The US government just launched a big push to fill cybersecurity jobs, with salaries to match

Cybersecurity workers could get paid as much as the vice president.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

The US Department of Homeland Security, a key cybersecurity agency, has just announced a new system that will help it recruit, develop and retrain cybersecurity pros in the federal government. 

The DHS's new recruitment system, dubbed the Cybersecurity Talent Management System (CTMS), launches amid a tight labor market for cybersecurity professionals who are in extremely high demand and can therefore command big salaries.

DHS is just one federal department, but it plays a special role in responding to major cyberattacks on US critical infrastructure. It hopes the new system will help it hunt for and can keep talent for mission critical-critical roles, with the aim of hiring 150 priority roles across 2022.

"CTMS will enable DHS to fill mission-critical cybersecurity positions by screening applicants based on demonstrated competencies, competitively compensating employees, and reducing the time it takes to be hired into the department," it said. 

The first roles to be filled using CTMS will be "high-priority" jobs at CISA and the DHS Office of the chief information officer. Then in 2022, DHS Cybersecurity Service jobs will be available across several DHS agencies with a cybersecurity mission, says DHS. 

The CTMS salary range has an upper limit of the vice president's salary ($255,800 in 2021), plus an extended range for use in limited circumstances, which has an upper limit of $332,100 in 2021.

DHS is currently recruiting for a variety of cybersecurity roles, including incident response, risk analysis, vulnerability detection and assessment, intelligence and investigation, networks and systems engineer, forensics, and software assurance. 

The CTMS "fundamentally re-imagines how the Department hires, develops, and retains top-tier and diverse cybersecurity talent," says secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas. 

"As our nation continues to face an evolving threat landscape, we cannot rely only on traditional hiring tools to fill mission-critical vacancies. This new system will enable our department to better compete for cybersecurity professionals and remain agile enough to meet the demands of our critical cybersecurity mission."

See also: Tech skills: Four ways you can get the right mix.

The Biden-Harris administration made cybersecurity a priority at an early stage, for example, by appointing the US's first deputy national security advisor for cyber, Anne Neuberger, who led federal investigations into the SolarWinds and Exchange attacks. 

DHS, in particular its Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, was given an elevated cybersecurity role too, via Biden's cybersecurity executive order

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