Talent pipeline programme to fill future cyber security jobs in the US

SOURCE: Robyn Beck / AFP
NCL’s partnership with CyberUp aims to boost the cyber security talent pipeline in the US.

By U2B Staff 

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The cybersecurity skills gap remains vast, and this is still an issue even in developed countries as organisations require a more robust talent pipeline to fill the burgeoning demand to fill cyber security jobs in the US.

Cyber security is important now more than ever, as billions of users around the world are now heavily utilising online tools and platforms to carry out business operations.

The shortage in this skill area is impacting most organisations in various ways and the most common effects include uneven workload for employees and unfilled positions.


Cyber security professionals remain in high demand by employers across the US and in virtually every industry, according to data published on CyberSeek, a free source of comprehensive cybersecurity workforce analytics and career planning information.

US employers advertised nearly 508,000 job openings for cyber security workers between June 2019 through May 2020. This is in addition to the 922,720 workers employed in cybersecurity-related jobs in the same time period and this trend is expected to grow.

In an effort to cultivate the cybersecurity talent pipeline, the National Cyber League (NCL), a national leader in high school and college student cybersecurity competitions, and CyberUp, a non-profit organisation offering cyber security apprenticeships are collaborating to provide middle and high school students a pathway to advance in cybersecurity knowledge and skills.

NCL’s partnership with CyberUp aims to boost the cybersecurity talent pipeline by engaging youth from middle and high schools through camps, clubs, and competitions.

The NCL competitions focus on nine specific categories, which are aligned to the NIST NICE Cyber security Workforce Framework, the NSA Knowledge Units, and CompTIA’s security certifications.

This partnership will open up opportunities for students from middle school and high school with limited experience or knowledge in fields of information technology or cybersecurity to progress in that career pathway that will result in filling cyber security jobs in the US.

Tony Bryan from CyberUp explains, “Engaging youth is critical to fill future cyber security roles. The St. Louis region alone experienced a jump in 1,100 open roles from 2019,”

Bryan adds, “We must grow the entire workforce ecosystem to meet hiring needs for companies. We welcome the opportunity to work with NCL to continue engaging middle-and high-school students beyond their classroom activities.”


The partnership between NCL and CyberUp is supported by Cyber Skyline, an online biannual cyber security community and competition for high school and college students.

Cyber Skyline is also a leading cloud-based cyber security skills evaluation platform that helps students and professionals track their skills growth and helps businesses find, identify, and cultivate talent.

NCL Commissioner Dan Manson says, “The partnership between CyberUp and NCL will give middle and high school students a way to advance from basic understanding of cyber security to a fun, game-based, and completely virtual exercise and competition platform designed to be a hands-on bridge between the classroom and careers.”

The Cyber Skyline competition consists of hands-on, realistic, industry skill-based challenges across multiple learning domains, designed to test and build their cyber skills to cyber security jobs in the US in the future.

More than 10,000 students from over 550 high schools, colleges, and universities across the United States participate annually in NCL competitions.


The engagement activities are designed to introduce students to cyber security basics and open their minds to the idea of pursuing a technical career.

CyberUp hosts summer camps and cybersecurity competitions and has introduced more than 7,000 students to the world of cyber security and provides a safe environment for students to practice their cyber security skills through PowerUp: Cyber Games.

The PowerUp: Cyber Games competition provides students with a foundation of cyber security knowledge, covering topics found in the CompTIA’s Security+ certification.

CompTIA is the global leader in vendor-neutral certifications, providing workers of all levels a mechanism to develop and validate their technical skills. CompTIA has invested millions in educational resources, research, and philanthropy to advance the IT jobs landscape.

Through its advocacy arm, CompTIA champions member-driven business and IT priorities that impact all information technology companies from small-managed solutions providers and software developers to large equipment manufacturers and communications service providers.