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Report: Federal Gov’t Plans Reskilling Efforts to Address Cyber, IT Skills Gap

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The Trump administration plans to initiate reskilling programs in a bid to address the information technology and cybersecurity skills gap among federal employees, FedScoop reported Thursday.

The reskilling efforts, mandated by the President’s Management Agenda, will be under the oversight of several agencies including the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management.

Among the reskilling options available to the government is cross-training, a strategy that nonprofit company Mitre has implemented for decades.

Joel Jacobs, chief information and chief security officer for MITRE, said that his organization’s cybersecurity department would “borrow” personnel with backgrounds in information security from divisions involved in federally-funded research and development.

The R&D personnel would gain operational experience while cybersecurity staff would be exposed to new ideas and innovations in the field.

Although Jacobs is skeptical that the strategy can be used across the bureaucracy due to mission diversity, he says it could work if applied to “adjoining components.”

“I think they have to be looking for adjacencies in talent, not strictly or narrowly prescribed versions of cyber engineers or exclusively trained from a cyber curriculum,” Jacobs commented.