Class in Session for Federal Cyber Reskilling Academy


Demand drove an increase in cohort size.

The inaugural class of the White House’s first-of-its-kind Federal Cyber Reskilling Academy launched Monday, and due to what insiders deem to be “a large demand” in interest, slots in the premier cohort were increased from 25 to 30.

Federal Chief Information Officer Suzette Kent, who announced the Federal Cyber Reskilling Academy in November, celebrated with a tweet: “Thrilled to announce that the first inaugural Federal Cyber Reskilling Academy started today! Continue visiting to stay updated on the outcomes from this 30 member inaugural class and the plans for the next cohort. Maybe you can be in the next class!”

On Tuesday, Kent also shared a photo with the program’s original cohort.

Last month, Nextgov reported that this government-led trial run to supply federal workers with non-technical backgrounds hands-on training in cyber defense analysis received more than 1,500 applications. This week, a senior administration official told Nextgov that due to feds’ overwhelming appetite to join the first cohort, the Chief Information Officer Council began working with the program’s training provider to find ways to “scale up” for the future.

“The CIO council was able to find additional resources from its budget and was able to offer 5 additional slots for virtual training—expanding the inaugural class from 25 to 30,” the official said. “We expect the virtual training will be a good alternative for agencies to offer their employees for future cohorts.”

The official also noted that based on experience and feedback from the first pilot, there’s plans to improve and streamline the application process going forward.

The academy’s first class, CyberStart Essentials, builds a solid foundation in computer, hardware, network, and security fundamentals.

“The goal is to give participants enough of a base of computer knowledge to apply that knowledge in the second course to cybersecurity,” the official said.

The second class will cover security essentials and the third will encompass hacker tools, techniques, exploits and incident handling.

Ultimately, the program, which is run by the CIO Council’s Workforce Committee and the Education Department, aims to combat the need for trained cyber talent within government ranks.

Enrollment applications for the academy’s second cohort will be made available later this spring.