DHS adds hundreds of new cyber professionals to its ranks
The US Department of Homeland Security on Thursday announced that it is onboarding nearly 300 cybersecurity professionals and has extended job offers to 500 others in what it refers to as “the most successful cybersecurity hiring initiative in DHS history.”
The hiring spree is part of the department’s 60-day cybersecurity workforce sprint that aimed to add 200 new cybersecurity personnel by July 1. As The Record reported in May, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told attendees of a US Chamber of Commerce event that one of the department’s most significant priorities was building out its cybersecurity expertise with an emphasis on diversity.
The announcement is significant, but is also a sign of things to come:
- DHS has more than 2,000 cybersecurity vacancies across various agencies.
- The hiring spree amounts to roughly 12% of those job openings, according to a DHS announcement.
- The department houses several of the nation’s top cyber agencies, including CISA, the US Secret Service, and US Coast Guard.
- Attacks on critical infrastructure, including pipelines and agricultural facilities, have heightened the focus on DHS’s cyber mission in recent months.
- DHS was formed less than 20 years ago and has more than 240,000 employees.
“While I am proud of the progress we have made to date, we still have more work to do,” Mayorkas said in a statement Thursday.
Later this month, Mayorkas is set to launch an Honors Program beginning with an initiative to recruit recent graduates with degrees in cybersecurity-related fields for a one-year professional development program at DHS, the department said in its announcement. Program participants will be eligible for permanent, full-time cybersecurity positions at DHS.