A Targeted Study on the Match between Cybersecurity Higher Education Offerings and Workforce Needs

Document Type


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Journal Title

Virginia Journal of Science

Publication Date



The Cybersecurity Workforce Gap is a call to action on a two-fold problem: the worldwide shortage of qualified cybersecurity workers and the need to develop a growing highly-knowledgeable, agile, well-trained cybersecurity workforce. This paper presents a methodological approach to achieve this goal in the Northern Virginia area. The area is characterized by an abundance of cyber-related industries, government agencies, and large businesses with high demand of skilled cybersecurity workers; at the same time, academic institutions offer cutting edge education and training access to highly capable students. Central to this methodology is the collaboration between local academia and industry and it includes: an examination of current literature to identify common practices in the development of cybersecurity talent; a Workforce Needs Survey answered by key local industry partners, followed by a thorough analysis of the results; and a review and analysis of the existing cybersecurity educational programs and experiential learning offered by Northern Virginia academic institutions. The outcome is to identify existing pathways to meet workforce needs as well as to reveal gaps in educational programs that need to be addressed. Finally, much needed recommendations for employers, academic institutions and students are presented.

Publisher Statement

The Virginia Journal of Science is openly accessible through the efforts of Old Dominion University: https://digitalcommons.odu.edu/vjs/.