In today’s digital age, the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals has never been higher. Recognizing this need, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is changing the game for individuals seeking to build careers in cybersecurity with its platform NICCS.  

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies is a comprehensive online platform. Antonio Scurlock is the Deputy Chief Learning Officer and oversees the site and its mission. “It is a website that has considerable resources available for people to look at a gamut of things from training to careers to career planning and scholarships. It’s all right there,” he explained. 

Scurlock was introduced to the site prior to joining CISA. “I was able to look at some of the content and look at some of the training that was offered out there and go, ‘Hey, this is pretty cool,’ because as a member of the military, it’s free to me,” he shared. The platform is free to all government personnel including state, local, tribal, territorial as well as federal.  

At its core, NICCS connects people. “There are workforce planning guides that will walk you through from basic to expert and articulate for you in plain language how you can understand what that means,” Scurlock said. There are also over 12,000 training courses available on the website, “K to Grey I like to say,” he shared, “not K through 12. I think there’s something there for everyone. You don’t have to know the lexicon of cyber security words to be able to dive right in.” 

It’s that accessibility component that makes the site such a vital resource, as CISA thrives on relationships, putting people first. “We are seen as the broker of information,” Scurlock said. “It makes sense that we will provide a resource that allows a large swath of the American people to be able to dive into something that isn’t marketing to you, that is trying to provide you resources to enrich and enhance you.” 

As a people first organization, the resources NICCS provides allows people to become part of a greater team, empowering them to improve themselves and in turn, enhance the whole.  

Scurlock has been with CISA and its predecessor since 2011 after retiring from the United States Cyber Command. “I’ve loved the ability to walk across the organization as my curiosity and my career desires afforded me those opportunities,” he shared.  

“Being able to be seen as a valued resource wherever we go, within the organization and in understanding that psychological safety and the ability to be heard and to be authentic selves. To honestly come into the workplace as me and know that I’m somewhere that I belong. That is a mighty thing.” 


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