Cybersecurity Hiring News: 6/6/12

Who’s Hiring:

Government Needs Cyber-Skilled Workers

No surprise here – if you have cyber skills, Uncle Sam wants you.

“Looking at government-wide skills, we have identified cybersecurity as the No. 1 high-risk skill gap for the federal government,” said Sydney Smith-Heimbrock, deputy associate director for strategic workforce planning at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

When it comes to the specific people both government and industry are looking for, the focus is less on systems engineers and traditional cyber skills, but on the more creative side of the cyber coin – certified ethical hackers, offensive cyber operators, developers, and the kind of people who can find solutions to cyber problems.

In overall hiring, the AP had an interesting report this week on May’s sluggish job growth – just 69,000 jobs were added in May, the fewest in the past year. The report notes that companies are hiring, but they’re hiring slowly.

It’s another interesting compare and contrast between cybersecurity hiring and overall employment prospects. Some companies, with more demand for cyber talent than they can fill, are looking into offering continuing education and certification programs for employees or new hires – especially those who already have the required clearances – in order to fill positions.

Who’s Firing:

Federal Workers Face Layoffs

After 13 percent growth from 2007 through last year, federal employment numbers have fallen for seven straight months, the longest sustained drop in more than a decade. While the number of government employees who have been laid off is relatively small – just 11,600 in a workforce with over 2 million, it does signal a trend of government worker layoffs and attrition that are likely to continue over the next several years. With the House passing another pay freeze for DoD and VA workers, also expect in-demand cyber professionals in the government sector to be increasingly open to new opportunities.

Who’s moving:

West Coast Gets New DoD Interest

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is telling today’s young service members to plan on heading West – way West. Panetta said that by 2020 he expects 60 percent of the Navy’s fleet to be deployed to the Pacific. The move is no surprise, and doesn’t represent a major shift in U.S. operations – the current fleet is split about 50/50 between the Pacific and the Atlantic. But the move is seen as a clear warning to China and a sign of the Pentagon’s new strategy focus on the Pacific region. With cyber threats from China increasingly on the radar screen, expect more defense contractors to meet the military where it’s at – moving facilities to locations along the west coast including Seattle, Honolulu, and even as far as around the U.S. military’s facilities in Australia.

Contract Award Notes:

QinetiQ North America (QNA) announced last week it was awarded a new task order by the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center to provide cybersecurity services to protect the nation’s transportation and control systems and critical infrastructure. This $4.7 million task order is the first cybersecurity task order issued under the Volpe’s V-TRIPS contract. The Volpe Center, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration, works with federal, state, local and international agencies to assess, research, develop and deploy transportation technologies, and support policy and decision-making.

Lindy Kyzer is the editor of She loves cybersecurity, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email

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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer