecurity professionals. CISA recently hosted more than 40 professional development events for over 1,500 educators to provide them with the resources and tools to incorporate critical cybersecurity concepts into their core curriculum at scale. In the coming weeks, DHS will also launch a new cybersecurity initiative for girls in grades 6-12, building on its recent partnership with Girl Scouts of the USA.
In March, Secretary Mayorkas outlined his vision for the Department’s cybersecurity priorities during a virtual address hosted by RSA Conference in partnership with Hampton University and Girl Scouts of the USA. The Secretary highlighted a series of focused sprints designed to elevate existing work, remove roadblocks to progress, and launch new initiatives and partnerships to achieve DHS’s cybersecurity mission and implement Biden-Harris Administration priorities. The first sprint was focused on raising awareness about the increasing threat of ransomware.
For more details on Secretary Mayorkas’ Cybersecurity Workforce Sprint and Ransomware Sprint, please visit https://www.dhs.gov/cybersecurity.