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DHS Wants To Hire 1,000 Cybersecurity Experts 222

Posted by kdawson
from the even-one-would-be-nice-if-you'd-listen-to-him dept.
Cyrus writes "DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano plans to hire 1,000 security experts over the next three years. 'Department officials could not say precisely how many cyberexperts now work at DHS and its various component agencies such as the Secret Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Napolitano said she doubts it will be necessary to fill all 1,000 of the authorized positions, but she is focused on making DHS a "world-class cyberorganization."'" Cringely points out, "There aren't one thousand civilian cybersecurity experts in the entire friggin' world!!!!," except he uses all caps and bold.
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DHS Wants To Hire 1,000 Cybersecurity Experts

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  • Yep. Penn State University offers a degree in Security and Risk Analysis with a specification in Cyber-security. http://ist.psu.edu/prospectivestudents/undergraduate/sra/ [psu.edu]
  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Sunday October 04, 2009 @03:12PM (#29637247)
    and here's a good first choice: pick a more secure operating system for their servers and workstations. Last I heard, Microsoft had a fat contract to supply Windows to DHS. If they really want to make themselves look good (from a security perspective) dropping Microsoft would be a good first step.
  • by El Torico (732160) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @04:04PM (#29637621)

    Government paychecks are capped at a maximum that is significantly less than commercial starting pay for cyber-security experts...

    No, they aren't. The Information Assurance and other Information Technology positions in the Federal Government are usually grade GS-13. A GS-13 Step 1 in the Metro DC Area makes $70,615, Step 10 makes $91,801. This is competitive with most commercial salaries. Factor in the generous benefits (retirement, commute cost compensation, flextime, etc.) and the Civil Service positions are lucrative.

  • by thoth (7907) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @04:27PM (#29637773) Journal

    No, they aren't. The Information Assurance and other Information Technology positions in the Federal Government are usually grade GS-13. A GS-13 Step 1 in the Metro DC Area makes $70,615, Step 10 makes $91,801. This is competitive with most commercial salaries. Factor in the generous benefits (retirement, commute cost compensation, flextime, etc.) and the Civil Service positions are lucrative.

    You left off locality pay... a GS 13-1 in Metro DC makes $87K, step 10 makes $113K. So, even better!
    http://www.fedjobs.com/pay/washington.html [fedjobs.com]

  • by El Torico (732160) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @06:49PM (#29638813)

    Yes, he is. The burden of proof is on the accuser.

  • by BenEnglishAtHome (449670) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @06:59PM (#29638869)

    You're way off base. IA and IT positions with the government usually start at GS 5 or 7. Most reach full grade at 12. Getting to a 13 generally requires going into management. Of course, all this assumes you're somewhere other than DC. In DC, nearly every job is inflated by one or two grades.

    In the rest of the country, an IT tech or entry-level security wonk will be a 7, making a touch over $33K to start. Support techs are dual-tracked in many agencies with most topping out at GS 9.

    And the days of good retirement are long past. It's been 25 years since new employees were placed under the Civil Service Retirement System, the high-quality retirement scheme for long-term employees that most people think of when they think of federal retirement. The new Federal Employees Retirement System is significantly more chancy and requires the employee to pay lots more attention to their investments over the years. It's no longer a case of "put in your time, get your dime."

    Retirement from federal service is better than most places in some ways and worse in others. A career fed is likely to retire with better life and health insurance than most folks and no danger that it'll be taken away when the company goes belly up. But a career fed is also likely to retire with a much smaller pension and lower net worth than his private industry counterparts.

    I like those tradeoffs and have stayed with federal service even though I routinely (that is, at least once a quarter) turned down job offers during the dotcom boom that would have quadrupled my salary. I valued the good work rules and long term stability of my employer. Others place very little value on stability. For those folks, government service is definitely not the way to go.

  • by memnock (466995) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @07:40PM (#29639131)

    AVUE.com, which lists USDA Forest Service jobs, recently informed applicants that from now on SPOUSES of veterans, not just veterans, will receive preference for filling positions. This preference excludes qualification. In other words, you just have to be married to a vet and you can have the govt. job of your choice.

    Before someone says that I'm trying to say the wife of Pfc. John Doe can ask for the EPA director's job, I think there is some limit, especially for executive position (but maybe not), but low level positions, e.g. GS-5 or GS-7 are affected. I've heard of two people with Master's degrees getting turned down because of people without degrees or other qualifying experience getting a veteran preference. The vet preference trumps other qualifications hands down. So, don't be surprised at what kind of "experts" fill those positions.

    There has to be another way to show appreciation to veterans.

  • by El Torico (732160) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @09:44PM (#29639913)

    No, I'm not off base. I get a weekly e-mail from USA Jobs that lists these positions, and the lowest I've seen is a GS-11.

  • by nprz (1210658) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @11:40PM (#29640575)
    http://www.fedjobs.com/pay/pay.html [fedjobs.com]

    GS 12 starts at $59383.
    GS 14 starts at $83445.
    If you were in San Francisco at GS 14, then you'd make $112108 at step 1. A little explanation about the steps and advancement: http://ohcm.gsfc.nasa.gov/pay/gs.htm [nasa.gov]

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