As my colleague Steven Cherry noted a few weeks ago, EE unemployment in the US has doubled in the second quarter of 2009 from the first quarter of the year. However, one job that is in extremely high demand is IT security specialist in the US government.
According to a study conducted by the non-profit think tank Partnership for Public Service and the company Booz Allen Hamilton, federal agencies are facing a severe shortage of cyber security experts even as they are facing increasing cyber threats, like the one that affected South Korea and the US recently.
An AP news report says the study, titled "Cyber IN-Security: Strengthening the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce",
"describes a fragmented federal cyber force, where no one is in charge of overall planning and government agencies are 'on their own and sometimes working at cross purposes or in competition with one another.' "
The study, the AP says,
"recommends that the yet-unnamed federal cyber coordinator lay out a strategy to meet the government's work force needs, set job classifications, enhance training and lead a nationwide effort to promote technology skills, including through the use of scholarships."
Speaking of the unnamed cyber coordinator, apparently no one is overly eager to take on the job. While rumor has it that President Obama will name a cyber czar will be named very soon, the job likely means a lot of responsibility but with little real authority.
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.