Cyber Workforce
Developing a Professional Cyber Workforce

The Department of Defense (DoD) must be able to effectively structure, develop, and retain the cyber workforce to overcome new and evolving challenges posed by our adversaries. In support of these objectives, the DoD Cyberspace Workforce Strategy (DCWS) was signed by the Deputy Secretary of Defense in 2013. The DCWS provides overarching guidance for transforming the cyber workforce of military (active/reserve) and civilian personnel according to six strategic focus areas, which include approaches to recruit, train and retain staff in a competitive national environment.

A critical element of Focus Area 1 directs the development of the DoD Cyber Workforce Framework and a cohesive set of associated DoD workforce management issuances. The DoD 8140 policy set unifies the overall cyber workforce and establishes specific workforce elements (i.e., cyberspace information technology (IT), cybersecurity, cyberspace effects, intelligence (cyber)) to align, manage, and standardize cyber work roles and baseline qualification requirements. This evolution in cyber workforce management will better allow the Department to build and maintain a cyber workforce that can respond to dynamic mission needs.

The Cyber Workforce Skill Categories are defined in DoDD 8140.01 Cyberspace Workforce Management as:


  • Cyberspace IT Workforce: Personnel, who design, build, configure, operate, and maintain IT, networks, and capabilities. This includes actions to prioritize portfolio investments; architect, engineer, acquire, implement, evaluate, and dispose of IT as well as information resource management; and the management, storage, transmission, and display of data and information.

  • Cybersecurity Workforce: Personnel who secure, defend, and preserve data, networks, net-centric capabilities, and other designated systems by ensuring appropriate security controls and measures are in place, and taking internal defense actions. This includes access to system controls, monitoring, administration, and integration of cybersecurity into all aspects of engineering and acquisition of cyberspace capabilities.

  • Cyberspace Effects Workforce: Personnel who plan, support, and execute cyberspace capabilities where the primary purpose is to externally defend or conduct force projection in or through cyberspace.

  • Intelligence Workforce (Cyberspace): Personnel who collect, process, analyze, and disseminate information from all sources of intelligence on foreign actors’ cyber programs, intentions, capabilities, research and development, and operational activities.