Navy sets sights on workers with strong business skills

Strategic plan outlines essential skills for IT and cyber workforce

 The Navy’s Cyber/Information Technology Workforce Strategic Plan for fiscal 2010 through 2013 ordered better training for the department’s forces dealing in cybersecurity, but the plan is also calling for workers with business acumen as well as people skills, reports Bob Brewin at Nextgov.

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The plan, developed by Navy Chief Information Officer Rob Carey, seeks to get information technology priorities on the same page as naval mission requirements. To do this, the department “will continue to seek IT professionals who understand business fundamentals and are able to collaborate and work with individuals at all levels throughout the department, from end users, to engineers, to executives,” according to the document.

The Navy has 10,399 civilian and 13,997 uniformed IT and cyberspace professionals, while the Marine Corps has 1,804 civilian and 7,698 employees in IT and cybersecurity.

The workforce plan included guidelines for continuing development and training. According to the orders, Navy and Marine Corps deputy CIOs must ensure their respective information assurance workforces comply with identification, training and certification requirements.

Beyond certification, the plan also provides for higher education. Full- and part-time master’s degree and doctoral programs would be offered through the Naval Postgraduate School, the Air Force Institute of Technology, the Information Resources Management College, and more than 2,700 approved colleges and universities. Additionally, a cyberspace education program would be offered to senior flag officers and members of the Senior Executive Service, according to the Nextgov report.

The Navy appears to understand that continuing education is just one necessary aspect of luring the desired talent to work for the government. The workforce plan calls for “flexibility in work hours, pay for performance, the ability to have their voices heard, continual performance feedback, and access to advanced technology and social networking applications,” as well as options for telecommuting.

The holistic approach to workforce strategy highlights the Navy’s renewed focus on its network mission. “Cyberspace and cybersecurity capabilities are essential to achieve warfighting and business missions across the operational force, expeditionary force, air, surface or undersea domains,” the plan states.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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