Report Warns of Potential Brain Drain in Federal Cyber Force

April 4, 2013

The vast majority of the federal cybersecurity workforce is older than 40, an issue that could eventually lead to a personnel shortage in the field, according to a new report.

The 2012 Information Technology Workforce Assessment for Cybersecurity, released Wednesday, found that nearly 80 percent of federal cybersecurity workers are over the age of 40, with most being closer to the retirement age threshold. Only 5 percent of the federal cyber workforce is 30 years of age or younger, the study found.

The report, which is based on an anonymous survey of nearly 23,000 cyber workers across 52 departments and agencies, also found that while the majority (49 percent) of cyber feds have more than 10 years of service until they reach retirement eligibility, nearly 33 percent will be eligible to retire in the next three years.

“While specific factors may be influencing the average age of a department or agency’s workforce, this data indicates potential risk to the current and future pipeline of cybersecurity professionals,” the report states. “An aging cybersecurity professional population could lead to a manpower shortage in the federal cybersecurity field.”

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