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Training, Security Staff Acquisition & Development

How the feds and private sector can tackle the talent shortage

The cybersecurity field faces a staggering challenge to fill the talent shortage, said Alexander Niejelow. 

The senior vice president for cybersecurity coordination and advocacy at Mastercard said there continues to be over 550,000 open cybersecurity positions in the U.S.

“The idea that some of the best paying, most desirable positions in this country continue to remain open at that level clearly presents a real issue,” Niejelow told Todd Fitzgerald, vice president of cybersecurity strategy at Cybersecurity Collaborative, during a CISO Stories podcast.

Listen now to episode 21 of CISO Stories: Fixing the Talent Shortage: CyberSecurity Talent Initiative

The federal government and private sector can work together to fill their open positions and attract the next generation of motivated mission-driven cybersecurity leaders. The podcast discusses the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative, a federal/private partnership which provides up to $75,000 in student loan assistance for individuals hired by the private sector companies after developing skills through a two-year program in the federal government.

"Reducing barriers and making this profession more accessible is fundamental," Niejelow said.

Prior to joining Mastercard, Niejelow was director of cybersecurity policy on the National Security Council at the White House, where he focused on efforts to advance the administration’s cybersecurity, technology, and trade policy priorities. He also served as chief of staff to the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, where he helped coordinate the U.S. government’s intellectual property policy and enforcement strategies beginning in 2012.

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