NIST Issues a Roadmap for Regional Alliances and Partnerships to Develop the Cybersecurity Workforce

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued a cybersecurity education and development roadmap according to the information gathered from five pilot Regional Alliances and Multistakeholder Partnerships (RAMPS) to promote Cybersecurity Education and Workforce Improvement programs.

There is presently a worldwide scarcity of cybersecurity experts and the issue is becoming worse. Information from reveals that from September 2017 to August 2018, 313,735 cybersecurity jobs were available and statistics from the 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study show that 1.8 million cybersecurity specialists will be needed to occupy available positions by 2022.

To help deal with the deficiency, the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), headed by NIST, granted funds for the September 2016 pilot programs. The RAMPS cybersecurity education and development pilot programs were involved in energizing and pushing for a strong network and ecosystem of developing cybersecurity education, training, and workforce.

The pilot programs consist of

  • creating regional alliances, by which the labor force requirements of businesses and non-profit companies are in-line with the learning goals of education and training companies
  • growth of the pipeline of students going into cybersecurity careers
  • more people in America are educated and got middle-class work opportunities in cybersecurity
  • assistance is given for local economic development to promote job expansion

The principal aim of the programs is to facilitate the alliances of companies having cybersecurity skill deficiencies and educators who could assist in developing a skilled labor force to satisfy industry requirements. The following alliances helped run the pilot programs:

  • Arizona Statewide Cyber Workforce Consortium
  • the Cyber Prep Program in Southern Colorado
  • Cincinnati-Dayton Cyber Corridor
  • the Hampton Roads Cybersecurity Education
  • the Partnership to Advance Cybersecurity Education and Training in New Your City and the Capital District
  • Workforce and Economic Development Alliance in Southeast Virginia

Each one of the pilot programs followed a unique technique to deal with the lack of competent cybersecurity workers in their particular areas. Some of the typical difficulties encountered by the program were

  • the employers that cannot ascertain their cybersecurity requirements
  • a disconnection between labor force supply and demand
  • no coordination of resources for education and labor force development programs
  • difficulty in small communities to retain skilled cybersecurity workers

The roadmap was made in accordance with the positive results of each program and consists of advice on how usual challenges could be dealt with and the recommendations and lessons realized from doing the pilot programs.

The four main components required to develop successful alliances to promote and develop the cybersecurity labor force are:

  • Knowing program targets and metrics
  • Developing techniques and tactics
  • Computing impact and results
  • Maintaining the effort

The document gives examples of every activity that turned out productive in the pilot programs.

The document isn’t supposed to be a how-to guide for establishing profitable regional alliances, however it will be helpful to those looking for guidance on how to manage and facilitate regional attempts to enhance cybersecurity education and workforce development. So as to develop a profitable cybersecurity education and workforce development plan, local and regional specialists must give their insight as they are going to be knowledgeable about the cybersecurity requirements of their communities.

Download the document – A Roadmap for Successful Regional Alliances and Multistakeholder Partnerships to Build the Cybersecurity Workforce –  from NIST on this page (PDF).