Security Management

CISA Publishes New Cybersecurity Career Awareness “Micro Challenges”

Cybersecurity education

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued a set of “micro-challenges” aimed at helping individuals to pursue a career in cybersecurity.

Micro challenges are a new feature within the Cyber Careers Pathway Tool, consisting of 14 hands-on experiences that allow users, either self-paced or through instruction, to complete several core cybersecurity workforce tasks, while exploring the knowledge and skills necessary to complete the tasks.

The Cyber Careers Pathway Tool is an interactive platform that enables an individual to explore the 52 work roles in the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Cybersecurity Workforce Framework. The tool depicts the Cyber Workforce according to five distinct skill communities. It also highlights core attributes among each of the 52 work roles and offers actionable insights for employers, professionals, and those considering a career in cybersecurity.

The micro challenges are based on the Cybersecurity Workforce Framework, which categorizes and aligns to 10 cybersecurity workforce roles, including:

  • Technical Support Specialist
  • System Administrator
  • Network Operations Specialist
  • Systems Security Analyst
  • Database Administrator
  • Data Analyst
  • Cyber Defense Analyst
  • Cyber Defense Incident Responder
  • Vulnerability Analyst
  • Law Enforcement/Counterintelligence Forensics Analyst

Developing the Next-Generation Cybersecurity Workforce

The NICE Framework establishes a common lexicon that describes cybersecurity work and workers regardless of where or for whom the work is performed. The NICE Framework applies across public, private, and academic sectors.

It also offers actionable insights for employers, professionals, and those considering a career in cybersecurity. Users participate in an interactive learning environment and are provided information about the workforce role and cybersecurity education, training and career opportunities once the challenge is completed.

For K-12 students and individuals looking to reskill or transition from non-cybersecurity careers, CISA’s micro-challenges provide an opportunity to experience first-hand the knowledge, skills and tasks performed in the top cybersecurity workforce roles, agency officials said.

“Helping individuals see the opportunities, challenges and rewards of a cybersecurity career, especially K-12 students, is critically important to CISA,” said Chris Lein, CISA Acting chief learning officer. “As a part of our Cyber Career Pathways Tool, we are proud to release micro-challenges that can help prospective workers understand the breadth of cybersecurity careers, demystify some of the core tasks for the workforce roles, and enable all users to see themselves in a cybersecurity workforce role. CISA is focused on developing a robust pipeline of highly skilled cybersecurity professionals to meet the workforce demands of today and the future.”

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.