The Cybersecurity Talent Initiative: Recruiting the next digital defenders
Back to Blog

The Cybersecurity Talent Initiative: Recruiting the next digital defenders

June 8, 2020 | Updated on August 3, 2023

This August the Partnership will invite the next generation of cybersecurity professionals to apply for the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative, a program run by the Partnership for Public Service, in collaboration with Mastercard, Microsoft and Workday.

And it can’t come soon enough.

The number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs across the public and private sectors in the United States reached more than half a million in 2019, and the need for qualified cybersecurity professionals continues to increase. At the same time, the annual cost of data breaches to individuals and organizations is expected to rise to $5 trillion by 2024.

Yet there remains a substantial shortage of, and a dire need for, qualified technology professionals to fill vacant positions, in both the public and private sectors.

The Cybersecurity Talent Initiative was created with the aim of easing the shortage of skilled technology specialists and filling critical federal positions by developing the next generation of cybersecurity leaders. The program provides participants with leadership development training, technical training through CyberVista—a cybersecurity workforce development company, and an experienced mentor from the cybersecurity field.

How the program works

Entry-level cybersecurity talent can gain unparalleled work and professional experience through the cross-sector Cybersecurity Talent Initiative. Participants will work in cybersecurity positions at one of the participating federal agencies for two years, after which they are invited to apply for positions with the three corporate partners. Those who are hired will receive student loan assistance of up to $75,000, inclusive of tax, for existing loans. Participants will engage with subject matter experts from the public and private sectors, build a network of colleagues across government, attend quarterly learning sessions and develop skills needed to excel as cybersecurity leaders.

A total of 437 students applied to the program in 2019 and, in August, the Partnership will formally announce the 12 participants selected for the program’s first cohort.

How to participate

Applications for the second cohort of the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative open August 10.

Visit the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative website to learn more about the eligibility requirements and application process. Please note that applicants for the next cohort must be graduating in the 2020-2021 academic year with an undergraduate or graduate degree in cybersecurity or a related field.

Sign up for program updates to stay in touch. Send any questions about the program to