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OPM mulls separate cybersecurity career path for federal workers

In an interview with Federal News Radio, Kichak said her agency was considering the move to better meet the needs of federal agencies. "We're trying to figure out if…a new series is needed”, she said.

Currently, federal workers who are cybersecurity specialists are part of the 2210 series for IT management. There is not a specific cybersecurity series.

In addition, OPM is working with the White House and the CIO Council to determine what cybersecurity skills are most needed by the federal government.

"This is not just about determining a new class. It's also about helping agencies figure out how to recruit and find the people they need to do their work," she said.

Kichak stressed that OPM would like to complete the cybersecurity workforce review “quickly” in order to implement changes next year.

A recent survey of 700 information security professionals by the non-profit IT security trade group (ISC)² found that close to a majority of respondents said there was a cybersecurity skills gap in the federal government. Respondents said that there was a gap between existing certification programs and specific cybersecurity skills needed in the federal workplace.