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3 House Lawmakers Ask OPM to Simplify Federal Cyber Talent Hiring Process

Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-Washington), Kathleen Rice (D-New York) and Josh Gottheimer (D-New Jersey) have urged the Office of Personnel Management to modify requirements and streamline the recruitment process for federal cybersecurity jobs.

Kilmer, Rice and Gottheimer currently serve as co-chairs of the New Democrat Coalition’s Cybersecurity Task Force and told Acting OPM Director Kathleen McGettigan in a joint letter released May 1 that the agency should look to the private sector for ideas to optimize the cyber hiring process.

Agencies do not utilize certification tests because it is not explicitly authorized in the 1958 Government Employees Training Act, the three lawmakers noted.

The representatives inquired about potential actions that could encourage the use of certification exams, if such measures are not prohibited, and urged OPM to provide information on its degree requirements for cybersecurity personnel.

They said OPM should be “more flexible” with job requirements to help meet a growing demand for federal cyber workers.

Non-traditional education paths such as a two-year degree or a certification test can be enough to prepare cybersecurity personnel, according to the lawmakers.

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