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FCW : August 30, 2015
professionalcertifications BY ZACH NOBLE How OPM hopes to cultivate cyber talent Workforce Feds are becoming eligible for retire- ment in waves, and cybersecurity skills are in desperately short supply. Import- ing talent is one solution, but another is developing the skills of the people who already work for the government. “Over the next five years, four in 10 federal employees will be eligible for retirement,” said Sydney Smith- Heimbrock, chief learning officer at the Office of Personnel Management. “OPM has identified cybersecurity as the highest-risk skills gap.” To help remedy that growing gap, OPM has pursued partnerships with higher education institutions, first with University of Maryland University Col- lege and now with Champlain College via a truED Alliance. “Champlain College’s nationally ranked, online education programs closely align with OPM’s need to offer high-quality, affordable educa- tion opportunities for employees that focus on mission-critical areas,” Smith- Heimbrock said. “This includes its No. 1-ranked cybersecurity higher educa- tion program by SC Magazine (which also includes its digital forensics pro- gram), as well as its health care man- agement, human resources manage- ment and appreciative inquiry-based MBA programs.” The truED partnership allows feds to take online courses from the Bur- lington, Vt., college at substantially reduced rates — $10,000 for a bach- elor’s degree and $11,000 for a master’s degree, according to the college. “It’s definitely less than I paid for my degree,” said Mika Nash, academic dean in Champlain College’s Division of Continuing Professional Studies. Nash said roughly 90 federal stu- dents have enrolled in the inaugural summer for the government’s truED alliance, with some 400 signed up for fall classes and hundreds more in the pipeline. OPM declined to provide its own enrollment figures. “If you have someone in your agency who has demonstrated savvy in your workforce, either at keeping the bad guys out or at figuring out how they got in, that’s the person you want to invest in,” Nash said. At the beginning, cybersecurity was the 10th most popular program offered through truED, but it has since rock- eted up to fourth, she added. August 30, 2015 FCW.COM 25 Cisco Certified Network Professional Routing and Switching Audience: Network engineers, support engineers, systems engineers and net- work technicians Focus: Ability to plan, implement, verify and troubleshoot local- and wide- area enterprise networks Requirements: At least one year of networking experience. Appli- cants must also pass three additional examinations in routing, switching and troubleshooting. Certifying organization: Cisco Sys- tems (cisco.com) Juniper Networks Certified Internet Associate — Junos Audience: Networking professionals Focus: Knowledge of Juniper Net- works’ Junos OS, networking funda- mentals, and basic routing and switching Requirements: Beginner/intermediate knowledge of networking Certifying organization: Juniper Net- works (juniper.net) SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT Certified ScrumMaster Audience: Project managers Focus: Managing complex projects within an open, interactive environ- ment and gaining an understanding of the Scrum framework, including team roles, activities and artifacts Requirements: Attending an in- person, two-day course taught by a cer- tified Scrum trainer and then passing a CSM test Certifying organization: Scrum Alli- ance (scrumalliance.org) 0830fcw_014-026.indd 25 8/12/15 9:27 AM
August 15, 2015
September 15, 2015