National Initiative For Cybersecurity Education (NICE)

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) evolved from the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative when it was established in 2010 to extends its scope beyond the federal workplace to be an initiative that addresses the cybersecurity educational opportunities for our nation’s students and an initiative that cultivates a cybersecurity workforce that is prepared to protect our nation from existing and emerging challenges.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is leading the NICE initiative working from the strengths and energy of more than 20 federal departments and agencies, to ensure coordination, cooperation, focus, public engagement, technology transfer and sustainability. Many NICE activities are already underway and NIST will highlight these activities, engage various stakeholder groups and create forums for sharing information and leveraging best practices. NIST will also be looking for “gaps” in the initiative -- areas of the overarching mission that are not addressed by ongoing activities.

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) will be represented by three Components:

Component 1:    National Cybersecurity Awareness Lead: Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

The National Cybersecurity Awareness Component is being led by the Department of Homeland Security. To boost national cybersecurity awareness, DHS will use public service campaigns to promote cybersecurity and responsible use of the Internet, and make cybersecurity a popular educational and career pursuit for older students.

Component 2: Formal Cybersecurity Education Leads: Department of Education (DoED), DHS, and National Science Foundation (NSF)

The Department of Education and the National Science Foundation (NSF) are leading the Formal Cybersecurity Education Component. Their mission is to bolster formal cybersecurity education programs encompassing kindergarten through 12th grade, higher education and vocational programs, with a focus on the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines to provide a pipeline of skilled workers for the private sector and government. Cybersecurity competitions represent one aspect of this component.

Component 3: Cybersecurity Workforce Leads: DHS, Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Department of Defense (DoD), and Department of Labor (DOL)

DHS with its National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (NICCS) portal is a leader of this national effort to cultivate an integrated cybersecurity workforce that is globally competitive from hire to retire, with the knowledge, skills, and ability to protect our nation from existing and emerging challenges. The Department of Defense is defining the roles in cybersecurity through its emerging Cyberspace Workforce Strategy.

2012 National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education Strategic Plan

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education Strategic Plan was posted in September 2012. The plan outlines the goals of NICE as well as the objectives and strategies NICE will implement to achieve its goals. The partner agencies that comprise NICE are hard at work to address the Nation’s cybersecurity education needs. Together, in partnership with our public and private stakeholders, NICE will make a difference.

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