Filling the Cyber Pipeline

Gen. William Shelton, head of Air Force Space Command, said Thursday the lack of cyber recruits is a “serious national security issue.” Speaking at AFA’s CyberFutures Conference outside of Washington, D.C., Shelton said only about four percent of degrees granted in the United States can be considered to be in a technical discipline. The eligible pool of recruits is even smaller than that once one considers the number of foreign nationals graduating with degrees in those areas, the number of people who actually want to work in national security, and the number of persons who can pass a background check, said Shelton. Non-military organizations “also may pull some of that talent,” and of the remaining pool, “many of these folks aren’t the kind of folks that would necessarily take well to the military life,” he said. Shelton noted that the Air Force has “very good training in both the enlisted and officer force, and it’s improving by leaps and bounds.” He added, “We are producing the right kinds of folks on the backside of the pipeline, we just aren’t getting the right people into the pipeline that we need.”