Cybersecurity jobs should be open to people with nontraditional educations, including those without a four-year college degree, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said at a government cybersecurity training program graduation.
“Every student in the United States needs the freedom to pursue their own education in ways and in places that work for them,” DeVos said July 15 in prepared remarks for a ceremony at the Federal Cybersecurity Reskilling Academy, which trains federal employees in data security skills.
DeVos’ comments come as the cybersecurity industry struggles to fill positions and Democratic and Republican lawmakers advocate for more apprenticeship programs—which don’t require a college degree—to train workers to fill that gap.
There are nearly 315,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions in the U.S., according to CyberSeek jobs data from 2017 and 2018. About 40% of those jobs could be filled by people without a bachelor’s degree, New America, a public-policy think tank, said in a November 2018 report.