New program points cyber pros toward government careers

A new program aims to prepare aspiring cybersecurity professionals for federal careers and help the government manage the scarcity of skilled talent.

The Associate of (ISC)2 Program is open to everyone and also serves as a resource for universities facilitating graduates' move into professional life. It also maps to the Cybersecurity Workforce Framework, a taxonomy created by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education and currently open for public comment until Jan. 27.

The program, which already is available for Certified Information Systems Security Professional and Systems Security Certified Practitioner credentials, will allow information security workers to take an exam to evaluate their skills and build their professional network while getting the work experience needed to become certified.

After passing either the CISSP, CSSLP, CAP or SSCP exams, the (ISC)2 participants will gain access to career development resources and support programs, networking events and continuing education opportunities.

Participants must earn continuing education credits annually and pay annual membership fees. To become certified, (ISC)2 participants must have the requisite work experience for the credential they are pursuing within five years for CSSLP and within three years for CAP and be endorsed by an (ISC)2-certified professional in good standing.

W. Hord Tipton, executive director of (ISC)2, called the program a great way for those early in their careers to test their knowledge and certification readiness and to demonstrate to employers they are committed to practicing the highest standards and ethics in the area.

"Given the government's current shortage of information security professionals, we are pleased to offer the associate program to help increase the number of skilled professionals that our cyber threat landscape requires,” he said. “This program furthers (ISC)2's commitment to serving the needs of information security professionals at any age and/or stage of their careers as they travel along their career paths."

About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

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