For 2023 Candidates


Why should I join the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative?

The Cybersecurity Talent Initiative offers entry-level cybersecurity talent unparalleled work and professional experience.

CTI participants will:

  • Be placed at a partnering federal agency for two years, building on-the-job cyber skills and in many cases gaining a security clearance (dependent on the agency and role).
  • Build leadership and professional skills by participating in CTI programming.
  • Network with program alumni, agencies, cross-sector program guest speakers and mentors to gain insights into permanent cyber roles. Most CTI participants identify permanent cyber employment through their CTI program networks!

Employment terms are based on performance, business needs and other relevant factors. If offered a position, participants will start after completing necessary background and security clearance requirements.

What professional development training and mentorship will I receive during the two-year program?

Participants placed at federal agencies will participate in a kickoff orientation to introduce CTI’s professional development program. Throughout the program’s first year, participants will attend monthly training sessions to develop leadership skills and learn about best practices across industries. Additional experiential learning opportunities will be provided during the second year of the program.

Throughout, you will build a strong network of future cybersecurity leaders, and engage with public and private sector cybersecurity experts. You also will be matched with an industry mentor from the government or the private sector.

How will the professional development courses be held?

Training will be held virtually with potential opportunities for in-person events in the Washington, D.C., area.

Where are the federal jobs located?

Most positions are in the Washington, D.C., area. Some agencies may have positions available in locations such as California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Virginia, Georgia and other states.

If I need to relocate, are housing or relocation expenses provided?

Relocation costs are not typically covered by the federal government.

Does the two-year federal placement include pay and benefits?

Yes. The annual salary will be commensurate with the participant’s qualifications and experience. Salary and benefits are covered by federal agencies. Starting salaries for designated program positions may vary depending on a candidate’s level of education and professional experience, and the location of the agency. In the Washington, D.C., area, starting salaries may range from $53,105 to $78,592. For more information on the federal pay system, visit the Office of Personnel Management’s website.

What happens after I complete my two-year federal placement?

Before completing their two-year federal placements, CTI participants will have the opportunity to participate in a career fair to connect with representatives from government and the private sector. Participants may also seek to obtain a permanent position at their agency.

Program participants emerge from CTI with the skills and experience to identify meaningful roles in the public and private sectors. Though participants are responsible for their own professional journey, the CTI program provides a network and support structure that helps launch participants into exciting permanent positions in the cyber realm.


Who is eligible to apply?

Eligibility requirements (2023 application year):

  • U.S. citizenship at the time of application submission.
  • Superior academic achievement.
  • Completion of a cyber-related degree (for example, computer science, engineering, information science and mathematics) from an accredited educational institution between January 2022 and August 2024.
Will I need a security clearance? How is it obtained?

Background investigation and security clearance requirements may vary by agency and position. Agencies will support selected candidates throughout the investigation process. For more guidance, see information from the National Background Investigations Bureau.


What application materials must I provide?

In addition to your personal information, you must also submit unofficial copies of all undergraduate- or graduate-level transcripts; a current resume; an endorsement form (which can also be found in the application) completed by an academic or professional contact, such as a faculty member or supervisor familiar with your technical qualifications in cybersecurity; responses to a series of short essay questions; and documentation of veteran status, if applicable.

How are application materials evaluated?

Participants will be evaluated on a number of factors, including leadership qualities, technical qualifications and academic performance. Agencies may consider additional factors when making final selections.

Is there an application fee?


While completing my application online, may I close out and return to it?

Yes, the online application can be saved and returned to later. If you submit more than one application before the closing date, we will only review the most recent submission.

How and when will I know if I’m accepted? When does the program start?

Agencies will extend job offers during the spring and summer of 2024. The offers are conditional upon the completion of degree requirements and security clearance procedures. You also will receive an email from the Partnership for Public Service notifying you of your acceptance. While start dates may vary by agency, most participants should expect to begin working in either the summer or fall of 2024.

How can I check the status of my application?

You will receive email updates throughout the application process. You may also email with inquiries.

Will I be expected to participate in an interview? How long does the entire interview process take and is travel required?

Yes, interviews for semifinalists will take place in January 2024. Finalists may be invited to participate in in-person, virtual or phone interviews directly by the agency in early spring 2024.

I am a veteran. Does this status provide preference? If so, how should I highlight it on my application?

According to federal regulations, agencies must apply veterans’ preference as part of the application process. Applicants with veterans’ preference should submit a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD 214) with application materials. For additional information on veterans’ preference, visit Feds Hire Vets.