Gov’t, Industry Eye Alternative Hiring Criteria for Cyber Positions

Jeff Brody

The Department of Homeland Security is looking to implement hiring practices that go beyond educational attainment requirements and focus on factors such as applicant skill sets and diverse backgrounds, Nextgov reported Thursday.

John Zangardi, chief information officer at the DHS, told attendees at the Billington Cybersecurity Summit in Washington, D.C. that the department is working on revising its talent management system for cyber positions and establish pay grades comparable to those in the private sector.

“These are the aspects we are looking at: It’s about flexibility, it’s about using technology and it’s about creating an environment where people want to be able to move back and forth,” he said.

Northrop Grumman and Booz Allen Hamilton have also launched efforts to establish hiring procedures that revolve around applicants’ attitude and skills rather than their degrees.

Previously, Northrop partnered with the University of Maryland for cybersecurity-related initiatives and is offering apprenticeship programs for students in vocational or two-year educational institutions.

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