Lightcast Supports National Cyber Workforce Strategy

With Gap Analysis, Skills-Based Hiring Toolkit

Published on Jul 31, 2023

Lightcast will be issuing quarterly assessments of the cybersecurity talent gap and a skills-based hiring toolkit for employers to support the new National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy.

The White House released the strategy Monday to address the shortage of skilled cybersecurity workers, a major national security issue in an era of cyberwarfare and cyber crime.

Lightcast already provides the data behind, a website on cybersecurity careers built in partnership with CompTIA and the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education.

A benchmark of the cybersecurity talent gap is essential to solving this critical national security problem. The quarterly Lightcast report will provide an assessment of the talent gap in the US cybersecurity workforce. Specifically, it will provide the difference between the number of skilled cybersecurity workers we have and the number of cybersecurity job positions employers demand.

As of April 2023, Lightcast estimates that the US needed 466,000 more skilled cybersecurity workers to close the talent gap. Put another way, there were only 69 currently employed cybersecurity workers for every 100 job postings for cybersecurity staff.

The toolkit will present practical methods for employers to recruit and train cybersecurity workers. This will include strategies for skills-based hiring, apprenticeships, and identifying workers in “adjacent roles” who possess some, but not all, of the skills needed to transition into cybersecurity work. By identifying these workers, employers can train them into cyber roles at greater speed and with less expense than developing talent from scratch.

In addition, the actions listed in the toolkit will enable employers to tap into more diverse hiring pools. When looking at the broad tech workforce, Lightcast research with Npower has found that while 225,000 women of color hold US tech jobs today, another 470,000 are “tech-eligible” and could be trained up for jobs in tech.