The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Thursday announced that it has hired nearly 300 cybersecurity professionals over the course of the last two months.
The onboarding of new talent was part of the Cybersecurity Workforce Sprint initiative, and exceeded by 50% the hiring goal that Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced in May: 200 new employees by July 1.
In addition to announcing the success of the initiative, Mayorkas on Thursday announced the extension of the Cybersecurity Workforce Sprint with an additional 500 tentative job offers.
“DHS is committed to ensuring its workforce represents the diverse communities it serves. To this end, the Cybersecurity Workforce Sprint is grounded in diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices and includes targeted outreach to underserved communities and communities of color,” the DHS announced.
An Honors Program that Mayorkas will announce this month will see the launch of a one-year professional development program aimed at recent graduates with degrees in cybersecurity-related fields. Those who successfully complete the program may get permanent, full-time cybersecurity positions at DHS.
The department also announced that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is expanding its K-12 initiative, and that, in the coming weeks, the DHS also plans the launch of a cybersecurity initiative for girls in grades 6-12.
“The Department’s 60-day Cybersecurity Workforce Sprint has enabled DHS to fill 12 percent of our more than 2,000 cybersecurity vacancies during a time when our country is facing extraordinary cyber threats. While I am proud of the progress we have made to date, we still have more work to do,” Mayorkas said.