April 27, 2021


By Alex Harrington, Executive Director

Earlier this year I wrote a blog that described various cyber career pathways for job seekers. In this blog, I expand on cybersecurity career pathways, tools, and resources for those who are trying to break into cybersecurity occupations to protect networks from data breaches by malicious actors within our country, and more so, by foreign cyber threats.

I am frequently reading about manufacturers becoming targets of hackers trying to steal trade secrets or disrupt supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic. These incidents...in my opinion...cross the line! 

In fact, for those of you – the ‘White Hat Hackers’ – this should mean war for you. 

And I am about to give you a whole lot of excellent career resources for you to get into the fight against these malicious actors – both foreign and domestic

Today, our country is facing a critical shortage of trained cybersecurity professionals. Forbes contends that while cybercrime grows exponentially, businesses are facing a severe cybersecurity talent drought. And the World Economic Forum on Cybersecurity asserts that “America is facing a critical shortage of people trained in cybersecurity.”

Further, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 31 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.” And Cybersecurity Ventures – a researcher and publisher covering the global cyber economy – predicts there will be “350% growth in open cybersecurity positions from 2013-2021.”

So, to help you get into the fight, take advantage of the following career pathways, tools, and resources below.

Cyber Career Pathways Tool

This tool presents a new and interactive way to explore work roles within the Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity (NICE Framework). It depicts the Cyber Workforce according to five distinct, yet complementary, skill communities. It also highlights core attributes among each of the 52 work roles and offers actionable insights for employers, professionals, and those considering a career in Cyber.

Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity (NICE Framework)

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Cybersecurity Workforce Framework, NIST Special Publication 800-181, is a nationally focused resource that categorizes and describes cybersecurity work. It establishes a common lexicon that describes cybersecurity work and workers regardless of where or for whom the work is performed. The NICE Framework applies across public, private, and academic sectors.

NICCS Cybersecurity Resources

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (NICCS) provides a comprehensive list of resources and links for job seekers.

CyberSeek Interactive Map and Career Pathway

To help close the cybersecurity skills gap, CyberSeek provides detailed, actionable data about supply and demand in the cybersecurity job market.

OPM’s Cybersecurity Competencies by Grade Level

For those who are seeking cybersecurity careers in the federal government, the Office of Personnel Management developed a list of competencies that have been confirmed as appropriate for selection on a Governmentwide basis for cybersecurity work.

Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Programs

Employers in the cybersecurity industry across the U.S. and among our global competitors use the apprenticeship training model to recruit, train, and retain workers with the right skills. Apprenticeship has been the most effective training model for enhancing companies’ performance and competitiveness.

To learn more about cybersecurity career pathway tools you can download our Quick Sheet: “Cybersecurity Career Pathway Tools” or copy and paste the following URL into your browser:



About the Author

Alex Harrington is currently a Federal civil servant and a Certified Career Services Provider and Global Career Development Facilitator. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and is a Persian Gulf War veteran.

Alex Harrington
Chair & Executive Director
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