New Databank Will Help Address Cyber Skills Needs

Agencies must review their cybersecurity jobs and the skill sets they require.

The Office of Personnel Management is calling on federal agencies to submit data on their cybersecurity workforce to help build a new databank for agencies in addressing current and future cyber skills needs.

In a memorandum issued Monday, OPM acting Director Elaine Kaplan pointed to a new special project that involves building a statistical data set of existing and future cybersecurity positions in the OPM Enterprise Human Resources Integration data warehouse by the end of fiscal 2014.

The data project will require agencies to update their cybersecurity positions with codes that review the definitions of and taxonomy used for cybersecurity work.

“This particular work function has extensively changed over the last decade, and these revisions provide consistency and a common language in describing the skill sets needed to perform the work successfully,” Kaplan wrote.

The project will help reduce cybersecurity workforce skills gaps across the federal government, a goal President Obama set as one of his top 14 priority cross-agency performance goals for 2013, according to the memo.

The project requires that agencies by the end of this year are reviewing and coding positions that perform cybersecurity functions, and that coded positions include those in specific occupational series, particularly the Information Technology Management (2210) and Computer Specialist (0334) series.

By March 2014, agencies also must demonstrate in the databank that they have coded at least 60 percent of the federal positions in the 2210 and 0334 occupational series and are applying those codes to other positions that include cybersecurity work. Agencies must complete work in these areas for 90 percent of those positions by the end of fiscal 2014.

In the process, agencies also must develop an action plan for achieving these goals, including setting quarterly milestones and using new tools like the National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework and the Cybersecurity Data Element Standard.

“We will continue to work with the cybersecurity and CIO leadership to assure access to subject-matter expertise in applying these new work definitions,” Kaplan wrote.