4 federal cybersecurity positions that could suffer from a skills gap
The need for cybersecurity specialists grows with each passing day. According to ISACA, an international IT professional association, there will be a global shortage of IT professionals by 2019 - leaving roughly 2 million positions left unfilled.
This comes after 2015 and 2016 were some of the worst years on record for government and private sector cybersecurity breaches. Wired Magazine reported that some government agencies are hit by up to 10 million digital attacks each month.
"A persistent issue in this area is overemphasizing the problems as opposed to working on and providing solutions," says Mike Boyles, Division Manager of Beacon Hill's National Security practice located near Washington, D.C. "The reason why a lot of these positions remain unfilled is the same reason why we stand apart – we give our resources the drive and perseverance to create opportunities, highlighting each individual's strengths and seeing how those strengths help meet their client's goals. Applying for a cybersecurity position is frustrating sometimes because it feels like if you don't list the right acronyms, you'll miss out. Sometimes, it takes a leap of faith and a discerning eye to find the right fit."
Many vacant cybersecurity positions exist today within the federal government. If you're interested in pursuing a government career in cybersecurity, these positions may interest you:
1. IT specialist - information security
The IT specialist position exists within several government agencies - each requiring a slightly different skillset. According to USA Jobs, basic functions of the position include:
- Conducting security evaluations and audits.
- Migrating systems to new environments.
- Providing oversight during the development of new system designs.
At its core, the information security specialist position requires a professional with experience implementing cybersecurity systems at the enterprise level. You should also note that several tiers of the position exist, each with greater educational requirements and responsibilities to match.
2. IT specialist - Army
Hard-working civilians support each branch of the U.S. military. At times, positions may be open only to veterans and displaced federal workers, but in times of greater need, these positions may become available to others.
In the U.S. Army, IT specialists provide network security support as well as assist in the development of new cyber security systems. Applicants must not only have impeccable IT security skills, but also be able to clearly present complicated information to laypersons. Combining those two skills effectively could put your application above the rest.
3. IT Specialist - systems analysis
This is a management position within the federal government. Responsibilities include guiding the risk management process, developing new security solutions, reviewing the work of various security teams and troubleshooting complex security issues.
Higher level security positions may require extra travel time. When the mission demands it, IT specialists may have to travel around the country to support remote teams.
4. IT Specialist - policy planning
This position acts as a liaison between the U.S. Army and various civilian entities. As a management role, this job requires the applicant to be able to assess new security project proposals and determine which should move forward.
Likewise, policy planning IT specialists must develop statements of objectives, an important step in implementing new and novel cybersecurity solutions. Several years of relevant experience and an advanced degree are required.
Submitting your resume and hoping for the best is one way to find a job with the federal government, but you stand to gain a lot more from utilizing the help of a professional recruiter. Beacon Hill has long-standing relationships with many government agencies. Contact us to today to learn more about what career opportunities await you.
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