Entry-level cybersecurity talent can gain unparalleled work and professional experience through the cross-sector Cybersecurity Talent Initiative.
The Cybersecurity Talent Initiative consists of two parts:
- Participants will complete a two-year placement with a partnering federal agency.
- Prior to completing two years of government service, participants will be invited to apply for full-time positions with program sponsors and if selected, complete a two-year placement with a participating private sector company.
Employment terms are based on performance, business needs and other relevant factors. If offered a position, participants will start after completing their federal placement.
Participants are expected to complete two years of federal service and two years of employment with one of the participating private sector companies in order to receive loan assistance. Specific terms for required length of service with private sector companies may vary by company.
The Partnership will conduct an initial screen of applicants to ensure they meet program eligibility. Applications will be evaluated on several factors including technical qualifications and leadership qualities. Top applicants will move forward to agencies, where final selections are made. Agencies may conduct interviews or additional assessments. Agencies will extend job offers by that are contingent upon completion of degree requirements and successful completion of security clearance procedures.
Selection timeline (2021 Application Year)
- Application Opens: August 9
- Application Closes: November 5, 11:59pm
- Semi-Finalist Reviews: November 29-December 10
- Finalist Interviews: January 3-January 28, 2022
- Offers extended to finalists: Spring 2022
- Onboarding and Orientation: Summer/Fall 2022
You will participate in a kickoff orientation to introduce the professional development program, and you will participate in quarterly professional development and leadership training sessions so you can discover innovative best practices across industries. 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 a senior-level mentor from the government or the private sector.
In most cases, professional development training sessions will be held in the Washington, D.C. area. There may also be opportunities for virtual training sessions. Where out-of-town travel is required, the Partnership will cover transportation and lodging costs.
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.
Housing or relocation benefits may vary based on the employer. Relocation costs are not typically covered by the federal government.
Yes. The annual salary will be commensurate with the participant’s qualifications and experience. Salary and benefits are covered by the employing federal agency. Starting salaries for designated program positions may vary depending on the level of education, professional experience and the location of the employing agency. In the Washington, DC locality area, starting salaries may range from $47,157 to $72,750. For more information on the federal pay system, visit the Office of Personnel Management’s website.
Prior to completion of your two-year federal placement, you will be invited to apply for positions with the participating private sector organizations or you may be able to continue your government service at the agreement of the federal agency. The list of participating companies can be found here.
Throughout the program, participants will connect with representatives from the corporate partners who can inform them of future employment opportunities. During the spring of participants second year in government, there will be a formal session to learn about specific job openings with the corporate partners.
No. However, each company will designate certain positions specifically for program participants.
To receive student loan assistance, you must complete your two-year federal placement and then be hired by one of the private sector companies. Those who continue their government service beyond two years will not be eligible for student loan assistance through this program.
Eligibility requirements (2022 Application Year):
- U.S. citizenship at the time of application submission
- Superior academic achievement
- Completion of cyber- related major degree (for example, computer science, engineering, information science and mathematics) from an accredited educational institution within the timeframe January 2021- August 2023
- Outstanding student loans
Yes, you must have some level of outstanding student loan debt upon graduation to participate in the program. There is no minimum student loan debt required. Types of loans may include federal or state student loans, private student loans and personal student loans.
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.
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 veterans status, if applicable.
While strong academic performance will be considered, participants will be evaluated on a number of factors, including leadership qualities and technical qualifications. Agencies may consider additional factors when making final selections.
All applications must be submitted by November 5, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Click here to apply.
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.
Agencies will extend job offers by spring 2022 that are conditional upon completion of degree requirements and successful completion of 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 start in either the summer or fall of 2022.
You will receive email updates throughout the application process. You may also email [email protected] for inquiries.
Yes, interviews for semi-finalists will take place November 29-December 10. Finalists may be invited to participate in in-person, virtual or phone interviews directly from the agency.
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.
Agencies may decide to contact one or both references during their assessment and review process. The Partnership will not contact references as part of the initial review.
Corporate partners will participate in virtual and in-person recruitment activities and serve as mentors to program participants. They may also lead leadership development seminars, host networking events, and serve as keynote speakers or panelists during quarterly development sessions.
The Partnership, in coordination with agency and corporate partners, will manage the program and:
- Recruit top cybersecurity talent by tapping into its strategic relationships with colleges and universities
- Manage and oversee the application process and ensure applicants meet program requirements
- Provide comprehensive professional and leadership development opportunities, and convene program participants for training, mentoring and relationship building throughout their federal government experience
The program administration is funded by corporate partners, including Mastercard, Microsoft and Workday. Salaries and benefits are provided by federal agencies.