National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Cybersecurity Workforce Framework

The number of cybersecurity-related jobs already outpaces the number of people qualified to fill them, and that demand is growing rapidly. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working with our nation’s private industry, academia, and government to develop and maintain an unrivaled, globally competitive cyber workforce.

One of the biggest challenges is the lack of consistency in the way “cybersecurity” is defined. Job descriptions and titles for the same job roles vary from employer to employer. This makes it harder for universities and colleges to prepare students for their first job. Employers spend time and resources retraining new hires and employees don’t have clear career options. 

The NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework is the foundation for increasing the size and capability of the U.S. cybersecurity workforce. It provides a common definition of cybersecurity, a comprehensive list of cybersecurity tasks, and the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform those tasks. By using the Framework:

  • Educators can create programs that are aligned to jobs.
  • Students can graduate with knowledge and skills that employers need.
  • Employers can recruit from a larger pool of more qualified candidates.
  • Employees will have portable skills and better defined career paths and opportunities.
  • Policy makers can set standards to promote workforce professionalization.

DHS partnered with industry, academia, and government to develop the Workforce Framework. It is being implement across the Federal Government and is accepted as a best practice resource to define the field of cybersecurity. DHS has also published resources to help employers, educators, and training providers implement the Workforce Framework within their organizations and communities.